Tugger the SLUGger!SLUG Mailing List Archives

[SLUG] Re: Nautilus Progress

On Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 12:34:30PM +1000, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> Is themeability a cop-out for good design principles (a tough call given the
> experience behind Eazel)?

i just don't get "skins" (/chrome/themes/whatever).

from what little attention i've been paying to gui development, the
goal seem to be "consistent look and feel". surely individually
themeable applications (hi raster ;) is a massive step backwards..

(note: gtk themes, which apply uniformly to all gtk apps, still fit
the "consistent look and feel" goals. and windowmanager themes usually
appliy uniformly to all windows, so they don't count either)

and when will gtk support X resources? they kick ass and would be a
shame to lose. (i have yet to see a "new-fangled" widget set support
the run time querying/modifying that Xaw and editres could)
and xaw widgets could be embedded in each other too (eg: gs inside

java once had a nifty (extremely nifty, by java standards ;) widget
wrapper layer, so a java program used native widgets and "looked and
felt" like a native app. extremely nice for a portable language

(*cough* tcl/tk has been able to do it for years (and much faster too)

now it has some sucky "swing" widget set, which doesn't match anything
in existance (tho i hear its "themeable" - by the application, not the
user). yay.

you'd reckon people would have worked out that the "traditional"
MSWindows scrollbars sucked by now. the only thing you ever do with a
(vertical) scrollbar is move it up and down. you certainly don't want
to have to move your mouse from one end to the other of a very narrow
widget in order to do that.

xaw: left click or right click anywhere on the scrollbar moves up or
down respectively.

NeXT: up and down arrows are both at the same end, not at opposite

openwindows: the scroll up/down points are at each end of the "smaller
draggable part", rather than fixed at the far ends.

all much better solutions. all very early widget sets. and yet all
these new widget sets emulate the sucky MSWindows behaviour.

come to think of it, what have we actually gained with all these
new-fangled widget sets anyway?
("oooh, you can embed the mozilla pane in another program". you've
been able to embed emacs in another xaw program for over 10 years. and
show me a gtk program that can actually use two displays
simultaneously, i dare you)

new-fangledness sucks

(i have a theory that there are no (ok, "extremely few") new
problems. people just don't look for how their particular problem was
already solved, and keep reinventing the same wheels, nearly always

(that the rant you were looking for, jeff?)

 - Gus.scrooge