R.I.P: GTK.

29Jul08

As biased as I am towards Edje over GTK, Ill try to keep this objective. I made a point on gnome-look.org lately that GTK has to step its game up in the canvas department because Edje and even QT are now more powerful than GTK. Even TK/TCL can look better. Just see some of the themes for aMSN.

Why does GTK suck? Its simple to explain: its too simple. One could fire out a GTK theme within about 1 hour, or if its a re-colouring, about 2 minutes. Now thats great and all, but its leaves a massive gaping hole for those that want to make in *interesting* interface. Pixmap theme engine was its mileage too. There are simple things you can do with it, but when it comes to doing “advanced” things like setting a pixmap as the background… well, it comes short by making it tile. Then not being able to set its offsets and borders. A bit lose if anyone tried making a border and canvas theme that matches. Or just a simple overlay type effect on the background.

Why you will never see a GTK theme for Cerium

Why you will never see a GTK theme for Cerium

Now, it is great for people to change colours of widgets and stuff in GTK… of wait… we can do that n Edje!
Then its great that a themer can just make small tweaks without having to swap code a whole engine… hey, we can do that in Edje with BSD licensed themes and a bit of editing!
Well, I guess they have us with the fact that GTK is old and stale stable. The fact that there are more programs written in GTK is probably why people continue to use it. Its a great toolkit for creating programs and fairly documented. This is where EWL and ETK can blow them away. A quick look into EWL coding and you can see how dead simple it is to make a program. Theres also the this great example of a simple DVD player to outline just how easy it is to program in EFL. To all the nay-sayers of EFL, E17, Evas… are you going to sit around and wait till you see “EFL finally releases 1.0!” on Slashdot or Reddit or will you pick it up and start using these great libraries like some real world applications?

GTK’s days are numbered. GTK3 will have a bit of catching up to do.

Enjoy!
Toma

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2 Responses to “R.I.P: GTK.”

  1. 1 dj2

    I’m glad you find Ewl easy to use. We’ve tried to put a lot of thought into the APIs to make it simple and consistent. There are still a few rough edges and, please, let us know if you find any. We’ll try to get them worked out.

  2. 2 Diego

    Hi.

    I am recently introducing my self to EFL api, but up to what i have seen yet, i dont think that EFL can yet replace GTK as you may think, and i also dont think that “GTK suck” with that words.

    If you are a normal user who turns on the computer to browse internet and chat, or a professional which turns on the computer to work with CADs and design tools, then you dont care about how much “magic” is there on the desktop.
    You will care more on having a cute and comfortable theme to be able to work. Also animations are in some places annoying and users like me, disable them all the time.
    I currently use compiz only, and just only for a couple of effects, like Expo and other that sort all the windows in front of you with just a mouse move to the screen corners.

    I am a programmer for Industrial softwares which controls electronics devices. I sell my products with linux, and i like all my clients to have more or less the same OS. And this is ver hard when the api changes to much, and the users of different industries installs differents softwares, and thoose software where programmed on different times.
    So ABI compatible is a MUST for industries and GTK provides that.

    I came to EFL looking for a similar to GTK+ API which haves a better direction.
    And i am currently very interested on EFL, but the fact the it has never had an oficial release, even with some known bugs, will force me not to use it.

    I think that it is really a shame that E has been separated from Gnome.
    I think that today a join of both desktops will be the best aproach.
    Both desktops could complement each other, and this is the right time to do so, with the plans for Gnome 3 which seems to be too much similar to what E has been and today is.

    Finally i would like to say, that if EFL could have an stable release on every desktop and a good bridge with gvfs and some glib feature, then i would without doubts make my softwares with EFL.

    PD: Very nice webpage 🙂


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