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Wayland Gtk, KDE

asked 2015-07-30 14:52:34 +0200

gfwp gravatar image

updated 2015-07-30 14:55:35 +0200


still teased, waiting for the tablet, I'd like to add to the wishlist the ability, especially for the tablet, to run gtk and kde native programs, boosting tremendously the software availability. For me a full functional tablet should provide programs like texmacs (and other TeX), Libreoffice, Gnumeric, R statistics, and many others.

It seems that Fedora is on the way completing the needed work to port Wayland (see link) and it is also known that under Debian Wayland is already well functional.

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Being able to run Gtk3 based applications, with the default theme Adwaita, would be great. Jolla is GNU/Linux (contrary to Android, which is Android/Linux) , it could be used as full computer.

What I would like, is just the necessary libraries as foundation (Glib, Gtk and Gtkmm). Most other stuff is anyway installed and we don't need the full desktop and not application support (no Silica based theme, no Silica integration, no app store support).

hoschi ( 2015-07-30 21:52:13 +0200 )edit

well, reading some more, it looks like the only needed piece of software is xwayland; maybe not that impossible to compile for an intel arch Jolla

gfwp ( 2015-07-30 22:10:57 +0200 )edit

4 Answers

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answered 2015-07-30 19:10:35 +0200

Venemo gravatar image

updated 2015-07-30 19:12:15 +0200

GTK 3 has supported Wayland for a while. The problem however is not Wayland support but usability. These are also the main reasons why Nokia abandoned GTK after trying to use it in Maemo <= 5.

What would it involve to get a GTK app running?

Platform look & feel

  • Even if you manage to squeeze a GTK app into Sailfish, you would still suffer from needing to alter the app in several ways so that the app could conform to the Sailfish UI guidelines.

Touch support and layout

  • Most GTK apps are designed for desktop screens. For example: font size, icons and buttons are not touch friendly.
  • Even if you manage to get a GTK app up and running on Sailfish, the result would probably not be user friendly unless you make heavy tweaks to the app's UI.


  • You need a GTK theme that would make GTK apps look like native Sailfish Silica apps. This includes customizing the look and feel of every possible GTK control to match the Sailfish counterparts. For example: desktop menu and header bar vs. pulley menu, modal dialogs vs. the page stack, etc.
  • The upstream developers of GTK treat theming as a moving target (even between the same major release), so you would have to endure the constant pain of porting your theme to newer versions of GTK.

UI feature parity

  • Not every Sailfish Silica component has a counterpart in GTK and vice versa. This means that you would have to alter applications so that they would only use controls that are available in Silica. For example, Silica has a page stack, but doesn't have modal dialogs. It has pulley menus but no header bar or status bar, etc.
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I don't think integartion into Silicia is required as for now. Just the necessary dependencies to be able to run Gtk3.

hoschi ( 2015-07-30 21:54:09 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-07-30 19:30:07 +0200

gfwp gravatar image


I agree that about themes, touch and whatever: There are going to be problems.

But I also do not believe that there will never be a full port of such complex ecosystems like full Libreoffice, full R support, full TEX, and so on. All of these are very important working tools for many peoples.

I just remember how fine was the time I've spent working with my PepperPad3 (, which basically was similar to the upcoming Jolla tablet. Fedora Core x (x is a small single digit), with own GUI and own basic programs like browser, audio player, etc... But with a full X support and using full Fedora repos. The PP3 should be considered as the grandfather of the Jolla. Grandfathers brings always at least some wisdom.

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Ah finally another PP3 owner!!! Sadly my one died falling from my hands. It was really the best I've seen in the last 10y. With full Gnu/linux support runned all the stuff I mentioned in my starting post.


gfwp ( 2016-07-19 11:05:16 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-07-31 08:39:13 +0200

updated 2015-07-31 08:39:30 +0200

Wasnt the n900 chess written in gtk? I still need to beat that machine on expert mode :D

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answered 2015-07-30 16:39:53 +0200

ApB gravatar image

updated 2015-07-30 16:40:38 +0200

If you need software availability better start writing native apps for SFOS with the functionality you need.

We don't need these crap on SFOS nor we need command line apps and tools.

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Maybe change we to I in your answer, i guess many disagrees writing on behalf of us all here

simo ( 2015-07-30 17:23:46 +0200 )edit

I am pretty sure you understand that a patch job of an app with different ui/ux from the native one doesn't cut it in mobile.

At least if you want an ecosystem of apps that is coherent. Android (dalvik) is enough at the moment(and should disappear at some point IMO). My view is that if you want something -and care- do it right and not in a half assed way.

ApB ( 2015-07-30 17:45:54 +0200 )edit

@ApB I'm not talking about understanding your answer, I'm talking about the layout of your answer. And btw I didn't vote it down, I posted a comment for you to correct it instead, for you to avoid any further downvotes just because of a wrong word.

simo ( 2015-07-30 17:52:09 +0200 )edit

I don't care about the downvotes. Anyone who agrees or disagrees is free to up or down it. :)

You can also read it as We = those who agree. :P

ApB ( 2015-07-30 18:03:38 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-07-30 14:52:34 +0200

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Last updated: Jul 31 '15