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Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome 240

Posted by timothy
from the your-aura-is-always-with-you dept.
sfcrazy writes "Google's Chromium team is working on an alternative of Gtk+ for the browser, called Aura. Elliot Glaysher, a Google developer explains, 'We aim to launch the Aura graphics stack on Linux in M35. Aura is a cross-platform graphics system, and the Aura frontend will replace the current GTK+ frontend.' The Free Software community is debating: is Google trying to do Canonical? Couldn't Google just switch to Qt, which is becoming an industry standard?"
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Google To Replace GTK+ With Its Own Aura In Chrome

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  • Google's Aura (Score:1, Insightful)

    by rossdee (243626) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @02:15AM (#46461289)

    Is looking darker and darker every year

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @02:22AM (#46461305)

    From the story:

    I don’t think it makes much sense to write your own GUI toolkit just for a browser.

    It occurs to me there are very, very few applications that could possibly warrant the development of a new widget set, but that a web browser is certainly among them.

    Gtk emerged from Gimp; the "GIMP Tookit." If a raster graphics editor used by a vanishingly small number of people provides sufficient rationale to make a toolkit, certainly a web browser used by tens of millions is worthy.

  • I'm with Google... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @02:22AM (#46461307) Journal

    Porting a huge GTK-2 application to QT is substantially more work than just forking GTK-2 with a new name, and maybe some small modifications.

    And adopting and modifying GTK-3 seems like a battered woman going back to her abusive husband... The FSF has a sorry track record of destroying everything they touch, and the GPLv3 getting forced on all their software is making individuals and companies run for the hills at a record pace.

    Hey, if Google makes Aurora a distributable package, I'll compile all the GTK-2 apps I use against it, and just keep using it. I even still depend on a few GTK-1 apps...

  • It's gonna be fine (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @02:37AM (#46461339)
    Qt is my golden standard too, but in case of Chrome, it does not matter much. Go with "Aura" if it makes them happy. I mean, how many UI widgets do you see in Chrome anyway? There's the tab bar, pop-up menu, and some little popup thingies here and there. Everything else is a web page, which is rendered with its own engine.
  • Do Canonical? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @02:39AM (#46461353)
    By saying that, do "the Free Software Community" mean making Linux accessible to many users that wouldn't have dreamt of using it before? Being the first ones to provide a distribution that you can actually recommend to a computer illiterate?

    And then again, why should anyone have a say on what toolkit Google decide to use for their own browser? Did "the Free Software Community" have anything to say when it was slang vs ncurses, emacs vs vim, gtk vs qt, gnome vs kde? No, because exploring alternate solutions is good for the whole community in the long run. Please stop this poisonous attitude of finding "enemies of the people" among people who dare write free software.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @02:51AM (#46461393) Journal
    Reading through the documents [chromium.org], it doesn't look like a trivial task to recompile all your GTK-2 apps against it. From the UI Toolkit standpoint, it looks like a combination of NextStep and Swing.

    AFAIKT Aura is a more than just a UI Toolkit, it's a complete Window Manager. A replacement for Gnome (wow! I hope that takes off!) Apparently it's been running on the Chromebooks. Here is Linus' take on the topic [google.com].

    The main reason I would be reticent to use it is because Google doesn't always have a strong commitment to backwards compatibility. So you may end up having to rewrite pieces of your code, just to keep them compiling. If you're ok with that though, go for it.
  • Re:Qt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chaboud (231590) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:07AM (#46461607) Homepage Journal

    I came here to say this.

    I'm quite the fan of Qt, but it's far from an industry standard. HTML5 + wrapper probably has as much, if not more, adoption.

    And, once you use iOS or Android to dev GUI, some modern, convenient, and well-crafted patterns begin to emerge. They're not perfect, but they're nice to use. Honestly, if Google wants to use their own toolkit and publish it as open source, why should anyone complain about that? Some very interesting ideas may come out of it and be brought into other projects. Just as Mozilla's XUL was clearly aped for Microsoft's XAML, open source contributes to the field as a whole, not just one particular project. There's no need to lick the pizza with open source.

    Only the ever-trolling slashdot community could turn Google releasing and dog-fooding an open source project into a bad thing.

  • by Zukix (641813) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:27AM (#46461797)

    From previous releases its clearly the Chrome team is being mismanaged and has lost its way.

    They really cannot get the basics right. A web browser is basically text in windows that can be styled by the page author. Lets see you they are doing:

    i) They don't fix the appalling font rendering issues on Windows promptly and as a priority. Most of Google's own web fonts are unusable in production because of this.

    ii) They don't follow standard most-recently-used order when ctrl-tab between tabs and they don't see the problem and close any bug report as won't fix. How can Chrome be the platform for office tools and applications when you can't flick between applications?

    iii) They start adding animations to html elements you can't restyle with CSS e.g. the zoom ease-in they added to select elements in a recent Chrome. What possible justification was there for that? If you need to use more than a couple select elements on a form the animation effect of using each one is terrible.

    iv) They add forced behind the scenes updates (ok) but they then push poorly tested unstable releases. There were wide-spread issues on their recent releases. You can only auto-update if you are rock-solid.

    v) They fork from the web-kit project, a once high-point in cross company collaboration for the betterment of the web. Now... beginning of the end.

    vi) And now they are going to spend their time re-implementing a cross-platform widget toolkit. How about fixing the fucking font rendering first?

    I don't know how the team is being led but it can't be right. Google, time to take an axe to your chrome team...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:58AM (#46461843)

    Hopefully the new toolkit uses standard C++ instead some weird kitchen sink object system and their own data types scattered everywhere. Perhaps the STL is not perfect, but it is quite likely already used all over the application itself, and not too many want to write their otherwise perfectly portable using some Q* classes.

  • Re:As a Qt fan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Artifakt (700173) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @06:17AM (#46461907)

    I'll let the AC explain what he thinks is wrong, if he will actually step up to the plate.
    But, you do realize that this story starts with Timothy mentioning what a small percentage of the OS community thinks, and doesn't mention a somewhat more likely possibility - that Google is dissatisfied with the GTK, finds it very difficult to work within its limits, and doesn't feel it can get any cooperation from the GTK designers. If that is how Google feels, then the AC would probably say Google's position is reasonable. I tend to agree with that, myself. But, what's the point of asking the AC to defend his position, when that same position was totally left out of Timothy's original summary, and the position of those who don't see any problems with the GTK is presented as the default of the whole open source community?

    Summary: Ooooohhhh! Anybody who doesn't like FOO is a rapist of dead baby seals and unmutual to boot! We're gonna just assume that absolutely everybody reasonable likes FOO, and raise only the questions those reasonable people would ask mean old unreasonable Google.
    AC: Well I don't like FOO because it's smelly and might let girls into the Sekret club...
    You: AC, you need to explain mo' betterer

    Yes, AC probably should present some specific facts, if this was a debate over GTK's quality. But even if you turn this whole thread into a debate with the AC and others like him, win every point, and leave the rest of us impressed with your clarity and logical superiority, do you really think that will prove Google's reasons are as invalid as your debate opponent's?. The facts are, there is an ongoing debate o in the OS community over the conduct of the GTK developers. The summary needs to be written like the community is still seriously divided, not like the only questions being asked are from people who don't see a problem with the GTK and assume that Googgle can't really have a good reason.

  • Re:Google's Aura (Score:5, Insightful)

    by higuita (129722) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @08:32AM (#46462491) Homepage

    QT with LGPL could be used freely by google... maybe the problem is control... they could not control GTK and may have fear that QT could neither be controlled by then... Or is just another NIH attack!

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter

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