Re: Gtk-OSX

On Aug 31, 2010, at 6:56 AM, Martyn Russell wrote:

> On 27/08/10 17:48, Matthias Clasen wrote:
>> As long as the people working on GTK-OSX do it with a us-vs-them
>> attitude (like you display here by talking about the GTK developers
>> in third person), things are not going to change. If you start
>> considering yourself part of the team and actively engage, things
>> can and will change.
> After reading the thread, I have a few thoughts on the matter.
> 1. I agree with Matthias, I did get the feeling there is an us vs them in the thread.
> 2. Equally I agree, when something new comes along, Win32/OSX are often an after thought (that's just my perception). I have spent time building packages for proprietary apps to run on Windows in the past and I know how this can be disconcerting. BUT, GTK+ is targeted mostly with X11 in mind we should not forget that. X11 has the larger use base.
> I think that people that maintain backends really need to get involved more in meetings, planning, designing, etc if they want to change either of the above issues.
> About having ONE sanctioned package (for Windows or MAC) I think Yes, we should be doing that, as an app developer before I was more involved in the community, there was no "right this is the distributed package we should be using", I had to download it myself and build it myself. Why not channel the work used to make the Pidgin/GIMP downloads with GTK+ into a useful package hosted on Ultimately, having GTK+ packaged *with* each app also has its benefits, like stability on Windows when others GTK+ versions exist/get upgraded for GIMP/Pidgin/etc. Additionally, one of the MAJOR features we boasted when selling our apps was that we could guarantee it worked on ALL versions of Windows (though that later changed) without needing to download .NET for that version of Windows or because something got deprecated.
> About having Mac on the site, I think this does make sense. As a *user* of GTK+ porting my app to these operating systems, I don't have confidence in GTK+ when a port of it is hosted off site. I haven't checked, but I am pretty sure QT doesn't do this.
> Generally, we should be presenting a more united front for application developers looking to invest time in GTK+.
> Perhaps this is where we should be focusing some of the GNOME foundation's money if resources are short?

Qt is a bit of a strawman: Its sole reason for existing is to provide a cross-platform toolkit. It's also a commercial product, maintained by a huge corporation; it would indeed be strange if some of its functionality were developed "outside". WxWidgets might be a better comparison, except that it, too, is solely a cross-platform toolkit. AFAIK, Qt doesn't ship a feature until it's working on all supported OSes. OTOH, they also don't let outsiders see their VCS repos. Wx strives for the same ploicy, but being a volunteer project doesn't always make the goal. They've been struggling for a couple of years with switching their primary Mac port from Carbon to Cocoa. 

None of which has much of anything to do with Gtk+: As is abundantly clear from this thread, Gtk+ is primarily a backend for the Gnome desktop on Linux, which happens to support most of its basic features on Win32 and Quartz. The reason that this thread (and similar ones in the past) get going is largely because of false advertising: Gtk+ claims to be a cross-platform toolkit. The warnings on the Gtk-OSX website that have sparked this long and vituperative thread merely point out to developers that if they want to write an application that they can distribute to the majority platforms (sorry, that most certainly does *not* include X11) should look elsewhere. 

I don't know why Gtk-OSX isn't on ( is just a PR website; all of the development resources are provided by The project was originated by Richard Hult, who had AFAICT full privs on Gnome for project creation both in VCS and on Bugzilla, but he chose to use Github for VCS and to provide PR, documentation, and support on his former company's (Imendio.AB) website, and downloads at a private domain ( 

It's now on Sourceforge because when Richard decided with his partner wind up Imendio and to withdraw from Gtk+, he asked on his forum for someone to take over maintaining the build system. I bit, and after some probing discovered that he'd not been successful in getting anyone to take over *any* of the components; he had some hope that one or more of his former Imendio employees who were still involved with Gtk+ would take over maintaining the Gtk+ parts. I quickly discovered that it would take some time and a lot of work to get a project started at It took a week at Sourceforge, and only that long because I did a hostile takeover of a moribund project that was a fork of Gtk 1 whose name I wanted.

Pidgin doesn't support quartz; the OSX download link on their website is for Fink. GIMP doesn't have their own OSX port; rather, they recommend either MacPorts or It's probably buildable with quartz on MacPorts -- which also provides Gtk-OSX's ige-mac-integration package. Gimponosx simply wraps up a Macports build into a Mac-friendly dmg. (There's also a GIMP module in Gtk-OSX which works fine, though it won't build 64-bit because they incorporate a copy of the old Carbon ige-mac-menu code in their source tree. I should fix that and send them a patch.) What work from either is supposed to form the basis of a "sanctioned" Gtk+ distribution on OSX?

John Ralls

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