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Desktop Environment for Proprietary Applications? 146

Posted by Soulskill
from the desktop-deathmatch dept.
nushoin writes "Gnome and KDE are the two major desktop environments used on Linux today. However, Gnome is growing more and more affiliated with Microsoft's proprietary technologies (Mono, OOXML). Targeting the Gnome desktop environment could prove dangerous in the long run, assuming that one would like its applications to run on distributions other than SuSE. On the other hand, TrollTech is being bought by Nokia, whose commitment to the desktop world remains to be proven. Assuming that one would like to develop a desktop application (either free or closed source), which desktop environment would you target, and what widget tool kit would you use?"
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Desktop Environment for Proprietary Applications?

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  • FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @10:52AM (#22282020) Homepage Journal
    Jesus, GNOME != Suse.. GNOME != Miguel.

    • Re:FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kripkenstein (913150) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:15AM (#22282140) Homepage

      Jesus, GNOME != Suse.. GNOME != Miguel.

      Agreed, this is a ridiculous claim.

      Yes, Novell is working on Mono and partnering with Microsoft, while at the same time investing in GNOME. But that doesn't 'taint' GNOME in any way. The core GNOME technologies - GLib, GTK, and so forth - are not written in C# and have nothing to do with Mono. The licensing of those core GNOME technologies is the LGPL, in fact, precisely to ensure that there is no risk in developing for that platform. No one 'owns' it, and no one can 'taint' it. You will be able to run GTK and GNOME anywhere you compile it to run, be it SUSE, other Linux distros, Solaris, or whatever; again, as LGPL, you can do whatever you want with it, if you abide by that license. In particular, you can run any app you want on such a platform, which is the question here. The claim that "Targeting the Gnome desktop environment could prove dangerous in the long run" simply shows a lack of understanding of what GNOME is and how FOSS licensing works.

      Regarding Qt, Qt is dual licensed as GPL and proprietary. If you want to run FOSS apps on KDE, you have no problem (at least if your FOSS license agrees with what Nokia will accept, and that includes most of those existing today). But if you want to run proprietary applications on a desktop, Qt is a poor choice. For starters it costs money. Furthermore, Nokia can charge whatever they want for proprietary licenses, and this might change at any point; there are no guarantees. However, if you are willing to take that risk, then Qt/KDE is a nice platform (although the portability, one of its main advantages, seems lost in this particular context, since it appears a single desktop is going to be chosen).

      So, if you want to develop a FOSS application, both GNOME and KDE are fine (just make sure with KDE that you agree to the licensing). If, on the other hand, you want to develop a proprietary application for a particular desktop, I would say GNOME is the way to go.
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by ElMiguel (117685)

        But if you want to run proprietary applications on a desktop, Qt is a poor choice. For starters it costs money. Furthermore, Nokia can charge whatever they want for proprietary licenses, and this might change at any point; there are no guarantees.

        This is quite trollish. Qt is no different in those respects from the other innumerable commercial libraries that are routinely used in proprietary software development. Singling out Qt as a "risk" suggests an axe to grind, and recommending GNOME for proprieta

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kripkenstein (913150)

          But if you want to run proprietary applications on a desktop, Qt is a poor choice. For starters it costs money. Furthermore, Nokia can charge whatever they want for proprietary licenses, and this might change at any point; there are no guarantees.

          This is quite trollish. Qt is no different in those respects from the other innumerable commercial libraries that are routinely used in proprietary software development. Singling out Qt as a "risk" suggests an axe to grind, and recommending GNOME for proprietary applications confirms it.

          Yes, you are right, Qt is no different from other toolkits that cost money for proprietary apps: I would make the same argument against Microsoft tools. If you get hooked on Visual Studio/.Net/etc., then you run the risk of Microsoft raising prices in the future. Exactly the same as proprietary apps on Qt, that is the risk of developing for a platform owned by a corporation.

          This risk does not exist if you develop for a platform that is LGPL, you can write apps for it (FOSS or proprietary) without such c

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Cyberax (705495)
            However, today Microsoft tools cost almost nothing. You can get Visual Studio Express for free and professional version for something like $150. I don't think that this price is going to change in foreseeable future. And you don't need to upgrade it often - I still use VisualStudio 2003 for my C++ development, and a lot of people still use ten years old VS6!

            On the other hand, QT costs a lot (I'm not going to pay that much money for a desktop toolkit) and its price IS going up with each release.

