Re: Fully winding down my involvement in GTK+


I actually wanted to reply to Kris on that particular point as well.

After all these years, I find mailing list a terrible, terrible way of discussing about project development. It may be okay from a perspective of keeping up with what happens in gtk-land, but I'd contend that using the git log RSS feed or the commit list is probably a better option.

Let's have a look at what was proposed for discussion on the mailing list: tree view, scrolling, CSS, design and integration of new widgets, using Clutter for drawing widget elements. None of these topics raised enough awareness or gathered enough discussions - except the usual derailing coming from architecture astronauts, or the usual background noise. The actual feedback was little, and usually ended up either in bugzilla or on IRC anyway.

We had lots of discussions and feedback during hackfests and conferences, though, especially from people not involved in the day to day development of gtk, but still users or developers of our platform.

This all but points to a simple fact: gtk, and the problems it tries to solve, have now become big enough to warrant high bandwidth discussions, as well as a fast iteration model. A mailing list is simply too fragmented, slow, and with a signal-to-noise ratio clearly skewed towards he latter.

A far too common example: an API is proposed, discussed, implemented, and released; the stable cycle rolls around, and only after 9 months people propose changes to accomodate their application code. I concede that this is a result of our lack of QA, and the fact that app developers have issues keeping up with the API additions in the platform, but this would not be solved by increasing the length of our development cycles (after all, people complained that we took too much time to spin stable releases, and that gtk development appeared to stall). Application developers simply don't want to use bleeding edge versions of gtk, and they discover issues with their usage of the newly added API Only when it's too late to change it - and they are understandably not so keen in changing their code.

One thing that us involved in the development of gtk should resume doing are the biweekly IRC meetings, and send the minutes on the making list; this at least would increase awareness of the changes planned or being developed in the platform. Application developers should, in return, raise agenda points and point at bugs and mail, and possibly attend the meetings if clarifications are required.


On 21 Jul 2012, at 00:32, Michael Torrie <torriem gmail com> wrote:

> On 07/19/2012 06:54 AM, Kristian Rietveld wrote:
>> Also, I struggle to identify with the community these days -- that
>> is, I do not agree how GTK+ is being developed. Discussions appear to
>> mainly happen on IRC, which I can impossibly follow, contrary to on
>> the mailing list; 
> Now that you mention this, I have noticed practically no traffic on any
> of the devel lists in the last few years.  I am probably not alone in
> thinking GTK development had stalled (though GTK 3 is obvious evidence
> to the contrary!).  Does not give a good message to potential GTK users
> who want to check things out.  The non-devel lists do have a fair amount
> of traffic, but it is now somewhat rare to have core GTK developers
> participate like they used to in the old days.
> I agree heartily that the mailing list is a much better place for
> tracking development.  IRC is too instantaneous (time zones preclude
> participation often), and IRC logs are extremely tedious and difficult
> to follow as they lack the structure that e-mail has.
> As a lurker who would like to follow gtk development, if the developers
> would return to the list I think it would be of great benefit to
> potential contributors like me (though maybe the potential is too small
> to even consider).  Certainly as long as GTK development discussions
> primarily take place on IRC I will be unable to follow and even consider
> contributing in any way, even a tiny way.
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> gtk-devel-list gnome org

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