Gconf or GSettings? - leading to a wider question

Linus Torvalds torvalds at linux-foundation.org
Sat Jan 19 09:16:45 PST 2013

On Jan 19, 2013 12:57 AM, "Amit Chaudhuri" <amit.k.chaudhuri at gmail.com>
> Two different lines of though bring me to ask the same question.  Namely,
why does subsurface use Gtk2 and not the newer version?

Even within the Linux world, gtk2 is much more portable than gtk3. I still
have machines with older distributions that simply don't have gtk3

When you then look at the windows and osx situation, its even more clear
that gtk2 is the right choice for portability.

That said, gtk3 has better integration with cairo, and I looked at allowing
people to build using it (while still also working with gtk2). However, the
gtk people don't understand about compatibility, and it was much too
painful to try to have both work. Not only does gtk3 have new interfaces,
they also drop old ones even when they would seem to be easy to support
with some compat layer.

If you know gtk well enough that you know how to write things so that they
work with both versions (without just duplicating coffee and having tons of
ifdefs in the code) I think that would be reasonable.

But quite frankly, subsurface isn't the only project that decided that gtk3
want worth it. I don't understand projects that cannot seem to realize that
compatibility is one of the absolute primary goals. Gtk3 screwed the pooch
on that. Even gtk2 has several cases of " we added a new interface, and
then we removed the old one".

Christ, what a pain. I would be almost more supportive of trying to move to
something else entirely, based on the silly compatibility problems we've
had with gtk. I don't know if there is anything better, though.

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