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Hi, thank you for the feedback.

By Look I mean The ability to create advanced UI which are not influenced by the Desktop native theme (as are all successful end user oriented applications). The ability to create a native app which is at least beautiful as modern WebApps.

e.g. Slack or VS Code (Electron) are beautiful, while fractal or notecase (gtk) are not.




> (as are all successful end user oriented applications).

That is a very debatable assumption. The large majority of apps I use use the desktop's native theme.


I don't think this is very debatable. Consider the fact you might be in the vast minority of users.

I'm a dev/technical user, in the key audience for native look & feel powertools, yet the main apps I use on Mac are still Chrome, Spotify, Slack, VS Code. None of these use the desktop's native theme.

Imagine the case for non-technical users.

Average users expect apps to have a custom look and feel. Ever tried SnapChat?


> Ever tried SnapChat?

... no

> Imagine the case for non-technical users.

Most non-technical users I know - elderly couples, family, etc don't even install apps, they just use what their OS gives them. I don't know any who does not have VLC or LibreOffice however (but that may be a french thing)


I did say "non-technical", which is open to interpretation, but I did not mean 'computer illiterate' (i.e. only uses apps given by OS).

The discussion here is really about average users, and the baseline assumption here is that we are talking about apps that don't come with the OS, that we'd install, since we're devs, creating new stuff.

> I don't know any who does not have VLC or LibreOffice however [...] (but that may be a french thing)

It's a French or power-user thing.


> I did say "non-technical", which is open to interpretation, but I did not mean 'computer illiterate' (i.e. only uses apps given by OS).

I was about to say "you know that the median mobile-device user has one third-party app installed, right?" but then I thought better and Googled it first. This used to be true, but the stat is far out-of-date; nowadays the median mobile-device user has 40-to-80 apps!

I'm kind of shocked how much user behavior has changed, honestly.


+1000 it's exactly what I'm thinking!

And I also thought about Snapchat as a reference for end user application.

Certainly because it's a model of simplicity and is really far from native themes.


macOS is exactly where people expect native theme. People aren't using the apps you mention because they like the look of them. They're using them because they believe the functionality is better than the native-looking alternatives, or because they have no choice (e.g. with Slack).


> or because they have no choice (e.g. with Slack).

Or because they are unaware that there are native apps available, just from third parties. For example: https://volt-app.com/


I heard about that a long time ago, back when it looked kind of dead. Glad to see it's still under development. I'm skeptical though, does it actually support all of Slack's features (or even a majority of them)? The screenshot is rather minimal, showing nothing in the way of unfurls, no formatting beyond a link and an @mention, no userlist, no channel info, no pinned messages, no reactions, etc.


> macOS is exactly where people expect native theme

Who are 'people' here? The strawman here is that 'average users' do not expect native theme.


"people" is "most users of the platform". A consistent native platform experience has been one of the cornerstones of macOS since even before OS X came along.

If you ask most people, they probably won't know to identify this as a desirable trait, but what they do know is that if they launch a non-native app it will likely not look or behave according to their expectations. For example, I'm an expert user and even I'm still tripped up by the fact that Slack has a rather anemic menubar, and Discourse's is even worse.


In the native vs not-native look and feel discussion, I hold the opinion that different platforms have different answers. In MacOS, users expect a native look and feel, or at least something close to it.

Windows, Linux and Android users have no such expectations. In fact, in the case of Android, a non-native look and feel could be considered a positive thing since the native android look and feel is kind of terrible.


I second the 'customization' label (though perhaps themability is a better one?), for me applications that do not use the desktop look and feel are a negative thing and something i try to avoid, so the 'look' is certainly subjective.


> (...) is at least beautiful as modern WebApps.

What? In my dictionary, screenshots of "modern webapps" appear when I search the definition of the word "ugly".


Would you consider the Stripe[0] dashboard or Figma[1] ugly? I'm not agreeing with the parent's statement, but whether or not a WebApp or Native App is ugly is impacted more by designers, not implementation.

[0]: https://stripe.com [1]: https://www.figma.com


Yes, they are the worst kind of site and they represent fairly everything that I dislike about the "modern" web. Superfluous animations, not clear where to click, and with an overall design that is so standard that is not evident whether it is a parody or not [0]. I pretty much prefer clean designs with clearly visible links, like wikipedia, or hackernews, or the recently discussed today sourcehut [1]

[0] http://tiffzhang.com/startup

[1] https://git.sr.ht/~sircmpwn/git.sr.ht/tree


What is good looking in your opinion?


> The ability to create a native app which is at least beautiful as modern WebApps.

I don't consider this desirable or even a reasonable criterion. I want my desktop apps to all use the same toolkit and look consistent. Unless you make a bog-simple app, something like Electron is never going to give you that. With Qt/Gtk/etc. you can certainly make custom widgets if you have special-purpose needs. For someone who comes from a web development background, there's going to be a learning curve for that, of course. But experienced Qt/Gtk developers should not find it meaningfully more difficult.

> e.g. Slack or VS Code (Electron) are beautiful, while fractal or notecase (gtk) are not.

That's incredibly subjective, and I don't agree with it. I think Slack and VS Code are fine looking apps, but I wouldn't rate them meaningfully higher than all the Gtk apps running on my desktop right now. (And regardless, I value consistency over some ill-defined measure of "beauty" when it comes to UI.)


Slack maybe beautiful, but due to electron, you can't resize even simple things - like the bar on the side with channel/names.


That's not an Electron limitation, it's a design choice they've made knowingly. As a "counterexample", VSCode allows resizing the sidebar just fine.


Sorry! Thought it was limitation, stand corrected! Might need to file bug with Slack then :)


I don't consider Slack beautiful– I think it is really unintuitive. The data flows differently than any native app I use...


Ah ok, make sense this way. "Customization" would be less confusing for me.




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