Qt going LGPL

Michael Torrie torriem at gmail.com
Wed Jan 14 10:38:00 MST 2009

Bryan Sant wrote:
> I hope they're more than funny.  I understand the whole competition
> argument, but I definitely identify more with those who argue that a
> lack of UI consistency between popular open source software has
> hampered the adoption of Linux on the desktop.  Let's face it.  While
> GTK is a fine effort it is vastly inferior to Qt on both an
> API/functionality level, and a look-and-feel level, and a
> cross-platform level.  Qt is frankly miles ahead of GTK.  I hope that
> GTK apps will be ported to Qt and GTK go away pertinently.  This will
> really help both new Linux users and developers.

None of what you say has any bearing on whether or not Gnome will ever
move to Qt as a toolkit.  That's why the arguments are so silly.  They
are good arguments for which is a better toolkit for a developer to use
on a project, but they have no bearing whatsoever what Gnome should use
"under the hood" as it were.  Such arguments reflect an interesting lack
of understanding of the different philosophies of software architecture
between Gnome/Gtk and KDE/Qt---speaking generally, not about you.

Qt is much more than a widget kit.  It's a framework and object model
that influences the design of the entire stack above it.  Hence if you
look at KDE, you'll find that it's design is, in large measure,
determined by Qt's design.  Gnome's design (architecture and API style,
for good or bad) is similarly determined by GTK's architecture (which in
some ways is very clean and in other ways is quite dirty).  So it is not
possible to base Gnome on Qt.  It just won't work.  The languages are
different.  The event models are different.  The signal propagation
mechanisms are different.  The object models are different.  So Gnome's
problems cannot be fixed by trying to rip out GTK and stick in Qt.  Such
an effort would be a monumental rewrite which would end up with
something that was really just KDE anyway, which is kind of pointless
since we already have KDE.

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