future of GNOME Flashback and GNOME-2-related packages?

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future of GNOME Flashback and GNOME-2-related packages?

Simon McVittie-7
On Wed, 06 Apr 2016 at 00:18:10 +0200, Ondřej Surý wrote:
> I have a feeling that we are hoarding packages, but the overall quality
> varies a lot (not pointing fingers here)

This, and occasional mentions of gnome-screensaver in the xscreensaver
debacle, reminded me that the GNOME team is still responsible for
quite a lot of pre-GNOME-Shell packages, notably the Flashback suite
(-screensaver, -panel, -power-manager). It's clear to people who are
involved in GNOME upstream that these are deprecated, and in particular
that they are unnecessary for GNOME 3 users, but this isn't necessarily
very clear to non-experts.

We've had Shell in two stable releases now, and we now have both Cinnamon
and MATE available for fans of the traditional desktop. Is it time to
be more aggressive about removing gnome-flashback and its dependencies,
maybe with transitional packages to upgrade (sidegrade?)  to one of the
GNOME forks for people who want that?

Alternatively, if people are still maintaining Flashback as a distinct
project (both upstream and downstream), can/should we give a stronger
indication that it isn't part of the core GNOME suite, and should be
treated as its own distinct desktop environment? Perhaps it should even
have a distinct Maintainer team?

Similar question for the libraries and infrastructure bits that have
been superseded upstream and are now discouraged: Gtk 2, libgnome,
gnomevfs, gconf, gnome-desktop 2 and so on. These are particularly
annoying because some non-GNOME software that wants to "integrate with
GNOME" still uses them - for instance see Java, vim-gnome (which is a
trap, people should probably prefer vim-gtk or even the new vim-gtk3),
dia-gnome, stardict-gnome.

    S

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Re: future of GNOME Flashback and GNOME-2-related packages?

Emilio Pozuelo Monfort-4
On 06/04/16 20:51, Simon McVittie wrote:
> Similar question for the libraries and infrastructure bits that have
> been superseded upstream and are now discouraged: Gtk 2, libgnome,
> gnomevfs, gconf, gnome-desktop 2 and so on. These are particularly
> annoying because some non-GNOME software that wants to "integrate with
> GNOME" still uses them - for instance see Java, vim-gnome (which is a
> trap, people should probably prefer vim-gtk or even the new vim-gtk3),
> dia-gnome, stardict-gnome.

Those libraries and packages should be removed. We've been doing that for a
while, though progress is slow. See

https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?users=pkg-gnome-maintainers@...;tag=oldlibs

More help in getting rid of that kind of packages would be very welcome.

Cheers,
Emilio

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Re: future of GNOME Flashback and GNOME-2-related packages?

Paul Wise via nm
In reply to this post by Simon McVittie-7
On Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 2:51 AM, Simon McVittie wrote:

> We've had Shell in two stable releases now, and we now have both Cinnamon
> and MATE available for fans of the traditional desktop. Is it time to
> be more aggressive about removing gnome-flashback and its dependencies,
> maybe with transitional packages to upgrade (sidegrade?)  to one of the
> GNOME forks for people who want that?

I would say don't add transitional packages but do add information
about this to the release notes.

BTW, is gnome-shell classic mode still going to be available upstream?

--
bye,
pabs

https://wiki.debian.org/PaulWise

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Re: future of GNOME Flashback and GNOME-2-related packages?

Simon McVittie-7
On Thu, 07 Apr 2016 at 10:39:41 +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> BTW, is gnome-shell classic mode still going to be available upstream?

GNOME 3.20's gnome-shell-extensions still has it. I can't say for sure
whether it will be in 3.22 (which is probably what stretch will release
with) but I'm not aware of any reason why it would be removed.

To be completely clear about this, there are three levels of GNOMEness
in recent/future Debian:

* GNOME 3 as intended by upstream, the default in Debian 7/8/testing:
  the one with the black bar at the top, using GNOME 3 technology to
  provide the GNOME 3 UX design

* GNOME Classic, available since Debian 8: using GNOME 3 technology
  (GNOME Shell plus some extensions) to provide a UX design superficially
  similar to GNOME 2

* GNOME Flashback (previously Fallback, confusingly labelled "Classic"
  in Debian 7): using a mixture of GNOME 2 and 3 technology to get
  a UX somewhere between GNOME 2 and GNOME 3 on weaker systems.
  This used to be run by GNOME 3 as a fallback on systems with no
  hardware 3D, but now GNOME 3 relies on llvmpipe to provide
  "good enough" software compositing instead.

The one I'm concerned about here is Flashback, because that depends on
components that are essentially dead upstream (but with names that could
mislead users into thinking they are still a required component for
GNOME), and there are actively-developed forks with their own upstream
developers (MATE, Cinnamon) which might be a better choice now.

    S