Bug#820239: vim-gnome: uses obsolete GNOME 2 libraries

James McCoy jamessan at debian.org
Thu Apr 7 01:42:28 UTC 2016

Thanks for the report.  I was actually just looking into this some the
other day.  Hopefully you'll be able to provide some more clarity to my

On Wed, Apr 06, 2016 at 09:53:47PM +0100, Simon McVittie wrote:
> The difference between vim-gtk and vim-gnome is that vim-gnome links
> libgnome, a library for integration with old GNOME technologies. However,
> we haven't shipped GNOME 2 since squeeze,

The bits of functionality that Vim is using aren't honored at all by

> making libgnome rather useless,
> and the best vim version for GNOME 3 users at this point is vim-gtk (or
> vim-gtk3, if/when it's stable enough - I've sent a patch on a separate
> bug to stop it crashing on Wayland).

Thanks for that.  It's been applied upstream, with a slight tweak to the
version check, and will be included in the next upload.

> I suspect the vim-gnome name might
> be misleading vim-on-GNOME users into installing the wrong one.
> The GNOME maintainers would like to get rid of libgnome and libbonobo, but
> there's a really long tail of packages that still link to them. Because
> there's already a replacement (vim-gtk or vim-gtk3), I would suggest
> turning vim-gnome into a transitional package to one of those.

Based on my reading of the source and docs, below are the knobs that
vim-gnome offers (or at least intends to) over vim-gtk.

- Session preservation/restoration (via GnomeApp & GnomeClient)
  + If Gnome support isn't enabled, this attempts to fallback to using
    libsm6, but there are comments that indicate it doesn't work very
    well and only saves the session instead of also being able to
    restore it.
  + Gtk3's GtkApplication has a register-session property which may
    simplify some of the code in this area, but as far as I can tell it
    still doesn't provide the means to restore the session.

- Tweaks behavior of the toolbar/menu in the dock (via Bonobo & GnomeApp)
  + Disables floating behavior of menu/toolbar dock items
  + Saves/restores layout of the dock
  + This seems to be replaced by gdl, but those APIs all seem to be
    marked "unstable unless otherwise indicated", which doesn't give me
    much confidence.

I'm fairly unfamiliar with the Gtk/Gnome libraries, so I may be missing

GPG Key: 4096R/331BA3DB 2011-12-05 James McCoy <jamessan at debian.org>

More information about the pkg-vim-maintainers mailing list