Re: GnomeFont state of affairs

Lauris Kaplinski <> writes: 
> 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...

Bonobo's IDL is in principle not GNOME-specific, except for the canvas
controls and the menu merge. There are a number of large projects
looking for or using component models, and we are going to have to
have a gnome-independent one in order to get a de facto standard, so
this is a good thing.
> libgnomeui is actually very tiny library, much smaller than Gtk+. But oh,
> yes, we can get rid of Gtk+ now, using GObjects :)

It's mostly not size, it's issues like Windows portability, ease of
deployment, imposition of policy, the minor but increasing in the
future dependencies on a runtime, compatibility across Linux
distributions, etc.

It's also just a matter of perception; libxml, ORBit, glib, libart
have significant non-GNOME user bases. If they were called
"libgnome-xml" and "libgnome-corba" those userbases would probably be
noticeably smaller.
> libart_lgpl, libuincode, libxml, probably one day ORBit, bonobo and
> cousins. Without these there is little need for such library at all.

Please, use the stuff you need. But of course libart, libunicode,
libxml, ORBit, and for the most part Bonobo are all designed for use
outside of GNOME, quite sensibly.
> Interesting, if people would be more eager to adopt Canvas, if libgnomeui
> had been named to libgtkextensions (what is mostly is)?

Except for the above-mentioned issues.

> 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.

A good point. I do think that gnome-libs and all the GNOME libraries
in general tend to confuse beginners though; they don't know which
libs to use, and they don't see any rational distinction between gtk
and libgnomeui. It's much easier to learn a single,
documented-as-a-whole framework like Java or Qt or GTK.

So, to me the main solution here is to get high-level, easy-to-use
interfaces into the libraries where they should be. 

Consider this: if GnomeFont and gnome-print are really useful,
shouldn't they be integrated with the GTK widgets? This has been a big
deal with GdkPixbuf; GtkImage, gdk_window_set_icon(), GtkCList, all
these GTK widgets should be able to use pixbufs. If GdkPixbuf still
depended on libgnomeui, that couldn't happen.

I guess the potential for usage in GTK is less for GnomeFont and
gnome-print, but it's still there.


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