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Re: Clueless users are bad for debian (was Let's CENSOR it!)

On Sat, Mar 27, 1999 at 09:00:45PM -0500, Havoc Pennington wrote:
> > The problem is as great as gnome-apt is (which afaict is about as great
> > as anything gnome based, ie buggy---but that's a seperate rant) it's an X
> I'll bite this troll...
> All the many gnome-apt bugs I know of are 100% my fault and unrelated to
> Gnome. :-) There was one bug with gnome-libs .99.3 that was Gnome's fault.

I was talking about the whole pile of lib bugs that have kept GNOME 1.0
out of even unstable.

> Most of the bugs that have been reported to me are in the tree view, which
> is just a coding disaster I need to fix.... look at drawtree.cc and
> pkgtree.cc in the gnome-apt source and you will see the problem...

I've had enough electronic pasta for one day, I've been hacking around
screen for the past hour or so trying to find the source of a bug and fix
it.  No luck, but it only breaks with 2.2.4-ac1, not that I can find
anything in the patch that would cause the problems I was seeing, so I
just have to hope Alan can find it.  =>

> GUI software is *hard* to write well, and 90% of the tens of thousands of
> lines of Gnome-related code is less than a year old. Don't rant until
> you've tried coding something this big and complex. You simply have no
> idea. 

I've written big bits of code and I've written big bits of code with
other people working on it.  Granted C, making it so easy to shoot
yourself in the foot (and C++ which takes your whole leg off in the
process) is a bit worse, but a lot of the problems with GNOME are lack of
planning and real forethought.

> You'll notice that none of the Gnome *applications* are 1.0, in fact
> gnome-apt is 0.3, so they are all firmly in the "don't whine" category
> anyway.
> (There's a book, "Programming as if People Mattered," that talks some
> about what a nightmare it is to program interfaces (raster graphics or
> curses or whatever) vs. the nice controlled world of most command line
> programs. Add to that CORBA and X... :-) Most people do not program
> defensively enough for the environment.)

You know, more people need to take a top down programming course before
tackling things like GNOME apps...  =p  I've seen some cool apps out
there, but usually a lot of the bugs would be a lot easier to fix if
people actually put some structure in their code.  C is really meant to
be top-down, that's the way it was designed.  Between poorly organized
code and the millions of ifdefs for portability, it's a wonder apps get
written at all.

As for "don't whine", if GNOME is in the "don't whine" stage they had no
business releasing 1.0 IMNSHO...

> > So where's the apt front end for the console?  apt 0.0.5 was the last
> > version to feature one.  =p  I hope the apt and gnome-apt teams haven't
> > forgotten us console people.  =>
> There just isn't anyone working on it right now AFAIK, but anyone is
> welcome to do so I assume. You might look at "swim"; I emailed that guy
> and suggested he work on the curses Apt frontend, he seemed to be into the
> idea but I don't know if he's really worked on it.

I might at some point try to work on it, but while my C is not so bad
anymore my C++ still sucks.  That and I'm expecting myself to be busy for
a month or two writing.  After that I'll bug some people about it and see
if someone else is working on it and what I can do if nobody is.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@debian.org>            Debian GNU/Linux developer
PGP: E8D68481E3A8BB77 8EE22996C9445FBE            The Source Comes First!
Eric Raymond:  I want to live in a world where software doesn't suck.

Richard Stallman:  Any software that isn't free sucks.

Linus Torvalds:  I'm interested in free beer.

Richard Stallman:  That's okay, as long as I don't have to drink it.  I
don't like beer.
        -- LinuxWorld Expo panel, 4 March 1999

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