Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

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Jedinovice
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Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by Jedinovice » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:18 am

I am curious. Why are the vast majoritiy of Linux DE's based on GTK?

In mean, for QT we have:

KDE
Trinity - a fork of KDE 3 which still keeps going but is very backwater and not developing much
LXDE - sorta.

And I think that's it.

While for GTK we have:

GNOME
Cinnamon
Mate
XFCE
Unity
Enlightenment … and all the rest.

It just goes on and on.

Why is this? Is it because all the GTK distros are forks of GNOME or because there are some intrinsic benefits in the coding or implementation of GTK?

Just curious. I like KDE and I find the KDE apps and intergration excellent. Of course I use GTK apps but I am bemused as to why KDE seems to run with QT and virtually nothing else does, especially when the KDE apps seem so cool.

There is something I do not understand. Please enlighten me. (I do know that QT/KDE uses C++ which Torvalds spits on so maybe that's the issue? :-) )
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by Cosmo. » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:36 am

Maybe out of historical reasons regarding the license of the QT library. QT was not a free software at the beginning.

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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by The Dark Side » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:25 am

Good. It's true of the QT library was not a free software at the beginning. Now it's free software !!

For QT we have: KDE, Trinity (who needs more attention, excellent work) and LXQT (coming soon, the next version of Unity be in QT).

For GTK we have: Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE, LXDE (still alive), Unity, Enlightenment and Budgie.
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by cwsnyder » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:58 am

And using optional GTK or Qt libraries, there is OpenBox, BlackBox and the other *Box DEs, jwm, flwm, zwm, Window Maker a.k.a. wmaker, awesome, i3, ratpoison, and others. :D
Also for Qt, RazorQT.
OpenBox was actually the basis for LXDE, not GTK, it just pulled in some GTK base.
Must not forget the alternatives. A more comprehensive list is at: http://xwinman.org/others.php
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by Jedinovice » Tue Jan 05, 2016 1:56 am

I must admit I was deliberately ignoring windows managers as these are not full on DE's.

In regards to DE's - the GTK leaning is just historical then? No technical reasons? Cool if not, just trying to understand.

I was research synthesizers and could not work out why electronic music really did not take off until 1976 with Jarrs's 'Oxygene.' Not saying that electronic artists not did exists prior to 1976, hey, Jarre was going Loooonnnnng before Oxygene but the floodgates did not open until 1976 onwards and really exploded into many different forms in 1978. Also, prior to 1976 most electronic music was, in my opinion, was flat.

Turns out that synthesizers were purely monophonic until 1975! And then you could only get two note machines! And the first real polyphonic synthesizers came out, guess when...? 1978!

So technology often drives artistic and social development. So I am checking on the QT and GKT influence on Linux. But it seems that it's pure history.
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by cwsnyder » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:31 am

Having lived through the era described, I would also like to point out that analog synthesis (the only thing available prior to microprocessor horsepower enabling individual digital synthesis) was very cumbersome and expensive! Prior to digital synthesis, think music organs rather than synthesizer. Waveform modeling also required something to study the waveform (think oscilloscope). The Cathode Ray Tube was invented in 1897, but only became widely available, I believe, after usage in WWII radar screens. Many inventions and commercialization of those inventions depend on prior art being developed. For example, electric incandescent lights with 'frosted' glass envelopes to reduce glare.
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by Jedinovice » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:13 am

cwsnyder wrote:Having lived through the era described, I would also like to point out that analog synthesis (the only thing available prior to microprocessor horsepower enabling individual digital synthesis) was very cumbersome and expensive! Prior to digital synthesis, think music organs rather than synthesizer. Waveform modeling also required something to study the waveform (think oscilloscope). The Cathode Ray Tube was invented in 1897, but only became widely available, I believe, after usage in WWII radar screens. Many inventions and commercialization of those inventions depend on prior art being developed. For example, electric incandescent lights with 'frosted' glass envelopes to reduce glare.
Quite! This also came out from my reading. Analog synths were also a pain because they could not be programmed and settings retained. The Prophet 5 was the breakthrough!

And German radar was actually superior to British radar during WWII but the British used Cathode ray tubes to visually display hits - an example of user friendliness beating technical superiority.
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by xenopeek » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:55 am

Hawaii, Lumina, and Papyros also use Qt. The GIMP Toolkit (GTK+) does appear to have most DEs but it's not that big a gap I think.

For GTK+ I'd count 6: Deepin, GNOME, Pantheon, ROX, Sugar, and Xfce. Or make that 7 to include LXDE though LXQt supersedes it eventually.
You can count 4 extra if you include Budgie, Cinnamon, MATE, and Unity; these mostly use applications developed by GNOME while the others all have their own file manager, terminal, text editor, calculator and so on.

For Qt I'd count 5: Hawaii, KDE, Lumina, LXQt, and Papyros.
You can count 6 if you include Trinity.

Besides GTK+ and Qt you also have the following toolkits:
  • Elementary (used by Enlightenment) — no relation to Elementary OS
  • FLTK (used by EDE)
  • GNUstep (used by Étoilé)
  • Motif (used by CDE) — really old so should probably not be counted
So, depending on how we count between 6 and 11 using GTK+ and between 8 and 10 using something else. Not that bad? Both GTK+ and Qt have interesting projects using them to build new DEs.

Useful link with information on all DEs: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/de ... nvironment
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by The Dark Side » Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:13 pm

xenopeek: Papyros apparently it's a distribution and not a desktop environment (although it uses Material Design and QT5). Lumina and Hawaii not know them and really have a great pint. They can have a great future for sure, but I think they are a bit "raw" yet .....

cwsnyder: RazorQT no longer exists more. They were fused, with part of the LXDE team and now are the LXQT Desktop. For now, it looks good, but its development it's "very slow". Certainly a small group of people in LXDE has plans to continue with GTK at this desktop fact are also "very slowly" translating LXDE in GTK 2 to LXDE in GTK 3. There is an unofficial repository for Arch Linux.

It is the great thing is GNU/Linux !! We have many options to try and choose, we can easily change desktops. Excellent !! Best Regards.-
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by xenopeek » Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:24 pm

The Dark Side wrote:Papyros apparently it's a distribution and not a desktop environment (although it uses Material Design and QT5).
Just like various other desktop environments I named (Budgie, Hawaii, Pantheon), Papyros is a DE developed as principle part of a new Linux distro. The full name of the DE would be "Papyros shell". I kept it short. You can compile Papyros shell on other distros.
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Re: Why are DE"s so GTK-centric?

Post by Jedinovice » Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:43 pm

xenopeek wrote:Hawaii, Lumina, and Papyros also use Qt.

Useful link with information on all DEs: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/de ... nvironment
Thanks. I'll check it out. But I have never heard of these DE's before!! Wow!
Mint Linux 18.0 64 bit KDE edition.
Video editing (AMV's mainly) on a dual core n2840 atom!
Results here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5Dw91 ... yVKS7X1Rlg
LOOK HERE FOR MY DEMO OF MINT LINUX KDE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8hDYiGprWs

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