Multiple DeskTops, HiColor theme, standardized icon names, &menu icons

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at
Sat Jul 1 02:37:00 EEST 2006

Shaun McCance wrote:
> KDE and GNOME aren't toolkits, per se.  QT is a toolkit.  GTK+ is a 
> toolkit.

You are correct.  However, KDE functions as a TookKit even though it is
actually a wrapper for Qt.  That is, KDE apps generally call KDELibs
functions rather than calling Qt directly.  OTOH, it is my understanding
that GNOME apps call GTK+ directly.

> When we strive for desktop interoperability, we want you to be able 
> to use QT or GTK+ without tying yourself to KDE or GNOME.  It's a 
> very important issue.

Yes and we have Qt ONLY apps.  And we have Firefox and Thunderbird as
examples of GTK+ apps that are not GNOME apps (although people
incorrectly refer to them as such).

> What is *not* an important issue,

I disagree.  It may not be, itself, an important issue, but it is
clearly part of an important issue which is the need for a standard for
where all files that are used by the DeskTop are stored.

> and what we should not be wasting our time on, is the ability to have
>  program that don't depend on the toolkit it uses.  As an application
>  developer, you choose your toolkit (and the rest of your development
>  platform) and you work within it.  Specifically, in this context,
> you use its icon loader, if it provides one.  If it doesn't, you use
> the icon loader from some other library.  Or you roll your own, if
> you have too much free time.
> End of the day, you are using one icon loader.  If Portland ever 
> provided an icon loader, and projects used that, they wouldn't be 
> using some sort of neutral non icon loader.  They would be using 
> Portland's icon loader.

It is not the intent of the Portland project to write a new DeskTop, but 
rather to enable interoperability.  So, it is probable that Portland 
will use wrapper libraries that will call functions of the DeskTop being 

> It would have its API and its set of rules, and you'd work with
> those.

Yes, and it would also have a standard place where the icons needed to 
be installed (I presume that it will be the XDG standard).  If Portland 
uses the XDG standard, other DeskTops will also need to use it.

> Where you install your application-private files is really not 
> interesting, from an interoperability point of view.  I'm sure it's 
> interesting from other points of view, such as not giving systems 
> administrators migraines.  But it doesn't affect the ability of a 
> GTK+ program to run seamlessly under KDE.

No, this isn't about that.  It is about the goals of the Portland
project which is to provide "a common set of Linux Desktop Interfaces".
  These common interface library calls will not really be needed by KDE
and GTK+ programs (at least to start with), but rather by third party
apps written with other ToolKits.

IAC, cross platform integration does require standards for such things
as where to store icons (even "private" ones) and where to store
configuration files.

> There are so many real problems that need to be solved with icon 
> theme interoperability.  Can we please solve them?

You are welcome to start a thread about these "real problems".  I must 
admit that I am growing tired of this argument (which isn't getting 
anywhere) and would be happy to discuss something else. :-)


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