Re: GTK_MODULES removal and the future of existing modules

On 26 February 2018 at 13:17, Philipp Emanuel Weidmann
<pew worldwidemann com> wrote:
Thank you for the quick response!

I'm not sure anything short of direct access to the widget tree would
suffice for a GTK4 version of Plotinus to provide the functionality it
does today on GTK3.

Which is kind of why we don't want people to write this kind of
modules any more. ;-)

Accessing the hierarchy from outside of the application is a great way
to lead to crashes. See also why we removed theme engines.

From our perspective, the only way to know about menus and actions
should be through the GAction API, and the mechanisms that we already
have in place to export the menus on the session bus.

Of course, I don't expect LibreOffice to move to GTK4 in the short or
even medium term. The major cross-platform applications like Firefox,
LibreOffice, GIMP, and Inkscape have been very reluctant in their
adoption of even GTK3, and likely don't fancy another bumpy upgrade
anytime soon. Still, eventually they might switch, and it makes sense
to anticipate that.

If LibreOffice and Firefox will ever move to GTK4, we're going to
strongly suggest they expose their menus on the session bus, either
through the GMenu API directly, or by implementing the same DBus API
exposed by GTK.


On Sun, 2018-02-25 at 09:54 +0000, Emmanuele Bassi wrote:

On Sun, 25 Feb 2018 at 09:18, Philipp Emanuel Weidmann <pew@worldwide> wrote:

I am the author of Plotinus[1], a GTK+ module that provides a
searchable command palette to GTK+ applications. Recently, it was
brought to my attention[2] that module loading has been removed[3]
GTK+ master.

It appears that this change could mean the end for Plotinus and
modules like it. I would be interested to learn:

1. What is the rationale behind the removal of module loading?

The module code was fairly ancient, and was hand rolling things for
which we have better API down the stack, like GIO extension points,
which support things like priorities and prerequisites.
2. What will be the first stable release of GTK+ that does not
   modules anymore? Is this GTK+ 4.0+ only, or will support also be
   dropped in a 3.0 series release?

The GTK 3.x series is frozen, so it won’t be touched. This change is
for 4.x only.

3. What, if any, alternatives are available/planned for software
   like Plotinus that needs to inspect the widget hierarchy of
   applications in order to work?

We could be amenable to add an extension point for this, if you
present a case for it, and explain what kind of requirements you need
from the toolkit; granting blanket access to the internals of the
toolkit is not something we’d be happy to provide, but if you have a
specific domain it should be possible to accommodate your extension.

Alternatively, we could ensure that all our menus and actions are
introspectable from the outside, and give you a proper API for
writing Plotinus in GTK 4.0. We’d probably prefer that.


Any insight is appreciated!

Warm regards


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