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Re: [directfb-dev] GTK-DFB and libvte

Jérémy Bobbio wrote:

As some of you might know, the debian-installer uses GTK+ on DirectFB as
its front-end.  We were thinking of adding an integrating terminal
window to the graphical installation process.

I have looked at libvte [1] which is part of GNOME libraries and can
provide a terminal emulator in the form of a GtkWidget.

[1] http://developer.gnome.org/doc/API/2.0/vte/

This library seems exactly what we need to add this feature to d-i.
Unfortunately, it does not work correctly on the DirectFB backend of
GTK+.  After having hooking the integrated debugging of libvte, I know
that the terminal itself fully works: the process is there, I can type
commands and the resultings characters are processed by libvte.

But I happen to see nothing on the screen except a black empty square.

It's probably some incompatibilities between the way libvte displays
characters on the screen and the DirectFB backend for GTK+.  I would
really like to get that issue fixed, but I don't have a clue about the
process of debugging such issues.

Maybe someone familiar with GTK-DFB could just look at libvte's code and
figure out pretty quickly what is going wrong, which could be great.
But I would also be dilligent to try to work out what's happening
myself, but I won't be able to do so without some tips or pointers on
how to do that. :)

(CC'ing d-boot)

Adding a graphical terminal to the GTK frontend is in the wishlist [1] from a long time. In the past i successfully managed to have libvte running on top of gdk/dfb, but two things discouraged me from going further this road

1) Adding libvte and related stuff to the installer requires some non negligible space in the ISO

2) Need to mantain over time patches to vte: we already maintain the directfb flavour of gtk and that's already complicated enough

I know libzvt is somehow smaller than libvte, but IIRC it's not maintained from a long time and i'm not even sure it compiles against gtk-2.0



[1] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=339855

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