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Re: Packages still depending on GTK+ 1.2

On 06/12/2008, at 10.01, Mike Hommey wrote:

With such arguments, we would still ship every single bit that was
shipped some day. This is going nowhere.

I don't recall advocating that every single bit that was shipped some day should be kept around. You are twisting my words and distorting my view into something obviously absurd.

Moreover, removing a package from the archive doesn't mean it will
disappear at apt-get dist-upgrade time, not that it will disappear from

I've had this discussion several times before with people, but it doesn't hurt to repeat.

For whom is the Debian distribution? Is it created to satisfy the needs of only the packagers and developers? If so, it is absolutely logical to get rid of everything a couple of years past expiry date.

To be clear, we are not talking about applications for which a replacement -- often better -- exists. We are talking about libraries. In my opinion, Debian is also for programmers who don't package their software for the distribution, but distribute it themselves or don't distribute it at all.

I mentioned science programs, and these are typical examples where the authors are not programmers who are geekily fascinated with every new incarnation of a graphics toolkit, but are more interested in developing the methods, applicability and scope of their own algorithms. If the menu system and dialogue boxes work, why spend more time on it?

You may disagree with the above reasoning, but it is a fact of life of many Debian users, and it is arrogant to disregard.

GTK+ 1.2 is not just any old library. It was the first truly open and free graphics toolkit of excellent quality, an alternative to Motif and the ugly Xaw widget sets, and was eagerly embraced by everyone. This is a central and historic piece of software.

So I am not advocating keeping every bit of software around. In this discussion, I am advocating keeping GTK+ 1.2 around. The LIBRARIES. I am not opposed to weeding out out-dated applications that make use of it, if reasonable replacements are available.

But Libraries represent a resource for _others_ than packagers and developers.


Morten Kjeldgaard
Key fingerprint = FC53 53B2 81D1 27CA 45D5  F864 078C F31B 4048 25E7

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