Desktop Environment News

Budgie Desktop 11 to switch from GNOME to Qt

Budgie creator and Solus Project lead developer Ikey Doherty posted on its blog today about the upcoming Budgie Desktop 11 and the progress made so far, including a major change to the desktop architecture.

According to Ikey, there had been more focus on the major release to the Budgie Desktop 11 project, one of which is the decoupling of Budgie from GNOME.

Originally, Budgie intended to integrate with GNOME applications. What actually happened is that it then fully integrated into the GNOME stack. We got our integration, but at a heavy cost. Over time, as GNOME has evolved, every single major release of GNOME has caused issues for Budgie. This is from 3.10, when Budgie first began, all the way through to GNOME 3.22. Whether it’s API or ABI changes, components eating other components (such as Mutter folding in cogl and clutter), many, many theme and widget breakages, GdkScreen APIs no longer functioning the same, or even segfaults caused due to the behaviour of GSettings relocatable schemas being changed.

Budgie Desktop 11

Does GTK+ do what we need?

Ish. We actually do need a more powerful toolkit for the desktop, and GTK+ clearly develops in the direction of the parent GNOME Desktop experience (such as internal GNOME Shell knowledge + interactions within GTK).

Ideally, we want a more powerful toolkit for graphics, effects, OpenGL, shaders, etc. Blingbits aside, the layout system of GTK+ is woefully limited, with a lazy caching approach to widget position and sizes, making real time animations, or panel based child windows, difficult. Implementing an effective, custom layout suitable to panels also involves an excessive amount of boiler plate by rolling your own GtkContainer.

Why Qt over GNOME?

The budgie team evaluated two alternative solutions “EFL/Enlightenment” & “Qt”. Qt was choosen over EFL/Enlightenment because QT is very popular, it is a platform, and not a toolkit, whereas EFL/Enlightenment default appearance would require a tremendous amount of effort to be visually acceptable for use in Budgie.

Follow the entire story – Kicking Off Budgie 11

Checkout: Install Budgie Desktop 10.2.9 on Ubuntu 16.10 & Ubuntu 16.04

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