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[7]: All guis the same
by abraxas on Tue 17th Feb 2009 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: All guis the same"
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

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.


I already said I'm not arguing for Shake to get a new UI. This doesn't have anything to do with Shake specifically.

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.


Hmmm. I did say that it is okay to stray from the conventions when it is needed but sticking as closely to them as possible makes thing a lot easier for an end-user. I'm not so stubborn as to expect strict guidelines that never can be broken but making something different for the sake of being different is not something we need.

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