Re: gtk 2.8 for gnome 2.12

On 7/21/05, Miguel de Icaza <miguel ximian com> wrote:
> Hello,
> > > The QA team does not consider a GTK+ 2.8-based GNOME more fragile than a
> > > 2.6-based one. The QA team believes the issues involved in upgrading
> > > this component of the GNOME desktop are no greater than upgrading any
> > > other fundamental library.
> >
> > Let me rephrase a little: the QA team[1] has been testing gtk 2.7, and
> > while we realize that gtk is deeper in the stack and as a result can
> > cause some deeply hidden and hard-to-debug bugs, at this point we feel
> > that gtk 2.7 is essentially as stable as 2.6 for the end-user, and
> > more importantly, bugs in 2.7 are being fixed quickly and reliably by
> > the gtk team; bugs in 2.6 are not.
> For how long has the QA team been running a Gtk 2.7.3 based desktop?
> And what kinds of tests have been done?  I mean to get an idea of the
> testing happening in this area that lead to this very strong
> endorsement.
> We know that the testing at most has been running for six days.

I've been running an entire desktop built from HEAD daily for several
weeks, as have other people. Ubuntu and Fedora have been releasing
packages of 2.7.0, 2.7.1, and 2.7.2, so we have at least a month of
testing by a fairly wide variety of users.

> > [1] worth noting that if Novell is concerned about the stability of
> > HEAD, or the violation of promises about quality, Novell is more than
> > welcome to participate in the QA team.
> As you well know, I am not in the desktop team at Novell, but I will let
> those on that group know of your offer.

I'd love it if those who actually participate regularly in desktop
development got more involved in GNOME. Hi, guys, miss ya :)

> This is a breach of the time-line and a breach of deadlines that we have
> imposed upon ourselves to follow.

As has been pointed out repeatedly in this thread, gtk is a special
and hard case for these rules, and this discussion has been ongoing.
To those who have been involved, the issue has been known since the
inclusion of gtk 2.4 in GNOME 2.6, when we had a similar discussion.
Both the gtk and release teams have learned lessons since then, which
appear to have produced a more stable product.
> > Seconded. If you believe gtk 2.7 is unstable, we need to know details
> > and know now; we appreciate the efforts taken by the many who have
> > actually used and tested it. Vague rumblings about potential
> > instability don't count- I already played that card, have taken the
> > plunge of using it, and have found it acceptable.
> No matter how well intentioned our developers are with a change in scope
> and size of this dimension Gtk 2.7 which has only been out for a month
> is bound to have problems.
> You of all people should know this.  

If you'd read the earlier thread, I asserted this exact position
because of my prior experience. Using almost exactly the same words,
even. However, I've been using it regularly, and looking out hawkishly
for bugs coming into bugzilla from the existing testing base. They
have been few and far between, and they've all been fixed rapidly.
Will there likely be some more problems, perhaps some serious ones?
Yes. Is 'proper testing' going to fall from the sky? No. Given that,
will the bugs be found if the libraries aren't released and used? No,
not likely.

> No company would bet its future on something like this with proper
> testing 

Any company which is truly interested in stable .0 releases should
invest in what they deem the level of proper testing. The record
indicates that all of the companies who claim to bet their future on
GNOME (except Ubuntu, and to a lesser extent Fedora) don't test GNOME-
they test old versions, and patch old versions, and then they complain
and wonder why new versions are not stable enough. I'd suggest that
companies who wish to bet their futures on a 'properly tested' desktop
should invest in that proper testing, instead of expecting it to
magically fall from the sky, or expecting testing old versions to
magically improve HEAD.

As an aside, I would assert that the coverage we get with this minimal
corporate help, through bug-buddy and our bugsquad, is as good or
better than any other in the free GUI app world. But you're right, it
should be better.

> (which seems to have been decided by a few folks on irc).

As has been pointed out repeatedly in this thread, this discussion
started nearly six weeks ago on desktop-devel-list, our primary list
for development, and a consensus was reached there, which the release
team's decision reflected. Your objections could have been raised at
any time during that 6 weeks (or, as I've pointed out, at any time
during the discussion about gtk 2.4 in GNOME 2.6, or at any time
during the 17 months intervening since that discussion.) Please don't
imply that some shadowy, incompetent cabal made this decision on a


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