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Re: Gnome to be removed from debian?

Adam Heath <doogie@debian.org> writes:

> Let's face it.  Gnome sucks.  I don't know if I can count how many gnome
> versions we have in slink/potato.  And then we have libaries that depend on
> gnome, and if a program depends on these secondary libraries, then you have to
> try and diddle around just to get it to compile.

Some people think Gnome doesn't suck.  I like a lot of the things they
are doing (but not everything, of course).

They're not even to version 1.0, so it isn't really fair to judge it

> I propose that gnome be removed from slink,

I'm open to this if this is what people want.  I was a bit
apprehensive about putting it into slink in the first place.  I
plastered 'ALPHA' over all the descriptions.

> until the gnome developers get a clue.  Maybe a distribution
> removing there pet project will be the clue bat they need.  They
> seem not to care about the rest of the world.

I disagree.  The Gnome developers are working hard.  Gnome isn't meant
to be releaseable yet, so it's hardly surprising that they break API
compatibility left and right.  We are the main source of our own
problems, since we are trying to make releases of something that isn't
really meant to be releaseable yet.

Incrementing the SONAME every time compatibility gets broken while in
development mode isn't very practical.  Many times, compatibility gets
broken in subtle ways, and it's hard to identify - especially while
you are still coding.

Maybe the symbol versioning in glibc 2.1 will allow for the finer
grain identification of compatibility breakage -- and could be
implemented while the libraries are under development?  It will be
several months before most of the Gnome developers have glibc 2.1, and
it will take even more effort to learn the in's and out's of symbol

> Now, as to why I cc'd policy.  There is a more serious issue at stake.  All
> these gnome libs and dev pkgs are quite confusing.  Users have a hard time
> deciding what they need.  And gnome hasn't even released 1.0 yet.  With gnome
> having major internal changes, on almost a daily basis, and then having those
> changes put in debs, leads to great confusion.
> No other library has so many versions.
> Gnome might be stable, and not have segfaults/crashes.  But having it change
> so often is not good.  Debian needs to pick 1(one, uno) version of gnome, and
> stick with it.  Not these infinitely different versions.

In slink, 0.30 is reasonably stable.  Users should have no problems
installing the packages as long as they don't mix packages with
unstable (I should add a "Conflicts:" to the packages in unstable).
We should be able to manage the upgrade process to potato (when it's
released) as well.  The biggest problem is going to be things like the
~/.gnome directory - it's highly likely that the file formats in there
will change (with no upgrade path).  That's why I labelled them as

In unstable, things are a bit of a mess.  Perhaps we need to make
unstable a bit more stable?  Maybe we need to put all this stuff into
experimental (or an improved version of experimental)?


 - Jim

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