[GRASS5] Platform for next generation UI

Glynn Clements glynn at gclements.plus.com
Mon Jan 2 08:36:59 EST 2006

William Kyngesburye wrote:

> There is also the question of 'platform distictiveness' vs. 'cross- 
> platform blandness', as someone put it on the Qgis dev list (in  
> response to a Mac question I had), in toolkits.
> It appears that Qt is moving towards the blandness end in Qt 4 - that  
> is, doing specialized things the same on all platforms, instead of  
> using platform widgets where possible.  This may make an application  
> easier to develop across platforms, and make it more consistent and  
> stable across platforms, but you may make it more difficult to use  
> the application as well, if it doesn't behave like an application  
> should on your chosen platform.
> A specific example that I asked about with Qt on Mac OS X for Qgis:
> - Open/Save dialogs are pure Windows design.  At least when they are  
> customized.  Without any customization (filters, extra popups or  
> buttons), Qt uses a Mac open/save dialog.  Add customization and Qt  
> uses it's own, which is a Windows design.  This can be very confusing  
> for a Mac user if they aren't familiar with other platforms.  Even if  
> they are, the context of having this strange dialog box in a Mac  
> environment could be confusing.
> I'm not sure how Tcl/Tk Aqua deals with this - plain open/save  
> dialogs look fine, but I couldn't find any customized open/save  
> dialogs in GRASS to see that case.  Of course, Tcl/Tk in Apple X11  
> works like any other X-based Tcl/Tk.
> And since the Mac GTK port is only just starting, who knows how it  
> will behave...
> I would definitely prefer platform distinctiveness in a GUI.

Whilst native look-and-feel is desirable, it isn't the only factor to
be considered when choosing a toolkit. It may also involve more work,
as some of the differences can't easily be hidden within the toolkit.

Glynn Clements <glynn at gclements.plus.com>

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