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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Comment by michi
by michi on Mon 16th Feb 2009 18:32 UTC
michi
Member since:
2006-02-04

First of all, what is the point about using native GUI libraries when the result does not integrate at all with the rest of the system? Just have a look at: http://winlux.pytalhost.de/tumblelog/upload/google-chrome.jpg. Google Chrome doesn't look at all like other Windows applications.

And this is where the problems occur. In general, GNOME developers design the user interfaces of their Gtk+ applications different than how KDE developers design their Qt interfaces. KDE developers value choice, configurability, tweakability, whereas GNOME developers tend to work towards providing the necessities, and leaving out options that they deem confusing or pointless. This is of course a gross oversimplificiation, but the point remains. I'm not trying to say either approach is better - I'm just stating that they are different.

Firefox doesn't care about the Gnome HIG and looking at the Windows Version I seriously doubt that Google Chrome will. I am quite sure you can make a KDE application look & feel more like a Gnome application then you can do with Firefox or Google Chrome. Gimp also doesn't care much about the Gnome HIG, the interface is quite different from the usual Gnome applications.

When I'm using a KDE environment, Gtk+ applications annoy me because they do not behave like the Qt applications I'm currently using. When I'm in a GNOME environment, it's vice versa; it are the Qt applications that annoy me. This has nothing to do with placing blame or about what toolkit is better; when using environment A, I have certain expectations about where to find stuff - add in applications from environment B, and these expectations are of no use anymore. I find that frustrating.

And just to mention it: MacOS X also uses two different styles. Actually I find that kind of refreshing.

ome people see the competing toolkits as a problem, but I really don't. People who like consistency and the KDE approach, can stick to a strict Qt desktop, and people who like consistency and the GNOME approach can stick to a strict Gtk+ desktop. People who just don't give a rat's bum can use whatever they want. Everybody is happy!

At least for me applications are more important then GUI toolkits. I really don't see a problem with using gimp or Firefox on my KDE desktop. I actually work with Linux, MacOS X and Windows and I had never had any problems switching between them.

And if Google Chrome integrates in Gnome as good as the Windows version integrates with the rest of Windows, your whole point is mood anyway.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by michi
by BluenoseJake on Mon 16th Feb 2009 21:04 in reply to "Comment by michi"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

And if Google Chrome integrates in Gnome as good as the Windows version integrates with the rest of Windows, your whole point is mood anyway.


Not really, because I use KDE, and so0 do a lot of other people. A lot of people use XFCE, or GnuStep, Enlightenment, there are a ton of DEs. Just like half the other posters here have said, Gnome integration is not Linux integration.

Reply Parent Score: 3