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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kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

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:
2005-07-06

...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

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

In GNOME Terminal, the tab bar is again at the top. This makes absolutely no sense for a terminal app.


Why not? Having it consistent with Firefox, Eclipse, and other tools works fine for me - I've never felt the need to find some way to change it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

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

Umm, why would it make more sense for the tabs to be at bottom for a terminal app? I don't understand. Atleast I find it consistent and easy if all apps have their tabs in the same place. What does it matter what the content of the tabs is when their functionality is still the same?

Just because you are used to having the tabs at bottom for terminal apps doesn't mean it actually is better design or more consistent.

Reply Parent Score: 2

reinouts Member since:
2005-07-20


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.


Please show us where in the HIG ( http://library.gnome.org/devel/hig-book/stable/controls-notebooks.h... ) it says you have to put your tab bar at the top? It's not much more than the Gtk+ default. In fact there's an Epiphany extension to put tabs on the side.

You may or may not be right about the tab positioning, but don't blame the HIG without backing it up.

Reply Parent Score: 1