[Freewx-maint] wxWidgets GTK+ 3

Scott Talbert swt at techie.net
Sat Sep 24 23:42:54 UTC 2016

On Sun, 25 Sep 2016, Olly Betts wrote:

>> I know GTK+ 3 has been discussed before, and I know you've had reservations,
>> but what do you think about building for GTK+ 3 alongside GTK+ 2?  That way,
>> individual dependencies could be migrated as they are ready.
> Parallel packages increases the maintenance work, and I don't have time to spare
> for that currently - I already have enough things I want to get sorted
> out before
> the upcoming freeze.  This would also increase the maintenance work for some
> dependent packages (wxpython, wxperl, wxglade, etc would likely need parallel
> versions too).

I'm not sure how much extra maintenance it would be.  Sure, it would take 
some work to get the parallel packages setup initially, but I'm not sure 
it would be that much work after it is already set up.

> If you really want to make a case for this, I think a list of concrete
> benefits are
> needed - all I can see in your email seems to amount to "some dependent
> packages are ready".

I don't have a whole lot other than I think it would be better to have 
GTK+3 support sooner rather than later so that non-X11 backends (e.g., 
Wayland) can be supported.

> My preference is still to do the migration along with the next wx
> version (so 3.2),
> assuming that comes along in a timely fashion.  And if it doesn't look
> like it'll
> be out soon enough, then to start work on GTK+3 early in a Debian release cycle.
> That would give us some hope of being able to migrate everything and drop the
> GTK+2 packages so we can avoid having to support two parallel versions for a
> whole stable release cycle.  And if the migration is problematic, issues can at
> least get shaken out, and either fixed or affected dependent packages can revert
> to the GTK+2 version before the freeze.

I'm not optimistic about 3.2 being any time soon.  It seems that upstream 
development has slowed recently - well, not necessarily development 
itself, but releases.  Ie, they've been talking about a 3.0.3 release 
"coming soon" for quite a while now and there doesn't seem to be a lot of 

The other reason I'd propose parallel packages is that I think moving some 
applications to GTK+3 is going to take a bit of work (and thus, the work 
would not *have* to happen within a release cycle).  Unfortunately, in 
GTK+3 the size of some widgets has increased (e.g., GtkSpinButton now has 
the plus and minus buttons side by side instead of stacked) and 
applications that have hard-coded widget sizes, or not enough space 
allocated have problems.


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