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Re: GNOME and the GUI

Nick Mathewson wrote:
> At the very least, we should make the default theme something slightly
> more... umm... conservative than the theme with which E currently ships.
> We might also want to invest some time (should we choose E) in determining
> whether it can be made to work well with resource-strapped machines.  I
> haven't tried to do it myself, but I can't bring myself to hope that E
> currently looks very pretty at 8bpp, or that it leaves much space left over
> in the colormap.

If you look in the themes archives, as you must have if you love E, you
see that E can be configured to like like any interface out there,
unlike other interfaces.  This gives us the opertunity to give every
user exactly what they want to see.  It doesn't matter if they want a
Mac, OS/2, NeXT, WinBlows, whatever look and feel, we can include them
with the default SEUL theme, which will definately *not* be like some of
the wild themes available for E, but will still be impressive.

> This is not meant as an argument against E, but rather as a suggestion for a
> possible area of development should we choose E. Raster's main focus seems to
> be in making his windowmanager look staggeringly beautiful on mid- to high-end
> machines with good graphics cards.  IMO, whatever WM we choose should
> run acceptably well on, say, a 486/66 at 8bpp, 640x480.)

I have been trying out E since last night.  I originally tried it in
it's infantcy and found it too unstable and resource hungry to use. 
From what I'm seeing on the web pages and archives, E has been re-tooled
to use fewer resources and work on lesser machines.

Any volunteers to try E on a skimpy 386 or 486?

> I'd be interested in seeing to what degree E and Gnome integrate in the
> future.

Me as well.

> I think I'd like to know what you mean by GUI in this context.  Do you mean
> a toolkit, an application suite, a windowmanager, an application-launcher...?

The gnome project includes a window manager, scwm, at this time.  It's
based on twm, I believe, and is still alpha.

> Clearly, we'd be foolish to lock ourselves into a single toolkit.  Though
> Gtk has great power and still-greater potential, any sytem which can't
> run Tk applications is IMNSHO broken.

Just because a machine uses GTK doesn't mean it won't run others.  If
you know something I don't about gnome breaking other toolkits, let me
know.  That would definately be a problem.

> Similarly, though an application suite is provides us with great potential,
> I don't think this is properly conceived of as a UI issue -- unless we
> decide to embrace that suite's UI principles as our own.

I don't follow you here.  If we base our GUI on the gnome project,
primarily, it makes it a UI issue.

> I do, however, think that our choice of an application-launcher/windowmanager
> is essential.  Though we ought to provide a variety of such windowmanagers
> for the 'power user', a simple, elegant, usable system would be best for
> a default environment.

Agreed.  But for now we are talking about what is going to be a part of
the base of SEUL.  Other WM's for the "power user" will be included in
optional packages, which is way down the road at this point.

> The reason I bring this up is that "Gnome's GUI" could be used to refer to
> any one of a toolkit (Gtk), an application suite, a set of GUI principles (see
> http://www4.ncsu.edu/~aklikins/gnome/style.html). According to the first
> paragraph of the first page of http://www.gnome.org, "GNOME is Window Manager
> independent."  So even choosing Gnome will leave us with our WM decision
> left to make.

Yes, I've read it.  Gnome is going to be useable with any WM because
that is only logical for a Linux toolkit.  They are providing a WM with
their package just like KDE.  As a matter of fact, you will find
elsewhere on their pages, that they say KDE will look right at home in
their environment and vise-versa.

Look at the contents of the current gnome package and you will see there
is a WM included in it.

It wil be some time before the main GUI is set in stone.  We will most
likely change our minds on several aspects of it many times before it is
set in stone.  Even then it may change from the first release to the
second.  That's what these discussions are all about.