Re: GNOME dependent on Mono

On Wed, 2007-11-28 at 20:03 -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:
> I read with
> great concern.
> Since I am not an expert, I cannot tell on my own if that description
> of the situation is accurate.  If part of it is not accurate, I hope
> someone will explain.  However, if it is accurate, GNOME has a serious
> problem.
> I have always supported the development of free platforms for C#, just
> as I've supported the development of free platforms for any language
> that users use.  I also wouldn't argue that people should not use C#
> with a free platform for secondary applications.
> However, making GNOME depend on Mono is running a grave risk, and a
> grave mistake.  If the article accurately describes the situation, I
> think we need to launch a high-priority project to reimplement Yelp in
> some other language.

Others have commented, but here's the detailed explanation
of how things work and where we're heading from somebody
who actually co-maintains Yelp:

Yelp currently has two backends for searching the help files on
your computer: beagle and "basic".  The basic search will simply
ransack your hard disk every time you do a search.  It's nowhere
near as fast as beagle, but it does work.

We want to add support for Tracker as a search backend.  Tracker
is implemented in good old C, and it finally seems to be getting
some uptake.  It just takes some manpower.

We do not want to be in the business of maintaining our own indexer,
and we believe the Gnome platform should be providing that for us.

As for dependencies, Yelp has a configure-time option:
auto (the default) will build Beagle support iff beagle is found
on your system.  Even when compiled with Beagle support, Yelp will
still fall back to basic search if Beagle can't be found at run

I believe we've done a good job of providing useful functionality
without being able to depend on functionality that really should
be a part of our platform.  (And by "we", I mostly mean my fellow
co-maintainer, Don.)

The fact that this results in a hard dependency for some binary
packages is really outside what we do.

And all of this could have been explained just as simply if the
folks at had simply emailed us and asked for
details, instead of posting unsubstantiated drivel.


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