[Sussex] GUI toolkits

Geoff Teale gteale at cmedltd.com
Wed Aug 11 16:50:25 UTC 2004

Thomas Adam enlightened us thus:
> Qt is always an odd-ball, with limited bindings to languages

Qt3 is actually a really professionally put together toolkit and one of
the best I've used, it's really only the licensing that lets it down.
It's also hard to map to non-OO languages so thus more limited than
some others here in terms of bindings.  Oh, and of course theres the
whole C++ preprocessor thing...

> There have been numerous problems with GTK2 apps. 

Err, not for a long time now AFAIK.  In my experience it's _more_ stable and
_more_ secure in recent versions that the 1.x series ever was. 

> There is nothing wrong with GTK1 at all.

There's plenty wrong with Gtk1 - it's conceptually broken in a number
of places, it's API is inconsistent and dirty.  It's looks and feels
ameturish from a programming point of view.

> I actually really like Tk. It has more bindings to languages than
> GTK does.

Tk is fine, but from a purely asthetic point of view it's lacking a lot
on Linux.  I was simply suggesting that if Alan was planning on writing
apps that would have a wider audience than this one that Tk probably
wouldn't be the most appealing skill to learn.

> That depends what you're trying to do in it. I have found it to be
> quite fun.

Concurred.  Again, it has a lot of advantages, but it has certain
quirks that are unique to it and it's not really a gui toolkit at all.

> It's no longer called WxWindows. It's now called WxWidgets, after
> Microsoft stuck their ore in. It does look a little like Windows.

Wasn't aware of that, but all the same I don't like the API style,
graphically it maps onto Gtk anyway as far as I am aware.

> >   people love it, I hate it, but more conclusively it's not available on
> >   most machines default builds.
> The same can be said for other bindings, of course.

Some of them yes.  Most distros that have and X server installed also
have Gtk and tk and a large number of them have Qt and/or lesstif. 

> Nothing obscure about FLTK. It's been around for some time, and has
> heavy use on the XD640 project.

Yep, it's used loads by the movie industry as well, but in terms of
it's developer base it's no Motif, Gtk or Qt.

Geoff Teale

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