Dienstag, 22. Januar 2008

Why I hate Gtk+/GNOME

I never liked Gtk+/GNOME all that much - but as an Ada supporter I learned to hate them.

Currently I try to create GtkAda for MinGW - from scratch. I already did so for Solaris so I have a fairly good idea what I am in for – only for MinGW everything is even more tricky.

The largest problem huge amount of dependencies in Gtk+ – see the Partner Projects page of The GNU Ada Project for details. Note that the list is never quite complete.

On Solaris I only hat to upgrade parts of Gtk+. But in MinGW I have nothing to build on and need to start from scratch. And with the very first package I run into an complete blocker which puts a interesting new angle to the "The Henn and Egg problem" problem I described a few days ago:

Glib2 needs Pkg-Config to compile and Pkg-Config uses the Glib2 library. And no "--without" or "--disable" configure options to be seen.

I googled the internet high an low without any hint whatsoever on how to break the recursive dependency. As it is it seems that it is impossible to bootstrap Gtk+ at all.

Now, one might argue that this is a developer problem and developers should be used to grieve. But that is not the way it works. Such flaky design will show in the final product as well. I for once have disabled the "GNOME stable" download channel for openSUSE long ago and with no desire for reactivation. It left me quite a few time with an unusable system. The problem was – guess what – faulty dependencies.

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