When I was asked in the past what linux desktop lacks I kept on telling that we need a way to have a more common look and feel among several desktop environments. Opening a gtk/gnome-app shouldn't look weird in kde, same thing with opening a qt/kde-app in gnome. Dialogs for files, printing etc. should look common. You can discuss hours if the button-order should be »Ok«/»Cancel« or »Cancel«/»Ok«, but it's definitely the worst if this changes from app to app.
Today I found this little tool called KGtk, which (partly) does what I want. It's a wrapper around gtk-apps to call the kde file open dialog. It also contains the same thing for qt apps (that don't use kdelibs).
Using it is quite trivial, just start kgtk-wrapper.sh [somegtkapp]
or kqt-wrapper.sh [someqtapp]
I really like it, because there are some gtk-apps I don't want to miss (especially gimp), but I think the new gtk fileselector is really a sin of usability.
While this is (cited from webpage) »a quick-and-dirty LD_PRELOAD hack«, it imho shows exactly how it should work. The freedesktop.org standardisation is a very good thing, but it has to go much further. We need something like »app tells DE to open a file-open dialog« instead of »app opens it's file dialog«. We need the same thing for printing, iconsets, button-order and probably much more.
Do you reallyt think that cross-environment-assimilation is that important? I think it should be enough if each environment provides apps for all required cases, i.e. as a KDE user you can stick to KDE apps and as a Gnome User you can stick to Gnome apps. This would also add diversity and thus choice....
Thanks for this entry. I searched for long for such a solution. It works almost flawlessly for most apps. (Inkscape export dialog is not replaced, and a few other things)
I can only recommend this to every KDE user ;)
I just built an Archlinux package for it.
Johannes Schriewer (Dunkelstern)
Wow, the Application I was looking for about 1 year!
There are many realy good gtk2 based Programs. You can
live width ugly widget design maybe,
but that braindamaged file open box was hurting
me every day.
I am realy cryin from happiness now, thanks a lot for your blogentry!!! It was since 05 May in the portage and I doesn't know about it;-) This is indeed the best hack I ever saw :-)
Yes, I think it is very important. Linux is about choice, but one of the major things that is wanted is to provide choice away from either MacOS X or Windows. Both of these have standard APIs for file dialogs so applications all look the same and feel the same (for the most part anyway). For this not to be an important part of linux DE's would be a sin on the part of the developers looking to make linux a bleeding edge desktop system.