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Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the your-aura-is-always-with-you dept.

GUI 240

sfcrazy writes "Google's Chromium team is working on an alternative of Gtk+ for the browser, called Aura. Elliot Glaysher, a Google developer explains, 'We aim to launch the Aura graphics stack on Linux in M35. Aura is a cross-platform graphics system, and the Aura frontend will replace the current GTK+ frontend.' The Free Software community is debating: is Google trying to do Canonical? Couldn't Google just switch to Qt, which is becoming an industry standard?"

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Google's Aura (1, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46461289)

Is looking darker and darker every year

Re:Google's Aura (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461921)

Embrace, extend, extinguish.

Re:Google's Aura (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about 6 months ago | (#46462435)

Is Qt licensed in a way that benefits Google (or me)? No.

Hence why they are rolling their own.

GPL and LGPL are just too much of a distribution pain in the ass for companies that have real size to them (i.e. targets of raving fanboys and lawyers).

Okay, Google could pay to license Qt like a normal company, or they could just make their own minimal (for now) toolkit ... and figure out neat ways to track your usage of it and embed ads in it ;)

As a Qt fan (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461299)

Atleast Gtk+ isn't gaining.

Re:As a Qt fan (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461675)

I agree. GTK is disgusting crap that tries to cram every bad design decision of every platform it works on into one horrible framework to make the absolute worst GUI toolkit ever conceived. I strongly suspect that it was a product of the line of thought that lead the GCC internals to be so convoluted: some bullshit paranoia that proprietary vendors might make something nice out of it. The GCC are feeling the effects of that bad decision as LLVM\Clang eats their lunch and are just now beginning to improve their design. I sincerely hope that the GTK devs will react the same way and try to salvage the heap of crap they manage.

Re:As a Qt fan (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46461697)

Lots of adjectives. Explain what you yhink is wrong with it instead of just saying that you dont like it.

Re:As a Qt fan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461781)

By the amount of comments you made defending GTK, you seem to be a bit butthurt.
Enjoy your GTotalKrap on your fvwm and let others do serious work instead of losing time with lousy toolkits.

Re:As a Qt fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461857)

You're obviously trolling, but I will bite. What makes you think Aura is better than QT? Why throw in the yardstick of "serious" work, when the difference doesn't affect workflow?

Re:As a Qt fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461943)

GTK is the lousy toolkit here. Don't know about Aura, but given the fact Chromium used GTK in the first place I say their judgement is impaired and that's the reason they are going Aura and not QT.

Re:As a Qt fan (4, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | about 6 months ago | (#46461907)

I'll let the AC explain what he thinks is wrong, if he will actually step up to the plate.
But, you do realize that this story starts with Timothy mentioning what a small percentage of the OS community thinks, and doesn't mention a somewhat more likely possibility - that Google is dissatisfied with the GTK, finds it very difficult to work within its limits, and doesn't feel it can get any cooperation from the GTK designers. If that is how Google feels, then the AC would probably say Google's position is reasonable. I tend to agree with that, myself. But, what's the point of asking the AC to defend his position, when that same position was totally left out of Timothy's original summary, and the position of those who don't see any problems with the GTK is presented as the default of the whole open source community?

Summary: Ooooohhhh! Anybody who doesn't like FOO is a rapist of dead baby seals and unmutual to boot! We're gonna just assume that absolutely everybody reasonable likes FOO, and raise only the questions those reasonable people would ask mean old unreasonable Google.
AC: Well I don't like FOO because it's smelly and might let girls into the Sekret club...
You: AC, you need to explain mo' betterer

Yes, AC probably should present some specific facts, if this was a debate over GTK's quality. But even if you turn this whole thread into a debate with the AC and others like him, win every point, and leave the rest of us impressed with your clarity and logical superiority, do you really think that will prove Google's reasons are as invalid as your debate opponent's?. The facts are, there is an ongoing debate o in the OS community over the conduct of the GTK developers. The summary needs to be written like the community is still seriously divided, not like the only questions being asked are from people who don't see a problem with the GTK and assume that Googgle can't really have a good reason.

Re:As a Qt fan (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462057)

sorry , but who/what is AC ????

Re: As a Qt fan (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462283)

Anonymous Coward

Re:As a Qt fan (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 6 months ago | (#46462225)

You haven't tried coding against Motif, have you? That manages to be worse.

Re:As a Qt fan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461931)

I am not sure I agree with you. I'm a Qt fan because it allows you to have native looking applications with little effort.
I don't use Chrome, but I used to use Chromium and usually a very recent development release. The removal of native-looking widgets in web pages pretty much coincided with the introduction of Aura in the development version. I wouldn't be surprised if Aura isn't capable of drawing native widgets and Chrome never gets them back.
I've since switched to Firefox for obvious reasons, and I my only regret is not switching sooner.

