Re: GTK and OSX: a call to sanity

On Sep 6, 2011, at 3:07 PM, Emmanuele Bassi wrote:

> On 2011-09-06 at 13:32, John Ralls wrote:
>>> if there are patches for gtk-quartz, why are these inside at least three
>>> branches instead of being committed to corresponding main line one? why
>>> are these branch continuously being merged instead of being rebased, if
>>> they are personal branches?
>>> why are the tools to make bundles and modulesets hosted on github
>>> instead of being on
>>> why is gtk-osx a separate project, with mailing lists hosted on
>>> sourceforge, instead of being on every time that a project
>>> maintainer decides to use sourceforge, the Universe kills a puppy.
>>> can we please, *please*, for the love of all that's nice and pure in this
>>> Universe, stop killing puppies?
>> The tools and modulesets are on GitHub because that's where Richard
>> Hult put them when he started 5 or 6 years ago and I haven't had time
>> to change that since getting commit privs on last year.
>> What bothers you about it?
> that something that should be in a central location is not. in order to
> build gtk on OSX I have to hunt down various bits and blobs, and the
> barrier to contribution from me, a gtk developer, is higher.
>> Gtk-OSX is a separate project hosted on Sourceforge because Richard
>> was using the facilities of his company, Imendio, which he had just
>> dissolved. Those resources weren't available to me. The barriers to
>> setting up a full project on Gnome including mailing lists, a
>> bugtracker, web fora, source repositories, web pages, and ftp
>> downloads seem daunting and time consuming -- while I (or anyone else)
>> can have it set up on Sourceforge in a few hours with a single
>> request. Sourceforge is working well hosting all of that stuff and no
>> puppies are being killed -- nor is anything else bad happening.
> sourceforge is working so well that it bounces and rejects my emails to
> the mailing lists for days. their bug tracking system is the scourge of
> the earth, and the mailing list archives are a joke.
> but those are moot points: the gtk resources *are* on why you
> need a separate mailing list and forum and bug tracker is beyond me:
>  • once you have a Git account you can create repositories on
> in 30 seconds;
>  • the gtk bug tracking system in; the Quartz
>  backend specific bugs have a component under the gtk+ product;
>  • the separate tools for OS X integration can get a separate product
>  just by opening a bug on;
>  • the gtk website is hosted in; the OS X integration
>  should be part of that website;
>  • downloads are available from;
>  • gtk has three mailing lists already: gtk-list, gtk-app-devel-list
>  and gtk-devel-list; application and toolkit development on OS X is
>  on topic on those three lists.
> there is no time consumption — just the willingness to cooperate in an
> open source project according to the rules of said open source project.
>> I'm sorry that you're irritated by the noise of the daily merges
>> between master and quartz-integration,
> I'm moderately irritated by the fact that the branch's history is
> immensely fucked up — but that's just because I'm OCD on the history in
> a revision control system.
> that is, however, *not* my issue.
> the issue is that those branches should *not* exist, unless they are
> personal development branches. if you plan on letting other users target
> them then you should get those commits merged into the main line and
> keep the patches in bugzilla, where the review for gtk fixes and
> enhancements happens.
> otherwise you're just forking gtk, and using the resources of the gtk
> project to give an aura of officiality to what is essentially your own
> personal project.

I'm not going to respond to most of that. Suffice it to say that building gtk-osx is largely automated, and there are well-tested instructions at

I didn't get commit privs at until just under a year ago, 18 months after I took over from Richard. I still don't have privs on any of the other facilities except Bugzilla, and there only because I'm a Gnucash Dev. (That turns out to be sufficient for almost everything.) Gtk-OSX needs its own mailing list because it provides jhbuild modules for over 100 separate projects, not all of which are even Gnome. It's not feasible for me to monitor all of them for support, nor is it reasonable for users of my build scripts to have to figure out which one to use for any particular problem.

It's not a fork of Gtk+ (yet, though on days like this one I get really tempted). I actually revived the gtk-osx project on SF; the previous version was an actual fork of Gtk1.

As I explained earlier, the changes *are* patches, they *are* attached to bugs in Bugzilla, and Kris Reitveld *has* promised to review them. When he has had time to do so and they have been polished to his high standards, they will be committed into mainline. In the meantime they're quite useful for a number of projects who want a better Mac experience for their users than the Gtk core devs seem motivated to provide.

John Ralls

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