After my last post about Blender and how Open Source projects lack communication when it comes to UI Toolkits, I wanted to write another post about OpenOffice.
The UI of OpenOffice is inherently broken, because of (similarly to Blender) the age of the project. OpenOffice also was first a closed source project, developed primary for Windows and having an own Toolkit. And therefore it looked quite out of place when it was first ported to linux – hence one of the main features of OpenOffice2 in comparison to OpenOffice1 was the covering layer over the UI which made it look a bit more native.
But the problem still persists, since it was not fixed but just covered by the layer – you can still see the true ugly face of OpenOffice by removing the “openoffice.org-gtk” in Ubuntu. But even with the cover installed you will see a lot of wrongly drawen things and odd behaviour.
But it seems like the OpenOffice developers are finally aware of that and have also started fixing the problem, by abadonning their custom written toolkit and using and abstract XML description of the UI which maps on Linux directly to GTK calls. This is a quite nice approach similary to where Mozilla ended on Linux(using XUL) and where Blender should head if they really want to fix their UI Problems.