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Re: upcoming issues with python-hulahop, python-xpcom, xulrunner-1.9.2

On Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 8:52 AM, Mike Hommey <mh@glandium.org> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 06:07:27PM +0000, Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
>> hi folks,
>> i don't know if you're aware of the ... issues shall we say ...
>> surrounding xulrunner 1.9.2 but there's a few changes going on.
>> python-xpcom is being *dropped* from xulrunner as a first class
>> citizen and is being turned into a third-rate one.  this isn't a
>> problem right now because debian releases versions of firefox that use
>> xulrunner-1.9.1.
>> the rdepends for python-xpcom include python-hulahop and
>> pyjamas-desktop, epiphany-gecko, sugar-web-activity and so on.
>> removal of python-xpcom basically screws these projects.
> epiphany-gecko is already gone.
>> to make matters slightly worse, the mozilla team have dicked with the
>> xpcom interface c-code as they focus all-out on speed-speed-speed to
>> the absolute pathological exclusion of all else, in an attempt to
>> catch up with webkit's increasing mindshare.  this decision is
>> affecting all the language bindings (such as java-xpcom, python-xpcom
>> and so on).
>> so, right now, the situation is as follows:
>> * if you upgrade firefox to a version which uses xulrunner-1.9.2,
>> python-xpcom and its rdepends go out the window.
>> * even if you happen to include the third party module
>> http://hg.mozilla.org/pyxpcom as it is now known, xulrunner's XPCOM
>> code has been been brain-damaged to the extent that several key
>> strategic things such as python bindings to XMLHttpRequest will no
>> longer work.  todd whiteman has very kindly agreed to look at this,
>> and to keep up with the brain-damage.
> For people interested in more intelligible information than the above
> rant,

 ( it's a good one, innit? :)

> some xpcom exposed interfaces in xulrunner have been "tweaked"
> such that they will only work when called from javascript. Such
> interfaces thus can't work from other xpcom bindings.

 yup.  appreciate the clarification, mike.

 basically, an interpretation of the decision from the mozilla
foundation is that all languages but javascript can get lost.  i do
not understand why, after years of support thanks to xpcom, _just_
when there's a project which actually _uses_ alternative language
bindings 100% and i meaaan 100%, the mozilla foundation slams the door
in its face and in the face of every other project using xpcom.

 it's not like there's a chance of any non-mozilla-foundation-funded
project having the money to maintain a parallel version of xulrunner
with a non-broken version of xpcom or anything.

>> basically i wanted to appraise people of the situation, because, with
>> xulrunner-1.9 being in debian/testing since pyjamas-desktop was added,
>> any attempt to follow the mozilla foundation's headless-chicken
>> meltdown moments means goodbye epiphany-gecko, sugar-web-activity and
>> pyjamas-desktop.  and... that would be bad :)
> I guess you mean xulrunner-1.9.1.

 yes.  again, thank you for clarifying.

> xulrunner-1.9.2 is still in
> experimental and will stay there until squeeze is released.

 ok.  thank god.

 so unless the mozilla foundation see the light, basically all
projects that use python-xpcom must stick with xulrunner-1.9.1.

 that means that all linux distributions must maintain two parallel
versions of xulrunner, or that they must "bundle" a version of
xulrunner specifically dedicated to firefox _in_ firefox (just like
the stand-alone releases made by the mozilla foundation itself).

 or, all linux distributions must tell python-xpcom-dependent projects
to go to hell in a handbasket.

 those are some the options, and i'm interested to know a) if anyone
has any alternative ideas b) which way the debian project is going to

 i _could_ create and maintain and even submit a series of packages
and would be happy to submit patches to python-hulahop,
sugar-web-activity and pyjamas-desktop packages, if that would help,
but i am not entiiirely sure that would go down well :)


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