Re: GNOME 2.0 Platform Alpha Deadline - Sep 26, 2001

Bill Gribble <grib linuxdevel com> writes: 
> libgal gets linked into just about any major app you compile using Gnome
> these days, and the non-standardization of libgal as a part of the
> "platform" is the single biggest problem I have seen people have with
> installing and building for Gnome.  It's been part of the de facto
> "platform" since before the release of GNOME 1.4, IIRC, and it just
> doesn't make sense to me that it is not on this list for the next major
> version. 

It's not used by anything that's actually part of the GNOME desktop,
with the exception of some trivial use in recent control-center snaps
that the control center guys have agreed can be removed. I intend to
remove it in fact, as soon as I make it to that level in the
dependency chain with my GNOME 2 package-building.

If people on the net use a GPL library that changes all the time and
contains lots of cruft, then more power to them, but I don't think you
can ask us to support it. The whole point of libgal in a separate lib
was so we _didn't_ have to support it.

Judging by the sorry state of many libs that already _are_ in our
platform, I don't think we have any business adding more.

Anyhow, I think we need to do a better job of communicating just how
totally unsupported things like GAL and eel really are. These are not
for general use; they change soname all the time (or if they don't
they should), they are going to be subject to massive deprecation as
we move the platform forward, they add and remove interfaces, etc.

eel is just some random chunks of Nautilus that have been factored
out, and gal is similarly just some random chunks of the office-suite
type of apps that have been factored out.

This is not _bad_, it makes lots of sense to do this as we hack on the
office suite and so forth, but people need to understand the reality
of the situation. These are "expediency libs" not "supported platform

If this causes problems for people compiling/installing stuff, the
solution is that people should stop using these libs. As expediency
libs they should be used only by the target "insider projects" such as
Nautilus and GNOME Office. Other people who need the features should
consider cut-and-paste or workarounds in the short term, and getting
patches into the supported libs in the long term.

MHO on this situation.


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