[Banshee-List] important change to dependency policy

Hello music lovers!

We have long been proud to support older distributions with our
releases — so users could enjoy new Banshee without upgrading their OS
every 6 months.  This adds significant maintenance and testing
overhead though: maintaining both HAL and GIO hardware backends,
ipod-sharp and libgpod Apple device backends, working around bugs in
old GStreamer, etc.

In the 2.1 cycle[0], we will be porting Banshee to Gtk# 3 [1][2][3].
We have a lot of custom widgets, so this is an intensive transition.
Because of the amount of code changes needed to port, we have decided
that once the port is complete, we will drop support for Gtk# 2.

To continue our tradition of supporting users on older OS's, we will
provide an official Linux bundle[4], like we do for Windows and OS X.
Distributions with recent enough dependencies will continue to ship
Banshee packages like they do now.

This change in policy will allow us to get rid of much legacy support
code, make testing Banshee much simpler with fewer variants, and let
us adopt new technology faster.  I've started a roadmap wiki page to
brainstorm possibilities this opens up:

Feedback is welcome.  Thanks!


[0] http://banshee.fm/about/calendar/
[1] Gtk#3 is https://github.com/mono/gtk-sharp master — hopefully will
see a release soon
[2] Hyena port in progress: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=647363
[3] Banshee port in progress: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=648121
[4] http://bl-log.blogspot.com/2011/04/new-banshee-bundle-of-joy.html

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