Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 8th Nov 2012 20:54 UTC, submitted by Elv13
Gnome "Theme development is a tedious and difficult task, and for the GTK devs to be so careless in breaking their API at every turn disrespects the many hours people put into making themes for it. [...] I was given to believe that this breakage stems from a Microsoft-like climate of preventing users from customizing their systems, and deliberately breaking the work of others so that your 'brand' is the best. Anytime I hear the word 'brand' being used in Linux, I know something valuable is being poisoned." I find the tone of this one a bit too harsh and overly negative at times, but his point still stands.
Thread beginning with comment 541515
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Why not use Qt?
by ssokolow on Thu 8th Nov 2012 22:38 UTC in reply to "Why not use Qt?"
ssokolow
Member since:
2010-01-21

It seems rather odd to be complaining so strongly about gnome, when Qt exists, is much more stable and well supported, is easier to code for, has better documentation, and much better cross-platform support.

I've been using only Ubuntu for a while now, so I know not if fedora etc have made their qt themes look and behave nicely alongside their gtk themes, but in unity and in KDE, Qt looks beautiful.
It would surely be easier to improve Qt themeing as canonical have, than to keep complaining about gtk, because we all know that gnome do things their own way, and don't really care very much about anyone else.


Unfortunately, switching to Qt theming is a lot more difficult than it sounds.

There used to be a GTK+ theme which delegated the work to Qt but, as far as I can tell, the last commit to it seems to have been back in 2009. (Around the same time Qt gained an officially supported, bundled theme which did the reverse, theming Qt using GTK+ themes)

As for switching the apps themselves over, I can tell you, as a programmer, that's not a very viable option. GTK+ and Qt aren't just widget toolkits. They both provide their own approaches to a LOT of low-level functionality that neither C nor C++ offer as core features. (The event loop, signals, network-transparent file I/O, reference-counted object system, etc.)

Finally, just finding replacements isn't a viable option since any given user who's grown comfortable with an application will probably see all the competitors as significantly inferior... if for no other reason, due to their design philosophies not lining up with the user's comfort zone.

I used to be a happy KDE 3.5 user but I always ran a mix of Qt and GTK+ applications. Since KDE 4 came out and I switched to LXDE, I've just moved more and more to the GTK+ side of things.

For example:
- Konqueror 4 is apparently bitrotting except for minor fixes by KHTML devs.
- Without KParts, Dolphin is inferior to PCManFM.
- Nothing else comes close to Pidgin or Kopete.
- Kopete is under-maintained, buggy, and lacks IRC.
- No other Qt or GTK+ app is as responsive as Geeqie (formerly GQView).
- etc. etc. etc.

...not to mention how Qt 4's movement threshold for clicking and dragging is so small (compared to Qt 3 and GTK+) that, in Konqueror or Dolphin, I make accidental copies more often than I open files. (I have a Logitech G3 mouse and a big desktop)

...or how, being used to LXDE with lightweight GTK+ apps, I can actually notice and get annoyed by how the closest competing Qt4 apps tend to be a few hundred milliseconds more sluggish on my AthlonII X2 270 with 16GiB of RAM.

Edited 2012-11-08 22:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Why not use Qt?
by woegjiub on Thu 8th Nov 2012 22:50 in reply to "RE: Why not use Qt?"
woegjiub Member since:
2008-11-25

I was mostly referring to the development of new applications, to be honest.
gtk seems much more developer-hostile, but most Linux applications seem to use it.
I agree that many Qt applications are bloated, but that is not something inherent to the toolkit, rather being a tendency of certain types of developers.
Looking at the (new, and not yet very stable) razor-qt desktop environment, fast Qt apps and environments are definitely possible.

I am yet to find a file manager and terminal that I like more than dolphin and konsole. It's just a shame that kde itself is not as nice as unity.
KDE telepathy is moving towards being a good chat client, but for now, the best option is still pidgin, unfortunately.

I can't say I've experienced the clicking threshold problems you describe, but considering I'm mostly a keyboard user, I am probably not able to judge.

Edited 2012-11-08 22:56 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Why not use Qt?
by ssokolow on Thu 8th Nov 2012 23:18 in reply to "RE[2]: Why not use Qt?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I was mostly referring to the development of new applications, to be honest.
gtk seems much more developer-hostile, but most Linux applications seem to use it.


Maybe I'm just not using it right, but, last time I tried PyQt, I found PyGTK to generally be more comfortable. (Not to mention more favorably licensed and with a more sane reaction to receiving Ctrl+C)

Also, I've started playing around with Vala and it seems to be harder to shoot yourself in the foot with it than C++.

(If you're not familiar with it, it's a language that tries to layer a more Java/C#-style syntax on top of GObject and compiles to pure C. It's also been designed to be more friendly to being called by pure C code than C++.)

I am yet to find a file manager and terminal that I like more than dolphin and konsole. It's just a shame that kde itself is not as nice as unity.
KDE telepathy is moving towards being a good chat client, but for now, the best option is still pidgin, unfortunately.


Ever since Yakuake's KDE4 port made it too heavy, I've grown quite attached to my urxvt setup. (I use the bundled "kuake" plugin with GNU screen for tabs)

As for Dolphin, I find it a GNOME-reminiscent step backward from Konqueror 3 in various respects. As for PCManFM, the only things I've seen Dolphin do better are the filter bar and the split/unsplit toggle button... and the former is currently the new feature in development for PCManFM.

I actually think Plasma+Kwin is nicer than Unity+Compiz... but heavier than LXPanel+Openbox and I can't find where that Plasma equivalent to the (non-negotiable) LXPanel "Directory Menu" widget went since I last used it in KDE 4.4 or 4.5.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Why not use Qt?
by segedunum on Fri 9th Nov 2012 17:15 in reply to "RE: Why not use Qt?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

...or how, being used to LXDE with lightweight GTK+ apps, I can actually notice and get annoyed by how the closest competing Qt4 apps tend to be a few hundred milliseconds more sluggish on my AthlonII X2 270 with 16GiB of RAM.

I'm sure KDE and Qt developers could do lightweight apps to shave some imperceptible time off for you, but then they would take longer to develop and wouldn't have any features anyone using a desktop would care about. LXDE is basically just a window manager. If it wasn't more people would be using it, but they aren't.

This kind of brain damage is what has killed the Linux desktop. I can only laugh in amusement and despair that in all the years I have seen Linux desktop articles on this site that these comments are still prevalent.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Why not use Qt?
by ssokolow on Fri 9th Nov 2012 17:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Why not use Qt?"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I'm sure KDE and Qt developers could do lightweight apps to shave some imperceptible time off for you, but then they would take longer to develop and wouldn't have any features anyone using a desktop would care about. LXDE is basically just a window manager. If it wasn't more people would be using it, but they aren't.


You obviously don't know much about LXDE. I suggest examining the categorized (core, accessories, system, configuration) list of components at http://wiki.lxde.org/en/Main_Page before making that claim.

...and even if the combination of Plasma, KWin, Dolphin, and friends didn't induce noticeable slow-downs that doesn't change the fact that the maintainership of GTK+ is the problem and the UI design philosophy for things like Amarok and Gwenview does an inferior job of meeting my goals compared to applications like Audacious and Geeqie which happen to be written using GTK+ (and which also happen to be more lightweight).

Edited 2012-11-09 17:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3