Bonum Certa Men Certa

IBM Neglecting Users of GNU/Linux on Laptops and Desktops

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Sep 24, 2023

Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer.

Fedora Will Make KDE and Qt Applications Look Bad on GNOME Again.

Years ago, Red Hat Linux decided it would “make KDE and GNOME look the same” and started theming them as such with Bluecurve and Qtcurve.

At the time, it was considered “controversial” and had people panning it on Slashdot.

Recently, it decided to stop doing any work at all to make KDE and Qt applications look right under GNOME for Fedora 39.

The list of changes point out about that they will abandon qgnomeplatform and adwaita-qt.

Did IBM tell them “Just make KDE/Qt applications look ugly. You’re not allowed to work on this anymore.”? They already did this with a lot of other packages in GNOME.

Regardless, Fedora, at IBM’s commend, will make Qt and KDE applications look like crap on GNOME.

This is another reason to abandon GNOME and just run them on KDE, on a distribution that actually maintains KDE and isn’t falling apart.

KDE has “Breeze-GTK” for GTK applications. It’s not perfect, but it’s close enough. Just try not to run more GTK applications than you have to. The entire toolkit is brain damaged garbage that is getting worse. More than ten years ago, Audacious (the music player) gave users a Qt option (you have to switch from GTK in the preferences on Debian) which looks a lot better.

The complaints from the developers were that unless you custom patched GNOME, the whole application looked gross no matter where you ran it (aside from GNOME, of course) due to Client Side Decorations imposing GNOME’s branding on all of the applications.

The main thing wrong with Client Side Decorations is you end up with all sorts of ridiculous buttons and widgets and even text, in window titlebars, and of course this is a major usability disaster since every application can violate the convention used by the system. GTK applications running anywhere else usually look hideous and that’s certainly one reason not to use them.

I’ve also found that GTK developers just don’t tend to care about limitations in their software (including proper form editing in PDFs in GNOME, forcing me to get a KDE application to handle it a few years before I gave up on Fedora and GNOME) and if you ask them they’ll say they did it deliberately so it wouldn’t be “hard to use”.

Other accusations are, according to Wikipedia, that GTK is bloated and hard to design proper desktop applications with, breaks the APIs constantly and is not backwards compatible, is difficult to theme (This is by design as GTK developers actually wrote a Web site demanding that people stop applying themes to THEIR apps….Their apps? I thought this was Free Software.), and hogs memory, and that the GTK developers are abrasive and ignore community input.

Cost cutting at IBM is having random and bizarre effects on desktop users as IBM penny pinches things that are not important to them, including the entire office suite.

I think that users really owe it to themselves to make backups and leave now as the situation shows no signs of improving.

Probably the most annoying thing about Fedora is you roll it out and it almost looks like it will work, but not entirely, then you end up with a lot of KDE and Qt applications and realize you should have put KDE on the system in the first place but now you have stuff everywhere and you’ll need to spend hours sorting it and making backups.

I think that this latest theming thing with Fedora is just a further way to harass people who try to use applications that do something useful because Red Hat has never liked KDE.

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