[blfs-support] Latest news in GNOME world

LM lmemsm at gmail.com
Thu Nov 15 05:49:06 PST 2012

Am reading this thread and the varying opinions on Open Source
developments with
great interest.  It's nice to hear when some other users' opinions have some
similarities to my own since typically that's been difficult for me to find.

Aleksandar Kuktin wrote:
>> Their explanation for that seems to have been "the community will
take care of it" - an attitude which speaks volumes about their
misunderstanding of the free/open source software culture.

I sent in some patches to the GTK project and they weren't really nice
about it.
I'm not sure if some projects even want patches from the community.  At this
point, I feel like I'd rather work with alternative software or a fork if
developers aren't going to be open to listening to concerns from users (such as
bug reports).  I keep thinking one of the main reasons Open Source advocates
tout it is that they claim Open Source can be less buggy than closed source.
There are more eyes looking at the source and thus more opportunity to
fix issues.
However, if projects won't even bother with patches that don't meet
their agenda,
how could the software possibly be less buggy than a closed source
project?  You
have the same issue as in a closed source environment, only certain people can
fix the source.  Of course, you can always fork Open Source it, but then you're
no longer necessarily dealing with the developers involved in the
original project.

Aleksandar Kuktin wrote:
>Firefox is already a lost cause, although it never really was a real hardcore
> FOSS project, and certainly never was a browser made for Unix.

Am curious why Firefox is a lost cause and what possible alternatives
there are.
I'm not really thrilled with Chrome/Chromium at this point.  In trying
to increase
security, they've made it nearly impossible to run or debug scripts locally on
one's machine.  There's a long list of developers and users who have written in
and asked for a work-around in their bug-tracking system and they've
been pretty
much ignored.  I don't find Chromium a viable alternative for web development.
Someone developing a web site needs certain support from the browser.
Tools like
firebug and ability to run scripts is extremely useful.  Also, some support for
modern browser functionality (such as certain HTML 5 and CSS 2 or 3
features and
JavaScript) is needed.  A majority of browsers today are based on trident (IE)
on Windows or Wine or mozilla or webkit.  So, what's left in browser
choices for
web developers?

Ken Moffat wrote:
> I loathe cmake [ reinventing the bumpy wheel of configure, but with
>edges instead of the fairly smooth curves, in my biased opinion ] so
>I've long since given up on kde.  I suppose I'll have to look at mate
>and xfce, and wonder how long I'll be able to continue using gnumeric
>and abiword.

Interesting to hear others opinions on this.  I personally felt both
cmake and qt
do too much to hard-code where they expect locations of files (such as
should be.  If you're coming from an enviroment where you value portable apps
(such as programs just running from your flash drive), hard-coding
file locations
isn't a very desirable thing.  While most KDE/qt programs do seem to
use cmake, I'm
running across quite a few qt apps that just use qmake.  (Not sure
that's all that
much better of an option, since you still have hard-coded paths.)
I've even run
across a few that use gnu autotools.

Personally, I've been trying to look into what alternative cross-platform GUI
libraries are out there that will work efficiently (even on older
systems) and that
have enough Open Source applications using them that I can get the tasks I need
done with them.  So, I've been focusing more on SDL, FLTK and curses based
applications in place of programs using GTK or Qt.  Fox Toolkit looked
as well, but a lot of applications that worked with 1.6 appear to fail to build
with 1.7.  Still checking if there are other cross-platform GUI options.  Some
people prefer if all their applications have a similar look and feel, but I'm
quite happy to just find lightweight efficient tools that get the job
I need done.
Don't care what they look like.  I also happen to like command line tools for
certain tasks and they're usually quite effective for automating jobs.

A couple of other options besides Mate and XFCE might be Equinox
Desktop Environment
and razor.  Personally, I'm quite happy with a minimal desktop/window manager
environment.  I basically just use it for multi-tasking, so I can have
several terminal
sessions and a decent programming editor open and can cut and paste
between them all.
Will be interested to hear if other LFS users find useful alternative
and desktop tools and configurations.


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