Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 16th Feb 2009 14:07 UTC
Editorial Late last week we ran a story on how the Google Chrome team had decided to use Gtk+ as the graphical toolkit for the Linux version of the Chrome web browser. It was a story that caused some serious debate on a variety of aspects, but in this short editorial, I want to focus on one aspect that came forward: the longing for consistency. Several people in the thread stated they were happy with Google's choice for purely selfish reasons: they use only Gtk+ applications on their GNOME desktops. Several people chimed in to say that Qt integrates nicely in a Gtk+ environment. While that may be true from a graphical point of view, that really isn't my problem with mixing toolkits. The issue goes a lot deeper than that.
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RE: What annoys me about Gnome...
by niemau on Mon 16th Feb 2009 14:55 UTC in reply to "What annoys me about Gnome..."
Member since:

In the mean time OS's like Windows and Mac that only have one GUI toolkit will be miles ahead in this regard!

you're kidding, right? ...right?

(edited - added link)

Edited 2009-02-16 14:58 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

kaiwai Member since:

Just to be a devil's advocate, you'll find the a good many of them are no longer in active use by developers (outside purely for backwards compatibility). In reference to WPF, its debatable whether one could/should consider it a toolkit/widget kit given the different scope of its original intention.

That being said, what is needed in the *NIX world is a standardised HIG for both KDE and GNOME can subscribe to - and if they means that the GNOME HIG becomes the 'HIG to rule them all' then I say go ahead and make it so. The value proposition of whether a KDE or a GNOME application is good isn't on the basis of how weird and different the application is. The value position is derived from how well the application is designed, how easy the tool it is when it comes to allowing the programmer to achieve a given task and ultimately how good the programmer is at turning his vision into a reality.

We've already seen this fixation in the Windows world of people focusing on how their application looks rather than how their applications work. How many have seen an application they used to love using only to find it has turned to crud because some developer thought it was neat to focus all their energy on buggering up the interface with skinning and gunk rather than improving the usability of the application and the speed of the underlying code.

I've gone off on a tangent already but I'm sure most here can see the situation which the software would has arrived in. When there are protests against standardisation - you know it has nothing to do with choice and everything to do with a noisy wheel annoyed that their butchering an application will no longer be considered as a valid reason for pushing an upgrade onto its users - be it open or closed source.

Edited 2009-02-16 21:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

j-kidd Member since:

...and if they means that the GNOME HIG becomes the 'HIG to rule them all' then I say go ahead and make it so.

No way. GNOME HIG sucks donkey balls. It was created by a bunch of developers who suddenly regarded themselves as usability experts after reading "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum".

Here's an example that illustrates how bad it is:

In Epiphany, the tab bar is at the top. This makes sense for a web browser. In GNOME Terminal, the tab bar is again at the top. This makes absolutely no sense for a terminal app. The HIG fails when it preaches consistency above senses.

Reply Parent Score: 2

ggeldenhuys Member since:

you're kidding, right? ...right?

Not at all. If you know anything about programming, you will see what I mean. Lets take the Windows example: Things like MFC, VCL etc are all wrappers for the underlying Windows API. Even .NET's Windows Forms is just a wrapper for the stock standard Windows API. So yes, there is only one integrated GUI toolkit for Windows.

Compare that to Linux, where you can truly have 100's of GUI toolkits, or none at all. The Linux kernel/core doesn't come standard with a Linux GUI API, neither does X11 come with standard widget sets. X11 just managers windows, it knows nothing about buttons, comboboxes etc...

But getting back to the point. Being able to set a few custom properties of your selected screensaver is NOT beyond all users capabilities, so Gnome developers must not treat us like such dumb users!!

Reply Parent Score: 1

sorpigal Member since:

Ahh... you're not kidding, you're misinformed.

/Some/ of the 'toolkits' on Windows are wrappers around the standard win32 API, but not all or even most. You could argue just as well that GTK/QT/etc are all "wrappers" around xlib, because it's just as true and just as irrelevant.

Reply Parent Score: 2

thavith_osn Member since:

Based on the link you gave, I think you'll find that from the list of frameworks listed for OSX, only one is still active... The other 3 were frameworks for OS 9 and below...

Carbon wasn't listed however, but that is being phased out too, so on OS X currently there is only Cocoa from Snow Leopard onwards (some will argue you could still use Carbon, but it is limited in 64bit environments)...

You can use Gtk+ or Qt if you choose too, but they aren't "Native"... You can use Swing for Java too (or SWT), Flash, Silverlight and I'm sure there are others too...

Reply Parent Score: 2