Re: 2.3 Proposed Features

On Wed, Feb 05, 2003 at 11:23:45AM +1100, Malcolm Tredinnick wrote:
> If you're going to argue (as you seem to do later) that there should be
> One True Widget Library, then make it just that -- only a widget
> library. Why does GTK+ need to have a dependency on gconf at all? Surely
> they are orthogonal. Just as gnome-vfs is orthogonal to both of them. I
> must be missing something here.

While the core of these components may be orthogonal they do overlap
- Widgets want config information.
- File browsing needs to know about vfs to be useful
> There has previously been discussions about making the file selector
> pluggable in some way so that it can use whatever backends and
> configurations systems are available.
While its nice in priciple it also greatly increases the complexity
of the damn thing.
    it would be nice to support recently browsed urls
    to help manage ssh keys
and so on.

It is also a dependency nightmare.  As an application writer I need
to be able to rely on the underlying libraries to support certain
features.  If every installation has different things we get a mess.

> Trying to solve every problem in one library just leads to the "but our
> web browser is part of our operating system, your Honour" line of
> reasoning.

Modularity is not impossible, but there are limitations.  There is
a cost to having lots of libraries.  I regularly get complaints that
gnumeric's library stack is too large, and the poor gnucash folk got
pilloried in the press not so long ago for doing the right thing and
reusing existing libraries.
> Another drawback of pushing everything down to one level -- you
> completely lose the possibility to do incremental releases of small
> components.

We lost that long ago.
Once something is in the gnome platform there are requirements for
api/abi stability.  We can't pop out releases as quickly as we used
to.  Before it goes in releases are simpler, but fewer people can
rely on things if there is rapid change (witness gal's popularity)

I would not advocate making gtk into the all singing all dancing
library to do everything.  However, there definitely seems like lots
of room to grow.

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