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Dividing the Linux desktop
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Little things that matter in language design
GNOME Shell to support a "classic" mode
Posted Nov 22, 2012 23:00 UTC (Thu) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855)
No, there are deprecated GNOME libraries that are no longer shipped and hard to build (at least via distro means), breaking apps.
seriously, if a distro ships an application without satisfying its dependencies, why are you complaining to GNOME and not to the distribution that is breaking its own packages? do you, perchance, think that GNOME is responsible for removing packages from distributions as well?
Posted Nov 23, 2012 7:18 UTC (Fri) by HelloWorld (guest, #56129)
seriously, if a distro ships an application without satisfying its dependencies,
Posted Nov 23, 2012 9:44 UTC (Fri) by ebassi (subscriber, #54855)
GNOME didn't do anything, except say that nobody is working on those libraries any more, except for eventual security issues; patches coming from distributions have been folded back, whenever applicable, and releases have been made.
if you want to maintain old libraries, you're absolutely encouraged to do so: just ask for a Git account, or push clone on github/gitorious if you want to, and ask distributions to switch over to your tarballs.
if that's not to your satisfaction then I'm sorry: you have a profound issue with the whole "free software" thing.
Posted Nov 23, 2012 10:03 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
So thanks for that.
Note that I was *not* assigning blame anywhere, and I was not ranting. I was merely stating a fact: a good application disappeared from a common distro because of churn in libraries, and that the old libraries are difficult to build on that distro, at least using the packaging facilities of that distro. If stating quite objective facts on LWN about free software is akin to questioning and having profound issues with the whole basis for free software, then perhaps we're all on a quite shaky foundation.
As I've written here before, my view is the problem is a business one. In particular, the fact that it's impossible to pay the major employer of Linux desktop developers for support on the software I'd like to run on my desktop (i.e. software that isn't 5+ years old on average, but not sub-6-month old either). Further, even if they would take my money for that, that still leaves a good number of developers I depend on not owing me anything. I'd have to get support contracts with each of them.
Re fixing your problems yourself, it's not always possible to learn a codebase and figure out how to fix it within the space of the hours to a day you can afford to spend on fixing some random software problem. But I'll give the GNOME lib building another try and see what needs fixing.
Posted Nov 23, 2012 7:34 UTC (Fri) by paulj (subscriber, #341)
I'm not blaming GNOME for distros not shipping libraries. GNOME deprecated those libraries, and then building those old libraries on modern distros became troublesome (likely for a variety of reasons). Because of that, those distros decided to stop shipping those libraries (or just couldn't), which, obviously, lead to that app no longer being shipped. Again, it's more than a case of an app no longer being shipped - which a user could easily fix themselves.
I don't know who's to blame, but my point was that - regardless of the work you say the library maintainers put in to maintain API and ABI compatibility - a very useful application disappeared from at least one distro because of library churn in GNOME/GTK+.
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