Just for a browser? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461305)

From the story:

I don’t think it makes much sense to write your own GUI toolkit just for a browser.

It occurs to me there are very, very few applications that could possibly warrant the development of a new widget set, but that a web browser is certainly among them.

Gtk emerged from Gimp; the "GIMP Tookit." If a raster graphics editor used by a vanishingly small number of people provides sufficient rationale to make a toolkit, certainly a web browser used by tens of millions is worthy.

Re:Just for a browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461335)

What exactly is the need for a new toolkit? more widgets? you can take an existing toolkit and make something look horrible like unity . Or a simple toolkit can make something look cool like blackbox .

Re:Just for a browser? (3, Interesting)

peppepz (1311345) | about 6 months ago | (#46461357)

Because GTK2 is bit-rotting and GTK3 is bound to GNOME.

Re:Just for a browser? (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46461699)

You don't need to run Gnome to run GTK 3. I'm using it right now on just fvwm.

Re:Just for a browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462007)

You need lots from GNOME project to get GTK3

Qt would be much better choice but Google engineers just dislikes Qt but they dislike even more GNOME, so they go to third option.

Re:Just for a browser? (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46462195)

You need lots from GNOME project to get GTK3

Can you be more specific? GTK+ does not have a lot of dependencies to begin with, and most of them is not directly related to the Gnome project; GLib, GdkPixbuf, Pango, ATK and GObject according to the documentation [0]. The rest of them are external.

[0] https://developer.gnome.org/gt... [gnome.org]

Re:Just for a browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461869)

GTK3 is bound to GNOME.

Errr... it supports Windows [tarnyko.net] , for a start...

Re:Just for a browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461955)

GTK3 is bound to GNOME.

Errr... it supports Windows [tarnyko.net] , for a start...

your post is so funny I almost fall from the chair laughing.

Re:Just for a browser? (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about 6 months ago | (#46461957)

I agree on this point, but, what about Qt? Qt is superior to gtk in almost every way, cross platform, and not "bound" to anything. Plus, the license is pretty liberal.

Re:Just for a browser? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461843)

Hopefully the new toolkit uses standard C++ instead some weird kitchen sink object system and their own data types scattered everywhere. Perhaps the STL is not perfect, but it is quite likely already used all over the application itself, and not too many want to write their otherwise perfectly portable using some Q* classes.

Re:Just for a browser? (4, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46461991)

Except that this "standard C++" is total crap that doesn' even offer proper reflection, which is the whole reason why Gtk+ went on to create this "weird kitchen sink object system" (so that creating the bindings to all the dozens of different languages used in a typical Un*x system were as simple as possible). And why - wonder of wonders - Qt did the same, to improve this "object shitstem" of C++. I think a discerning observer might start seeing a pattern at this point...

Re: Just for a browser? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462321)

Except that this "standard C++" is total crap that doesn' even offer proper reflection, which is the whole reason why Gtk+ went on to create this "weird kitchen sink object system"

Wrong. GTK+ did their weird object system because it's in C, not C++. Reflection isn't a factor, and as a C++ programmer I don't feel like I'm missing anything without it.

And why - wonder of wonders - Qt did the same, to improve this "object shitstem" of C++. I think a discerning observer might start seeing a pattern at this point...

Qt started down that path because the C++ compilers of that era had poor or non existent compatibility with C++ template specs. They decided that it was just easier to write a precompiler stage than deal with templates.

Re: Just for a browser? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462387)

Can we please stop spreading this myth? Even with C++11 and upcoming C++14 you can't just replace the Qt object metatype system. See e.g. http://woboq.com/blog/reflection-in-cpp-and-qt-moc.html for a detailed analysis ...

Re:Just for a browser? (2, Informative)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | about 6 months ago | (#46461347)

The reason why Gtk was written is because at the time that GIMP was starting out, there wasn't a good alternative. Nowdays there are.

Re:Just for a browser? (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46461525)

If I remember correct the Gimp guys had started with Motif. Early versions of Gtk+ was more or less a non-strict reimplementation of Motif, but that changed quite rapidly after a while.

Re: Just for a browser? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461551)

Right, and Motif wasn't free.

Re: Just for a browser? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461717)

It is now (LGPL). Time to move back?

Re:Just for a browser? (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 6 months ago | (#46461643)

IIRC Gtk was written because there was a high-quality alternative but that wasn't free and open.

Years later Trolltech released Qt under the LGPL and suddenly there is no longer any need for Gtk (or other toolkits written it seems just to be a bit "special")

Re:Just for a browser? (4, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 6 months ago | (#46461597)

there are very, very few applications that could possibly warrant the development of a new widget set, but that a web browser is certainly among them.

