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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Toolkit is not HIG
by jamboarder on Mon 16th Feb 2009 23:28 UTC
jamboarder
Member since:
2009-02-16

Tom, please don't entangle behavior, which is primarily driven by design (including HIG rules), and toolkits, which have little to do with behavior.

You could take every single GTK+ or GNOME app, port it to Qt and have it look and behave essentially exactly the same. All the toolkit does is provide a mechanism to implement design. And behavior is design.

Google's choice of GTK+ is simple: The people doing the work are more familiar with GTK+. I can hardly beat up on them for that. However, these empty arguments about consistency and all that is apoplectic gum-smacking, plain and simple.

Lord knows I'd have preferred that they used Qt since it at least afforded the *possibility* of *visual* integration across desktop environments. *Behavioral* integration was never a nut they could comprehensively crack anyway. Besides, there's already much *behavioral* inconsistency across apps within the same desktop environment on any OS. In fact, the behavioral paradigm Chrome introduces (no menubar, tabs as processes/windows/apps, etc.) is arguably as purposefully inconsistent as any app introduced on any platform. And I like it. And it anecdotally contradicts arguments that suggest behavioral consistency drives, or should drive, toolkit choice.

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