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Friday, May 16, 2008

Porting Perl/Tk to Gnome

I'm up and running on my new Ubuntu install, and I'm still glad that I made the switch. I've been playing with some of the software projects, Parrot builds and tests perfectly, and my two perl programs--Wikiperl and Expertperl--both run as well. However, I've discovered a nasty little secret: Perl/Tk programs look BAD on Gnome. I mean bad, really really bad. Embarassingly bad.

Perl/Tk looks decent on Win32, although there are always a few little issues that make them not look exactly right. Of course, for the simplicity of programming in Perl/Tk over C or C++ for instance (I never got big into VB, and I wanted something that was more portable then it) the small differences were negligible. I also can't speak for how Tk looks on KDE. But I can say that the look of these programs on Gnome is unacceptable and needs to change.

I've seen a few programs written in Python with Gtk, and I think I want to start porting some programs over to use Gtk instead of Tk. Of course, that's going to be a big effort on my part, and it's a huge hassle to get all the necessary sources and libraries to install (I've been working on it on the side for a little while now). Of course, if it makes my programs look better and more modern all the effort will be worth it. Plus, it's something new to learn, and we all know that I love to learn!

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