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#1 2013-08-02 14:03:46

stozi
Member
Registered: 2010-03-02
Posts: 147

My paradigm shift to Qt

I fist tried Mandrake in 2004, making my way through *buntu, mint, xfce, and lxde to finally settling into Arch with Openbox and apps mostly from Xfce or its 'goodies' about 4 years ago. I was so happy with this set up I only realized that Gnome had blown itself asunder well after the fact. But recently the Gnome spazz-typhoon visited itself upon me when some of my favourite programs took up gtk3 and went wonky. I had long been trying to keep everything on gtk as running one light toolkit is supposed to be more efficient on my former pico-itx and current near-death eee pc. I have always begrudged needing skype for my work.

Gtk3 calls the deal off. Since LXDE and Ubuntu Tablet are going qt so am I. gtk is no longer lighter than Qt and to me it sure doesn't seem more mature in any sense. I have abandoned years of Linuxy sentiment invested in Midori, Liferea, Abiword, Thunar and Parole and plunged into the unknown world of a toolkit I had never previously given a second thought.

To me (a user who likes to set things up just the way he likes, but isn't committed enough to exhaustively remember commands and config parameters) and maybe to some others removing gtk2 and gtk3 from my system without installing KDE has been an interesting experiment. First I've had to trade in my favourite programs for unfamiliar upstarts like Qupzilla, Qtfm, SMplayer. Some other minor utilities have been switched out, like Sakura back to xterm, and some stuff laying around rarely used is gone, gparted and gimp. Tint2 goes, unreplaced for now, I'm suspicious of the alternatives, I love Tint2 because with the setup I learned from a brief stint in crunchbang, no screen space is wasted and it looks nothing like Windows or OSX. Obconf and Obmenu are quick and convenient but not necessary. What will take the most getting used to is networking. I'm on a USB 3G adapter so I need to get used to setting up my network the way you don't want anyone you'd like to convert to linux to see. Right now that's the only major drawback. Hopefully with the growth of lxde-qt and ubuntu tablet more and more popular programs will get converted to qt. Also hopefully I'll soon figure out how to run qtconfig and get the qt4 and qt5 programs looking the same. Tea is hideous. Otherwise so far so good.

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#2 2013-08-02 16:01:37

karol
Archivist
Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,426

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

Have you seen https://github.com/Razor-qt/razor-qt/wi … plications ? Maybe you'll find some apps you like.

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#3 2013-08-03 14:03:39

karabaja4
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From: Croatia
Registered: 2008-09-14
Posts: 840

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

Qt is a very mature and stable toolkit. And it is by no means slower or heavier than GTK (from my experiences it is actually lighter). From developers point of view, Qt has great documentation and is based on C++, a really great language. Developing Qt apps from my experience involves much less headache than developing GTK apps.

I can tell you some apps I use that are Qt or pure X11, so you might find them useful in your shift to Qt.

Qt:

qtfm - a really great file manager. But, I don't like this new 5.9 version based on Qt 5, it is too bloated for my taste. I think it was forked from original qtfm which was written by Wittfella, an Arch Linux Forums member. You can find the old Qt 4 version (qtfm 5.5) here.

smplayer - offers everything I ever wanted from a video player. The seek feature is great. The subtitle search feature is great. It offers VDPAU acceleration with NVIDIA cards. The alternative is VLC, also a great player.

qbittorrent - an awesome torrent client. It has a style of uTorrent from the old days, and has all the features I would ever need in a torrent client.

X11:

bmpanel2 - great light panel. A bit hard to configure (because it requires bitmaps for themes), but once you configure it you're all set. Mine sort of looks like tint2.

loliclip - an awesome X11 clipboard manager. The only one I found that actually works without bugs and offers synchronizing PRIMARY and CLIPBOARD.

urxvt - no explanation needed.

compton - if you're into lightweight eye candy, this compositing manager actually works, offers vsync and doesn't slow down your system.

P.S.

What keeps GTK2 on my system is an internet browser. Chromium still uses GTK2, and there is no decent Qt browser to replace it yet.

Last edited by karabaja4 (2013-08-03 14:08:29)


pie!

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#4 2013-08-03 15:50:47

anonymous_user
Member
Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

karabaja4 wrote:

But, I don't like this new 5.9 version based on Qt 5, it is too bloated for my taste. I think it was forked from original qtfm which was written by Wittfella, an Arch Linux Forums member.

Would you mind elaborating on what you mean by bloated? Is it slower? Does it have unnecessary features?

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#5 2013-08-03 18:34:53

pks
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From: Germany
Registered: 2012-07-20
Posts: 110

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

For a good list of replacement applications you can always take a look at the list of applications. Does anybody of you know of a browser written in Qt that has vim keybindings like vimperator?

