Re: Athena User Interface Project seeks advice

Havoc Pennington <> writes:

> Richard Tibbetts <tibbetts@MIT.EDU> writes: 
> >   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.
> You should never use unreleased stuff, unless you are into pain. The
> GNOME 1.0 platform will continue to work long after 2.0 is released;
> you can install the two platforms simultaneously.

Develop on GNOME 1.0 but be ready to port, because you'll probably
want to deploy on GNOME 2.0, depending on when this is to be released.

> > 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?
> > 
> The upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0 will be trivial, because backward
> compatibility will be maintained except for a few things that are easy
> to fix.
> You'll be missing out on:
>  - many GTK enhancements, see the TODO on
>    (if you notice a nasty bit in GTK 1.2, it's probably fixed)
>  - GConf
>  - gnome-vfs
>  - Bonobo
>  - GtkHTML

See, the thing is, 1.0 => 2.0 is trivial only if you don't try to use
these things. And you want to. Indeed, I would suggest that if they
would be useful to you, you should start using bonobo, gnome-vfs
and/or gconf now, because though they may not be part of the GNOME 1.0
platform now, there is no good GNOME 1.0 alternative and they will
become part of the platform when Nautilus and Evolution (and possibly
the new panel) ship.

> I would recommend that you use the released stuff that comes with most
> Linux distributions right now. This would be GTK 1.2, gnome-libs 1.0,
> etc. I would then consider porting to the 2.0 platform when it comes out.
> Also at the end of the summer a bunch of components (such as GConf)
> will get added to the 1.0 platform, and you can use them then.

MIT is very different than an ISV. They are not generating stuff for
shipping to the public on stock red hat, they want to deploy to their
won environment. They can force people to install or upgrade new
packages to use their stuff if they want. Therefore I would suggest
they feel free to use things that are slated to be added to the GNOME
1.0 platform even before those things are added.

 - Maciej

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