Of file dialogs and customizable toolbars

Hi all

This is my first post - so apologies if I'm merely repeating something

I was just reading this:


The author gives examples of the KDE customizable toolbar and advanced
file selector widgets to show why Qt/KDE apps are much more
user-friendly (esp. for power users).

It really annoys me that such trivial features should lead to the
'superior toolkit' stuff. Balsa already has the customizable toolbars
feature and GIMP File selector with Ximian GNOME is pretty close to the
file dialog (The Anjuta file dialog also has some of the features). It
shouldn't be that hard to make a couple of generic widgets, borrowing
code wherever possible to solve these problems.

However, the fact is that currently, there are no such widgets. It is
also true that having such widgets available (with a simple API) makes
adding these features much easier and gives a consistent look and feel
to the applications. For example, balsa, galeon and anjuta2 all
implement toolbar customization in slightly different ways but the end
purpose is the same.

So, my question is: is anyone working on this ? By 'this', I mean a
library which contains advanced versions of some basic GTK/GNOME
widgets, e.g. a file selector with bookmarks and preview features, menu
and tool bars which are customizable without writing extra code, etc. If
not, any particular reason(s) why (bad UI, over-crowded interface,
bloat, etc. ?)

I might have a go at it myself. In that case, I have some questions:

1) Should I use GConf for implementing bookmarks in the file dialog and
for remembering toolbar state/widget visibility, etc. ? Or is there
anything in GLib/GTK+ by which I can avoid the extra dependency ? What
about auto-preview ? Text and pics (using gdk-pixbuf ?) should be fairly
easy but what about other stuff ? Anyone has any ideas about this ?
2) Should I base the customizable toolbar stuff on GnomeUIInfo stuff or
the plain GTK stuff ? Which one is used by most apps ? or should this be
a totally different API ?

My aim is to enable apps to use the these 'advanced' widgets with as few
code changes as possible (and maybe future integration into GNOME).


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