            GTK produces
            • Yes, today Microsoft sells its dev tools fairly cheaply. But the danger is that this might change; it is a risk when committing yourself to using their platform (accept it, if you want, but just be aware of it - that is my point).

              GTK is improving on Windows and Mac (Mac in particular recently), but yes, it is inferior in its cross-platform capabilities in comparison to Qt. It's great for GNOME, though, and the original question was about a single desktop, not cross-platform development.
              • by Cyberax (705495)
                Why would Microsoft shoot themselves in the foot? Unlike Trolltech, Microsoft doesn't need VisualStudio development to support itself. And developers are the greatest asset of Microsoft, and Microsoft really understands business. And in the worst case, developers will have 'good enough' tools for about 5-7 years if Microsoft starts charging $100000 per seat for MSVS tomorrow.

                So in practice, choosing Microsoft is almost risk-free. It's not the same with QT, nobody knows what is going to happen with them a ye
            • "GTK produces revolting UIs on Windows and Mac, so it's not good either."

              Why not use wxWidgets and let professional GUI toolkit developers decide? See the comment below [slashdot.org].
              • by Cyberax (705495)
                GTK actually works quite fine on Windows and Mac. Certainly, it can be compiled by newer MS compilers without much problems - I did it myself about 3 years ago with MSVS2003. But GTK just doesn't look as a native application.

                wxWidgets is great if you don't need to create custom controls or a very complex GUI. I know, I tried both. And sometimes you need to deal with issues of underlying platform.

                QT is much better, but it's commercial.
                • by Haeleth (414428)

                  GTK actually works quite fine on Windows and Mac.

                  It works acceptably on Windows. It most certainly does not work quite fine on Macs, though. The OS X port is a very buggy work in progress; it's bad enough that the GTK+ website doesn't even suggest using it, preferring instead to provide would-be OS X users with a terse "coming soon" [gtk.org] page.

                  (Yeah, there's an X11 version, but X11 on OS X is a horribly clunky second-class citizen that most Mac users have never even heard of, let alone have installed, and would

            • "You can get Visual Studio Express for free and [the] professional version for something like $150."

              Visual Studio 2008 Professional Retail-Box Win32 [provantage.com]: $699.84. (They didn't want to be honest and say $700.)

              That is a low-end version of Visual Studio 2008 Team Software Developers with MSDN Premium [provantage.com] for "Only" $5096.99. Otherwise known as $5100.

              Source: Microsoft's buy page [microsoft.com].
            • The price and freedom of the operating environment matters a lot. If I'm playing around with something on the LGPL QT toolkit or GNOME on Linux, I can install it on a dozen machines, swap around hard drives, run from CD, and remotely access as many of the machines concurrently as I would like.

              I don't care how good Microsoft's Visual Studio is, you have to pay me quite a bit of money to run it. License management in a multi-server, multi machine Windows development environment is a nightmare.
              • by Cyberax (705495)
                QT is _GPL_, not LGPL. So I can't use it in my commercial software. Yes, I know that all software must be free - but it's an imperfect world.

                I don't really mind reasonable restrictions on VisualStudio and Windows. After all, I make money from selling software, so it's fair if Microsoft gets (a rather small) cut of my money. And with Microsoft I can be reasonably sure that they are not going to disappear next year.

                Of course, I like to use OpenSource stuff, and I contribute bugfixes and features to several pr
                • by Otter (3800)
                  QT is _GPL_, not LGPL. So I can't use it in my commercial software. Yes, I know that all software must be free - but it's an imperfect world.

                  Note, though, that you're using "free" the opposite of the way the Free Software Foundation does -- that's why the LGPL is "Lesser".

                  • by Cyberax (705495)
                    No, I meant it in FSF way. I'd like _my_ software to be free, but it's impossible for now.
            • However, today Microsoft tools cost almost nothing. You can get Visual Studio Express for free and professional version for something like $150. I don't think that this price is going to change in foreseeable future. And you don't need to upgrade it often - I still use VisualStudio 2003 for my C++ development, and a lot of people still use ten years old VS6!

              Prices for MS$ tools have gone up and down depending on how strong the competition was at the time. When Borland was strong in hobby arena (When MS-C/C++ came without "Visual") prices where low. When Borland more or less abandoned Hobbyist/Student use Viusual-C/C++ went up in price until GCC became more mainstream when Express was introduced.

              Besides I consider Express is cripple-ware. Quite a bit of interesting stuff is not included (at least last I checked). And it's of course the same for Borland tools.

