Re: Bug 687752 - work with theme authors

On Sun, Nov 11, 2012 at 05:17:56PM +0000, Benjamin Otte wrote:
> The first conclusion from that is that it is (and has been for a few years) a
> bit disingenuous if people say "we're not using GNOME, we're just using GTK".

But that is exactly what I say – as a third-party program developer and
someone who occasionally contributes patches to GLib or Gtk+.

Should I sort the target environments of ‘my’ programs by user count, it
would likely look like
- MS Windows
- OS X
- anything else

Should I list the environments the developers of ‘my’ programs use it
would likely be
- XFce
- anything else

Yes, what is obviously missing in both lists is GNOME.  The good thing
about Gtk+ used to be that it was truly cross-platform, *NOT* a
GNOME-only thing.

> Where this all gets interesting is the transition in mentality and
> behavior (for lack of a bettter word) of the GNOME development
> community in the transition from GNOME 2 to GNOME 3. GNOME 2
> development was a steady process with a clearly defined goal. Almost
> everything was static. As such, nothing ever really got different. If
> anything, it gained more features or changed a default value.  Sure,
> occasionally there was a hickup, but in general everything was
> obvious.

Well, not really.  Making programs compatible with older and, at the
same time, newer versions of Gtk+ has never been particulatrly easy.
But somehow, we (third-party developers) have managed.

It seems some Gtk+ developers cannot even imagine that programs might
want to be compatible with Gtk+ versions so old as (in my case) 2.8.
Simply because that is how the thing was originally written, it is in
maintenance mode now itself, and does not need any newer Gtk+ features.

If anything, *more* stability in Gtk+ would be appreciated.

> Things keep changing. You can't just write something for 3.0 (be it an
> application, a shell plugin or a GTK theme) and expect it stay working
> that way forever. Instead you need to constantly improve on your work.

Yes, I perceive this is a serious problem.

> There's one important thing to note about this however. If you participate in
> this process - like a bunch of applications do - you get two things: 
> (1) You get the help of the GNOME developers. People are generally
> interested in your use cases and want to make your life easier and
> better.
> (2) You get to influence the direction of development. You can request
> features that you are missing and can expect help to get them
> implemented.

But what if I am just a bloody conservative and want things that used to
work to work in the newer version too?

Maybe my feeling is wrong, but my feeling is that people with a *vision*
might be welcome but people who just want to keep things working and
compatible will be seen as hindering the progress.  I would be glad
proven wrong.

Anyway it is good that this topic is discussed at all.



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