There is only XUL [mozilla.org] .

Re:Just for a browser? (3, Insightful)

Zukix (641813) | about 6 months ago | (#46461797)

From previous releases its clearly the Chrome team is being mismanaged and has lost its way.

They really cannot get the basics right. A web browser is basically text in windows that can be styled by the page author. Lets see you they are doing:

i) They don't fix the appalling font rendering issues on Windows promptly and as a priority. Most of Google's own web fonts are unusable in production because of this.

ii) They don't follow standard most-recently-used order when ctrl-tab between tabs and they don't see the problem and close any bug report as won't fix. How can Chrome be the platform for office tools and applications when you can't flick between applications?

iii) They start adding animations to html elements you can't restyle with CSS e.g. the zoom ease-in they added to select elements in a recent Chrome. What possible justification was there for that? If you need to use more than a couple select elements on a form the animation effect of using each one is terrible.

iv) They add forced behind the scenes updates (ok) but they then push poorly tested unstable releases. There were wide-spread issues on their recent releases. You can only auto-update if you are rock-solid.

v) They fork from the web-kit project, a once high-point in cross company collaboration for the betterment of the web. Now... beginning of the end.

vi) And now they are going to spend their time re-implementing a cross-platform widget toolkit. How about fixing the fucking font rendering first?

I don't know how the team is being led but it can't be right. Google, time to take an axe to your chrome team...

Re:Just for a browser? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 6 months ago | (#46462273)

I agree with most of your points, and I don't use Chrome, or chromium, but I disagree here:


v) They fork from the web-kit project, a once high-point in cross company collaboration for the betterment of the web. Now... beginning of the end.

I think this is actually a good thing sort of. The cross compatibility should come from good, implementable open standards, not a single open source renderer. It was beginning to get to the stage where Webkit was getting so dominant that it was looking to a return to the bad old days of "Best viewed with Nutscrape at 640x480, 8 bit colour". It's now back up to 4 mayor engines: Webkit, Blink, Geko and Trident with a reasonable split between them. For now, the first two are nigh on identical, but after a while they should diverge a good bit.

Re:Just for a browser? (1, Interesting)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 6 months ago | (#46462371)

This is exactly how Microsoft fought the browser wars in the 1990's. By introducing deliberately incompatible, piecemeal and nonstandard ways of doing things, and making them defaults on Windows. Google does the same on Android and ChromeOS. Microsoft had Windows on every PC, except Apples. Google has Android on every smartphone, except Apples. You might ask, why should the Free Software Community care? Well, it used to be that Android was basically a linux distro. Linux distros are nice, because the user can replace anyting he likes and make everything just so. That works because the free software isn't just gratis, but has the kind of license that promotes collaboration, and a community of devs and users. Google have horrible licences, and want to replace existing software that runs unchanged on lots of OSes and architectures with their own, then bundle it with Android. In this way, you end up with an OS that runs proprietary software nobody except Google can change (realistically), and runs on every piece of hardware you can buy in stores (except Apples). It spies on you, and rams ads down your throat. And the ubiquitous Free Software we became used to in the internet boom years will become less available, since it won't run on the hardware people will want to buy.

Re:Just for a browser? (1)

renoX (11677) | about 6 months ago | (#46462377)

I agree with you but not for the same reason: my reason is a variant on 'cannot get the basics right': Chrome is not pleasant to use at all on a 4GB RAM PC, it use too much memory which make the PC swap..

I used to prefer Chrome to Firefox, due to its snapiness, good separation between tab, but when it used frequently so much memory as to make the PC swap, I switched back to Firefox.

Re:Just for a browser? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46462023)

I'm not sure why GIMP originally wanted a Toolkit; but Gtk mostly emerged because Qt was proprietary at the time. Given that, for all its failings as a toolkit, Gtk, possibly along with other factors that coincided with it(I'm perfectly willing to listen; but don't know of any offhand) succeeded in getting GPLed Qt. I think Nokia even LGPLed Qt part of some aspect of their flailing-death-spiral strategy.

That, to the best of my understanding, is what confuses people: Qt is generally considered superior to Gtk, is now LGPL, and is generally well liked; so why would somebody say 'Well, Gtk has issues, so I'm going to make my own Gtk; but better!' when they could just use Qt?

Re: Just for a browser? (2)

Entrope (68843) | about 6 months ago | (#46462323)

Qt has a lot of overhead that can be useful for writing desktop apps but requires extra work for a web browser. Qt wants all apps to be web apps, except you get your "choice" whether to write layout and logic in Qt Quick, C++ or overhead-added HTML; this gives you some degree of interop with the other two, but web browsers don't need that or the overhead it brings. Qt also pointlessly reinvented lots of the C++ standard -- witness QString and all their container classes -- making it hard to integrate with libraries written in non-Qt C++. People who use Qt are mostly allowing themselves to be locked in to a dead vendor's proprietary library.

