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.
Thread beginning with comment 349362
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[4]: All guis the same
by dagw on Mon 16th Feb 2009 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: All guis the same"
dagw
Member since:
2005-07-06

Shake's interface could be done using native widgets and HIG conventions.

Which native widgets? Motif? Shake using native Motif widgets would not have been the same app. I realize we're probably not going to agree on this, but suffice to say I think Shake made exactly the right choice going with their own UI widgets. Sure the file selector, for example, was different from the native one, but it was also far more flexible and powerful, something which very quickly made up for the few minutes you spent getting the hang of it. In fact if I was forced to name the app with the best UI I've ever used Shake would definitely be on the top three.

Sure for small utility apps like browser, mail, chat and text editor it is important that cut and paste works the same in all apps, but for apps like Shake internal ease of use is far more important than external consistency.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: All guis the same
by abraxas on Tue 17th Feb 2009 06:10 in reply to "RE[4]: All guis the same"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I'm not tyring to make the argument that Shake needs to use a different toolkit, just that a completely custom toolkit is not necessary and often confusing. You seem to by implying that it's not possible to create an image compositor like Shake with a native toolkit like QT or GTK. I don't buy it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: All guis the same
by dagw on Tue 17th Feb 2009 08:21 in reply to "RE[5]: All guis the same"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

You seem to by implying that it's not possible to create an image compositor like Shake with a native toolkit like QT or GTK. I don't buy it.

Sure you could re-implement Shake in Qt today, but Qt was a lot more primitive when Shake was written. Given the tools available, I think they did the right thing going with a custom toolkit. Would they have started today I doubt they would have made the same choice, but hopefully they would have kept the same UI and design.

Also by writing, for example, a custom file selector optimized for the job, rather than relying on the default platform one, they made the app a lot easier to use. Admittedly at the cost of it taking a few minutes to fully get the hang of, but in my book that is a tiny price to pay. Sometimes it's worth writing a specialized widget to solve a specialized task. For large apps used in isolation I think harder to learn is worthwhile price to pay for easier to use.

Reply Parent Score: 4