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GNOME Linux

Ubuntu Mobile Looks At Qt As GNOME Alternative 262

Posted by kdawson
from the friendly-competition dept.
Derwent sends along a Computerworld piece which begins: "The Ubuntu Mobile operating system is undergoing its most radical change with a port to the ARM processor for Internet devices and netbooks, and may use Nokia's LGPL Qt development environment as an alternative to GNOME. During a presentation at this year's linux.conf.au conference, Canonical's David Mandala said Ubuntu Mobile has changed a lot over the past year... 'I worked on ARM devices for many years so a full Linux distribution on ARM is exciting,' Mandala said, adding one of the biggest challenges is reminding developers to write applications for 800 by 600 screen resolutions found in smaller devices. 'The standard [resolution] for GNOME [apps] is 800 by 600, but not all apps are. For this reason Ubuntu Mobile uses the GNOME Mobile (Hildon framework) instead of a full GNOME desktop, but since Nokia open sourced Qt under the LGPL it may consider this as an alternative.'"
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Ubuntu Mobile Looks At Qt As GNOME Alternative

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  • by Mprx (82435) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @09:18PM (#26540019)
    If you really wanted to do things fast you'd use the mouse (preferably with gestures or pie menus).
    http://www.asktog.com/TOI/toi06KeyboardVMouse1.html [asktog.com] :

    We've done a cool $50 million of R & D on the Apple Human Interface. We discovered, among other things, two pertinent facts:

    • Test subjects consistently report that keyboarding is faster than mousing.
    • The stopwatch consistently proves mousing is faster than keyboarding.

    Try timing yourself on some web browsing/text editing/file managing tasks. Keyboarding may be faster occasionally, but you'll be surprised how often mousing wins.

  • by bornagainpenguin (1209106) on Tuesday January 20, 2009 @11:44PM (#26541393)

    Martin Ankerl has a potential solution for you then, he made a HOWTO and has released a compact version of Human and Clearlooks which really make a difference! I even use them when I'm on my desktop these days to cut down on screen bloat. Find the HOWTO and linsk to the themes here: http://martin.ankerl.com/2008/10/10/how-to-make-a-compact-gnome-theme/ [ankerl.com]

    --bornagainpenguin

  • by alexborges (313924) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @12:08AM (#26541625)

    It depends SO much in what people are trying to accomplish that the discussion is NOT worth it.

    I mean, if im a designer, the mouse is better. If im a programmer, the keyboard shortcuts will be the best way to not loose the rythm (yeah, there is rythm in this bussiness).

    If Im a bussiness exec, I dont know why I have a computer.

  • by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @01:27AM (#26542283) Journal

    Most of the reasons you mention are "people are already using it" rather than addressing the question "it's better".

    Here's my top 11 (top 6 are not about inertia):

    11 Firefox has been ported to Qt
    9. Skype is Qt based.
    8. Google Earth is Qt based.
    7. Qt's cross-platform support is so good that some people (e.g. doxygen) use it who have no/very few GUI components.
    6. Qt is C++ based.
    5. Localization support. And these guys even thought about making number suffixes right in Czech.
    4. Qt is easier to use.
    3. Qt has a usable UI creation kit (designer)
    2. Qt extends C++ by offering an event based handling framework.
    1. Qt is a tool for platform abstraction, so like Java, it's possible to create complex cross-applications with no #ifdef WINDOWS or #ifdef LINUX.
    0. I love any company who names itself TrollTech;)

    I use Qt in professional application development I have to tell you, vs the Xtoolkit or Motif, it's night and day. Using Qt is 10x easier. It's also much easier to create truly cross-platform apps (using a make system like CMAKE for example) with platform specific code.

    I look for Qt to become more widely used simply because of how good it is...rather than because "some influential people are using it".

  • by chromatic (9471) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @04:57AM (#26543407) Homepage

    One of the major points of the study is only the stopwatch knows for sure ;/

    I was in an airport several weeks ago, editing an interview that I had to submit in some sort of word processor format. I didn't have room to use an external mouse; I only had the trackpad. I spent ten minutes editing a few pages of the interview, increasing my frustration every time I had to move the cursor to a new place. I eventually exported the document to HTML, ran it through a beautifier script, and finished editing the remaining eighteen pages there.

    It was faster for me to convert between formats and write some little Vim macros to perform global conversions and changes than to use an interface tied heavily to the mouse. Perhaps if I were better at scripting a word processor I could have made those changes there. I don't know.

    I welcome the researcher with the stopwatch, however. Any UI which makes me feel like I'm wearing oven mitts with my hands on a keyboard behind my back is likely not faster. I'd like the chance either to discover that I'm wrong or to disprove this ridiculous claim.

  • Re:Yah for the LGPL (Score:4, Interesting)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @06:22AM (#26543833) Homepage Journal

    No. You fail. To understand what the LGPL means you need to actually read the LGPL. I know it's scary, but there ya go. The provisions actually say that you have to permit reverse engineering of the application, and take no action to permit said reverse engineering, so that one can debug changes to the LGPL library. The purpose of these provisions is to allow someone to fix problems in the LGPL library and have your application work with those changes.

  • by yelvington (8169) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @07:35AM (#26544241) Homepage

    Someone should mod parent up as informative.

    What is striking about all these comments is that there seems to be a lack of clarity about what Ubuntu Mobile is, and whether it even needs to exist.

    It's not for netbooks. Netbooks currently run Intel processors, most have 1024x600 displays, and they all can run standard Linux distributions (after the usual wifi struggles). Linpus and Ubuntu Netbook Remix provide alternative desktops with big icons. A lot of people immediately turn that stuff off.

    Ubuntu Mobile seems targeted at a market that barely exists and may not survive: ARM-based Internet tablets. I have one of the few entries in this field, the Nokia N800 running Maemo (based on Debian) on the TI OMAP processor. It's a good and useful device, but as a product it's become trapped between the netbooks and the smartphones.

    If a product is big enough to support a usable keyboard, it's big enough to run real Linux. If it's small enough to fit in your pocket, it's small enough to run Android.

  • Re:Too big (Score:2, Interesting)

    by domatic (1128127) on Wednesday January 21, 2009 @10:16AM (#26545331)

    These guys produce a patched tightvnc that has scaling and some other goodies. Pressing F8 brings up the UI for it:

    http://www.karlrunge.com/x11vnc/ssvnc.html [karlrunge.com]

    They have source and binaries for a number of platforms. Their focus is on wrapping a friendly UI for tunneling VNC over SSH but the tightvnc binary they give you has the goodies even if run directly.

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