Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Sep 2009 22:38 UTC, submitted by EvilWells
Debian and its clones Developer Frans Pop, author of debtree, posted an article showing the evolution in size of the GNOME desktop environment in recent Debian releases. The picture he paints isn't particularly pretty: the default GNOME install has increased drastically in size over the years.
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RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 8th Sep 2009 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
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Actually one should use inotify instead of FAM/Gamin...

The solution isn't even that - what is required is a grand unified HAL which abstracts all what the desktop needs via an abstraction layer so that all one needs to do is port the HAL and the desktop will compile on top.

The HAL needs to be operating system agnostic and the GNOME programmers unconcerned about the underlying operating system; if a feature is missing in HAL then it needs to be added; if the underlying operating system is deficient then the maintainers of that operating system need to be notified of such a deficiency and put the responsibility of implementing it on their shoulders.

There was a talk about such an idea but it never got off the ground - but it is needed; evidence alone is how horrible some of the GNOME code is trying to accommodate every operating system in the software itself rather than all calls be made to one consistent underlying API which abstracts all the operating system dependent calls. Oh, and it would not be dependent on GNU extensions; it would only use what is uniform across all platforms - for example, if you need to use grep, don't use the GNU extensions to the standard grep. Many times these libraries can achieve what is required without the GNU extensions - you just need to build several components to reach that end result.

Its not going to happen because it would require 6-12 months of solid of design to ensure that it covers all which needs to be covered as well as designing it in such a way that features can be progressively added without breaking compatibility. I'm willing to work on such a project but like previous attempts to make a contribution - they have fallen on deaf ears. So rather than persevere I roll up my nap sack and mosey on back to Mac OS X with the occasional glancing over my candy coated iMac to see how things are going over there. Once I see nothing has happened - I go back to enjoying what I have.

Edited 2009-09-08 11:41 UTC

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