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suggestions for Guile wrt GTK and Gnome support

From: Neil W. Van Dyke
Subject: suggestions for Guile wrt GTK and Gnome support
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 12:32:48 -0400 (EDT)

I suspect that the recent endorsement of Microsoft's C# and .NET by the
FSF and Ximian suggests a decreasing likelihood that Guile will ever
become popular.  C# (and .NET) are in direct competition for the
majority of uses I've been forseeing for Guile.

Ximian, which effectively controls the direction of Gnome, will now be
preoccupied with cloning Microsoft architecture and collaborating with
Microsoft.  They'll presumably be unable to move Gnome development in
ways that are conducive to its use with Guile (not to mention that there
is now arguably business disincentive to actively aid the success of

I'm stating this not to condemn the choices of Ximian and the FSF, but
to suggest some measures that Guile developers could take to hopefully
furthur the success of Guile -- and more importantly, the purely-
intentioned free software spirit behind Guile.

The first thing I'd like to suggest is to put a canonical tree of GTK
1.2 support for Guile into Guile's CVS repository, make it work well,
and keep it up to date with Guile releases and CVS versions.  GTK is a
good and popular GUI toolkit, 1.2 is stable, and 1.2 is not dependent on
the current Gnome build environment (which is larger, much more complex,
and constantly changing).

The next thing I'd suggest is a separate tree in the Guile CVS
repository of Guile support for the evolving GTK 1.3 and later versions
that are currently part of the Gnome 2.0 CVS.  If the version of GTK in
the Gnome CVS repository becomes dependent on Gnome, then the GTK could
be forked and put into the Guile CVS repository, with occasional
backports from whatever the Gnome people do to their prong of the fork.

Finally, full Gnome support for Guile would be a good thing.  That could
be maintained as part of the Gnome CVS repository or Guile's CVS
repository.  I have a suspicion (and anecdotal experience) that making
Guile support for GTK 1.2 and 1.3 dependent on a full Gnome environment
would be problematic, though.  I would therefore like suggest that "GTK
support for Guile" and "Gnome (including GTK) support for Guile" be
treated as two separate projects, with the GTK support project
independent of the Gnome support project.

Unfortunately, I don't yet have the GTK familiarity to do this myself,
(and don't have the time in the near future), so I'm hoping someone else
would be excited about doing this.

So that I don't feel like a total freeloading armchair manager, :) I'll
try to release this week a bunch of the Guile code I've been writing off
and on over the last few months.  My Guile packages include a forgiving
HTML structural parser, a kind of "literate programming" tool that uses
Texinfo as a backend, an IRC bot, and several smaller modules.

Neil (nwv)

                                          Neil W. Van Dyke <address@hidden>

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