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#6 2013-08-04 21:11:16

stozi
Member
Registered: 2010-03-02
Posts: 147

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

Thanks all. So far I've got tint2-svn (though karabaja4's desktop looks sweet), qtfm, qupzilla, smplayer, transmission-qt, xpdf, juffed, htop,  and wicd-curses+ wvdial. I find that when I run menumaker I discover way less weird random programs installed as dependencies than before. Though I'm wondering how anything would depend on aafire.

qtconfig is kind of lame, I'd really like an equivalent to lxappearance- though aparently pcman has one in the works.

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#7 2013-08-04 22:11:29

Box0
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From: Italy
Registered: 2011-09-21
Posts: 218

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

as an alternative to xpdf you may try qpdfview (https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/qpdfview/)

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#8 2013-08-04 22:40:07

skottish
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From: Here
Registered: 2006-06-16
Posts: 7,931

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

Box0 wrote:

as an alternative to xpdf you may try qpdfview (https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/qpdfview/)

I believe that mupdf is also GTK+ free.

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#9 2013-08-04 23:47:32

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 12,690

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

As to Qt and pdf  fles, I really like Okular.  It is not light, but it does the job for me.  I create pdfs from LaTeX using make files.  If I remake a file that happens to be open in Okular, it gets noticed and Okular updates automatically.  Nice smile


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#10 2013-08-05 00:06:05

cfr
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From: Cymru
Registered: 2011-11-27
Posts: 5,661

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

Okular can also do the backward sync trick i.e. you shift-click somewhere in the pdf and it jumps to the relevant point in the LaTeX source. It isn't quite as sophisticated as the version TeXShop has in OS X because it only syncs to the correct paragraph and not the correct line or word. But it is still handy.

EDIT: One thing I can't stand is that if I'm preparing slides, every time I regenerate them, it asks me *again* whether I want full screen mode or not. There is no option to say "don't ask again" and no option to disable by default that I can find.

Last edited by cfr (2013-08-05 00:07:18)


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#11 2013-08-05 12:42:27

stozi
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Registered: 2010-03-02
Posts: 147

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

Unfortunately Okular depends on about 350mb of KDE, just not worth it. Btw, it seems that I'm now using about half the drive space as I was with gtk programs. Unfortunately Smplayer isn't quite as watchable as Parole was with poulsbo.

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#12 2013-08-05 12:46:08

HalosGhost
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From: Twin Cities, MN
Registered: 2012-06-22
Posts: 1,486
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Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

ewaller wrote:

If I remake a file that happens to be open in Okular, it gets noticed and Okular updates automatically.  Nice smile

Zathura actually does this too. It's a bit OT, but I feel similarly about KDE and Qt as the OP; it's extremely heavy when I deeply prefer a light-weight system; so things like zathura are really awesome for me.

All the best,

-HG


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#13 2013-08-05 14:22:52

theGunslinger
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Registered: 2011-05-20
Posts: 299

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

stozi wrote:

Unfortunately Okular depends on about 350mb of KDE, just not worth it. Btw, it seems that I'm now using about half the drive space as I was with gtk programs. Unfortunately Smplayer isn't quite as watchable as Parole was with poulsbo.

What do you mean isn't watchable? I had the same netbook and mplayer worked just fine.

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#14 2013-08-06 11:32:40

stozi
Member
Registered: 2010-03-02
Posts: 147

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

Hm, just looked at the poulsbo arch wiki and messed around a bit, nope, video still lags badly. Parole could go for 45 minutes on a 700mb video without lagging when played in a quarter of the screen (pathetic I know). For me Smplayer lags immediately.

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#15 2013-08-06 13:39:39

Stalafin
Member
From: Berlin, Germany
Registered: 2007-10-26
Posts: 616

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

HalosGhost wrote:
ewaller wrote:

If I remake a file that happens to be open in Okular, it gets noticed and Okular updates automatically.  Nice smile

Zathura actually does this too. It's a bit OT, but I feel similarly about KDE and Qt as the OP; it's extremely heavy when I deeply prefer a light-weight system; so things like zathura are really awesome for me.

All the best,

-HG

Well, unless you use zathura with the muPDF backend - in that case muPDF crashes followed by zathura, because it can't deal with some exception. It's still my favourite PDF reader, but that stuff is mighty annoying. I work with large LaTeX files a lot, which take a while to create. In the limbo between old and new file, muPDF decides to update what it's currently displaying, which more often than not doesn't work. sad

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#16 2013-08-06 15:54:28

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

stozi wrote:

To me (a user who likes to set things up just the way he likes, but isn't committed enough to exhaustively remember commands and config parameters)

Seems to me like you might be at an impasse: Either buy a new machine (as you stated, the current one is "near death," calling into question whether the toolkit is responsible for any of the performance problems); or learn some new skills/software to get the most out of what you have.  Neither toolkit is inherently "bloated" or "lightweight;" too many people are simply unable to distinguish the toolkits from the applications that utilize them.  Hence, the biggest name in Qt development is KDE, the heaviest of all GUI environments in the *nix world. Meanwhile GTK3 is associated with GNOME 3, which has irked a lot of people in the last couple years.

