GTK+ in non-GNOME software

Posted 19 Nov 1999 at 06:56 UTC by shawn Share This

With the release of a new version of XFCE about four days ago, all redone in GTK+, it's interesting to wonder if even other desktop environments could pop up using GTK+ and what good impact that could have for GNOME.

Like GNOME, XFCE 3.2.0 is a desktop environment with the goal of being easy to use and configurable and is licensed under the GNU GPL. Both GNOME and XFCE are based on GTK+, one of the more popular GUI toolkits for the X Window System. (Other popular toolkits are Qt and Motif.)

One of the great things to note about XFCE is the work the author has put into making it interoperate with GNOME, which includes making it's own window manager GNOME compliant as well as making the XFce toolbar work correctly with any GNOME compliant window manager. This means that even though XFCE is a completely seperate desktop, the level of cooperation and interoperability is amazingly extensive.

What does this mean? Well, someone who isn't quite happy with GNOME can take and interoperate with it in such a way to make something they percieve as superior - or simply different. This means that portions of GNOME will actually transend GNOME itself and be used outside of the project. This is good for free software, and one of it's major advantages!

One thing to consider when writing free software is whether any parts can be written in such a way as to allow other applications or systems to reuse them while maintaining the same code base. This will result in more general compontents in the future and the more users for any component, no matter who they are, will give a more flexible and stable system. As an example, GTK+ is now much more stable and robust than it was when it was only used by GIMP.

Just something to keep in mind.


hey, posted 19 Nov 1999 at 11:58 UTC by jdube » (Journeyer)

this sounds like the sawmill of desktop environments, but unlike my switching from E and /or WindowMaker, I think I'm gonna stick with Gnome :)

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