Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Apr 2006 21:18 UTC
Novell and Ximian Linux on desktop computers will begin taking off in mainstream markets in the next 12 to 18 months, Novell President Ron Hovsepian has predicted. Linux has been widely used on networked computers called servers, but it has comparatively little success on personal computers, beyond technically savvy users. Many companies have argued the open-source operating system is on the verge of breaking out in PCs and have been proven wrong. But Hovsepian sees some changes that he believes make the market ripe.
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Development platforms
by snowflake on Mon 10th Apr 2006 21:39 UTC
snowflake
Member since:
2005-07-20

If Linux really does take a big bite (say 30/40%) out of the windows market then the one thing I think that needs a some work is productive crossplatform GUI development environments. As a developer I have not seen anything on Linux or Mac to match the tools we have on Windows (and not just by MS either). Yes people will shout eclipse at me but apart from a few areas it excels at (eg refactoring) I think it is behind in other significant areas.

At the moment we have probably two viable platforms for the develpment of *large scale commercial apps* (so not python etc), Java and QT. Given Java's continuing problems on the GUI front this isn't likely to go down well with end users (I had to use a Java app this morning and it's GUI was pretty bad). Qt however is ok, although the QT apps I've used tend to look a bit dull in this modern age of eye candy.

The one great and very significant advantage that the windows era brought was a single platform to target, with all the benefits of economies of scale and consistency (both to the user and developer). If those days are about to end then we should avoid increasing our maintenance costs (and hence end user costs) by having multiple platforms to target. I guess if you live in the open-srurce world where economics don't apparently apply then costs are not an issue.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Development platforms
by Simba on Mon 10th Apr 2006 21:56 in reply to "Development platforms"
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> Given Java's continuing problems on the GUI front
> this isn't likely to go down well with end users
> (I had to use a Java app this morning and it's GUI
> was pretty bad).

Java does't really have any problems on the GUI front end, except for the cross platform "metal" look and feel. But you don't have to use it. Check out some of the JGoodies Look and Feels. They make both Gtk and Qt look dated and ugly. JGoodies has some very elegant themes. And you can just bundle the jar with your app so the end user doesn't have to do any work to make the app look nice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Development platforms
by Accident on Mon 10th Apr 2006 22:25 in reply to "RE: Development platforms"
Accident Member since:
2005-07-29

try REALbasic its cross platform for Windows, Mac and Linux.

www.realbasic.com

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Development platforms
by unoengborg on Tue 11th Apr 2006 10:26 in reply to "RE: Development platforms"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Java does't really have any problems on the GUI front end, except for the cross platform "metal" look and feel. But you don't have to use it.

If you are talking about the present situation I wouldn't agree with you. In Java 5 you can't even fully use the keyboard on Linux unless you run US locale. The theme support could see some improvements, the responsivenes could be better.

The new Java 6 will change some of this, among other things the over seven year old keyboard bug is allready fixed in the current beta, and it feels a lot snappier. Still I think Java on Linux have a long way to go before we can count on it as a cross platform development tool for the desktop.

There seam to be a bit of a shift in direction for Sun. It seams that they actually intend to have something to work on the desktop this time, but as they neglected it for so long, it will take some time before they catch up. Java 7 perhaps. Till then, the best we can do if we need to be cross platform is probably using QT.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Development platforms
by Simba on Tue 11th Apr 2006 14:34 in reply to "RE: Development platforms"
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> Till then, the best we can do if we need to be cross platform is
> probably using QT.

Qt has its own problens though--the biggest one being its licensing requirements. The extremely high cost of a cross platform Qt license effectively locks out smaller shops who are just trying to get started. And the alternative (licesning all your stuff under GPL) just isn't feasable sometimes.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE: Development platforms
by sphere on Mon 10th Apr 2006 22:44 in reply to "Development platforms"
sphere Member since:
2006-04-10

> Qt however is ok, although the QT apps I've used tend to look a bit dull in this modern age
> of eye candy.

Take a look at Photoshop Elements (not regular Photoshop) - it's built upon Qt and I don't think it looks dull at all. While it's only available for Windows and OS X, it should be portable to Linux etc. if Adobe wanted to.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Development platforms
by ruel24 on Tue 11th Apr 2006 00:41 in reply to "RE: Development platforms"
ruel24 Member since:
2006-03-21

Since Adobe has been seriously keeping an eye on Linux, I wonder if the use of Qt is intentional, as they may plan to port some of their products natively to Linux to dip their toes in the market. If Adobe came onboard, this would open a few doors for Linux.

http://news.com.com/Adobe+dipping+toes+into+desktop+Linux+waters/21...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Development platforms
by kaiwai on Tue 11th Apr 2006 03:27 in reply to "RE: Development platforms"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Take a look at Photoshop Elements (not regular Photoshop) - it's built upon Qt and I don't think it looks dull at all. While it's only available for Windows and OS X, it should be portable to Linux etc. if Adobe wanted to.

I wouldn't hold my breath for that; Adobe was getting a beta version of Framemaker tested on Linux, then for no reason at all, they pulled it off the market.

Preasure from Microsoft? nope; more likely 'can't be bothered given the size of the user base'.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Development platforms
by DCMonkey on Tue 11th Apr 2006 20:30 in reply to "RE: Development platforms"
DCMonkey Member since:
2005-07-06

Take a look at Photoshop Elements (not regular Photoshop) - it's built upon Qt and I don't think it looks dull at all.

Actually, it's Photoshop Album that uses Qt.

And I think recent versions of Qt use the native theming APIs of Mac OS X and Windows XP to draw their widgets, so the look should be pretty good, even if the layout and behavior is not spot on.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Development platforms
by Jack_Green on Mon 10th Apr 2006 23:27 in reply to "Development platforms"
Jack_Green Member since:
2006-01-04

Well Novel is pretty heavily invested in Mono as a Development platform I believe. With a little more work MonoDevelop could become a very good solution to many of the great Windows IDEs. In fact, the most recent Mono has even introduced a drag and drop GUI builder that uses GTK#.

A bit more polish from Novell and Mono could be to Linux what .NET is to Windows.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Development platforms
by raboof on Tue 11th Apr 2006 06:58 in reply to "Development platforms"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

At the moment we have probably two viable platforms for the develpment of *large scale commercial apps* (so not python etc), Java and QT. (...) At the moment we have probably two viable platforms for the develpment of *large scale commercial apps* (so not python etc), Java and QT.

Don't forget wxWidgets - though that might be even duller than QT ;) .

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Development platforms
by kolmyo on Tue 11th Apr 2006 10:53 in reply to "Development platforms"
kolmyo Member since:
2005-07-11

"Qt however is ok, although the QT apps I've used tend to look a bit dull in this modern age of eye candy."

Compared to what? Windows? Either you have used some unusually ugly programs or you are just plain wrong.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Development platforms
by jaboua on Sun 16th Apr 2006 19:38 in reply to "Development platforms"
jaboua Member since:
2005-09-08

Why not python? If you're thinking about the source being available, python code can be compiled just like java.

And what is wrong with QT's look - after all, it's skinnable.

Reply Parent Score: 1