Re: layers of abstraction, and how Gnome can win

On 10 Dec 2000 13:58:10 -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> > >  a) use an XP toolkit that does its own rendering, possibly 
> > >     emulating native looks
> > >     (current openoffice, mozilla, Java/Swing)
> > >  b) use an XP toolkit that wraps native widgets
> > >     (old Netscape, Java/AWT, wxWindows)
> > >  c) separate backend "engine" from frontend and rewrite the frontend
> > >     for every target platform (though usually elements of a) and b)
> > >     arise on an ad hoc basis)
> > >     (AbiWord, some mp3 players, etc.)
> I think it's meaningful that Java, Netscape, etc. all started with b)
> and gave up on it, moving to a), and that Qt is type a) and pretty
> successful at it. Though perhaps they'll all move to c) someday, who
> knows.

I don't think that the problem with c) is a maintainance issue.  The
main problem I see with c) is the difficulty of maintaining consistency
across platforms.  Thus, your app looks different from platform to
platform.  This has been one of the cool things about showing people
netscape on Unices in the past; they can just sit down and start using
the application.

Just to get my opinion in, in general, I like a) where that XP toolkit
is Gtk+.  This gives perfect fit on Gnome and good enough fit on other
platforms.  I think it would be cool to see gnome running natively on
windows. I don't know much about the specifics of OpenOffice though, so
I'm not truly fit to give an opinion on this specific issue.


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