Debian FYI

Neil Williams linux at
Wed Sep 28 05:40:09 EDT 2005

On Wednesday 28 September 2005 5:09 am, Thomas Bushnell BSG wrote:
> The Debian gnome maintainers are increasingly antsy about gnome-1
> maintenance.  I am being forced to maintain more and more of gnome-1
> since gnucash is the last or near last important gnome-1 application
> left.  I'm fighting the good fight, but it's possible I could lose.

Your support is much appreciated, so here's my contribution to the answers.

> The consequence would be that gnucash would have to get dropped from
> Debian until the gnome-2 branch can be built for Debian.

Hence your earlier question about gnucash G2 in experimental.

> 1. People want to know why gnucash is still transitioning, three years
> after gnome 2 started out.  That's the big one.

I can't answer that but I can guess that the number of developers is a large 
reason as is the complexity of the original 1.8 tree.

> 2. People are worried that lots of unrelated development is being done in
> the gnome-2 branch; that is, that it is delayed not because of the
> work of adapting to the new gnome libraries, but because a whole bunch
> of other stuff was attempted at the same time.

Now I feel that one could be heading in my direction. I don't work on the GUI, 
I've done a few dialogs and a menu option, but my work on gnucash has had to 
be on G2 because I needed the glib-2.0 libraries and recent libxml2. I accept 
that I've had nothing to do with getting gnucash 1.8 to work with gtk-2.0.

Instead, I've worked on architectural things within the codebase, structural 
changes, new engine code and the new backend. Most of those were not possible 
in the 1.8 tree.

There have been times recently when my own work has clearly interrupted Derek, 
David and others in their work but, I must say, *this* was in no small part 
due to a (now fixed) bug in Debian unstable! (Which was why I marked that bug 
as grave!)

I have always said I'm not one for GUI programming. If Derek had said: "We're 
only working on porting the GUI to Gtk2 and no other work is being done", I 
would be working on a different project right now. IMHO, porting just the GUI 
to gnome2 was not the only task - there's more to gnome2 than just gtk2.

This "unrelated development", therefore, I don't see as a cause of delay - 
some could say that it had a neutral effect. I know my limits and I know I am 
not best suited to the GUI code - take out the "unrelated development" and 
you *don't* get an extra developer on the GUI code, you *lose* a developer to 
another project. It would have been unwise for me to have joined GnuCash if 
the only work being done was the GUI element of the port.

> 3. People want assurance that gnome-1 won't need to be maintained forever
> in Debian.  They would feel a lot better if there could be some
> plausible statement like "transition is expected to finish by
> such-and-such a date".  I know such things are impossible, but if
> there is *something* that can be said, it would ease a lot of people.

A while back there was a target of November 2005. I rashly suggested November 
5th because of a British tradition for bonfire night (for gnome1) but that 
was just a suggestion.

> Some people link questions 1 and 3; figuring that if three years isn't
> enough time, then ten years won't be.

If anyone who has finished porting another gnome1 application to gnome2 
fancies helping out, I doubt they would find any opposition!


Neil Williams

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