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

Mark Wedel mwedel at sonic.net
Sun Jul 22 01:47:50 CDT 2007

Kevin R. Bulgrien wrote:

> 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.

  Which is one reason why there may need to be more than one glade set up. 
Having a layout that works at both 800x600 and 1280x1024 seems unlikely, but I 
could be wrong in that (or it may be doable, but then a lot of the layout may 
not long be in glade, but may actually be coded into the game).

> 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?

  So the client should be using the system default font setting.  If you are 
running KDE (and not gnome), I'm not sure how that all works out - it may be 
that there isn't any easy way to change that.

  And system wide can be a bit of a misnomer, because so many applications have 
their own method to change font size - gnome-terminal, firefox, thunderbird, and 
others all have their own font selection mechanism built in.

  However, I can't see any better solution than to use the system wide as a 
default - any compiled in value is likely to be even more broken.

  That said, the gtk2 client now has them support, so it should be pretty easy 
to make up a new theme (say 'LowRes' or something) that is set to use a smaller 
font size.  The default themes are in the gtk-v2/themes directory.

  there is not any in-client way to adjust these values.  I suppose it could be 
nice to basically have a config window that lets you change all the things in 
the theme file and save it out as a custom theme, but that is a fair amount of 
work (there are lots of things that can be set in the theme file).

> 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.

  Yes - that has always been a problem area.  What would be nice is to have 
different icons to represent the different skills - right there, that would save 
quite a bit of space.

  But upon thinking of this further, even that won't work for everything - 
especially if new skills are added.  I'm not wild about adding a scrollbar for 
that area either - it lets you see all the skills, but most often there are a 
few you really care about, and so you'd want to be able to see both of those at 
the same time.

  so my latest thought is for there to be a window (under Player/Skills) which 
shows all the skills in some detail (this could be really useful if different 
versions of skills are added like some discussions are talking about).  In that 
window, have a few other things, like checkboxes for the skills you want 
displayed, so you can choose the 8 or 10 or whatever skills you actually care 
about and show them in the skill area.  It might be even nicer to have some 
method to actually choose the order the skills show up in the main window, but 
that may be overly complicating things.

> 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.

  I'm not quite sure what you mean by non graphical icons.  Are you talking 
about the icons in the inventory and look lists?  Or icons used elsewhere in the 

  In either case, I'm not seeing that problem myself.

  GTK itself is supposed to take care of proper sizing of the inventory/look 
lists (making sure there is enough space for the icons), so if that isn't 
happening, it would sound more like a bug in gtk2 than the client.

> 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.

  Yes - there are differences in the layout elements.  The GTK2 client presumes 
the map area will be wide enough to stat bars and stat information side by side. 
  If you have low vertical resolution, the stacking of the information, 
inventory, and look on top of each other probably gets too tight.

  OTOH, the layout of the gtk2 client uses spaces more efficiently if you have 
high enough resolution - the fact that the gtk1 client puts the stat information 
above the skill information about the map information which is above the stat 
bars/protection area means that for a given map size, you need more vertical 
real-estate to use the client.  And if you have that vertical size, then some 
things like the information pane start to seem excessive big.

  That one reason I designed the gtk2 client with that minimum resolution - if 
you had it, things work out pretty good - if you don't, not so well.  But when I 
first did it, at the time it was a bit more to co-exist with the other clients 
(just like the gtk1 client co-exists with the x11 client).  But at this point, 
supporting 3 different clients with fairly limited code overlap is somewhat 

  Also, what was probably a mistake is that I kept some of the came bindings in 
the gtk2 client as previous clients.  A fresh thinking about what different 
mouse buttons do is probably in order.  In particular, having left button 
examing, middle button apply and right button drop with various shift and 
control modifiers to do special things is hardly intuitive.

  Left button being examine may make sense - it should probably be whatever 
action players would need to do most.  I'm thinking that right button should 
bring up a context menu of different options (mark, lock/unlock, drop, examine, 
apply, whatever else) - I'm not sure what the default for the middle button 
should be - it seems like being able to drop in a single click is probably 
desirable (just like pickup is).  So maybe left to pickup/drop makes sense, keep 
middle be apply/unapply, and make right context help would be most consistent. 
And maybe holding a mouse over an item would cause it to basically do an examine.

  This is a bit more consistent with other problems.

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