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No GTK theme for you!

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dreamer
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No GTK theme for you!

#1 Post by dreamer » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:41 pm

After consistently breaking themes twice a year since the release of Gnome/GTK 3.0 in 2011 Gnome developers have now had enough. They want to break GTK theming for good. GTK3 is finally stable and no longer the development branch so this would apply to GTK4 and newer. The excuse is that themes never really existed (huh?) and apparently application developers suffer tremendously under the burden of theme related bugs.

https://blogs.gnome.org/tbernard/2018/1 ... -at-scale/

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log
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Re: No GTK theme for you!

#2 Post by log » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:42 pm

Looks like gnome devs are still up to their old habits!
Here's a blast from the past http://shallowsky.com/blog/linux/linus-on-gnome.html

https://lists.linux-foundation.org/pipe ... 01127.html
On Thu, 15 Feb 2007, Christian F.K. Schaller wrote:
>
> Maybe you should actually try using GNOME for a Month or so instead of
> keep repeating your often wrong assumptions?

You know what? Last night, I put my money where my mouth is.

I did something better than any Gnome user has apparently ever done: I
actually wrote the code to fix the thing.

> GNOME offers a lot of customization options, but some of them requires
> you for instance to get extra applications to easily get to. An often
> used such add-on for power users is Devils Pie:
> http://www.burtonini.com/blog/computers/devilspie

I don't know why the gnome guys are so defensive about this.

Why the hell do you have to point to bogus programs that don't actually do
what I want? Why do people claim that what I want is not something anybody
wants?

I *know* what I want. I *know* gnome doesn't support it. How do I know?
I've used it. I looked at the code. I talked to the original author of the
code. The author, and the code, all agree: gnome doesn't do what I want.

I want something very simple: I want to configure my mouse button window
events. That doesn't sound so bad, does it? Everybody else can do it,
gnome does not. My laptop has a two-button mouse, which means that I want
the right button to do something more useful than show me the menu that I
never use.

Am I evil for wanting that kind of configurability?

And no, Devil's pie does *not* magically add any customization that isn't
already there. The gnome window manager simply DOES NOT HAVE THE
CAPABILITY to do something as simple as let the user decide what a
right-click on the window frame does. It is HARDCODED into the C source
code.

How do I know? I've looked. Yesterday I even fixed it. I sent the patches
off to add the capabilities.

And I find it *offensive* how Gnome people can never just admit that they
can't do something. There's always an excuse: "My grandma doesn't want to
do it, and finds it confusing". That's not a word-for-word quote, but it
comes damn close.

Really, I'm not kidding. It's either "Grandma", "Mum" or a discussion
about nipples and tits.

It's never "we can't do it, please help us".

> If you are up for a challenge why don't you use GNOME for a Month then
> come and do a talk about your experience at this years GUADEC in
> England? Could maybe be a good way to start a constructive dialog
> instead of this useless mudslinging?

I've sent out patches. The code is actually _cleaner_ after my patches,
and the end result is more capable. We'll see what happens.

THAT is constructive.

What I find unconstructive is how the gnome people always make *excuses*.
It took me a few hours to actually do the patches. It wasn't that hard. So
why didn't I do it years ago?

I'll tell you why: because gnome apologists don't say "please send us
patches". No. They basically make it clear that they aren't even
*interested* in fixing things, because their dear old Mum isn't interested
in the feature.

Do you think that's "constructive"?

So let's see what happens to my patches. I guarantee you that they
actually improve the code (not just add a feature). I also guarantee that
they actually make things *more* logical rather than less (with my
patches, double-clicking on the title bar isn't a special event: it's
configurable along with right- and middle-clicking, and with the exact
same syntax for all).

But why, oh, why, have gnome people not just said "please fix it then"?

Instead, I _still_ (now after I sent out the patch) hear more of your
kvetching about how you actually do everything right, and it's somehow
*my* fault that I find things limiting.

Here's a damn big clue: the reason I find gnome limiting is BECAUSE IT IS.

Now the question is, will people take the patches, or will they keep their
heads up their arses and claim that configurability is bad, even when it
makes things more logical, and code more readable.

Linus
https://mail.gnome.org/archives/usabili ... 00021.html
I personally just encourage people to switch to KDE.

This "users are idiots, and are confused by functionality" mentality of
Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will
use it. I don't use Gnome, because in striving to be simple, it has long
since reached the point where it simply doesn't do what I need it to do.

Please, just tell people to use KDE.
Though they seemed to have learned to start putting more effort into their excuses after this:
https://mail.gnome.org/archives/usabili ... 00022.html
On Tue, 13 Dec 2005, Jeff Waugh wrote:
>
> That's definitely not a point of view of the GNOME Project - we're focused
> on making Free Software appropriate for users who are smart (we don't talk
> about 'dumb users'), but just don't care about computing technology. We're
> just like every other Free Software project - fixing stuff requires the work
> and attention of people who care about the problem at hand.

No. I've talked to people, and often your "fixes" are actually removing
capabilities that you had, because they were "too confusing to the user".

