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/g/ - Technology

Programming and Electronics
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What makes the graphical interface of proprietary software superior to that of Free Software solutions? I know that people like to complain about GIMP and others, but I got pretty used to it at this point and never used proprietary alternatives. Are they really that much better? What's the difference?


The X Window system had a lot of problems but most are solved now really, beyond being sort of complex and "insecure" (doesn't really matter, since Unix-likes are about as insecure anyway). Wayland is supposed to break things down into some D-Bus/XDG/logind nightmare or something, not entirely clear to me, maybe someone knows better here.
Ignoring all other options and going directly for GTK and Qt (Qt isn't nearly as bad as GTK though). GTK and Qt go through major version changes and impose change on programs which creates instability and extra developer work. GNOME has been changing its design paradigm and everyone else has to pick up their turds and deal with it.
GIMP is not even bad other than the fact that it uses GTK. Single window mode, dark mode, GEGL options, Mypaint brushes, its all been default for quite some time now, but Adobe users just won't switch away from an 8 year old program (the pre-cloud version of Photoshop). Never used Photoshop, the most complex proprietary graphics editor I have used is Paint.NET, but GIMP is more capable than that one. Krita is a little easier for painting and drawing but it has a worse text tool last I checked. I remember people whining about CMYK for years, but its in Krita and GIMP now as far as I know (there was a GIMP plugin for CMYK for years). I think they just don't want to learn a new tool, there will always be excuses, but they don't really mean much since these people don't plan to switch ever.


I like Eaglemode, graphical Emacs (the X kind without GTK), and some of the X window managers as well as mpv. Links (browser) has a graphical mode but it looks much like the curses interface. Worker is an interesting file manager and a good example of a classic X11 program that never died out, but its a bit too orthodox, so I don't use it.
Once you get away from the big GUI silos trying to replicate some other system semi-successfully, you can see the advantages and disadvantages of the Unix-like approach. Unix-likes don't really care much about graphics so there is a lot of complexity in the whole pile of display technologies. Ideally they're just trying to display a TTY, not a graphical environment with GL acceleration and programs capable of displaying OpenGL or Vulkan stuff with specialized hardware and drivers. It took many years for Mesa/drm (not digital rights management) in the kernel/X to work this well for a lot of people, and there are still problems. Desktop software wise, people had to write a lot of standards, XDG/ICCCM/EMWH and so on, and they're not really seamless or without problems, so its kind of terrible for an Apple, Windows, or BeOS clone. But on Unix-likes, you can have it your way usually, you can have your own window manager of choice that works well for you and can be modified to fit your needs, rice Emacs or Vim or whatever, tile those windows, etc.
Oh and NVIDIA doesn't care much about Linux or other open source platforms so CUDA isn't really as relevant (requires proprietary drivers), and OpenCL usage is limited, so there are less programs using or related to that sort of thing.


Good taste.

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