I'm with Google... (1, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | about 6 months ago | (#46461307)

Porting a huge GTK-2 application to QT is substantially more work than just forking GTK-2 with a new name, and maybe some small modifications.

And adopting and modifying GTK-3 seems like a battered woman going back to her abusive husband... The FSF has a sorry track record of destroying everything they touch, and the GPLv3 getting forced on all their software is making individuals and companies run for the hills at a record pace.

Hey, if Google makes Aurora a distributable package, I'll compile all the GTK-2 apps I use against it, and just keep using it. I even still depend on a few GTK-1 apps...

Re: I'm with Google... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461327)

In the interest of your own reputation,I suggest that you not open your mouth the next time you want to share your "wisdom".

You are wrong on just so many levels.

Re: I'm with Google... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461373)

For starters, Aura isn't a fork of GTK.

Re: I'm with Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461871)

Oooh, shots fired.

Re:I'm with Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461365)

And adopting and modifying GTK-3 seems like a battered woman going back to her abusive husband... The FSF has a sorry track record of destroying everything they touch

These things are related how exactly?

Pro-tip: Don't make grand statements from a position of ignorance.

GTK+ is managed by the GNOME Project which is independent of the FSF.

Re:I'm with Google... (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 6 months ago | (#46461393)

Reading through the documents [chromium.org] , it doesn't look like a trivial task to recompile all your GTK-2 apps against it. From the UI Toolkit standpoint, it looks like a combination of NextStep and Swing.

AFAIKT Aura is a more than just a UI Toolkit, it's a complete Window Manager. A replacement for Gnome (wow! I hope that takes off!) Apparently it's been running on the Chromebooks. Here is Linus' take on the topic [google.com] .

The main reason I would be reticent to use it is because Google doesn't always have a strong commitment to backwards compatibility. So you may end up having to rewrite pieces of your code, just to keep them compiling. If you're ok with that though, go for it.

Re:I'm with Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461947)

The main reason I would be reticent to use it is because Google doesn't always have a strong commitment to backwards compatibility. So you may end up having to rewrite pieces of your code, just to keep them compiling. If you're ok with that though, go for it.

GTK isn't better in that regard.

If Linus would just endorse a toolkit... (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#46462027)

AFAIKT Aura is a more than just a UI Toolkit, it's a complete Window Manager. A replacement for Gnome (wow! I hope that takes off!) Apparently it's been running on the Chromebooks. Here is Linus' take on the topic [google.com] .

If Linus would just endorse a toolkit, then there would be One True Toolkit; this would be the most likely thing to drive an actual "Linux desktop revolution". I am not holding my breath.

Re: If Linus would just endorse a toolkit... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462407)

Linus is an expert at kernels. I wouldn't pay much notice over his opinions on UI toolkits. He'd probably be against anything C++.

Re:I'm with Google... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#46462033)

AFAIKT Aura is a more than just a UI Toolkit, it's a complete Window Manager.

You are aware, that - at least in sane computer system designs [swtch.com] - this is mostly the same thing?

Re:I'm with Google... (5, Informative)

peppepz (1311345) | about 6 months ago | (#46461413)

GTK+ 3 is LGPLv2, not GPLv3; it is not developed by the FSF, and never has been. And the GPLv3 is arguably more friendly for businesses than the GPLv2, with its explicit patent provisions, the lack of the termination provision, and the explicit system libraries exception.

Someone please explain (3, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 6 months ago | (#46461315)

Why it really matters whether Google uses QT or GTK or their own stack. I mean for a GDE or distro like Ubuntu, I can see that "make another one" matters because it impacts all sorts of other projects. For Chrome, though, it doesnt really affect anyone else that I can see, and its really just Gnome folks being upset that Google didnt want to use their stack. At the end of the day, isnt it just more work for Google? If theyre happy to do it, who cares?

And-- though Im not privy to all of the politics-- Ive gotten the impression that the GTK3 folks werent terribly interested in hearing other people's thoughts.

Re:Someone please explain (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 6 months ago | (#46461329)

Double-post, but why is this in the news now? All of the linked design docs are from Dec 2011. This stuff is 2 years old.

Re:Someone please explain (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461385)

Double-post, but why is this in the news now? All of the linked design docs are from Dec 2011. This stuff is 2 years old.

It's going live now. The stuff has been experimental for that time, it's just now being pushed into Release builds.

Fun fact is that Aura is already enabled on Windows, this is why scrollbars, buttons, combos and everything else now looks like shit and are missing usability features that every other scrollbar on the system has.

