[blfs-support] gnome-3 progress report

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Fri Feb 17 15:39:06 PST 2012

[ BCC to -support, if I remember, so giving a bit more detail than
people on -dev need ]

 All of the updates for the gnome/core packages are now in the book.
When the book for 2012-02-18 is rendered (08:30 UTC tomorrow, I
think) all of the gnome/additional packages referenced from
gnome/core will also be up to date.  Anyone using svn to get the
book sources can get all this now.

 So, the book should now be good enough for people to build a basic
gnome-3 desktop which they can use to build other gnome packages.
People who are new to this should note that the packages are in
alphabetic order, your build order will NOT : identify which
packages you want to build, then work backward through the
dependencies until you have an order.  My own (doesn't cover
everything, and includes things you might not want) is at lfs/~ken.

 Every package should have a description.  If I've built it, there
will be an LFS-7.0 tag (mostly just 'built', it's beyond me how to
check that many of these work correctly).  If it doesn't say that,
treat it as work in progress : for some packages, I found extra
required deps beyond what Wayne had noted, so there may be others.
I suppose that is true for all of them - I'd always built gnumeric
after rarian until last month, so never noticed that it was

 I'm aware of some extra optional deps already reported on -dev this
week, and the gst plugin which mentions kate is probably the wrong
kate.  Ill fix these things up at some point.  Please report any
other errors when you find them.

 The gnome instructions have undoubtedly accumulated some cruft over
the years - various unnecessary sysconfdir, libexecdir, and
unnecesary/wrong localstatedir are the main things.  Where I've
built a package, I should have trapped most of these bogosities, but
I'm sure some sneaked through.  For any mandir and scrollkeeper
instructions (except those where rarian is mentioned in the
scrollkeeper explanation) I'll remove them later (I became aware of
their redundancy earlier this week).

 For additional gnome packages - if the package has not been tagged
for LFS-7.0, please continue to compare to Wayne's book.  At the
moment, a lot of redundant packages are still present, and most of
the rest have not been updated.

 People might wonder what the point of gnome-3 is.  It seems to be
targetted at tablet or netbook users, who I guess are not typically
BLFS users.  Nevertheless, there are some good applications, e.g.
gnucharmap, evince, yelp [ if you have applications that need it for
the help ], and network-manager-applet is probably very useful for
people who use wifi in different places.  There are also many
adequate applications, such as epiphany (more useful with the
extensions, which I'll add : only 'adequate' because it doesn't do
ftp downloads), and it looks like the colord support will be useful
for getting colours to be presented correctly.  Some people even
like gnome-terminal, and gnome's ability to use compose keys (I
don't, I go with the AltGr keys for accents which xorg has provided
for some years).

 Perhaps I should stress here that anything using clutter *requires*
3D video acceleration (whatever that means).  My own old low-end AGP
radeons do not qualify, but anything using the new Mesa drivers is
probably ok.  Gnome shell falls back to metacity for the wm in these
circumstances, but totem is pretty much unusable (for audio tracks,
it devots more time to random images than to audio, until the
configure setting is changed; for video it just gives an erratic
slideshow).  On modern hardware, I guess it is fine.

 If anyone wants to try this stuff out, consider using a newer
version of poppler (I've been using 0.18 for several months, but it
doesn't support kde3 or, probably, trinity), and it would be
interesting to know if py2cairo can be used instead of pycairo - I
missed that update because of the name change.

 If you do build this, you will probably want to use a window
manager and graphical browser, such as firefox, to help you get
through the preparation.  You need to build all of the gnome-shell
packages before you can run a gnome desktop.  For the wm, I normally
recommend icewm-1.3 because it has such minimal requirements
(basically, just gtk+-2) and works so well for me, but it has issues
with the resize tag on gtk+-3 windows - dragging that swallows all
mouse events [ ctrl-alt_space then type xterm (or whatever terminal
you use) for a new terminal, then killall -KILL stalled-app-name :
might be best to switch to another desktop to do this ] so I used
fluxbox on my gnome-3 build.  Note that twm also, reportedly, suffers
from the gtk+-3 problem.

 I've also made sure that there are wiki pages for all of these
apps, so feel free to comment there if its appropriate.

das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce

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