              M

              • by Cyberax (705495)
                Actually, MSVS prices were quite high in late 90-s, significantly more than now.

                There's an opinion that Microsoft held high prices because it _wanted_ the competition to attract more developers to Windows platform.
            • by mike_sucks (55259)
              wxWidgets? Oh please god no.

              Forget cross platform widget sets. There is no way to get a 100% native look /and/ feel using them. C.f. GTK, AWT, Swing, XUL, Windows.Forms, etc. One or more platforms will always get the nasty end of the stick (usually, in order, Linux then MacOSX) and you will annoy those users, and sometimes lose them to competitors/alternatives.

              If you want to write non-trivial cross platform apps that conform well to the UI guidelines for the target platforms, you need to commit to using the
              • by CaptnMArk (9003)
                XUL is UI-wise just fine for Windows and Linux users.

                I don't know about MacOSX, cause OSX is different.
                • by mike_sucks (55259)
                  Sort of. It still has to be tuned per platform - see Edit > Preferences vs Tools > Options, for example. Also, it and the XPCOM toolkit that FF uses is slowly getting forked per platform: Linux is only getting native file open/save and print dialogs, for example. Full emulation of the look of GTK controls is only just landing. Like with wxWidgets, GTK is a second class citizen.

                  So again, unless there is a platform specific front end, some poor bastards lose out. Usually the Linux users.

                  /Mike

                • XUL is quite a nice platform, conceptually, and somewhat pleasurable to program if you have a background in DHTML. However, I must warn, that documentation is SEVERELY lacking... almost non-existant if you compare it to .NET, Java, MFC, etc.
      • by pembo13 (770295)
        The fact of the matter is, a lot of these MS technologies will probably find their way into Gnome. Not sure how the average Gnome user feels about that however.
        • The fact of the matter is, a lot of these MS technologies will probably find their way into Gnome
          On what do you base this?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by nushoin (1231370)
        First I'd like to clarify, my intention was not to create a flame-war.

        My concern with Gnome is not the license (that is, copyrights) but rather patents. I know that Mono is GPL, but that does not protect me from Microsoft's litigations in the future over grounds of patent infringements. Currently only a few distributions (SuSE, Xandros etc.) are 'protected' from such litigations. I know that Gnome is not Mono etc, but they do seem to adopt several 'problematic' technologies.

        About Qt, I happen to trust Nokia
        • Re:FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

          by kripkenstein (913150) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:39PM (#22284160) Homepage
          I'm glad to hear that your intention was honest and not just trying to start a flame-war.

          The concern with patents is a valid one, because of the sad situation with the (US) patent system. This is an issue with all desktops, and we all need to be aware of it. I do agree with you that Mono is more vulnerable to this issue than other random technologies, simply because we know of Microsoft patents relevant to it. So I can understand if someone is wary of Mono (but I, myself, am not too concerned about this). Yet, as you say, GNOME isn't Mono and certainly does not depend on it, so this is a non-issue. Especially if all you use is GTK - that certainly has no connection whatsoever to Mono. Hence, given that GTK is LGPL, which is a big benefit if your app is proprietary - it doesn't cost money - this seems the best idea for you.

          (Btw, not sure what you mean by 'other problematic technologies' aside from Mono. Like what? OOXML? That is also not related to GTK in any way... it might appear in Gnumeric and OpenOffice, neither of which is directly GTK-related.)

          I wouldn't be enthusiastic about wxWidgets - it's a nice concept, but doesn't seem to have enough momentum behind it. In particular there are few applications using it compared to the other platforms, GTK and Qt, and for good reason.
        • by caseih (160668)
          Sorry, but you're not making any sense. It's clear you don't understand the issues involved here, and don't even understand the technologies at play here. First of all, although you repeat your nonsense about Gnome being somehow tainted by Microsoft patents, then go and say that you understand that it's Mono and C# that are problematic, not the rest of gnome. But somehow C# magically taints the other parts of gnome (gtk, etc). You further seem to be confusing a desktop environment (and it's accompanying
      • So, if you want to run closed source, proprietary and probably costly applications on your free Linux operating system, all the while relinquishing your rights to see and change the code as a user, use Gtk.

        But, on the other hand, if you want to run free, open source applications, and retain your rights to see and change the code, use Qt.

        Gotcha!

