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Re: Native widgets (was: Re: So, honestly, is GNUStep a viable developme

From: Gregory John Casamento
Subject: Re: Native widgets (was: Re: So, honestly, is GNUStep a viable development option?)
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2007 08:20:04 -0800 (PST)

I agree.   We should try to come up with themes which are close to the "host" operating system/window manager.
Gregory Casamento -- OLC, Inc
# GNUstep Chief Maintainer

----- Original Message ----
From: Renaud Molla <address@hidden>
To: Gregory John Casamento <address@hidden>; address@hidden
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2007 9:34:30 AM
Subject: Re: Native widgets (was: Re: So, honestly, is GNUStep a viable development option?)

> I think everybody on this mailing list knows that there are GNUstep users that do not really care about that.
> However there are people who care on the list, and the outside world cares about it too.
Our architecture makes it difficult to implement this.   Each widget in GNUstep draws itself using a set of postscript like functions.   It is also possible for subclasses to alter how the widgets are drawn.  There are a number of apps on Mac OS X and on GNUstep which make use of this capability.

So, it's not about us not caring.... it's about: how do we use native widgets without sacrificing functionality?

I know about this. I program with OpenStep everyday. and done this thousands of time.
If you read my previous posts, I'm not advocating the use of native widgets, I think there should be theme that closely look like the platform it runs on. Essentially, on Windows it should look like it.

If you can come up with a productive method of using native widgets where we don't lose the functionality, then I would be more than happy to hear about it, but pontificating that we should without offering a concrete solution is fairly pointless.

You're right, and therefore I am investigating. The problem is, I opened a Visual C++ book years ago and thought "Oh my god, WinApi is not for you" and decided to keep it closed and dusty till I die. So I really don't know at all.
However, I did GTK+ a little. After all, the only UI kit I know is AppKit...

Personally I don't think we should use native widgets, but only look like them. This should be easier. Maybe it could be possible to automatically generate a theme that matches the environment.
(for example by creating native widgets and drawing them into images that are then used to draw the controls).
Actually, I started a themer for GNUstep ~4 years ago that was to use GTK+ themes (I was using gnome a lot) but never got time to finish it and it has been deleted when I got rid of the pc.

> I'd prefer create a NIB for X11, Windows and Mac OS X so that it looks good on these platform than
> not being able to look good on anyone.
> People discarding GNUstep for wxWidgets, GTK+, Qt are ready to code more for their interface,
> so they wouldn't be afraid if they needed to redo a NIB file.
> Actually, this is the same with localization, you have to duplicate NIBs and maintain them, but
> reaching more users is at stake.

These are all good points.   The issues are what I pointed out above.

Later, GJC
Gregory Casamento -- OLC, Inc 
# GNUstep Chief Maintainer

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