Ubuntu beyond GTK apps?

Kai Schroeder schroed at cs.uni-bonn.de
Fri May 16 15:18:17 BST 2008

A. Walton wrote:
> On Fri, May 16, 2008 at 7:49 AM, Kai Schroeder <schroed at cs.uni-bonn.de> wrote:
>> Conrad Knauer wrote:
>>> I was reading /. and they have an article up about "QGtkStyle"
>>> http://developers.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/05/15/1319204
>>> "A new project called QGtkStyle by Trolltech Labs gives Qt4 based
>>> applications the possibility to integrate natively into Gtk based
>>> desktops like Gnome or Xfce. Instead of simply imitating Gtk styles
>>> QGtkStyle uses the Gtk theme engine directly. The project is still
>>> considered experimental, but is another step into better integration
>>> between Qt and Gtk applications."
>>> And it reminded me of something that I had been thinking about in the
>>> past; Ubuntu is GNOME-based, but does not always default to GNOME's
>>> app selections (e.g. Firefox, GIMP and OpenOffice.org as I recall).
>>> Wouldn't it be interesting to take that a step further and have Ubuntu
>>> represent the best Linux apps (e.g. K3B?), regardless of widget
>>> dependency?  If QGtkStyle (or such) could seamlessly integrate them
>>> visually, I don't see why (beyond LiveCD size restrictions) that this
>>> wouldn't be a good idea...
>>> Anyway, just thought I'd mention the idea to see what people think.
>>> CK
>> In my opinion Gnome has to change the HIG first. Although I really like
>> the way affirmative actions are described with a verb instead of just
>> "OK" it was not a good move to place the affirmative action on the right
>> side of a dialog.
> [snip]
> Whether or not you agree with it, it's been written in the HIG for
> years and years, and it's the natural layout for long-time GNOME users
> (and Mac OS X users for that matter). Changing this at such a late
> point is just going to trigger an immense amount of frustration (I
> imagine it'd be like waking up and noticing your mouse axes flipped
> and your buttons were mapped the opposite direction). So no, the HIG
> does not need to change in this aspect.
I actually wouldn't have dared to propose that as a new default to Gnome 
Upstream ;). I should have said that I also had in mind to make that 
option configurable.
> Instead, for those who actually care about this (read: pedants,
> KDE/Windows users), there's gtk_dialog_set_alternative_button_order()
> which has been around since GTK+ 2.6 (sometime 2k4). And with a small
> change to your .gtkrc file, you can have your cake and eat it too. And
> you can file bugs against applications that don't use this function
> with their dialogs and applications that violate the HIG (which is
> probably a sizable number, but since the people who presumably care
> about it don't speak up to developers...). I 
Thanks for the info. I didn't know about that - so this is technically 
solved (except for bugs).
> understand Qt has a
> similar ability for GNOME and Mac OS X support, but I've never had a
> want or need to look into it so I'm not sure what it is or how to use
> it.
As I have just read, Qt4.2 has introduced a mechanism for platform 
dependent button ordering (http://www.crossplatform.ru/?q=node/303). So 
hopefully, other cross platform APIs like Swing, SWT and wxWidgets add a 
similar function. It's probably not even bad if Windows / Wine ports 
look non-native ;-). Back to the topic, I think it is even more 
important that "Ubuntu beyound GTK apps" would behave consistently (i.e. 
follow the Gnome HIG as closely as possible) than looking similar to 
Gnome apps.

Kai Schroeder
> -A.Walton

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