Introduction and toolkit abstraction

Tim Ringenbach omarvo at
Wed Sep 15 06:45:12 EEST 2004

Wow this thread is still going on?
I was tempted to reply when I first saw it, but I didn't feel like 
reading all the posts related to it in order to avoid saying something 
that hasn't already been said. Unfortunately this is still the case, so 
I aplogize for this post.

Sean Middleditch said as close to my thoughts as any other post i 
bothered to read.

>If you want the two apps to look and act similar, just bloody well make
>them look and act similar.  You can patch GTK+ to have its file dialog
>look like the KDE dialog; that would, unlike the abstraction library
>idea, actually work, and it's be a lot easier to boot.  You can do the
>same thing with KDE/Qt.  Just modify/update all the standard dialogs
>(including those in extra libraries, like libgnomeprintui) and you'd be
>all set.

Writing an API abstraction between GTK+ and QT isn't the right idea. You 
don't want your program using QT when running in KDE and GTK when 
running under GNOME. And you surely don't want to rewrite all apps to 
use this new unified toolkipt.

The real solution is for to keep doing what it does. 
Standardize more things where needed so everyone's interopable. If you 
want toolkits to work the same, first work on standardizing themeing. 
Then extend it until via this new standardize themeing that gtk's file 
dialog can look the same as qt, and vise versa, and since  you already 
standardize themeing, it's "does" instead of "can". Once that's done you 
can work on other things, like giving gnome the ability to use kio 
slaves, etc. Some of these will be easier than others obviously.

Furthermore, once you have standards like these, and once you get them 
adopted, individual apps will feel compelled to use them. OOo might use 
the information in the new theme standard to draw its file dialog the 
same way kde and gnome are. Etc.

The approch i'm describing reminds me vaguely of the approch SANE uses. 
The approch of making each applicate use dialogs from multiple toolkits 
reminds me more of the TWAIN approch, which SANE of course contrasts on 
their site.

I, of course, am not going to code all of this. Or any of it. I just 
like telling people what to do. Especially when they're doing things wrong.


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