Monday, October 5, 2020

5 GUIs

Joe Groff:

With its eclectic mix of AppKit, Catalyst, iOS, SwiftUI, and web apps, macOS should consider rebranding to “Five GUIs”

Helge Heß (tweet):

5 GUIs is a simple file analysis tool that detects which of these 5 GUI frameworks a Mac app uses: AppKit, SwiftUI, macOS Catalyst, UIKit or Web.

Simply drop a Mac application on 5 GUIs main window, and it’ll start detecting the GUI frameworks the application uses.

The source code, and some cheeky screenshots, are here.

4 Comments RSS · Twitter

Safari gives a funny result.

One of the things that, conceptually, kept me on macOS for a while was the fact that there was a single coherent framework for making a good desktop app on the platform. But now Apple have willingly negated that advantage, and macOS joins the other desktop OSes in there being multiple options and uncertainty about what to use and where.

Ironically, I think Linux is in the best position for making desktop apps at the moment, because even though one has to spend effort deciding which of the major app development frameworks to use, each one of them seems to be mature and already supports most everything you need. Contrast this situation with Windows and now the Mac: WP/WinUI and SwiftUI all support some things but not the complete picture, whereas WPF and AppKit are largely complete packages but there's reason to be skeptical about their longevity and future investment.

At least for me, it's a weird turn of events to see Microsoft and Apple keeping their desktop frameworks in uncertainty and churn, while desktop Linux has been quietly humming away the past several decades, making frameworks that keep desktop computing central to their designs.

Well now I’ve seen it all. Acrobat Reader is “A gem!” and “trustworthy”.

4 of these "GUIs" are Apple standards.

What a difference from Steve Jobs' time: "Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!". Not that long ago, they were deprecating Carbon for Cocoa, even though useful tools still relied on Carbon.

Today, it seems to me that the ship is rudderless and lacks focus. Too much money and too large an organisation produces fiefdoms.

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