      • by aminorex (141494)
        You miss the point. The danger is that Microsoft controls the patents which control the software technology upon which Gnome depends. Only Suse has a license for these patents.
        • You miss the point. The danger is that Microsoft controls the patents which control the software technology upon which Gnome depends. Only Suse has a license for these patents.

          If you mean .NET patents or OOXML patents, then yeah, Microsoft has them. But .NET and OOXML aren't in GNOME and certainly not in GTK (might be OOXML in Gnumeric, though?). So if this is your concern, you can use GNOME/GTK, just don't install Mono or Gnumeric (I don't, but not for these reasons). GNOME does not depend upon .NET or OOXML in any way; if you have been told otherwise, you have been misled. I am using GNOME right now without either of those technologies.

          If you mean Microsoft patents in gener

    • I use Fedora, and it's well-known to be a Gnome-centric distro. Sure, you can use KDE if you want, or anything else for that matter. Personally, I'm experimenting with fluxbox because it's so light weight. However, most of the admin tools Fedora provides you with are built around Gnome and work best when you're using Gnome. Writing for Gnome means you're targeting Fedora just as much a SuSe. I guess it was either too much bother for whoever wrote this to check their facts or they were more interested i
      • by QuantumG (50515)
        I actually had no idea that Fedora was GNOME oriented.. I thought Ubuntu had that distinction.. point is, the last thing I think when people say GNOME is "Suse", "Novel" or "Miguel".
  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:00AM (#22282048)
    That's what nushoin uses, after all. Yeah, it's flamebait. The whole freaking summary is flamebait as well. Just because someone that writes code likes some stuff that MSFT makes doesn't mean that we should abandon ship. If proprietary code is found in the codebase, it should be easy to remove. So far it hasn't shown up, which is pretty amazing since it's all opensource.
    • Worst. Summary. Ever.

    • by FudRucker (866063)
      you have it backwards, since microsoft's product is closed source how do you know the code in any open source project you are looking at did not come from an 800 pound gorilla that resides in redmond...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aminorex (141494)
      The issue is not the copyright on the code. The issue is the Microsoft patents which cover the techniques implemented by the code. Only Suse has a license for those patents. If Gnome depends on patented Microsoft technologies, all other distributions are illegal. Contrast this with QT and KDE. To my knowledge, no one claims any patent rights on any technologies implemented in QT or KDE.

      Anyhow, to respond to the original question, I would use wxWidgets or SWT for any new GUIs, due to the native l&f wi
      • by jedidiah (1196)
        You really have no idea how "infringing" QT or KDE are. Microsoft
        hasn't bothered to lay it's cards on the table yet. For all we
        know CDE will have the same taint as anything else.

        The patent problem is universal.
  • Motif

    No but seriously ... Java SWT i fine for me.
    • No but seriously ... Java SWT i fine for me.

      But what if your existing code isn't Java? For example, I'm looking for a toolkit in which to write a new UI for a legacy mostly-FORTRAN program (and trying to decide whether to recommend GTK, QT, or something else).

    • by FudRucker (866063)
      fvwm2 rulez!

      heres my ~/.fvwm2rc http://pastebin.com/f5f82f926 [pastebin.com]
  • Epic FUD (Score:3, Insightful)

    by splortnik2003 (698008) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:05AM (#22282078)
    And not because it's inconsequential that QT was bought by Nokia or that Miguel *hearts* MS. It's just not news, not shocking and at the moment not a problem.
    • Guys, this is an "Ask Slashdot", not a news submission! Can't ppl even RTFT at this stage?
      • Re:Epic FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2008 @11:33AM (#22282244)
        That doesn't make it any less FUDulous. Asking stupidly, overzealous loaded questions is just ASKING for a flamewar to break out, and the fact that it was accepted and posted here should just make everyone here sick.. the editors have devolved to Digg's stupidity.

        First of all, Qt is GPL (even v3 now); Nokia can't undo that. Future developments might change things, but people can always fork it and continue as if Trolltech never existed.

