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Re: Proposal to deprecate Xlib backend

From: Guenther Noack
Subject: Re: Proposal to deprecate Xlib backend
Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 00:38:18 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)


On Mon, Dec 25, 2006 at 06:00:59PM +0000, Richard Frith-Macdonald wrote:
> It seems reasonable to move away from it ... but Cairo is not ready  
> yet, and the art backend seems to have its own problems.  My  
> impression is that art is a little better than xlib but harder to  
> maintain (code less clear etc).  I'm taking it on trust (Fred's  
> judgment and yours) that Cairo is the way to go rather than improving  
> an older backend ... I don't have the graphics knowhow to make a good  
> judgment myself.

I understand your concern that Cairo is not ready yet for production
use. But isn't art stable enough? I haven't heard of people using or
even promoting the use of xlib in a long time.

> I think very little time is spent on maintaining either art or  
> xlib ... interaction with x window managers needing (and getting)  
> more attention than the actual xlib or art rendering code, so it's  
> not a big issue right now.
> However, we do need to make sure people don't waste time on  
> development work for multiple backends ... so we need a clear policy  
> for future development work (especially for any new volunteers).

As a voluntary open source developer, I personally usually prefer
implicitly understandable hints about how to write code over big
developer documentation. Time is limited after all, and when programming
in one's free time, people want to get to the nitty gritty fast. :-> For
example, it's obvious that you shouldn't spend a lot of time on code
which is located in a directory called 'deprecated'. But has everybody
outside the GNUstep core team read the GNUstep developer documentation?

I could also imagine that a clear indication that xlib is deprecated may
help people outside the GNUstep project. For example when looking at
Etoile, there are at least the MultimediaKit and the XWindowServerKit
which directly talk to X11 (MMKit displays the Mplayer window in a
GNUstep window). For authors of projects like these two, it may be very
helpful to know that they won't have to support xlib in the future.

But those are just my 2 cents. :->


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