[crossfire] GTK2 on Linux (was gtk-v2 on MS Windows)

Kevin R. Bulgrien kbulgrien at worldnet.att.net
Sat Jul 21 10:04:53 CDT 2007

>   Gtk2 client is IMO the most official of the clients - others may disagree. 
> I'm tempted to spend an evening whipping up a glade configuration file for the 
> gtk2 client that looks like the gtk1 client, just so it stops any complaints 
> there - the question then comes how many different glade configs should there be 
> - it is arguable if those are easier or harder to maintain than different bits 
> of code.

A hearty amen to doing up a Glade configuration for the layout though,
if it helps focus attention on one client code base!  It seems there is a
reasonably big split on the development side.

I see that the GTK2 client is becoming true ("most official") from a
packager's standpoint.  Mandriva is no longer packaging the GTK1 client
to my dismay.  I do not wish to become (or continue to be) one of the
"complainers", but it may take more than a different glade config to stop
the complaints.  I set about installing the GTK2 client on my son's  (KDE)
computer to get one running fast as he was bugging me to play - He just
turned four, and I figured it would be a good time to try party play with
him - and I did, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.


If it is indeed the "most official" client, certain issues should not persist.
To that end, as "priority" is being discussed, as much objection as there
is to the GTK1 client crowd, I think putting the client work higher on the
list is important.  I've only worked with Glade one time to try out GUI
programming - as I never got into graphical UI development - so the
whole thing about trying to fix it myself is pretty intimidating.    The
client is as subject to feature creep vs. quality improvement work as the
server is.

Details for whomever might care to know.

Screen resolution:

His system was using a 13-15" monitor, because that is what I had laying
around. I had fired it up once before, and said forget it because the desktop
was set 800x600 or so both due to screen size, but also because it is good
for learning mouse skills.   The GTK2 client is, for any practical purpose,
unusable at that resolution.

He now has a 17" monitor at 1024 x 768 and I only set that resolution up
for the sake of Crossfire.  Anyway, I decided to give it another go and it 
took forever (in a four year old's mind) to play around with stuff to get it
acceptable, and even that was only really possible, because he is four and
cannot process information that a reader does.

Font size / Text cut off.

I don't know what determines the GTK2 default font size, but it is so big on
his Mandriva system it causes difficulty getting even a little bit of
information on a 1024x768 setup.  It would be appropriate to have text size
changeable somehow.  Googling on changing default GTK2 font size hasn't
revealed any miracle cures yet without getting some tool that does not
appear to be in the distribution.  Maybe it can be configured through KDE
and I just haven't figured it out yet?


Some title headings will not render properly at any setting.  I am sure this
is not related to the screen resolution as mine is a dual-head 1280x1024
and no matter how wide the client is, the Weight\column title is always cut
off.  There is no reason for that as the description column is so big, as I
test, that it is more than 50% white space.

Skills & Experience

At 1024x768, it practically impossible to get a Skills & Experience tab that
is readable because the text overlaps.  Maybe it would work if the right
hand colums were microscopic?  If  I set my client on the 1280x768, dual
head system to use one head for the map and the other for the text windows,
it works ok, but that is pretty unreasonable for a client size requirement, let
alone that the width does not help the troublesome vertical screen
constraints on the right hand side of the client.

Inventory icons.

Non-graphical icons (inventory, and so on) are cut off too at 1024x768 and
I haven't yet figured out if there is a scaling/size setting that might fix it.  It
was better than my configuration when I set it to 100/100, but it will take
more fiddling to see if it is fixable.

Ok, the basic issues represented here represent a set of technical issues,
aside from the comment about the vertical space, that may or may not be
in the vein of the layout issues in the client.  I think GTK2 changed some
default rendering things that affect lower resolution users more than
others, but there are also some issues that are hard to think aren't
due to design.

Enough on that  I guess.  It sounds too much like a complaint for my liking.
Sorry, I guess to to a player, the client is most of what they see, so the
flaws, or limitations to fit the client to one's play style, stick out.

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