Re:Someone please explain (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about 6 months ago | (#46461527)

"Looks like shit" is subjective. Personally I feel like Chrome "looks like shit" on Linux compared to Windows and Mac OSX where it has a consistent look. I am looking very much forward to this move. Like many nowadays I live in the browser and spend 95% of my time there. The more it is consistent across platforms the better. It doesn't matter nearly as much that my browser on Linux looks like my Eclipse as it does that my browser on Linux looks and behaves like my browser on Android or Windows or Mac.

Re:Someone please explain (2)

davester666 (731373) | about 6 months ago | (#46461629)

Really?

I think that most people don't care about how Chrome works on multiple OS's because they only use one. And for that one, they prefer that app looks and works like apps for that platform.

And even the people that say, using Windows at work and MacOSX at home, probably would like the two versions to work similarly, but still look and feel like other apps for each specific platform, and not do shit like Adobe and try to make an AdobeOS app that happens to run on Mac or Windows.

Re: Someone please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461995)

"Like many nowadays I live in the browser and spend 95% of my time there."

Really? I live in an apartment.

Or do you mean you spend 95% of your time browsing the web? If so, you must not sleep much.

Or do you mean you browse the web 95% of your time at work? If so, don't you get bored, and what kind of job lets you do that?

Re:Someone please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461349)

Your impression of the GTK3 folks is a bit misled.

They listened very intently to other people, but those people were the "other other" people in their usability labs. The mere only "other" people were basically all the users that they didn't drag into a usability lab, who decided that they didn't care if one could provide a more consistent interface; they wanted their damn Windows 98 style start bar, and weren't about to spend ten minutes learning anything else.

It is a common problem. Do nothing and you eventually lose the market due to "lack of innovation". Do something and you lose a piece of your market due to lack of user migration.

I say let the dinosaurs rot in their self chosed La Brea tar pits.

Re:Someone please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462253)

Changing things that work is only "innovation" if it actually results in a real, useful improvement, which is frequently not the case. Whether the change is useful should be determined by the users, and not some misguided "usability lab" committee often driven by politics or egoism. People have every right to resist unasked for changes that are useless or even harmful. Those can be forced down the throat of users if you have a monopoly (Microsoft), but for open source software like GNOME, they just contribute (deservedly) to maintaining a very small market share. Want to force crap like GNOME 3 on your users ? No problem, they will just delete Linux and go back to Windows.

Re:Someone please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461375)

Why it really matters whether Google uses QT or GTK or their own stack.

When we're running apps, we inevitably end up with using at least one QT app, at least one GTK app and probably in future at least one Aura app. These libraries have a huge level of duplication (e.g. each one will have a completely separately implemented file dialog). Add to this that each library will be used in several incompatible versions and you end up with serious bloat.

At the end of the day, isnt it just more work for Google? If theyre happy to do it, who cares?

Nobody is happy to do needless work. If Google were happy with the current situation then they would have continued contributing to the existing libraries. This would have made those better. This sounds like a serious warning that something is wrong. Whether it is Google's wish to take control of all free software or it is GTK3's inability to look after their customers. We need to know what the problem is.

Ive gotten the impression that the GTK3 folks werent terribly interested in hearing other people's thoughts.

This sounds like a serious problem; do we have any proper evidence? Given the way that previous Gnome changes have effectively caused the Ubuntu/Mint split and so on, it sounds to me like GTK3 needs to be eliminated. That sounds like serious work and will might put Linux back noticably. On the other hand, if the GTK3 people are responsible for causing things like this (and I'm not saying that they are; this may be Google's fault) then getting rid of them will be a good thing long term.

Re:Someone please explain (2)

peppepz (1311345) | about 6 months ago | (#46461439)

When we're running apps, we inevitably end up with using at least one QT app, at least one GTK app and probably in future at least one Aura app. These libraries have a huge level of duplication (e.g. each one will have a completely separately implemented file dialog). Add to this that each library will be used in several incompatible versions and you end up with serious bloat.

That's true, but how much can that bloat amount to? 20 MB? 100 MB? It won't be much relevant for today's standards. Code duplication is what happens regularly in the closed source world, where applications ship with a private version of all the libraries they use, and not only for the UI - with few people complaining.

Ive gotten the impression that the GTK3 folks werent terribly interested in hearing other people's thoughts.

This sounds like a serious problem; do we have any proper evidence?

https://mail.gnome.org/archive... [gnome.org] - don't know if things have changed in the last two years.

Re:Someone please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461677)

Bloat is often not about megabytes, but about security vulnerabilities. A larger unnecessary code base increases the amount of attack vectors.

