[KDE/Mac] OS X observations

Jaroslaw Staniek staniek at kde.org
Mon Jan 5 10:36:31 UTC 2015

On 5 January 2015 at 10:28, René J.V. <rjvbertin at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Saturday January 03 2015 11:39:37 Jaroslaw Staniek wrote:
> Morning!
> This had remained in my outbox yesterday ...
>>Because Kexi on Windows and Mac had no maintainers (maintainer, not
>>packagers) so has been frozen. Then we knew it's better to do the
>>Qt5/KF5 port first. This is a complex app that manages your data, many
>>things have to be tested :)
>>>  And if you say native, does that mean it'll accept documents dragged onto its icon or served to it via Launch Services (as in opening an associated document type in the Finder) just as it would on Linux? Ditto for objects dropped onto its window?
>>Yes, yes.
> What do you base this on? Do we really have to understand you have been building functional KF5 applications on OS X? If so, you're *very* welcome to subscribe to kde-mac (pretty low volume) and participate in the ongoing QStandardPaths patching effort, which appears to be a requirement to get even the simplest KF5 applications to function properly on OS X. (As in, find their settings files, be able to communicate among each other, etc.)

No, this is just not my primary business but Kexi contributors
(Wojciech and soon Karol) playing with the port are already registered
on kde-mac. I am just saying there's interest and if really needed
Kexi will operate as a Qt app on the platform. It's a runtime after
all, a shell for apps, not just an editor.

Here's the current market from largest to smallest share: Non-Plasma
Linux/Unix users, Plasma Linux users.
Here's the future expected market from largest to smallest share:
Windows, Mac, Non-Plasma Linux/Unix users, Plasma Linux users.

You see the idea, Mac near the top.
(it's not picked by anyone, just based on statistics and knowledge)

And for runtime there are mobile editions to implement, nothing
decided for iOS so far.

>>Given there're enough of Mac fans that want to builld cool apps with
> Are there? :)

We'll see when we ship first cool versions :)

>>PS: The fact that Kexi (by design) uses no traditinal documents and
>>related workflow only helps; it's largely a Qt-only app, XMLGUI issues
> Yes, if it doesn't use objects for which the OS provides handling metaphors and mechanisms it can make do without supporting those mechanisms :)

Yep, that said really, there's no NIH. Filemaker and alikes are on our
radar. Resulting Kexi apps would be closer to Mac Spotify than Windows
MS Access ;)

>>disappeared in version 2 when Kexi stopped to use it. On Mac we'll
>>want to rethink the menu to avoid associations with Windows-like look
>>& feel. It's not black-white decision though, various apps such as
> About menus: Qt Mac has a heuristics "feature" in which it compares names of actions that are to appear in the global menubar to a set of default names (about, configure/settings/preferences, cut, copy, paste, quit) and then puts matching actions in the menu where they should be according to OS X. This is a rather brittle approach that doesn't work out properly quite often for KDE applications, esp. for the action that becomes the Preferences menu item. The best approach IMHO is to patch Qt so it doesn't try to guess which are the actual Preferences and About menu items, and then use action->setMenuRole to set these roles manually on the actual actions - or use KStandardActions (which apparently Calligra doesn't).
> If you do this, and don't do anything else such as forcing menus-in-windows (like Konsole does), you'll end up with a global menu that's got sufficient OS X look and feel because Qt has been designed that way. I also wouldn't push the look&feel thing too far as a sales argument, but rather go for an "adapted cross-platform look&feel" argument. I think the days where die-hard Mac fans accused OS X of being too much like MS Windows are gone (nowadays the concern is more that OS X is becoming too much iOS like) so there's little point in trying to be more catholic than the pope ;)

Thanks for these notes. I remember some automation in the old Qt 3
times when I worked on porting apps to mac (two of them were Qt).

>>Lightroom use extra menus too and sidebars, mac menu is there but also
>>the extra menu switches global view modes (Develop, Slideshow....):
> Of course, and Apple's own applications no longer follow their old HIG to the letter either. It's more important to have an ergonomic UI, moulding it into a native look & feel is secondary to that.


regards, Jaroslaw Staniek

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