Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 13:43 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Just like Eugenia yesterday, I also upgraded my laptop's Ubuntu Feisty installation to Gutsy a few days ago. The upgrade process went completely awry, though, so I was forced to do a fresh install. Not a bad thing, as it gave me the opportunity to take a look at Ubuntu's soon-to-be-released Gutsy Gibbon with GNOME 2.20
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RE: Good review with some caveats
by Obscurus on Mon 24th Sep 2007 10:47 UTC in reply to "Good review with some caveats"
Obscurus
Member since:
2006-04-20

This "allergy" that people seem to feel about running applications from both KDE and Gnome is a bit irrational, to the point that many applications are being rewritten k3b, Amarok, simply so that they can use the same toolkit. What a colossal waste of time and what a shame to see the free software community suffering from NIH (not invented here) syndrome.


This "waste of time" could have been avoided form the start if the Linux devs/community had settled on a single unified standard for writing applications, so that different toolkits were unnecessary. AS it is, if you are a developer considering writing an application for Linux, for all intents and purposes, there are two versions of Linux you need to choose from GTK+ Linux or QT Linux. This is just a ridiculous situation, and it needs to be fixed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

AS it is, if you are a developer considering writing an application for Linux, for all intents and purposes, there are two versions of Linux you need to choose from GTK+ Linux or QT Linux. This is just a ridiculous situation, and it needs to be fixed.


I have two possible answers to your assertion:

(1) Yes, this having to choose when writing applications is a terrible situation, nearly as bad as having to choose between the old win32 API and the new .NET API ... which also needs to be fixed.

(2) Rubbish. Just like the situation in Windows with the old win32 API or the new .NET API, the situation on Linux with GTK+ or QT is such that the same machine can easily execute applications written to either standard, so it just gives a developer more choices.

You can choose for yourself which position you would rather argue for or against ... but do be sure to treat different OS platforms in the same manner, won't you?

Edited 2007-09-24 11:32

Reply Parent Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You can choose for yourself which position you would rather argue for or against ... but do be sure to treat different OS platforms in the same manner, won't you?


lemur2, what's up with this almost obsessive-cumpulsive kneejerk reaction to immediately point fingers whenever someone points out (what he perceives as) a flaw in Linux? It is about as weak an argument as it gets, you see. "Mommy, why am I not allowed to do xyz, but Jimmy from down the street can! It's just not fair!"

On top of that, who has said that the original poster does not lament the situation just as much on Windows as he does on Linux? You have no reason to assume he doesn't, you see.

Personally, I have lamented the lack of graphical consistency on Windows and OSX often enough - in fact, I have even said that if a user wants a graphically consistent environment - stick to GNOME.

Edited 2007-09-24 11:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

(1) Yes, this having to choose when writing applications is a terrible situation, nearly as bad as having to choose between the old win32 API and the new .NET API ... which also needs to be fixed.


Again, the same old argument to defend bad design by making comparisons to another piece of bad design as if that justifies it. The difference of course is that GTK+ and QT are both approaching the same task as competing modern toolkits, whereas Microsoft is gradually phasing out an old toolkit in favour of a new one. The situation for Windows is nevertheless very messy, and is a classic example of failing to break with old, worn out methods for the sake of backwards compatibility. Windows needs to ditch Win32 and move to a unified 64 bit API.

(2) Rubbish. Just like the situation in Windows with the old win32 API or the new .NET API, the situation on Linux with GTK+ or QT is such that the same machine can easily execute applications written to either standard, so it just gives a developer more choices.


No, what it does is force developers to make a choice they should not have to make. It should be a case of "this is the API for writing Linux applications, deal with it", not "pick your favourite API and screw the end user into an inconsistent UI experience". QT applications behave inconsistently on GTK desktops much of the time (and vice versa). You need to install extra libraries if you want to run QT apps on a Gnome desktop (or v.v), and bugs that affect a GTK app only when running on KDE are less likely to be fixed.

You can choose for yourself which position you would rather argue for or against ... but do be sure to treat different OS platforms in the same manner, won't you?


I do treat all OS platforms in the same manner. I can give you an endless list of gripes I have with Windows or OSX or BSD etc., but the discussion at hand was the issue with GTK/QT interoperability on Linux. You assumed (incorrectly) that I was criticising what I perceive as a flaw in the design of one operating system as though other OSes were beyond reproach, which is not the case. I am quite happy to take any OS you care to mention (that I have used) to task, without fear or favour.

Reply Parent Score: 2

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

AS it is, if you are a developer considering writing an application for Linux, for all intents and purposes, there are two versions of Linux you need to choose from GTK+ Linux or QT Linux. This is just a ridiculous situation...


No, it's a ridiculous statement.

Reply Parent Score: 2

devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

You are technically right, but there are historical reasons for that. As far as I remember: QT toolkit was the first serious UI toolkit available on Linux, but was not free software at the time. So people begun to code a fully free alternative - GTK. When GTK was ready (and QT became free), there was already a lot of QT code around, so the split stayed there.

Why didn't the GTK guys wrote a free QT clone (so that apps could be ported) instead of reinventing their own toolkit, I don't know.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

GTK was not written from scratch to compete with QT. At the time QT was being used as the foundation of KDE and Stallman and other zealous folks decided that a closed source toolkit just Would Not Do GTK was already existent and was in fact the most mature toolkit available under a free license. GTK started its life long before KDE chose QT and that was as the toolkit for the GIMP (it's in the name: GTK == Gimp Tool Kit). The GIMP developers needed their own toolkit because the TKs available to them at the time did not support the rather advanced stuff they needed for their image editor.

Eventually a Clone-QT project was started and it is precisely because this project was nearing completion that Trolltech GPL'd QT for Linux. And when the GPL'd Linux version of QT was *almost* finished being ported to Windows they GPL'd the Windows version as well.

The major thing dividing the two camps is and has always been C vs. C++ and not so much a license thing. The licensing problem was a very real problem only for the first year or two. Some kind of accommodation or merger would probably have begun, except that C developers hate C++ and C++ developers hate C. This is the one major reason you will never, ever see GTK and QT join together.

Reply Parent Score: 2