Re:Someone please explain (4, Interesting)

williamhb (758070) | about 6 months ago | (#46461657)

Why it really matters whether Google uses QT or GTK or their own stack. I mean for a GDE or distro like Ubuntu, I can see that "make another one" matters because it impacts all sorts of other projects. For Chrome, though, it doesnt really affect anyone else that I can see, and its really just Gnome folks being upset that Google didnt want to use their stack. At the end of the day, isnt it just more work for Google?

I guess it depends whether their interest in it is limited to "we need something to write Chrome using, and GTK isn't doing it for us any more" or whether they will later be saying "come write apps for Chrome and ChromeOS using NaCl and Aura". Google has taken on their own UI stack -- is their only interest in it really to write just one application? If it is instead another step in the direction of encouraging developers to write apps that only work in Google's browser, that would be interesting to hear.

But I haven't looked into it closely.

is Google trying to do Canonical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461317)

No. Google is much more effective, and evil than canonical.

It's gonna be fine (3, Insightful)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46461339)

Qt is my golden standard too, but in case of Chrome, it does not matter much. Go with "Aura" if it makes them happy. I mean, how many UI widgets do you see in Chrome anyway? There's the tab bar, pop-up menu, and some little popup thingies here and there. Everything else is a web page, which is rendered with its own engine.

Re:It's gonna be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462031)

It isnt about how its widgets look. It is how Chrome fits to your environment. You want coherency on desktop environments so every application looks and behaves in same manner. That every window follows your window manager settings and behavior.

You are required to use Chrome in KDE with native window manager to get it work like it should with animations, effects, bindings etc. But same time you make Chrome look terrible as it has own style and you can't find a style what still would make it look good.
If you take Chrome own window manager to use, you don't get effects, functions, shortcuts but at least the browse looks good as standalone, but doesn't still fit at all to environment.

Re:It's gonna be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462351)

How can Qt be standard, when C is the absolute standard for Unix, BSD and Linux?

behind the aura, behind the aura, behind the aura (1)

mtbink.com (3559991) | about 6 months ago | (#46461343)

behind the aura, behind the aura, behind the aura

Google Chrome also uses Blink-182.

Re:behind the aura, behind the aura, behind the au (3, Funny)

neiras (723124) | about 6 months ago | (#46461437)

Google Chrome also uses Blink-182.

Woo hoo! So they lie and they're easy?

Do Canonical? (5, Insightful)

peppepz (1311345) | about 6 months ago | (#46461353)

By saying that, do "the Free Software Community" mean making Linux accessible to many users that wouldn't have dreamt of using it before? Being the first ones to provide a distribution that you can actually recommend to a computer illiterate?

And then again, why should anyone have a say on what toolkit Google decide to use for their own browser? Did "the Free Software Community" have anything to say when it was slang vs ncurses, emacs vs vim, gtk vs qt, gnome vs kde? No, because exploring alternate solutions is good for the whole community in the long run. Please stop this poisonous attitude of finding "enemies of the people" among people who dare write free software.

Re:Do Canonical? (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | about 6 months ago | (#46461513)

no, no one has ever had anything to say about emacs vs. vim.

I am all for exploring solutions and like the linux community as a whole but let us not pretend that flame wars in FSF lands haven't started over less.

Re:Do Canonical? (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about 6 months ago | (#46461579)

The emacs vs vim flamewar is about which one is the best (that is vim, of course), not about the legitimacy to exist of either. I've never heard anybody suggest that people should stop developing vim and contribute to emacs instead.

Re:Do Canonical? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 6 months ago | (#46461845)

pico

Flame on!

Re:Do Canonical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462173)

both wrong , emacs

Re:Do Canonical? (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 6 months ago | (#46462341)

I'm writing a text editor, the one text editor to rule them all. It's called femto. Everything you type is so small you can't see it. When you save the file, its size so small you can't see it in the directory listing! Its going to change the way we edit.

Re:Do Canonical? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461847)

Now your judgement is in question, if you can't recognize the truth and the glory that is emacs then your taint must run deep.

j/k

Why care? (2)

msh104 (620136) | about 6 months ago | (#46461545)

To be honest i see this more as a feature than as a problem.
This will very likely improve the quality of the linux build making it more complete and compatible with the windows build and features.

Just compare the linux and windows versions of firefox for example.
They look far from the same.
And for a big part this is caused by the difference in toolkits used beneath the skin.

Now i am a big fan of QT.
But even if they port their own: one toolkit everywhere can only make things better.

Re:Why care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461681)

I think the Linux version of Firefox looks like crap. It's kind of 'fuzzy' and not as sleek as the Windows one.

Qt? (4, Informative)

unwesen (241906) | about 6 months ago | (#46461563)

"Couldn't Google just switch to Qt, which is becoming an industry standard?"