Examples of lightweight, stand-alone GTK 2 apps that might work for you: PCManFM, Zathura, Luakit, Jumanji, dwb, Vimprobable, gVim, Geany, various MPD and Mplayer front-ends, and so on.  Many of these programs require one-time manual configuration, paying off with an app that works the way you want it to and is blazing fast.

Of course, many of us just forego the mess altogether. wink  Not counting games, or X utilities, I only have four graphical applications installed on my machine: Firefox, Chromium, Zathura and VirtualBox.  Firefox and Zathura I use regularly; VirtualBox and Chromium are for web design work.  Everything else I use---music player, file manager, mail client, text editor,  is CLI/text-based.

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#17 2013-08-06 16:41:07

drcouzelis
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From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,437
Website

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

I agree with everything you wrote, but this made me smile:

ANOKNUSA wrote:

lightweight, stand-alone GTK 2 apps... works the way you want it to and is blazing fast.

I have VERY vivid memories of being in college when GTK 2 came out and HATING it. GTK 2 was so disgustingly slow. I would actively search for GTK 1 versions of applications, which were blazing fast. smile

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#18 2013-08-06 17:13:03

lolilolicon
Member
Registered: 2009-03-05
Posts: 1,676

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

drcouzelis wrote:

I agree with everything you wrote, but this made me smile:

ANOKNUSA wrote:

lightweight, stand-alone GTK 2 apps... works the way you want it to and is blazing fast.

I have VERY vivid memories of being in college when GTK 2 came out and HATING it. GTK 2 was so disgustingly slow. I would actively search for GTK 1 versions of applications, which were blazing fast. smile

Priceless.
I don't care in the slightest what toolkit it's wearing, so to speak; it's the soul that matters wink
Examples include the inner logic (elegance, clarity), the behavior (politeness, transparency), and a feeling of "this thing resembles something that rocks".

You see I'm not a racist wink

Last edited by lolilolicon (2013-08-06 17:13:50)


This silver ladybug at line 28...

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#19 2013-08-06 21:38:36

stozi
Member
Registered: 2010-03-02
Posts: 147

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

Ok... Impasse over what I'm not sure. As I said this is an experiment to use only light, non-KDE-dependent non-gtk apps like qtfm and qupzilla. I kinda thought reducing the number of toolkits was KISSy and Arch-way-ish.

It's the screen that's dead on my computer- the CPU, RAM etc are all just fine.

I wish there were scads of programs using fltk. As indicated, I had been using stand-alone gtk2 apps for years but as I understand, gtk2 is now or soon will be unmaintained. So far I'm enjoying having no gtk, my system certainly feels faster and less buggy. I'll stick with this scheme on my next computer.

As LXDE moves to Qt I'm sure more lightweight Qt applications will appear, though there are already enough, supplemented with some text-based ones, for me to comfortably go gtk free smile

Last edited by stozi (2013-08-07 11:21:42)

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#20 2013-08-07 14:14:19

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

stozi wrote:

I kinda thought reducing the number of toolkits was KISSy and Arch-way-ish.

One could certainly argue that.  My most commonly used toolkit is "none." wink  And that's on an i7 quad-core with an SSD.  My point was just that I have a hard time believing the toolkit used really has that great an impact on anything, be it performance or UX or ergonomics or whatever.  Qt apps might tend to be lighter these days than GTK3 apps, but I would guess that's because GTK is developed hand-in-hand with GNOME, while Qt is developed independent of any specific set of software.

Here's a little side discussion on toolkits and KISS that came up a while back.

Last edited by ANOKNUSA (2013-08-07 14:14:59)

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#21 2013-08-07 16:05:25

stozi
Member
Registered: 2010-03-02
Posts: 147

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

That all makes sense. However no one's arguing that Qt or its programs are lighter. I do find it less buggy and I like the DE-independence you just mentioned. But I suspect that running one toolkit at a time rather than two is lighter.

Maybe someday I'll learn Vim, hope it works ok with Dvorak.

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#22 2013-08-07 16:26:48

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,437
Website

Re: My paradigm shift to Qt

stozi wrote:

Maybe someday I'll learn Vim, hope it works ok with Dvorak.

As a Dvorak Keyboard Layout user who's favorite text editor is Vim, I can say yes, it works OK. smile

I would also say I prefer many of the locations of the Vim commands compared to their QWERTY counterparts, but I suppose that may be because I've never really used their QWERTY counterparts. tongue

Also, QWERTY is really hard to spell in Dvorak... yikes

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