        Secondly, GNOME is *NOT* adopting Microsoft technologies. Miguel != SuSE != GNOME. OOXML, Mono are not essential technologies, and can be removed quite simply (with very little deficit to usability; the only significant Mono applications in the GNOME stack are a photo manager (GThumb already exists), Tomboy (retardedly complex code for sticky notes; already several replacement projects AND E-D-S can already do everything Tomboy does, AND Conduit can sync E-D-S across machines) and Beagle, and Tracker's not only faster, but it uses less memory and has been accepted as default across most of the prominent GNOME-based desktops). Futhermore, effort is underway to give C# users a better way to integrate into GNOME: Vala is modeled after C# and compiles directly to plain-ol' generic GObject C. On top of that, the most new code going into GNOME is Python, by a rather wide margin.
        • Re:Epic FUD (Score:5, Informative)

          by kripkenstein (913150) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @02:36PM (#22283578) Homepage

          Vala is modeled after C# and compiles directly to plain-ol' generic GObject C. On top of that, the most new code going into GNOME is Python, by a rather wide margin.
          +1 for pointing out this neat stuff. Vala [gnome.org] is a pretty brilliant tool, really I have to give the developers a lot of credit. I expect to see more and more GNOME development being done in Vala. Likewise, Python / pygtk is a great setting and a lot of fun, and well worth developing in.

          I am pleasantly surprised that most new code is in Python, interesting, how was this measured?
  • How about any other distro you can run Gnome on?
    Right now for example,I have Gnome on a 64 bit Debian variant,Studio64.
    BTW,isn't the word proprietary just a synonym for " verge of extinction"or"in house garbage no-one could be bothered with anyway"?

  • Mac OS X. If you want more free than that, GNUstep/Etoile [etoile-project.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Nokia poses absolutely no threat to Qt and it's the best GUI toolkit available for Linux by far. It also works wonderfully on Windows, OS X, *BSD and Solaris.
  • I'm partial to wxWidgets, or more specifically, wxPython. But that's just me.
  • I have been using xfce for a few months now and really like it. its a little different layout from your typical default gnome/kde/windows desktop but the learning curve is still no harder than memorizing the changed icons. its also very light and fast compared to gnome or kde. and at least on arch and ubuntu its complete right out of the gate unlike most of the *box window manager setups where you need to get your own panel and file manager, which can be daunting for people who are new to that particular de
  • If you take into consideration the "implementation" of moonlight and the developers "we are covered by Microsoft agreements and you are safe to get this code from us but no one else" attitude (I could quote a certain lead developers words if need be). Then these are not unreasonable concerns.

    For example.

    There is currently no free fully functioning implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight.

    You can get a *working* implementation through Novell, however there are certain parts that remain Microsoft's.

    You can
    • by Shados (741919)

      There is currently no free fully functioning implementation of Microsoft's Silverlight
      Of course there isn't. Even if you consider Moonlight as being free, its an implementation of Silverlight 2.0 (no one will ever bother porting Silverlight 1, its useless), and even Microsoft's silverlight 2.0 isn't finished yet.
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @12:16PM (#22282538)
    You get free portability to the Apple Macintosh built in.

     
  • Target the VT100, and you won't have to worry about evil corporations
  • No desktop environment that runs now on Linux (or any Unixlike OS other than OSX) requires you to use each and every crappy library that comes with that environment. Both popular toolkits are successfully used by open and proprietary applications alike, and even Qt commercial license has a pretty reasonable price for functionality that Qt provides. Also I can't imagine either KDE or GNOME adopting anything tied to Microsoft as a mandatory part of their environment regardless of what Miguel or Nokia people m
  • Java Swing (over JWS for remote distribution), pure gnome-less GTK, or some really good Ajax programming which can keep your app from being permanently desktop-confined for that day when someone goes "do you have a web version?" which we're asked *constantly* at my company for our flagship desktop product.

    As for either of the two choices mentioned, why worry about the future of them? The libraries are not going to disappear or suddenly "not work" just because someone decides in the future to change their d
    • Of all of the alternatives to Windows GDI, Java Swing looks to have the most features -- BufferedImage rocks. One of the limitations of X relative to Windows GDI is the inability to do hardware-assisted scrolls (ScrollWindowEx() in Windows is a legacy of the WinG thing) -- cannot do scrolls without redrawing the whole frame buffer in software -- but Swing under Linux can use OpenGL to get around that limitation.

      The other good thing about Java is that the Java Native Interface (JNI) is reasonably well doc

  • by soren42 (700305) * <jNO@SPAMson-kay.com> on Sunday February 03, 2008 @03:42PM (#22284192) Homepage Journal
    Honestly, I'm a little surprised. The very first reply opens with GNOME != SUSE... but, let's look at this seriously - GNOME may not be SUSE, but it certainly is Novell. You're talking about a company that employs many key GNOME developers. To futher quote the replies to this post, GNOME != Miguel deIcaza - true - but a LOT closer to the mark is GNOME == Nat Friedman. More importantly, look at the list of GNOME project thought-leaders under Nat's leadership at Novell... people like Larry Ewing (F-Spot), Michael Meeks, Dave Camp, Joe Shaw, Robert Love, and (yes) Miguel de Icaza.

