Re: Athena User Interface Project seeks advice

Richard Tibbetts <tibbetts@MIT.EDU> writes:

> GNOME Developers-
>   I am a current MIT Watchmaker (student developer) working to
> integrate GNOME into the MIT Athena computing platform. This is a
> fairly extensive project, involving porting several Athena-specific
> applications as well as modifying some GNOME code to work with the
> Athena environment.

Hi Richard,

>   My current project is to construct the development platform on which
> we will be building the system. This seems to mean a decision between
> the GNOME-1.0 platform and the GNOME-2.0 platform. Most of the work
> will be occurring over the summer, before GNOME-2.0 goes to release.
> Thus my decision comes down to two questions:
> 1) What will the changes be between 1.0 and 2.0? If we modify the
>    panel, or the file-manager, or other things, how much will we
>    lose? If we build apps on 1.0, how much will we need to change
>    them to work with 2.0, and how many convenience API's will we be
>    missing out on?

Nautilus, the next-generation GNOME file manager is coming out at some
point in the summer, and the first release will be on top of the GNOME
1.0 development platform. There may also be a next-generation panel at
that time, but I can't say for sure.

I would like to strongly discourage you from modifying the file
manager, other than perhaps changes in system-wide or user-default
configurations. Nautilus is highly componentized and will be very
customizable and extensible; if you have needs that you feel Nautilus
is not going to meet, of the sort that might require code changes,
please work with us to either add the changes to the core code or
provide enough extensibility to make your changes possible. Get on
<> or and talk to
us. Please do not do the local hack that never goes upstream thing.

I suspect the panel maintainers feel similarly.

> 2) How unstable will GNOME-2.0 be through the summer? Will maintaining
>    a GNOME-2.0 system be unduly painful? Will the API's be changing,
>    or will we just be dealing with buggy code?

You probably don't want to touch it until it is released. On the other
hand, we will start porting Nautilus and the rest of the core gnome
desktop environment to the GNOME 2.0 platform after the first nautilus
release, even before the GNOME 2.0 platfrom is done, so everything can
be released simultaneously.

> It seems that the GNOME Roadmap
> ( should have given me
> this information, but it really did not. I might suggest that many
> application programmers are in my position, and that maintaining the
> Roadmap is fairly important. It has not been updated since February.
> (I would volunteer to maintain it, but I do not think I am connected
> enough to the GNOME project to keep track of everything).

The roadmap is still fairly accurate; it would be helpful if it made
it more clear that the GNOME 2.0 platform is not suitable even for
experimental development right now.

 - Maciej Stachowiak (<>)

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