Why don't GUI apps just shut up? - Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

Paolo Amoroso's weblog. Main interests: Lisp, astronomy (Moon), space exploration (Apollo and early manned programs) Calendar of past entries | Related links xml

Why don't GUI apps just shut up?

Saturday, March 5, 2005

Desktop environments and GUI applications, such as KDE and OpenOffice, were supposed to hide the complexities of command line interfaces, and let even aunt Tillie use Linux.

That complexity has been swept under the rug, and now I understand where it was dumped. If you still use shells extensively, you probably noticed an often continuous flood of status and debugging messages cluttering the terminal, coming from all sorts of GUI applications and X Window toolkits. Here is a small sample:

(eog:3284): GdkPixbuf-CRITICAL **: file gdk-pixbuf-io.c: line 769 (gdk_pixbuf_new_from_file): assertion `filename != NULL' failed

Warning: (Xt Warning) XtRemoveGrab asked to remove a widget not on the list

kdecore (KAction): WARNING: KAction::plugAccel(): call to deprecated action.

kdecore (KAccel): WARNING: KKeySequence::init( seq ): key[0] is null. QMetaObject::findSignal:KeyView: Conflict with QListView::doubleClicked(QListViewItem*,const QPoint&,int)


Warning: XtRemoveGrab asked to remove a widget not on the list

ksirc: WARNING: Can't find Font: helvetica

(gnumeric:4362): GnomePrintCupsPlugin-WARNING **: iconv does not support ppd character encoding: ISOLatin1, trying CSISOLatin1 rich string support unimplemented:discarding 1 runs

** (gnumeric:4362): WARNING **: GnomePrint: Requested Geneva but using Sans (Sans Regular 8.000000)

** (gnumeric:4362): WARNING **: GnomePrint: Requested Geneva but using Sans (Sans Regular 8.000000)

kpresenter: ERROR: Missing NAME tag in paragraph LAYOUT - using Standard

kdecore (KAction): WARNING: KAction::updateShortcut(): name = "koffice_undo", cut = Ctrl+Z; No KAccel, probably missing a parent collection.

QFile::open: No file name specified

QLayout "unnamed" added to QGroupBox "unnamed", which already has a layout

Those messages, which can't often be turned off, are almost alway useless to ordinary users -- who can probably do nothing anyway. Why don't GUI applications just shut up? Why don't they keep quiet by default, and only display information when explicitly requested via debugging or verbose settings? Silence is golden.

Copyright © 2005 by Paolo Amoroso

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