Re: Ubuntu



On Sun, 16 Oct 2011, Martin Gregorie wrote:

On Sat, 15 Oct 2011 13:01:46 -0700, Roedy Green wrote:

I am a puzzled by the Unix folk having so many ways of handling the GUI. I have heard of Gnome 1 2 3, KDE, X-Windows, Xfce, Unify

Because we get a choice over the L&F. Everything uses X11, aka X-windows:
thats the underlying display technology for all graphical displays on
UNIX/Linux

OS X is a certified UNIX, and does not use X for its main window system. I don't know much about Android, but i suspect it does not use X.

Less pedantically, mainstream Linux seems to be heading away from X too:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayland_%28display_server_protocol%29

To do anything useful with X11 you use a window manager: all distros pick one to use as default and each has its own style of handling the desktop, decorating application windows, launching applications, etc. etc. - hence the religious wars and differences of opinion over them. The common ones are Gnome and KDE (the two commonest ones), XFCE (very basic, but lightweight. If you run up VNC the default desktop for it is XFCE) and Unity (currently restricted to Ubuntu, introduced because they hate Gnome 3 but its reportedly disliked just as much).

None of those are window managers. They are desktop environments; they *include* a window manager as a core component (GNOME 2's is Metacity), but this can often be replaced (the popular upgrade on GNOME 2 is to Compiz). They include other important things too, like the session manager, panels, dock, etc.

I'll also add LXDE, which an even more lightweight desktop environment for people who think XFCE is bloated.

Which does Java use?

None, but Swing has a limited ability provide the same look and feel as the native windows manager for the system the JVM is installed on

Again, it's not the window manager it's imitating, it's the widget toolkit. A widget toolkit knows how to draw buttons and scrollbars and so on, and is one of the building blocks of a desktop environment (although i think not a window manager proper?). KDE uses the Qt toolkit; all other significant desktop environments use GTK.

A surprising thing for newcomers to Linux is that applications written using one widget toolkit will happily work on a desktop using another one (eg a Qt app on GNOME, which uses GTK). This is because the widget toolkits talk directly to the X server. The only thing is that the app's widgets will look inconsistent with the rest of the desktop.

as well as Java's cross-platform Metal look & feel, e.g. G3 buttons and text entry boxes have rounded corners, but Java doesn't and its default button background gradient is different, as is the main menu bar though the appearance is fairly close. The title bar and its drop-down menus are, however, identical.

GNOME 3 uses GTK as a widget toolkit, and styles it with a special theme. Java imitates GTK with a standard theme (i assume), hence the difference.

AWT must use a widget toolkit directly. In the Fedora release, this appears to be GTK.

If you're into SWT, that uses GTK directly.

How does Eclipse (as a representative SWT app) look under GNOME 3?

tom

--
So the moon is approximately 24 toasters from Scunthorpe.
.



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