|From:||Dr Tomaž Slivnik|
|Subject:||Re: Objective-C 2.0 and other new features in Leopard|
|Date:||Sun, 11 Nov 2007 21:08:10 +0000|
Tell me why GUI design would be more complex. Some more work can be caused by color/tonality differences, but nothing we can't work out.
Well for one, if you're developing a new GUI control/element, what are you going to do? Will you now have to develop a different version for each theme in existence? What about updating it as themes are updated, or as new ones are introduced? Will developers end up supporting only certain themes? If so, the result will be a hodge podge of alien-looking GUI controls. So for one, themability makes innovation in the area of new GUI controls (well integrated with the rest of GUI) more difficult.
What about the relative sizes of GUI elements? Will they be the same in all themes? If yes, does that not constrain the themes you can develop unreasonably? If not, how will that affect developers?
The main, if not the only, real-life application to themability/ skinnability I've seen is music players. Any of the good ones allow their themes to change not just the relative sizes of GUI elements but also their relative positions. So to support themes well, applications, not just your application framework, will have to be themes-aware. Not to mention that I don't see how you handle the case of the general application at all.
Less importantly, what about colour schemes and style (e.g. line widths etc.) used within app. windows? In order for the look-and-feel to appear co-ordinated, these will have to be adjusted - in each application - to mesh well with each individual theme.
Etc.Don't get me wrong - I've got nothing against themes; I like them in fact and think that a well designed GUI should be such that it can at any time be made themable. I.e. it should not be hard coded.
But I do not see how you plan to support themes (well) without significant associated costs. To me, the real question is not, does more configurability add more complexity or not; it is, do the perceived advantages outweigh the added complexity and cost?
Apple has decided not to support themes in OS X. It's not for lack of demand; the demand is there. There were even third party hacks around some years ago to allow you to do that. I think Apple even toyed with the idea at one point.
I believe a theming engine is a nice project for GnuStep. But is it justified to integrate it into the main distribution at this point in time and bear the costs this implies?
Just accept for a fact that a vast majority of people dislike the NeXT *look*, whatever the reason.
Hm. You could even be right, although I'm not sure you are right and I'm somewhat sceptical of you being to substantiate this assertion with evidence. How big is your sample size?
More importantly - crucially importantly - I don't think it matters ... the vast majority of people in this world like Windows. Or at least, say, and think, they like Windows. Moreover, if I want gummy and a Cocoa environment with the bestest and latest bloatware included, I can, and always will, buy Apple.
Would I be far wrong if I guessed that most people involved in GnuStep are old-time NeXTies who want to be able to continue using their favourite user environment in the 21st century, and continue to develop it in the same careful, considered, and well-designed way the original NextStep was developed?
GnuStep may need to ask itself the question - is its goal to pursue quality and satisfy this core group of users, and grow its user base organically, OR, to try to appeal to the masses, aim to become mainstream (an aim which, incidentally, I think is bound not to be achieved), and consequently have to make some compromises as a consequence (like Apple has done)?
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