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Re: Abysmal state of GTK build

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Abysmal state of GTK build
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2022 04:31:47 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/29.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Po Lu <luangruo@yahoo.com> writes:

> Óscar Fuentes <ofv@wanadoo.es> writes:
>> The 90% X Firefox user share you mentioned several times was a statistic
>> of dubious relevance when it came out 6 months ago and is pretty much
>> irrelevant now.
> 6 months ago makes it "irrelevant now"?

At the pace things are changing, yes.

>> The Mozilla Telemetry guys said at the time that it is not truly
>> representative, for several reasons.
> Could you find those "several reasons"?

On the original source (*) it was mentioned:

  - Some distributions build Firefox with telemetry disabled, which
    might significantly skew the results.

I'll add that there are other significant factors, such as age of
install and release: if you are interested on current trends, you don't
want to take into account relatively old installs such as LTS, Debian
Stable, etc., or even a four months old Ubuntu release, you are mostly
interested on new installs from releases that provides up to date
Wayland packages and asked the user whether to use Wayland, defaulted to
it or provided a simple and prominently advertised method for switching
after the install.

* https://www.phoronix.com/news/Firefox-Wayland-X11-Stats

>> And, more importantly, Wayland adoption is gaining momentum, with
>> major distros (such as Ubuntu) defaulting to it and KDE joining Gnome
>> as a stable Wayland-based desktop environment.
> It can hardly be called stable (like Wayland in general) when it
> implements a different screencast protocol extension from GNOME Shell
> and wlroots.

So compatibility with Gnome is what defines the stability of my KDE
install? I just care about not experiencing crashes or defects.

>> I'll say that by 2025 Wayland will be more popular than X by a wide
>> margin, and then X will have a hard time with basic maintenance by lack
>> of manpower (some insiders say that it already suffers from that.)
> I will always be available to take up anything that might be missing on
> the X server side of things.

As a happy Emacs/Lucid user: thank you, sincerely. But nobody can assert
"I'll always be here."

> But contrary to what people repeat off
> internet blogs, the X server is not seeing a lack of maintenance,
> manpower, or even new features:

See X Developers Conference 2021, the intervention of Matthieu Herb, for
instance. This is not "people writing on internet blogs."

X is considered legacy and, possibly a worse curse nowadays, unsecure.
For better or worse, new efforts are focused on Wayland. This will have
dire effects over time on X maintenance.


>> This doesn't mean much for Emacs on the short and medium term. Emacs
>> works on XWayland, and XWayland is improving so applications running on
>> it doesn't suffer from a degraded user experience compared to native
>> Wayland ones, apart from the constraints related to being based on X.
> HiDPI does not work on XWayland.

Scaling produces blurriness on XWayland. That's true, its widely
acknowledged as a problem and people is addressing the issue, slowly.

> It is also impossible to actively grab
> or warp the pointer.  All of these are very basic problems that have not
> yet been solved.

That's the precise issue that is keeping me on X on my multimonitor,
mixed DPI machine.

There is ydotool, which crashes on my system but apparently works for
others. Just two days ago I found some protocols (one from
wayland-protocols, the other from plasma-wayland-protocols) that in
theory allow cursor warping, among other things. I need to figure out
how to use them.

>> Another claim you made several times is that distros will stop providing
>> GTK2 packages soon. This is hard to believe, since other major
>> applications (such as GIMP, as you said) also use GTK2 and distros still
>> provide packages for libraries way more ancient and obscure than GTK2.
> The GIMP is the last program keeping GTK+ 2.x in package repositories.

Well, "apt-cache showpkg libgtk2.0-0" shows several hundred dependencies
on my Debian Testing machine.

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