It is? I haven't seen evidence of that. Trolltech/Digia have been working on that for a long time, and have in fact gained significant market share, but I don't see many projects outside of the KDE sphere of influence or very specific embedded platforms adopting Qt. In fact, the popularity of entirely new mobile platforms that did not adopt Qt is a great counter-argument (i.e. iOS, Android, ChromeOS).

Mind you, that's no argument against using Qt - I just don't see evidence of it becoming an industry standard.

Re:Qt? (5, Insightful)

chaboud (231590) | about 6 months ago | (#46461607)

I came here to say this.

I'm quite the fan of Qt, but it's far from an industry standard. HTML5 + wrapper probably has as much, if not more, adoption.

And, once you use iOS or Android to dev GUI, some modern, convenient, and well-crafted patterns begin to emerge. They're not perfect, but they're nice to use. Honestly, if Google wants to use their own toolkit and publish it as open source, why should anyone complain about that? Some very interesting ideas may come out of it and be brought into other projects. Just as Mozilla's XUL was clearly aped for Microsoft's XAML, open source contributes to the field as a whole, not just one particular project. There's no need to lick the pizza with open source.

Only the ever-trolling slashdot community could turn Google releasing and dog-fooding an open source project into a bad thing.

Re:Qt? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461773)

HTML5 + wrapper probably has as much, if not more, adoption.

Qt does provide a very convenient HTML5 wrapper, though. So that's not mutually exclusive.

Re:Qt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462197)

please , be specific , HTML5 + wrapper ?? which wrapper ?? what wrapper ??? for which platform ?? QML already done great job.(however i am gtk guy)

Re:Qt? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461747)

Go look what industry software is written in, not just mobile crapware.

All the big player proprietary softwares are shipped with QT4 anymore. Automotive is also embracing it finally along with QNX... which I suspect will bleed back into smartphones if the market forces allow.

Re:Qt? (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | about 6 months ago | (#46462003)

Perhaps not "industry standard", but it IS used by several proyects that dominate in their area, and several quite large (lage as in "with a large userbase") projects:

Skype, Vlc, Teamspeak, Origin, and lots more:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Qt? (1)

Thanosius (3519547) | about 6 months ago | (#46462157)

Indeed. Google Earth, qBittorrent, VirtualBox in addition to those you mentioned...

Anyone who things Qt isn't incredibly popular with rich applications is fucking blind or biased.

GTK+ is for GIMP!!! (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 months ago | (#46461587)

Every use of GTK outside of GIMP is a problem. Try running the latest CentOS with GNOME and see if you can run a newer GIMP. You can't. You will have to do all manner of things and you still will not get 100%.

I have discussed this topic with GTK, GIMP and GNOME projects and at the end of the day it comes back to GIMP/GTK developers. They say GTK is for GIMP. So every developer out there would be well advised not to use GTK any longer.

Re:GTK+ is for GIMP!!! (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46461707)

Every use of GTK outside of GIMP is a problem. Try running the latest CentOS with GNOME and see if you can run a newer GIMP. You can't. You will have to do all manner of things and you still will not get 100%.

I don't see how this is specific to GTK. If a program depends on newer versions of libraries, then you obviously need the newer libraries.

I have discussed this topic with GTK, GIMP and GNOME projects and at the end of the day it comes back to GIMP/GTK developers. They say GTK is for GIMP. So every developer out there would be well advised not to use GTK any longer.

But it's also for a lot of other projects. Gnome is largely based on GTK, and it's commonly used outside the Gnome project as well.

Re:GTK+ is for GIMP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461769)

What I believe he's saying is that the GTK+ devs don't care about anything except supporting GIMP. I don't know if it's true.

If true, it's too bad. There is an important place for a pure C GUI toolkit, because most languages don't integrate well with C++.

Re:GTK+ is for GIMP!!! (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about 6 months ago | (#46461831)

That is absolutely not the case. GTK+ started out as part of the Gimp project, but is now developed separately under the Gnome project.

Re:GTK+ is for GIMP!!! (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 6 months ago | (#46461897)

Problem:

GNOME, an environment library is used by an application as well. If an older version of the environment is used, one cannot upgrade the application. Does that sound like a problem to you?

If GIMP were to do it right, it would make calls THROUGH the UI afforded by the OS and environment, not directly to libraries. But that's not what's happening. GNOME says "It's GTK, speak to the GTK people" GTK says "It's GIMP, speak to them." GIMP says "GNOME develops GTK now."

Someone is doing it wrong. And the result of that is Linux GIMP under a common distro is a second-class citizen.

Re:GTK+ is for GIMP!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46462213)

exactly , this is bigeast problem with Qt . whole "C++" idea seems is wrong . just look at gobject introspection, how well gtk done binding , without any big effort

Re:GTK+ is for GIMP!!! (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 months ago | (#46461873)

I don't see how this is specific to GTK. If a program depends on newer versions of libraries, then you obviously need the newer libraries.

