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Re: [News] Chrome for GNU/Linux Chooses GTK+

Matt wrote:
Homer wrote:
Verily I say unto thee, that Matt spake thusly:

Google "[avoids] cross platform UI toolkits because while they may offer
what superficially appears to be a quick path to native looking UI on a
variety of target platforms, once you go a bit deeper it turns out to be
a bit more problematic." Your applications end up "speaking with a
foreign accent", he adds. In addition, Goodger claims that using
something like Qt "limits what you can do to a lowest common denominator
subset of what's supported by that framework on each platform."

So much for Matt's theories.

Exactly which of my "theories" do you think this contradicts?

Something similar happens with code contributions: tell your potential
developers that the project will be Linux-only, and you will alienate
90% of them.

The Chrome engine is multi-platform.

The UI will be built for multiple platforms.

But Google have decided to segregate those UIs into three distinct
groups, by /unnecessarily/ using three different toolkits, one for each
of the supported platforms. The effect of this will be to create three
distinct groups of contributors for those UIs, one for each platform,
such that the GNU/Linux UI will essentially be "Linux only", and thus
only attract GNU/Linux developers. This will (again, unnecessarily)
cause disparity across those three UIs, potentially delaying subsequent
releases of the GNU/Linux port, which has /already/ been unnecessarily

Idealistically, Google's decision contradicts your position.

If your theory (quoted above) is correct, then my prediction (disparity)
will bear-out, but if Chrome remains consistent across all three
platforms, then you /and/ I will both be wrong.

/My/ position is somewhat more complex.

I recognise the /technical/ benefits of a single codebase across
platforms, but strongly oppose it for /idealogical/ reasons. In that
regard, it would seem that I /support/ disparity, but that is just an
inevitable (and IMHO acceptable) consequence of my ideological position.

As I've stated many times before, I'm disinterested in ubiquity, and by
implication, parity. Certainly I'd like to see the current /imbalance/
of Microsoft's monopoly destroyed, but ultimately the only thing I care
about is preserving GNU/Linux's integrity and Freedom. If that means
sacrificing a degree of parity, in order to discourage anything which
might threaten that /purity/, then so be it.

Well, I am always happy to see a living Puritan.

But you have never answered my claim that you can build your pure future software world from the remnants of the present Linux cadre plus a small but steady stream of young zealots---while the rest of the world moves from Windows and Office to the possibly-debased majority versions of Linux, OpenOffice, Firefox, etc.

You will also have to deal with the reality that the users of any small-usage OS suffer a dearth of small-niche applications. So if anybody wants the latest greatest specialized software for cataloging their butterfly collection, they will be out of luck if they cling to the small-usage OS. There you are walking not far from Luddism.

However, Google's decision makes no /technical/ sense whatsoever, and
clearly contradicts /your/ ideological position.

Google policy may contradict my position. That doesn't mean the underlying economics contradicts my position. So your disparaging remark might instead have been "So much for Google's opinion of Matt's theories".

I don't know that much about Chrome, but giving its Wikipedia page the once over, it looks like BSD/MIT-style licensing separates it from FOSS(tm). Commercial interests can therefore more easily bring divided future development effort. That plus the fractured GUI-development approach make me think that it isn't going to amount to much. In particular, I wouldn't expect it to take much usage away from Firefox or to grow to a size that could threaten web standards. Then I don't see it as being very important, except maybe as a future lesson to Google that if they want to grow software, they'd better try GPL and stick to a cross-platform code base.

Chrome doesn't seem to have as much utility as OpenOffice as a bridge leading to Linux, as I believe people would more easily switch browsers than they would switch office software. That is mainly because legacy data is more easily moved between browsers (mainly bookmarks, I guess) than between office suites, which have a lot more potential for often-superfluous complexity. Also because Firefox is already well-established as FOSS browser, and the niche is pretty-well filled. Similarly, one would believe that Google's competitor to OpenOffice would be doing much better were it not for OpenOffice.

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