Goals for next Xfce releases

Jani Monoses jani.monoses at gmail.com
Tue Jan 30 19:34:21 CET 2007

> I had to wrap my mind around pointers in C, but that doesn't mean we
> should all go program in Java.

Right, you had to wrap your mind against C pointers because you wanted 
to program in C. Makes sense. Autotools quirks have littel to do with 
Xfce code itself, they get in the way.
> Right, and what I'm saying is: don't change the Makefile.{am,in} files.
>  Just hand-edit the Makefile itself.  If it really requires only a
> one-line change, that's what you get: a one-line patch (well, ok, more
> than one line for context, but you know what I mean).
It usually does not require a one line change hence not very practical.

> I think inertia is a major driving factor here, and it should be.
> Making a change to the build system shouldn't be undertaken lightly.  I
> think cmake is interesting, but I don't really see benefits over
> autotools.  Sure, it's "cleaner" (whatever that means), but it's just
> another syntax to learn.  And not only that, it's a useless syntax to
> learn: at least the autotools are based on languages that can be used
> elsewhere (m4, bash, make rules, etc.).  For cmake they apparently
> decided to reinvent the scripting wheel.  Why?

I don't like cmake syntax much myself, would have preferred something 
not makefile based at all.

>> I know that I filed at least 3 bugs I remember which are build-system 
>> related and one was nasty too. I am sure there are plently reports in 
>> bugzilla just like on the lists which are noise because they do not 
>> concern what is built but how it is done.
> And who says we won't get reports about different build problems with
> another build toolchain?

I forgot to mention the lack of consistency even within Xfce of naming 
various files, what goes in the dist tarball and what doesn't etc. These 
are all done by existing Xfce and goodie developers who are not that 
comfortable with the tools and mostly copy paste from other projects. 
The same is true for gnome and used to be for kde.
It gets in the way and it's crappy and those language syntaxes you 
mentioned (m4 shell and make) are among the most horrible ones I know 
of. And messing with the build system files is incompatible with the 'we 
do it because it's fun' attitude echoed in this thread. I can understand 
people having fun coding, but have a hard time imagining someone having 
fun while setting up the scaffolding for his project or digging to 
figure out why libtool/intlttol does not work.

>> I repeat I did not say we should switch,
> Sure you did.  If you didn't think we should switch, you wouldn't've
> brought it up.
>> let alone tell someone to do 
>> the transition. It was one of the things I'd like to see in future Xfce
> And now you're directly saying we should switch.  I'm getting confused.

As a native English speaker you should know better the difference 
between 'should' and 'I would like to'. The former expresses a slight 
imperativeness the latter a desire. I see no reason for confusion.

> Probably... maybe we can revisit this someday, but right now it just
> doesn't seem necessary.

Right, as this thread was for bringing up points which may be done for 
4.6 or revisited later.


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