    Even more concerning is influence that Novell simultaneously exerts over the KDE project. In this case, Novell certainly doesn't have the impact on KDE that TrollTech does - however, they do have the legacy SUSE team, who were (are?) huge KDE advocates, users, and comprise many of the developers.

    So, does Novell present a nexus of influence and control on the core of Linux's desktop systems? Can they exert undue influence on these projects and, therefore, bend them to the good of their corporation - as opposed to the projects being driven primarily by unaffilated community developers? (Or at least a community of developers with varied and diverse affilations, effecting the same net result...)

    And, then, the question that naturally flows from this discussion is "Is this a good thing?". While I don't think anyone one entity should have paramount influence over two competing projects, in this case there may be some significant advantages. Having a unified driver behind both GNOME and KDE could allow a desktop to take advantage of the best from each. We've seen Novell already attempt to do this in their own distro - SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 has many useful KDE features ported to GNOME and integrated into their standard desktop configuration.

    I guess at the end of the day, it comes down to two questions: 1) Do you think really can influence both projects (or even either one)? and 2) Do you trust Novell to drive the desktop in a direction beneficial to all?
    • by LizardKing (5245)

      Novell doesn't have as many developers working on GNOME as RedHat, and Imendio have more developers working on Glib and GTK+ than Novell. The developers that Novell does have working on GNOME related applications and development tools are focused on Evolution and Mono respectively, and even Evolution has no dependencies on Mono.

  • I thought there was an agreement that if Trolltech were bought out, Qt would be released under a BSD license?
  • by argent (18001)
    If what I want to do is supported by the widget set of Tk (and it's just been significantly enhanced with Tcl/Tk 8.5) that's what I'll use. It's BSD-style licensed, runs natively on X11, Win32, and Cocoa/Carbon, and was designed from the start around rapid prototyping and embedding.
    • Re:Tk (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday February 03, 2008 @05:04PM (#22284888) Homepage

      Hmm...so are you advocating writing GUI apps completely in Tcl, or writing the app in some other language, but doing the GUI parts in Tk? From what I've heard, Tcl itself is a reasonably nice language. But personally I don't want to learn a whole new language just so I can use a particular GUI toolkit, and if I'm going to write my app in a scripting language I'd prefer to use Perl or Python, due to their excellent, comprehensive libraries.

      I've done a Perl/Tk GUI app, and my experience was decidedly a mixed bag. On the one hand, I found it very pleasant and efficient to code to the Perl/Tk interface. On the other hand, I ran into some major issues with code quality and the fact that nobody is actively maintaining the code base. If you look through the Perl/Tk source code, you see page after page of C that handles pointers as if it was still 1978. This led to one major snafu that made me decide never to touch Perl/Tk again: there was a null-pointer bug [cpan.org] that interacted badly with a GTK release that came out ca. 2005, causing Perl/Tk applications to crash randomly. I submitted a patch, but it took ages for it to be applied, and during that time all Perl/Tk apps were crashing frequently on, e.g., all the recent releases of Ubuntu.

      • by argent (18001)
        Hmm...so are you advocating writing GUI apps completely in Tcl, or writing the app in some other language, but doing the GUI parts in Tk?

        Depends on the problem you're trying to solve. Both approaches work, so does writing the GUI in Perl/Tk or Scheme/Tk, or even using a captive Tcl interpreter for the GUI under your scripting language of choice. If Perl/Tk is not being maintained, that's a problem, of course. I'm not sure what you mean by "handles pointers as if this was 1978", unless you're talking about p
  • Dummest. Ask Slashdot. Evar.

    Nokia drives Qt proprietary? Fork it.

    GNOME includes support for OOXML? Ignore it.

    Want to write an GUI app? Use what ever desktop suits you and your users most.

    Thinking of posting to ask /. again? Don't.

    /Mike

  • If you are making a closed source app, then I assume you want to make money. In that case, you are going to want to release a windows version, and probably a mac version, to reach the biggest market.

    In that case, your only real choice is Qt, seeing as the windows and mac gtk ports are, last time I checked, fairly poorly supported.

    If you can't afford Qt licences, or don't want a windows version, then you clearly aren't actually seriously planning on making money, in which case do whatever you feel like.

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