On Wed, 2010-05-05 at 12:40 -0700, J. Greenlees wrote:
> How many
> > (non-web) app developers use their app with more than one GUI toolkit
> > available?
> and which toolkit BEST suits the needs of their app? oh, hold it, they
> NEED all installed to be able to pick best toolkit.
I tend to think that a developer trying to pick which toolkit to use is
going to be able to whittle down the list of toolkits to a very small
number based on researching their capabilities (reading documentation,
forum posts, etc) rather than trying each single one out in some kind of
serial process. The latter scenario is really unrealistic. As a
developer I would *not* want to waste my time using every single toolkit
to determine which one is best - I would get recommendations and read up
on the toolkits first, and maybe pick between 2 or 3 at most if my
research was unable to help me decide on a single one. Or I might pick a
single one to start with based on research and have to switch later
(early on in the app's development still) because I ran into an issue.
In any of these cases, I really still do not see the justification for
having every single toolkit installed.
> I think 0 for the first one, and very, very few for the
> > second.
> why should ANY distro make it more difficult for a non web app developer
> to have their app work on all distros, or with any gui?
> by picking a default gui, you have stolen choices and made it harder to
> have a gui agnostic app.
I don't understand. Any toolkit you want that is package is available
with a simple yum command. It takes maybe 30 seconds at most to install
an additional toolkit. How is a non webapp developer (I will note again
someone who is likely in the minority of devels) facing a more difficult
life by having a single *desktop* (not toolkit, you seem to conflate
toolkit and desktop environment) available to her by default, with the
ability to add additional desktops and/or toolkits with a single
> EVERY choice made by distro development team, is a break point in cross
> distro development.
> and, AS LONG AS THERE IS DIFFICULTY IN CROSS DISTRO DEVELOPMENT, you
> won't get Adobe to port their apps to GNU/Linux, nor Autodesk, or Corel,
> or any other proprietary software company.
> without these apps, GNU/Linux will NEVER become the desktop for more
> than a few companies.
Hey simmer down now, my vision is fine and I don't need the ALL
I'm pretty confused by the above, can you explain it a bit more? How is
anything being discussed here breaking cross-distro development? You
don't need every toolkit under the sun installed by default for
> > I think there is a difference between the desktop environment a
> > developer uses vs. the GUI toolkit(s) his applications target, and I
> > think you might be confusing the two a little bit. For example, if I'm a
> > developer for a mobile device (say for the Maemo platform), I'm not
> > necessarily going to use Maemo to do my development work (and I'm not
> > sure I could!)
> ahh, the embedded / mobile developer is a very different creature, they
> have to set a virtual environment up, or have the device themselves to
> do any testing. that means they really wouldn't want to have massivvly
> bloated desktop environment like GNOME and KDE4 as default, they have to
> bogg their system down with a virtual environment.
You're making an assumption about these types of developers that I don't
think is necessarily true. I have a two+ year old ultra-slim Thinkpad
that can handle full Linux virtual environments on top of a GNOME
desktop just fine. Running a Linux virtual machine (or multiple Linux
virtual machines) I am guessing is a bit lighter-weight than running a
virtual machine for a mobile device?
You're also making the assumption and GNOME and KDE4 are 'massively
bloated.' I'm not sure that's a fair statement to make.
Either case, these developers are also important.
> > All this aside, how about web application developers, who I'd argue are
> > really far more common than OS or even rich client developers these
> > days? They want a desktop that works and works well for their workflow.
> > I don't think they care to choose from the 21 flavors available.
> odds are, because distros have stolen the choice of default gui from
> them, they don't even know there are 21 flavours available.
> they want code generating apps to generate the really badly coded
> websites we all just hate visting from the problems it causes fisiting
> the Dreamwaever/Frontpage/ ECLIPSE generated website.
Nothing here has been stolen. Where are you getting the notion that
something has been taken away? In Fedora, you can pick a spin for the
desktop environment of *your choice* if you would like it installed
exclusively and by default:
Or you may simply download the default spin and easily and quickly
install whichever additional desktop environments you'd like.
I have no idea what you're referring to with the 'code-generating apps
to generate the really badly coded websites we all just hate' - I have
no idea what websites you might be referring to and what relevancy the
statement has to this discussion.
> >> A Development distro would, by design, have to foster the freedoms of
> >> Free Software / Open Source Software and let the end user have ALL the
> >> choices available for ALL application options.
> > Having a choice available doesn't mean we get to shirk the
> > responsibility of picking sane defaults. Overwhelming the user, even if
> > they are a developer, with the equivalent of a 500-item questionnaire is
> > not really very considerate
There is no lack of choice in free/open
> > source software. Part of the challenge of making it usable is filtering
> > those choices to the sanest / most useful / most frequently-used / most
> > widely-used.
> B.S. You do NOT have a responsibility to STEAL CHOICES from users.
> You have a responsibility to give users choices, to follow the intent of
> the FSF and GNU-GPL, the intent to promote freedom and choice.
> [ and on that one, The only thing that would have RMS not agree would be
> promotng GNU software over non GNU software, he would pick GNOME because
> it's a GNU project, KDE isn't. ]
> >> Fedora, RHEL, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Debian, Slakware, Madriva, PCLinuxOS,
> >> Gentoo .... all fail to meet this, they all pick a desktop as default.
> >> Every existing distro does.
'Steal choices'? Huh? A distro choosing a default desktop is not a
violation of the GNU-GPL nor is it any form of theft. The FSF itself has
their own distro, GNewSense, which uses a GNOME desktop by default. I am
sure just as with any distro, if you don't like the default desktop, you
can install additional ones and change your settings or simply run a
different spin of the distro.
> > You have to.
> nope, you do not have to.
> you can and should let the END USER pick the one they want.
Most end users don't care. They really don't (yes, even developers -
especially web developers.) We are *lucky* if they have heard of Linux.
To expect them to know what GNOME / KDE / LXDE / XFCE / fluxbox /
whatever are is asking for way too much and we're going to lose them (or
never be graced with them in the first place) if we scare them away with
difficult questions like what desktop environment do you want? They
don't care. They care about developing cool apps.
I understand this must be very difficult for you to understand; I know
what it is like to be very heads down and deep into FLOSS and to assume
folks understand things, but try talking to some of your non-Linux
developer friends and ask around what they think about these issues. I
think you'll start to understand where some of us are coming from then.
If we only stare at our own navels, we'll never expand the reach of free
and open source software and I think that's a goal we all share.
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