Re: Continuing installation difficulties

    Sven> what makes you think you will? I'd say that GTK+ installs out of the
    Sven> box in 99% of all installation attempts. People only run into
    Sven> problems if they want to install stuff outside the default
    Sven> prefix. And if people knew a bit about how a UNIX system works and
    Sven> would read the documentation that comes with the tarball, they would
    Sven> be able to solve their problems easily.

You are right.  My expectation of trouble is based on experience with earlier
versions of GTK which did not use pkg-config.

Why do you suppose that people are not reading the documentation when their
habit of typing 'configure; make install' fails?  They got into that habit for
a reason: it worked most of the time.

    Sven> I'm following the glib, gtk+ and gimp development for quite a while
    Sven> now (since 1997 IIRC) and I'd say that installation from source has
    Sven> never been easier than today. pkg-config made the life much easier
    Sven> for both developers and users.

Having never used pkg-config, I will take your word for it.

    Sven> Earlier people had to tweak CFLAGS, CPPFLAGS, LDFLAGS,
    Sven> LD_LIBRARY_PATH and other environment variables or specify akward
    Sven> configure option that you only ever can get right if you know
    Sven> exactly how to use your compiler and linker. Nowadays all that
    Sven> people need to do is to install pkg-config and setup PKG_CONFIG_PATH
    Sven> correctly. Unless the system is really akward, 'configure ; make ;
    Sven> make install' should work fine afterwards.

Since configure first appeared, I recall almost never needing to change
anything except maybe CFLAGS (to set my preferred -O option).  Most of the
problems I ran into had to do with autoconf versions.  That's on Solaris and
several versions of Linux.

In fact, I don't recall all that many configure problems appearing on gtk-list
over the past couple of years; most of the problems were version conflicts
involving the *-config scripts.

    Sven> Well, back in the old days when glib was part of gtk+ and gtk+ was
    Sven> part of gimp, things have probably been easier. But you don't want
    Sven> that situation back, do you?

There is necessary complication and unecessary complication.  It was necessary
to separate GIMP and its libraries so they could both improve.  It complicated
things a little, but the end result was clearly improved.  In the case of
configuration, when any problem arises now, fixing them *seems* to have become
much more complicated and it isn't clear to me that the end result has

Perhaps it is a function of the increasing number of people building GTK et
al, but the number of problem messages has exceeded the number of "How do
I..."  messages.  That didn't happen when earlier versions were released.
Mark Leisher
Computing Research Lab                    The mountain remains unmoved at
New Mexico State University               seeming defeat by the mist.
Box 30001, Dept. 3CRL                       -- Rabindranath Tagore
Las Cruces, NM  88003

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