Fun with Icons on Linux
palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Dec 19 02:07:48 EST 2006
This may not mean a whole lot if you are not using RR for Linux, because you
probably have all the artwork and fonts in the world to choose from and are
wondering what on earth the problem could be!
There are two problems, and they are identical whether you use the MC or the
The first is the icons supplied are miniscule and don't apparently scale. So
you can make your buttons bigger, but they still have tiny artwork in them.
You also cannot seem to get rid of minimum 10 point font text under the
artwork, which displaces the icons upwards. You can only replace it with a
space, which increases the ratio of white space to artwork on your buttons.
This means that if you want one of the old scaleable forward/backward arrows
that used to come with Hypercard, you have to either dig out the old
diskettes - or make your own from scratch. Hence Richmond's generous
The second problem is that there are two and only two fonts that will permit
the use of larger than 24 point sizes. These are bitstream charter and
courier 10 point. However, they, like the others, do not render properly,
so they look pretty terrible.
The font issue seems to occur because RR uses a now obsolete method for
getting fonts, and so does not have access to the system wide fonts used by
the other applications - and presumably this is the rendering issue as well.
The good news is, the font issue is to be fixed in the next release.
One can see this is a difficult decision for RR. I don't know how many copies
of the Linux version have been sold, but would guess fairly few. The market
envirnonment is different. Unlike for other platforms, there are lots of
excellent free open source development competitors. For instance, in the
Python based lot, there is PythonCard, PyQT, TKinter, WXPython, the whole K
development environment. Free database front ends/rapid developement
applications are springing up like weeds. FlameRobin, Glom, Dabo, Kexi,
Knoda, Rekall - and that's only a few. OO Base is probably going to improve
and will ship with every Linux distro. So its not clear, even if the Linux
version is cleaned up and totally slick, how many copies will realistically
sell at a few hundred a copy.
There is also nothing like the old Hypercard user base to sell into, as you
have in long term Mac users.
In addition, the database functionality offered by Valentina doesn't come in a
Linux version. All the usual suspects in databases are automatic installs on
Linux - you will have Mysql, Sqlite and so on at the touch of a button, along
with ODBC drivers, so probably there is not much of a premium to be had in
the Linux world from altsqlite. The database packages above come with
connectors to all the database servers you could ever want. Knoda is
And finally, the Linux development people don't seem, my casual impression, to
be very oriented towards RR type stuff. They are much more hard core.
Whenever you read the FAQ on the rapid development packages, they always seem
to start out by noting key contrasts with C. So its not clear if there is an
appropriate RR Linux developer market.
It is difficult. That said however, if one is going to sell it and ship it at
all, the fonts do have to work....
The good new is, they are going to.
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