[maemo-developers] [maemo-developers] Follow-up: N800 and Newton

From: Kalle Vahlman kalle.vahlman at gmail.com
Date: Thu Jan 25 20:57:25 EET 2007
2007/1/25, Sean Luke <sean at cs.gmu.edu>:
>         - It's true that different (Newton vs. GTK+) doesn't mean better.
> But IMHO it doesn't require rabid fanboyism to make a cogent argument
> that GTK+ is distinctly inferior to OS X

Yes, obviously a widget toolkit has no chance against an operating
system from an interface point of view... ;)

> and maemo is inferior to
> NewtonOS from an interface point of view.  That being said, it *was*
> fair mentioning where the Newton's _not_ all that hot, so I added
> some items there.  But I think it's fairly objective: GTK+ may or may
> not be better than KDE's offerings perhaps, but as a GUI development
> environment it's a long way shy of environments like Cocoa and
> NewtonOS [and yes, I think Cocoa > NewtonOS].

I think GTK+ developers and community would like to fix this, so could
you perhaps elaborate on this "long way" Cocoa is more advanced than
GTK+? What I've seen on my wife's Mac has really left me wondering
what the heck is all the fuzz about the Mac UI. Sure, it has some
millions of dollars spent on polish (as you point out below), but
apart from few real solutions (which, btw, do not have anything to do
with Cocoa) it really seems to be just a extra layer of varnish. The
regular widgets seen in every window have basically the same
functionality in both GTK+ and Mac UI, and I haven't yet seen anything
that could not be implemented with GTK+ widgets if one wishes to do

With Cairo getting faster and things like Glitz and *GL for X
acceleration the open source field will be catching quickly on the
effect side too. In fact, I think one can already get a dozen of
different window closing effects in beryl compared to OS X's two...
Not that I would count that as a defining factor of anything though :)

So I ask again, what's so special about Cocoa?

(on a tongue-in-cheeck side note, GTK+ has traditionally been regarded
as the fat cow of linux desktop toolkits while QT is seen as the
flashy sleek one, so maybe you should take a look at Qutopia too and
see if that's more to your liking?-))

>  Unlike GTK+, each was
> the product of untold millions of dollars of development, expert UI
> design, and a large degree of user testing.  (Well, for Cocoa, Steve
> was sometimes the sole test-user :-).  Anyway, there's something to
> be said for massive amounts of resources and UI expertise.

Like Microsoft Windows has. Think of all the money and effort put to
that UI and programs over the years! Then think of all the pure good
will (plus the companies that care enough to share their profit by
contributing to open source) that got open source to the same level
and leap-frog beyond.

The only thing MSW and OSX can really boast on is that they are
working far better  with their own proprietary systems than OSS (well,
duh) and that due to mainly historical reasons those systems and
formats are what are the "mainstream".

That's not really a merit though, not in my book.


I just noticed that this is getting rather religious, but I just can't
let an unexplained "my better, your worse" fly by uncommented ;)

Kalle Vahlman, zuh at iki.fi
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