The GTK-Qt theme engine is a nifty hack for GTK+ applications that uses the currently selected KDE/Qt style to do its drawing in a very similar fashion to the recently announced KDE Native Widget Framework for OpenOffice.org. Basically, what this means is that it will make your GTK apps look just like KDE/Qt ones and hence integrate better into your desktop (screenshot). I contacted the author David Sansome; it resulted in the following small interview.
Please introduce yourself.
I'm David Sansome, a college student living in London, UK, and I work on
open-source software in my free time.
How did you start the project?
I began it on Christmas Eve this year (when I had nothing better to do ;)), and released the first version a few days later. Version 0.1 was released on New Year's Eve.
What is this engine? What makes it so different?
This engine acts as a connectivity layer between GTK and Qt. It is
essentially a normal GTK theme - it's loaded by applications to draw widgets
(buttons, scroll bars, etc.) to the screen. However, whereas most theme
engines do the drawing themselves, this one calls functions from Qt.
What this means is that the Qt style does the drawing for the GTK application.
So no matter what Qt style you use, its look will be applied to GTK apps too.
Does it work through KControl or does it have a GUI of its own?
There is no need for any configuration module - the engine automatically picks
up your current Qt style, and calls on it to do its drawing.
The only thing that must be done is to set the "Qt" theme as your default in
GTK. As far as I know, the only way to do this short of editing your config
files is with a utility called "switch2". I eventually hope to write a
KControl module to help configure GTK themes.
Who is working on it?
Currently, it's only me - although several people, including Ashley Collins
and Ludovic Dupont (from the KDE/Debian project), have kindly offered to help :
Is there a website? Is there a CVS repository somewhere?
There is no website or CVS repository at the moment, but I'll probably set up
a SourceForge project when I need to. For now, KDE-Look
Where do you see GTK-Qt Theme Engine going and what are your plans?
My short term goals for the project are bug-fixes (especially for crashes in
applications such as gaim), and speed-improvements. Currently the drawing is
quite slow, as several conversions have to be applied to the pixmaps to make
them usable by GTK. A caching system is in place, but this is very
memory-intensive. The perfect solution would be a new class derived from
QPaintDevice to translate the drawing commands directly from Qt to GDK.
I hope the theme will eventually act as a perfect replica of Qt on GTK, both
in terms of appearance and speed.
I'd also like to see other areas of the Linux desktop unified - simple things
like file selectors and choice of web-browser (I want Evolution to open links
in Konqueror), as well as the more complex technologies, like IO slaves and
KParts. These are brilliant ideas and designs, but are rather limited by the
fact they can only be used in KDE.
What does the project need the most now?
Like any open-source project: time, money, and contributers :)