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Re: Desktop normalizationy

There seems to be an awful lot of fuss over someone's simple suggestion
of some way of standardizing the desktop. I think that everyone has taken
it out of context, saying that defining a desktop standard is out of the
scope of LSB, and that it would take away the customizability that we
have. I say hooey. Remember, the point of LSB is to define certain
standards that (hopefully) all distributions would follow, guaranteeing
that certain things can be done in certain ways. For instance, making sure
that printf() does what you want it do, regardless of where your
application is installed. And this is something that is sorely needed in
the graphical world. Sure, raw Xlib will always be there, but IMHO makes
for more difficult coding than toolkits such as GTK+/GNOME and Qt/KDE, as
well as being less 'pretty'. What the desktop *needs* is a standard way of
getting things done, not necessarily a standard way of showing things. For
example, your app needs a button, so you call a button() function that
displays a button. Then the system's default (or user chosen) toolkit
takes care of drawing the button in a way that is consistent *on that
desktop*. I'm not sure if there should be wrappers to the various toolkits
or what, but this really needs to be taken care of. If vendor X has
product Y, they want it to work on distro A, B, and C without change. This
is what LSB is all about. And in the increasingly graphical world of
computing, this means that there HAS to be a standard way of getting
things done in a graphical environment.

Someone mentioned servers and headless machines, where X is not an issue.
Point well taken. However, some people have been talking about
standardizing compiler environments, but no one mentions Joe Sixpack's home
PC. Joe, who knows nothing about programming and just wants to surf the
web, do e-mail, and use a word processor, has no need for a standard
development environment. But he would benefit greatly from a standard
desktop. I think what needs to be done to take care of this is borrow a
page from UNIX98 and implement feature sets. For example, the graphical
feature set, which defines the common API for drawing buttons, displaying
text, etc. in a graphic environment. And the development feature set,
which defines certain compiler default behaviors, header files, etc.

My 0.02$US.

| Jakob 'sparky' Kaivo        |          jake@nodomainname.net |
| NoDomainName Networks       |    http://www.nodomainname.net |

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