Mathematica's (and others) ancient widget toolkit ... why?
- To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
- Subject: [mg51685] Mathematica's (and others) ancient widget toolkit ... why?
- From: Jens Benecke <jens at spamfreemail.de>
- Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 03:39:08 -0400 (EDT)
- Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com
(also sent to suggestions at wolfram.com) Hello, this is a personal opinion of mine, regarding the use of Motif (or whatever the Mathematica GUI was developed with) under Unix/Linux. I have been using Mathematica for some months and I like its features but the GUI looks like it hasn't evolved since 1980. (see attached screenshot for comparison) Since about 1998, more advanced toolkits are available that are much easier to develop for (I know, I use them), like Qt and Gtk, and it is supposed to be very easy to port Motif based apps to Qt (see http://doc.trolltech.com/3.3/motif-walkthrough.html) (though I haven't used *that* feature yet). Qt is also 1:1 source code compatible across Linux, UNIX, Windows, and MacOSX which might be an added plus. The gains would be considerate: Mathematica would automatically gain faster graphics display, proper font display, font useage and font antialising, better window manager/desktop/printing integration, Mathematica and its tools would automatically respect the user's preferences of display colors and font sizes and if you really want to spoil the Linux user base, provide pre-packaged RPM packages to install, which properly integrate into the system and can be managed by the system's RPM frontends (SuSE's YaST for example), instead of clunky text based install scripts. What I'd like to know is, am I the first to notice this? Why continue selling a version of Mathematica that even though its *features* are great, looks like it's been lying there and rusting since 1980, doesn't support mouse wheel actions, pops up tooltips that don't disappear even if you change virtual desktops, doesn't support proper cut&paste and drag&drop via XDnD, takes seconds to redraw a window on a 1.8GHz-P4, uses seemingly non-standard fonts that make headers in the documentation invisible on a SuSE Linux 9.1 standard installation, and so on? Seriously, your software works great, but it is absolute hell to use. It would be much more productive (and fun!) if it would behave and look properly, like the rest of my desktop. Please consider this for the future of Mathematica. Thank you! -- Jens Benecke http://www.hitchhikers.de - Europas kostenlose Mitfahrzentrale seit 1998 http://www.rb-hosting.de - Webhosting mit Extras - PHP ab ¤9 - SSH ab ¤19 http://www.spamfreemail.de - 100% saubere Postfächer, garantiert!