Libraries in trunk

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at
Fri Jan 26 10:29:47 CET 2007

Hash: RIPEMD160

Nick Schermer wrote:
> What are we going to do with libxfcegui4? There were some plans a
> while ago to split it in libxfce4ui and lib(xfce4)netk. Or drop netk
> and switch to libwnck.
> But whatever we do with netk, we probably all agree libxfcegui4
> contains quite some useless (read: also in gtk, sometimes with a
> couple of lines more code) widgets, there are also some widgets that
> need to be moved to the application which uses it (clock code for
> example).

Yeah, there's a lot of deprecated stuff in there that we don't use
anymore.  It would be nice to clean out the cruft and figure out what to
do with what's left.  Gnome has been trying to get stuff out of their
custom libraries and into Gtk (where it makes sense); maybe we could
attempt to do something similar (though we'd still likely not want to
depend on the newest Gtk, so I'm not sure how beneficial that would be
to us).  Well, regardless, we'll have things like XfceTitledDialog,
xfce_create_framebox(), xfce_message_dialog(), xfce_exec(),
SessionClient, etc. that're still useful in some shape or form.

I believe someone (Benny?) suggested a long time ago that we put the
deprecated stuff into libxfcegui4-compat (or something), and keep the
useful stuff in libxfcegui4.  We should also really really really think
hard when adding something to libgui: is it something more than one
application can really use?  I'm guilty of not doing this too.
XfceClock needs to be moved to the clock plugin as you suggest,
XfceAppMenuItem is only used by xfdesktop, and a bunch of the weird
toggles and buttons and whatnot were only ever used by the panel (I think).

I'm tempted to suggest throwing away ABI compat entirely, and bump both
the library major and the pkgconfig version, and start versioning the
soname as well (like libexo does).  Old apps can still use libxfcegui4
from 4.4, and new apps can use whatever we move to.

> Personally vote for moving all the 'needed' widgets in libxfce4ui and
> the clock widget to the clock plugin. I think we should keep netk
> around, because libwnck is not a small library (netk will be smaller),
> not much bugs are caused by netk, Gnome's blinking is ugly (IMHO), we
> might change the taskbar behaviour in the near future and netk has
> some improvements that never made it into wnck. It's also easy to
> merge the wnck fixed to netk (I already do this once in a while).

Yeah, I think netk is ok for now, but we shouldn't really encourage
anyone to use it by making it its own library.  It's kinda a mess, but
it works (most of the time).  I've always thought of it as being more
for internal xfce use than anything else.

> PS. maybe we can also merge the libs, so it easier to distribute the
> packages? Maybe libxfce4util, libxfce4ui, libxfce4netk and
> libxfce4menu inside 1 package and call it libxfce4 (very original, I
> know)?

Is that really necessary?  A good question to ask: are there situations
where people might want (e.g.) just libxfce4util installed, but not the
others?  If not, it would probably make sense to package them all
together.  Might make life a little easier on the release manager too.

Regarding fewer packages for users, I don't think it's an issue: most
people should be using a package manager that deals with the
dependencies for them, or our GUI installer.


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