That's _not_ like any other open source project I know about. Gnome seems
to be developed by interface nazis, where consistently the excuse for not
doign something is not "it's too complicated to do", but "it would confuse
users".

The current example of "intentionally not listed in the printing dialog,
the usability team of GNOME was against listing these options." is clearly
not the exception, but the rule.

Jeff, if the explanation had been "exposing PPD features is too hard, we
need developer manpower", I'd have understood. THAT is what open source
projects tend to say. Not "powerful interfaces might confuse users and not
look nice".

If this was a one-off, I'd buy it. But I've heard it too damn many times.
And only ever from Gnome.

The reason I don't use Gnome: every single other window manager I know of
is very powerfully extensible, where you can switch actions to different
mouse buttons. Guess which one is not, because it might confuse the poor
users? Here's a hint: it's not the small and fast one.

And when I tell people that, they tend to nod, and have some story of
their own why they had a feature they used to use, but it was removed
because it might have been confusing.

Same with the file dialog. Apparently it's too "confusing" to let users
just type the filename. So gnome forces you to do the icon selection
thing, never mind that it's a million times slower.

Linus

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Re: No GTK theme for you!

#3 Post by skidoo » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:31 pm

The excuse is that themes never really existed (huh?) and apparently application developers suffer tremendously under the burden of theme related bugs.

https://blogs.gnome.org/tbernard/2018/1 ... -at-scale/
Tobias Bernard isn't presenting an excuse in that blog post. He's bemoaning the fact that, across years, Gnome theming has caused grief among application developers, driving many of them away (from using GTK3 toolkit). IMO, he's a hero for publishing that -- wakeup call, needs to be heard -- into the Gnome blog.

After consistently breaking themes twice a year since the release of Gnome/GTK 3.0 in 2011 Gnome developers have now had enough. They want to break GTK theming for good. GTK3 is finally stable and no longer the development branch so this would apply to GTK4 and newer.
Hmm, I don't have any citation(s) regarding intent to "permanently break theming" in GTK4.
Here's a few links, as related background reading, though

Is the "either all GTK or all Qt" mentality still relevant today?
reddit (2018) 192 comments

TIL about Akira: Native Linux App for UI and UX Design built in Vala and Gtk
reddit (2018) 67 comments -- keywords: Vala, ElementaryOS

Plasma 5.13 will have Global Menu support for GTK applications even ones with no menus!
reddit (2018) 239 comments

Please do not use/make CSD apps

Why can't applications call on the desktop UI to provide open/save file dialog instead of using their own or gtk/qt?
reddit (2016) 262 comments

A brief look back on history.. Some wonderful GTK 3 themes which no longer work

Audacious 3.10 released - GTK+ 3.x support is also gone for real in this release
reddit (2018) 61 comments
RoxTerm / Discussion / Open Discussion:Death of ROXTerm

Tony Houghton - 2016-05-25

I'm afraid the time has come to put ROXTerm to sleep. I've had a look over the code and latest GTK API and I'm pretty sure there is no quick fix for bug #125, in fact there is even more code relying on the old geometry than I realised, and I could end up messing around with it for months trying to get all the sizing features right. The only satisfactory solution would be a major rewrite, which isn't really justified by whatever distinctive features ROXTerm offers over anything else that people (including myself) are relying on. With such a big bug in the way it doesn't seem worth tackling the other outstanding issues. Apologies to all the people who have taken time to report and discuss them.

There is one potential killer feature I can think of, and that's to integrate the functionality of something like tmux or screen with remote capability, but I think that would require at least major support from a reworked vte, and I think it's over-ambitious for me.

So, unless anyone else wants to take this over (seems unlikely), I'll soon start doing things like getting it removed from Debian.

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Re: No GTK theme for you!

#4 Post by dreamer » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:06 am

Tobias Bernard isn't presenting an excuse in that blog post. He's bemoaning the fact that, across years, Gnome theming has caused grief among application developers, driving many of them away (from using GTK3 toolkit).
Maybe because GTK3 isn't a stable toolkit? Maybe because GTK3 isn't a toolkit - but a building block for Gnome? I'm not an (application) developer, but it seems GTK3 is so heavily tied to Gnome that you shouldn't be using it if you want to build a generic Linux application.

It also seems Linux in general has a toolkit problem. On Windows you can load a ten year old binary and it will display correctly. On Linux that's not the case, certainly not with GTK3.

I think Gnome is in a position where they could build a stable toolkit and promote Linux to application developers. Instead, they focus solely on Gnome and expect application developers to build for Gnome 3. Gnome 3 doesn't work for normal people (Windows and Mac users).

Also, never is an application developer required to support themes. If their application uses non-standard widgets then it's up to theme developers to work around those issues. Theme related bugs should not be filed against the application if it displays properly with Adwaita. I'm sure Gnome developers are aware of that. ;)

Nothing has been more detrimental to the Linux desktop than the GTK3 rolling release non-sense and the Gnome 3 desktop. People expect icons on the desktop, being able to launch applications from the file-manager, having a notification area, being able to tweak the desktop without third party applications and extensions that break with every Gnome release and so on. In short: People expect more than a mobile UI on the desktop.

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