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Re: NSToolbar (was Re: Portability/Compatability between GNUstep<---> Co

From: Jeff Teunissen
Subject: Re: NSToolbar (was Re: Portability/Compatability between GNUstep<---> Cocoa...)
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 07:55:00 -0500

Chris Hanson wrote:
> On Jan 12, 2004, at 3:19 PM, Alex Perez wrote:
> > the OpenStep specification has no provision for a toolbar, however some
> > applications, such as GNUMail do use "toolbars" of a sort, they are
> > just
> > buttons laid out over an NSMatrix (I think).
> The OpenStep specification isn't holy or anything.  It's just a
> document written by some people a decade or so ago.
> Just because it's good doesn't mean anything outside it is
> automatically bad.

And just because something was created by the heir apparent to the main
publisher of the OpenStep specification doesn't mean it's automatically

NSToolBar isn't something you can "just not use"; it changes the stuff
that's already there, and even if you disregard the changes to NSWindow's
APIs it's pretty disgusting from a *step-ish point of view.

NSToolBar effectively means GNUstep _has_ to draw its own window
decorations, otherwise there's no way to turn the bloody thing off.

NSToolBar screws with the GUI, which is NOT covered by any part of the
OpenStep specification -- OpenStep doesn't tell you how to make things look
or act when interacting with the user, and that's not a bug, it's a feature.
NSToolBars are not part of the programmer-controlled part of the window --
they become part of the window decorations, and that is required -- because
to do it any other way would screw up the drawing model.

A toolbar class would be just fine with me, and I'd support its addition
wholeheartedly. I won't use it (bad UI design), but that's mostly irrelevant
to whether or not it should be written -- after all, combo boxes suck too.
But while Apple's NSToolBar class has some interesting features (many of
them good, as toolbars go), being compatible with its API would be utterly
/awful/, because it introduces GUI requirements that should not (some would
go as far as to say "must not") be satisfied, and mucks about in unrelated
parts of the library unnecessarily.

I can't speak for anyone else, but *my* problems with NSToolBar are
technical, not philosophical.

| Jeff Teunissen  -=-  Pres., Dusk To Dawn Computing  -=-  deek @ d2dc.net
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| Core developer, The QuakeForge Project        http://www.quakeforge.net/
| Specializing in Debian GNU/Linux              http://www.d2dc.net/~deek/

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