Why GTK+ will prevail, and what needs to be done

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Fri Jan 28 10:17:26 GMT 2005

On Friday 28 January 2005 02:45, Taylor Byrnes wrote:

> Linux is growing, it is gaining market share everyday, as it grows
> more and more corporations are paying attention to it. As Linux grows
> and more people begin to use it there will be increasing demand for
> proprietary windows applications to be provided on Linux; and with the
> growing market demands the companies that make those products will be
> forced to port them to Linux.

Very likely.

> -> Pay for Qt; why bother when GTK+ is free?

Support, availability on Windows, including Windows specific extensions like 
ActiveQt, Windows File-/Printdialogs

Qt's main market is currently Windows, with an increasing interest in Linux.
A company developing a software for Windows in Qt can very likely offer a 
Linux version without having to port it or at least with very little effort.
This reduces the cost and time-to-market of a Linux version tremendously, 
outweighting by far the cost of Qt dual platform licences.

GTK+ is mainly used for Linux applications where the company maintains a 
different code base for Windows, for example realbasic, RealPlayer, etc.

Most if not all Windows applications using GTK have originally been Linux 
applications, made available to the Windows users afterwards, for example 

> hurts their bottom line, and open sourcing apps does even more; and
> from the position of a company which doesn't have a side in the
> desktop war, both libraries are just as good.

Not necessarily.
For instance I am currently not aware of any company offering support for GTK, 
not even talking about other language bindings like gtkmm for C++.

And on the technical side there could be differences in the quality of Windows 
and OS X versions of the toolkit. Sometimes this matters, see above.

> Using GTK+ will not kill KDE, but it will make life more difficult for
> end users, why deal with theming in two places? It may also cause
> distributions to make Gnome the default; if more apps use it might as
> well make the UI (user interface) consistent.

True, fortunately there are a lot of KDE users who like KDE for several 
reasons and there are KDE applications which are really the best of their 
kind on Linux, for example K3B.

> Also, in Windows, the UI is all the same, there is only one widget
> library.

No, there isn't, never has been.
In the early days most development tool companies had their own toolkit, now 
there are toolkits like Qt and wrappers for the WinAPI, but those wrappers 
don't always wrap the same version of the widget API, otherwise all 
applications would look like XP applications under XP and like Win2K 
applications under Win2k, but they don't.

Microsoft itself uses different controls for Office than for their bundled 
applications like Wordpad.


Kevin Krammer <kevin.krammer at gmx.at>
Qt/KDE Developer, Debian User
www.mrunix.de - German Unix/Linux programming forum
www.qtforum.org - Qt programming forum
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