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Re: Changes I've been thinking of...

From: Michael Thaler
Subject: Re: Changes I've been thinking of...
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 11:27:48 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.12.2 (Linux/2.6.30-1-amd64; KDE/4.3.2; x86_64; ; )


> The gray and dull has nothing to do with it but, rather, the lack of
> glitter. I happen to work for a big company and while we use PCs with
> Windows XP (using it's default theme), the tools made specifically for
> us use the old Win NT look from the mid 90's. In fact one monitoring
> tool remotely running on some UNIX system and it's made with Motif.
> I've never seen any professional use glittery interfaces, they go for
> more neutral looking ones.

I work for a company that develops software for the German Space Operation 
Center. They use Linux with KDE and Windows XP in all their control rooms. 

Why should something like Expose, window shadows or animations or transparancy 
make a user interface less useable? It can certainly make it less useable if 
overused, but it can also make it more useable when used at the right places.

> No argument there, everyone has different taste. So this is a case, in
> my own opinion, to favour skins in GNUstep as done via Chameleon for
> instance.

I doubt that this is a solution. I doubt it is possible to make KDE or GNOME 
look like Snow Leopard. There was the Baghira theme which did quite some 
hackish things but even with Baghira the look and feel of KDE was not really 
similar to MacOS X. I once created a style for Chameleon (a KDE3 plastik 
style). At that time it was bitmap based and I doubt that it is possible to 
create a style that even resembles Snow Leopard.

I don't say that gnustep should adopt Snow Leopard's Look & Feel. But I think 
gnustep should adopt a more modern default Look & Feel that is more familiar 
to people coming from Windows, KDE, Gnome or MacOS X.

> > My former institute used KDE as desktop. But people usually worked with
> > Mathematica or MatLab. If we did coding it was mostly low-level numerical
> > stuff in Fortran, C or C++. I doubt that it is a good idea to target
> > researchers with gnustep. What advantage would gnustep give them?
> No less than the ones you mentioned, and more considering GNUstep is
> way more advanced in terms of usability and consistency.

NeXTSTEP was used at universities back in the 90's because it was way better 
then other systems. But the world changed, Windows / Linux with KDE or GNOME 
is good enough for people today. Developing applications with ObjC/gnustep 
might be easier / more convenient then developing applications with say 
C++/Qt, but it is not a fundamental improvement.

And back in the 90's Windows was not as dominant as it is today. Today most 
people are familar with the Windows GUI (even scientists  / researchers) and 
it is always hard to get used to something new. gnustep Look & Feel is 
radically different from what people are used and I guess most people prefer 
toolkits that enables them to write applications that has a Look & Feel people 
are used to.

> behind some other compilers. As for GC, do you REALLY want that? I
> think it's way overrated. It tends to encourage bad programming
> practices, and usually kills performance.

Yes. I have to code Java / .Net at work and I think GC is one of the things I 
like about Java and .Net. I know you can still have memory leaks, but GC 
allows me to think about the problem I want to solve without having to think 
about allocating / freeing memory all the time. Newever versions of the JVM 
include stack allocation and the garbage first collector, I don't think you'll 
have any performance problems with that.


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