Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 10th Oct 2004 05:47 UTC, submitted by Andrew
Slackware, Slax This is a message from Patrick Volkerding in regards to his thoughts on Gnome and Slackware. It was originally posted on the Dropline Gnome Forum. Editor's note: Pat has made similar comments to me as well regarding Gnome's bugs and maintainance problems.
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RE: cycojesus
by csabimano on Sun 10th Oct 2004 16:56 UTC

I'm a slacware user for some years now and even if I use neither gnome nor kde I often compile programs that relies on kde/gnome libs so if Pat drop gnome I would have to compile those gnome libs myself... I've tried that and it's a real pain, you find yourself downloading dependencies all around the web just to make a single tiny lib to compile :/

I don't think we should worry about dependencies. Having _some_ gnome/gtk libs to resolve dependencies is entirely different from having to build a fully functional gnome desktop. I use KDE, but have GIMP, mplayer-gtk-esound, and a number of other progs installed that need gnome/gtk libraries (haha, even KDE needs some). I'm always for a clean solution, that's why I try to keep my system as gnome/gtk free as possible. This list has (I think) all the gnome/gtk dependencies you need for most programs. I have all these installed as dependencies by various progs, but some of them might very well be just buildtime dependencies (I'm using ports on FreeBSD), and the list can be shorter for Slack:

atk-1.6.1 A GNOME accessibility toolkit (ATK)
gail-1.6.6 An implementation of the ATK interfaces for GTK+ widgets
gconf2-2.6.4 A configuration database system for GNOME
glib-1.2.10_11 Some useful routines of C programming (previous stable vers
glib-2.4.6_1 Some useful routines of C programming (current stable version)
gnomehier-1.0_19 A utility port that creates the GNOME directory tree
gnomemimedata-2.4.1_2 A MIME and Application database for GNOME
gnomevfs2-2.6.2_1 GNOME Virtual File System
gtk-1.2.10_12 Gimp Toolkit for X11 GUI (previous stable version)
gtk-2.4.9_1 Gimp Toolkit for X11 GUI (current stable version)
gtk-engines2-2.2.0_4 Theme engine for the gtk+-2.0 toolkit
libbonobo-2.6.2 A component and compound document system for GNOME2
libglade2-2.4.0 GNOME glade library
libgnomecanvas-2.6.1.1 A graphics library for GNOME
libgphoto2-2.1.4_3 A universal digital camera picture control tool
libgtkhtml-2.6.2 Lightweight HTML rendering/printing/editing engine
libxml2-2.6.13 XML parser library for GNOME
libxslt-1.1.10 The XSLT C library for GNOME

There might be more, and as I said, some of these are KDE dependencies as well, but the difference is that these are maintainable and usually small packages. This is, of course, just speculation, but when Pat is considering dropping gnome I don't think he means to ditch any library that has something to do with gnome/gtk. Since building just the gnome desktop takes 1/3 of the total time he spends on Slackware, I see his move justified.

Not only that, but instead of the childish "if he drops gnome he should drop kde as well" kinda remarks, we should focus on getting the message across to gnome devs: hey, throwing a set of libraries to distro makers and telling them to make a gnome desktop out of it is very uncool. The problem is not with Pat being a KDE fan. The problem is that 1/3 of total time spending on Slack is too much. This is purely a technical problem, and it is not his job to resolve it. Why be so protective of the GNOME project, when this kind of criticism, if taken seriously, can lead to a better/more considerate development model?

Kudos to Pat for having the balls to speak his mind openly, even in the face of being flamed for it and being told "uh, I'm going to Ubuntu if you do this". Because, no matter if you are a GNOME fan or a KDE fan, the points raised by him are valid.