It's far worse than that because they deliberately broke their own naming convention to prevent the older software from running on a newer system and vice versa. They brought something like DLL Hell to linux for the first time.

Re:GTK+ is for GIMP!!! (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 6 months ago | (#46461865)

That one is deliberate to try to kill gnome2. Personally I think it should have been implemented differently, and I've got some very rude words and accusations of incompetence ready if I ever meet any of the current gnome team.
Those donkey fuckers managed to create something resembling DLL Hell on linux for the first time and made us all look bad.

Again, why does the interface keep getting messed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46461715)

It's gray text on a gray background, this is really annoying to read on. Please fix the site design! Why does the interface keep changing to this? It's terrible.

And then medium gold text on medium gray for the comments verification!!! This is rookie design garbage.

gnustep (cocoa) (1)

tarzeau (322206) | about 6 months ago | (#46461731)

they'd rather make a gnustep version on par with the google-chrome on osx (isn't that already based on cocoa)?

ofcourse.. (1)

SuperDre (982372) | about 6 months ago | (#46461753)

It's logical that google wants to use Aura, they want about every technology used to be from their labs, and people bitched at MS for straying away from so called 'industry standards' but Google is much worse at that... And yes, they put it into opensource, but just look how they really keep control over the projects, if you deviate as a company you'll get slapped on the wrist (just look at android)..

Re:ofcourse.. (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 6 months ago | (#46461925)

People complain about Microsoft because they used closed proprietary non-standards software to cement a monopoly position that held back the industry for years. This is still causing problems now with the difficulty of ditching IE6/7/8 and XP and the fact that IE isn't compatible with their own software half the time. Google are nowhere near as bad.

Re:ofcourse.. (1)

thejynxed (831517) | about 6 months ago | (#46462171)

I can attest to this, in that I've had pages on Microsoft websites fail to render properly or function properly in Internet Explorer, but worked just fine in Chrome, an older version of Opera, and Firefox. I about pissed myself laughing before letting them know about the issues.

Why not build the Chrome UI as a web page? (4, Funny)

DrR0b (3574155) | about 6 months ago | (#46461811)

Why do they need a GUI toolkit at all? Why don't they build the Chrome UI in HTML/JS/CSS?

Re:Why not build the Chrome UI as a web page? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 6 months ago | (#46461977)

Why do they need a GUI toolkit at all? Why don't they build the Chrome UI in HTML/JS/CSS?

I wish I had funny mod points!

directfb-lite and other webkit ports (5, Informative)

lkcl (517947) | about 6 months ago | (#46461855)

i've worked with webkit a *lot*. for example, i helped denis with the port of webkit to directfb. in doing the python-webkit (direct) bindings http://www.gnu.org/software/py... [gnu.org] i covered a *lot* of different ports of webkit. here's the summary:

* when compiling the standard webkit to run on a 400mhz ARM9, the gtk port started up in around... i think it was somewhere around 8 seconds. this was tolerable. it used about 130mb of memory to load a single basic page.

* when compiling the DirectFB port to run on the same system, it started up in about 3 to 4 seconds, and used about 1 or 2mb less memory. this was great!

* when compiling the Qt4 port to run on the same system, it took NINETY SECONDS to start up, consumed DOUBLE the amount of memory, and was basically completely intolerable.

the directfb port basically used an older (revision 1.2) version of the lite toolkit. to say it's light-weight would be an understatement: it's absolutely awesome. qt4 has unfortunately turned into a bit of a monster. gtk by comparison has remained reasonably level-headed, and when it (finally!) has the equivalence of COM's co-classes added to the gobject introspection layer gtk will become highly significant, strategically.

the only thing that the directfb-lite port lacked (at the time i was involved) was a window manager. this basically meant that you could only have one browser window open, and you had a callback for dealing with console alerts, which you had to then deal with yourself. i _thought_ about doing the same trick that mozilla does (which is most clearly demonstrated in b2g) - namely to implement the windowing system *in* webkit itself, in a high-level language: that would be cool. not many people are aware that firefox's menus including the toolbars and tabs are actually implemented *in javascript* (!), and the main browser "window" is merely a (secure) frame. b2g is an extension of that.

so anyway, the point is: there are lots of ways this can be achieved. you can implement the window manager externally and treat the browser as an isolated "component". you can go the other route and implement the window manager *using* the browser engine. but the main point is that either way, gtk and qt4 are to be honest complete overkill. it's only when you have things like co-classes built-in to the underlying infrastructure (like COM has) that you get any _real_ flexible benefit from the widget set, and as neither gtk nor qt4 have those, there's honestly really no point having them around.

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