Finally! Some Love for Windows Users
Saturday, 23 May, 2015
Windows users of Go For It! have not seen many updates lately. Apart from my general, omnipresent “lack of time” forcing me to focus on what I consider most important, this was mostly due to the former dependency on the unstable Gtk 3.10 release for Windows.
Thanks to Jonathan Moerman’s support in porting Go For It! to an older Gtk version, less “hacks” need to be applied to the Windows version, thus allowing for an easier synchronization between the Linux and Windows branch.
More Updates in the Future
Apart from translation support which I simply cannot get to work on Windows (at least for now), all future features of the Linux version will hopefully transition into the Windows branch without much extra efforts. The consequence of this will be more regular updates coming to a proprietary operating system near you!
An Update Notifier for Windows
Unfortunately Windows does not provide the convencience of a “proper package manager” capable of handling all updates automatically. Still I don’t want to require you to check my website for a new version every day. This is why I created a simple update notifer that leads you to the download page as soon as an update is available.
It Is Not Ugly Anymore!
But I decided to go even further! Shipping a Gtk application for Windows can be a pain in many ways. One problem being the fact that each application is supposed to come with its own Gtk settings instead of relying on system wide settings. This might be okay if the defaults were not that ugly, including icons that look out of place and choppy font rendering.
This time I put some time and effort into creating flat icons that blend in more nicely with Windows 8. I am neither a designer, nor have I studied any Metro HIGs, so send me a pull request if you have a better proposal!
I even managed to replace the default Gtk application icon. This is a particulary cumbersome task on Microsoft’s operating system as it involves adding a particular binary ressource at link time! For everyone interested in how this can be accomplished, I recommend Kevin Boone’s article about Gtk applications on Windows.
Besides I have experimented to find Gtk settings that result in pleasant and “native looking” font rendering.
All in all I hope that the overall UX is far better for Windows users now and Go For It! does not appear like a halfhearted portation anymore.
The new version can be downloaded here. If the update notifer works as expected, you should receive all future updates just in time.
Information for Developers
The old Windows branch on Github has been completely replaced, because it was easier to base the new version on the Linux branch than on the bunch of hacks and tweaks that the former Windows version was. If you want to get it involved just have a look at the corresponding branch on Github.