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Re: Abysmal state of GTK build

From: Rob Browning
Subject: Re: Abysmal state of GTK build
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2022 00:43:42 -0500

Sean Whitton <spwhitton@spwhitton.name> writes:

> So, in your view it would be fine if we didn't use -gtk by default even
> though GNOME is Debian's default desktop?

I don't think I have any categorical opinion on that front either in
general, or at the moment.  And since I don't use gnome, emacs-gtk, or
emacs tool/menu/scroll bars right now (and haven't for a long while),
I'd need more information.

One broad question might be "what is 'apt install emacs' for"?[1]
i.e. is it intended to provide the "best/preferred typical emacs", and
people should expect that it might produce substantially disruptive
changes over time (presumably only on major debian release boundaries),
i.e. lucid -> gtk -> something-new, or is it intended to provide the
emacs that goes with the default desktop (also potentially disruptive
across releases), or...

[1] Note to all that the "emacs" package is currently an empty
    metapackage that actually depends on "emacs-gtk | emacs-lucid |
    emacs-nox", so that any flavor will satisfy an "emacs" dependency,
    but the flavor listed first in the metapackage's dependencies is the
    one you get if you just try to install it directly.  I believe I
    chose that ordering years ago, based on what appeared to be the
    upstrem preferences at the time.

Ignoring the disruptive transition for a moment, I also wonder how much
it'd actually matter if emacs (eventually) preferred something other
than emacs-gtk.  Then people using gnome would "just" need to know to
install emacs-gtk or emacs-gnome instead of emacs.  (Any gnome-related
package that wants an emacs, could still depend on the concrete flavor
if appropriate.)

That said, given the potential disruption.  I might well be inclined to
set a moderately high bar for changes.  I also suspect a minor avalanche
of bugs will be filed if/when we do change the default to something
substantially different -- given varying opinions.

What's in a name?

Rob Browning
rlb @defaultvalue.org and @debian.org
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