[Freewx-maint] Bug#790222: [boinc_dev] Bug#790222: wxwidgets3.0: depends on libwebkitgtk-1.0-0 which is deprecated

Olly Betts olly at survex.com
Thu Jul 6 03:22:55 UTC 2017

On Wed, Jul 05, 2017 at 05:53:14PM +0200, Christian Beer wrote:
> I'm not sure I fully understand the issue. So I'll try to explain what I
> understood.
> Debian is going to remove the package "libwebkitgtk-1.0-0" in testing
> (buster) which will also remove the package "libwxgtk-webview3.0-0v5"
> which is a dependency for package "boinc-manager" which means
> "boinc-manager" will have a broken dependency.
> One possible fix is to rebuild the package "libwxgtk-webview3.0-0v5"
> using GTK3 which means all wxWidgets packages need to be rebuilt too.
> Since "boinc-manager" is the only package using
> "libwxgtk-webview3.0-0v5" you want to rather drop webview support on
> Debian than rebuilding wxWidgets.

That's rather misinterpreting the situation.

We can't sanely release libwebkitgtk-1.0-0 with buster, because its
not been maintained for ages, and that's highly problematic for a
browser stack.  But the buster release is likely be 1.5-2 years from
now so we have time to address this.

To switch to a maintained version of webkitgtk we need to migrate to
using wxWidgets built with GTK3.  The "rebuild" part is easy, but
switching to GTK3 is known to cause incompatibilities with some programs
using wxWidgets, or at least it's known it did - the problems may have
been fixed by newer versions of wxWidgets and/or those programs.  But
we can't know without a lot of testing.

The libwebkitgtk-1.0-0 maintainer suggested just dropping
libwxgtk-webview3.0-0v5 now, so I asked Gianfranco how that would
affect boinc (I had no idea if it was a key feature, or some optional
extra - it seems more the former) since if we drop it now, it will
affect users of boinc from Debian unstable and testing until the
transition to wx with GTK3 is ready to begin.

For some reason he's chosen to escalate this to boinc upstream, whereas
really it's more of an internal Debian issue.

> So our (BOINC's) options are rather limited in order to keep
> "boinc-manager" working on Debian. We can start to look for an
> alternative to wxWebView or disable it on Debian. But disabling is not
> an option since we use wxWebView to communicate to the users of
> boinc-manager via this simple but effective in-app browser. We also have
> a tool that uses wxWebView to show a HTML page as a screensaver which is
> easy for scientific projects to use.

There's wxHtmlWindow which comes as standard, but it's not a full
web stack (e.g. no javascript, doesn't really support CSS IIRC).

> Please correct me if I'm wrong and/or give some more options. I'm a bit
> puzzled as to the fact that this feature of wxWidgets is not used by
> more packages. Is there a history available which packages depended on
> "libwxgtk-webview3.0-0v5" in the past so one can find out what they did?

Debian doesn't track such history explicitly.  If you really want to
know I think you'd have to mine that information from
snapshot.debian.org (which would involve fetching and unpacking a lot of
package files).

I think poedit did briefly (perhaps only in experimental) but it dropped
it.  Gianfranco is also involved in maintaining that, so probably knows
the details.  I'm not aware of any other package that has, and the
webview package was only created because boinc used it.


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