Re: GnomeFont state of affairs

On 16 Jun 2000, Havoc Pennington wrote:

> Elliot Lee <> writes: 
> > Given that GNOME provides a lot of the infrastructure that would be useful
> > in building this system (for example, it would want to tie in with
> > gnome-print,
> Which has no real gnome dependency, it may have gratuitous ones such
> as dialogs randomly tossed into the same lib with rendering code.
> > leverage gnome-vfs for font sharing,
> There's no reason to use gnome-vfs that I can think of. You're
> stretching.  (Plus, gnome-vfs does not depend on libgnome/libgnomeui
> in any really meaningful way.)

I am wondering, whether fonts should be shared between applications via
bonobo or custom CORBA interfaces. Theoretically neither of those is Gnome
specific - but certainly using bonobo would generate big amount of
complaining. Still bonobo IS nice thing...

> >  and utilize gnome-libs
> > miscellanea)
> libgnomeui for fonts? libgnome has nothing particularly relevant,
> g_alloca() and g_file_exists() are not reasons to add it as a
> dependency. popt is available separately if you want that.

libgnomeui is actually very tiny library, much smaller than Gtk+. But oh,
yes, we can get rid of Gtk+ now, using GObjects :)

> If GnomeFont has actual good reasons to use gnome-libs then fine. All
> I'm saying is, let's not have gratuitous dependencies, because all
> that does is limit your userbase (and thus developer base).
> It sounds to me like the only real dependencies are GObject and Pango.

libart_lgpl, libuincode, libxml, probably one day ORBit, bonobo and
cousins. Without these there is little need for such library at all.

> I am not anti-GNOME, but I do recognize some facts.
> Fact #1: you can't force people to install GNOME by introducing
> pointless dependencies. We've tried to promote GNOME by e.g. sticking
> the canvas in libgnomeui, and it hasn't worked and won't work, because
> it was a Dumb Ass Idea. If people can't or would prefer not to install
> gnome-libs, they have reasons for that. If we can't offer a solution
> they can use, they will just use another toolkit, or they will be
> unhappy with their G* solution.

Interesting, if people would be more eager to adopt Canvas, if libgnomeui
had been named to libgtkextensions (what is mostly is)?

> Fact #2: The reason free software succeeds is by maximizing the number
> of users. Users == developers and testing. The more users we have the
> better. And there are tons of people that would be interested in a
> general solution that won't be interested in a solution containing a
> gnome-libs dependency.

I would add one more fact:
Fact #4: To succeed, library has to be easy enough for 
(programming) beginners to use. Great lot of free software libs are just
too complicated, so people find easier to implement their own custom
solutions. One purpose of Gnome libs is to appeal to beginners - if they
advance, they usually stick with libraries/techniques they started with.


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