The future of Gnome 2

Following forum [1], IRC and mailing list reading, I wanted to clarify Gnome team position on what will happen now that Gnome 3.8 has moved to stable.

Gnome 2 is going to be removed.

I think it cannot be more clear and there are multiple reasons for that. Let’s write a bit about those so people do not try to invent conspiracy theories:

  • Gnome 2 is not maintained anymore, nothing will make this fact go away.
  • the team is understaffed, many of our talented contributors are too busy with real life or simply quit the (Gentoo) project.
  • Bug reports are still flowing for Gnome 2 but none of us in the team are running it anymore because we do not have the extent of time needed for that.

So, yes, Gnome 3 does not suit everyone’s tastes, but most of us still love it, yes, it depends on systemd and most of us would rather keep our good ol’ openrc that did the work just fine but Gnome 2 is going away and nothing will change that.

What we recommend to people who loved Gnome 2 is to switch to alternatives like XFCE, MATE or Cinnamon because there is no point in living in the past.


Gnome 3.6

We had a marathon with Alexandre (tetromino) in the last 2 weeks to get Gnome 3.6 ebuilds using python-r1 eclasses variants, EAPI=5 and gstreamer-1. And now it is finally in gentoo-x86, unmasked.

You probably read, heard or have seen stuff about EAPI=5 and new python eclasses before but, in short, here is what it will give you:

  • package manager will finally know for real what python version is used by which package and be able to act on it accordingly (no more python-updater when all ebuilds are migrated)
  • EAPI=5 subslots will hopefully put an end to revdep-rebuild usage. I already saw it in action while bumping some of the telepathy packages to discover that empathy was now automatically being rebuilt without further action than emerge -1 telepathy-logger.

No doubt lots of people are going to love this.

Gnome 3.6 probably still has a few rough edges so please, check bugzilla before filing new reports.

Gnome herd needs fresh blood

Title says it all. As things are today, even though a couple of people popped up on my previous “Looking for a padawan” post none of them got actually involved, gnome herd is failing its mission. Gnome 2.28 is not getting keyworded, no migration documentation is being worked on and no stabilization list is in preparation either. As for gnome 2.30, we are closing in final release and we still don’t have 50% of compliant packages in overlay (probably even less). Since working in gentoo got a lot less fun for me, the situation isn’t going to change much in the foreseeable future.

Irregular update

A few words to say that even though I’ve been busy irl, gnome 2.28.2 is almost completely in tree (about 10 packages left). Also, I finally killed tracker 0.6 from the tree, it was rusty and deserved some rest. Tracker 0.7 has been added and although it’s API/ABI changed, it already is integrated to nautilus 2.28. I still have to get the totem patch for it and we will be back to what was supported with 0.6. I’ve also updated the live ebuild and I’ll make sure it stays in sync with last release.

Gnome 2.28.1 full steam

My CIA profile went from about one commit every 17.35 housr to one every 16.56. The difference does not seem big but the calculation is diluted on about 6 years due to a KDE dev sharing the same nick. This amounts to 158 commits tonight.

~arch is now at about 85% of completeness for Gnome 2.28.1, a few commits are missing due extra complexity (hey it still took my 3 hours to do that). Beware that this release still has a few rough edges, especially policykit migration buts. So if you get cut, please come to bugzilla but do not expect sweet words and attention if I see comments like “dude why do you keep on breaking ~arch”. It’s ~arch, beat it.

Gnome 2.28.1 is there

Just added gnome-2.28.1 ebuild to the overlay, only had to keep two dependencies down. Since we are now finished with gnome-2.28 core, time to squash bugs, there is quite a number of them already, if you want to participate, just visit the overlay status/TODO or status/BUGS files, or visit gnome 2.28 official release tracker bug

Played with gnome-shell, kind of nice but still needs applet work done as I can’t use gnome-globalmenu applet anymore and I’d like to keep to vertical space real estate. Plus I don’t like the actual replacements for notification area and clock applet, they do less. I bit worried about speed in activities menu as well, it’s damn slow on my Core2@2.2Ghz which I can’t understand.

Also worked on some other ebuilds like geoclue, emerillion and seed, not easy on downstream packaging so delayed until further notice.

The unending tale

Ok guys, buckle up, I’ve finished reviewing Gnome 2.28 ebuilds except for the gnome-shell stuff. Now Gnome 2.28.1 is expected on wednesday so we can start bumping like crazy to be half-decently on time this time (feels like we’ll never be done with the catch-up). There are still quite a few problems with packages as noted in my papers and files under status/ in overlay but upgrade experience should be smoother.

If you are about to test the overlay, please keep us posted on your problems (or your non-problems too) by contacting us on #gentoo-desktop or by filling bug reports. Thanks again to everyone who kept the overlay updated during 2.27 cycle.

edit: fix typo thanks to remi.

To sleep or not to sleep

It’s over 1AM again, and I’m still not finished with Gnome 2.28 review. I’ve spent quite some time this weekend and tonight looking at what was wrong with gnote, gnome-system-monitor, gparted and a few other c++ apps suddendly starting to crash after I updated glib on Friday. Turns out something in the mm stack is doing something wrong so I filled Gnome bug #598209.

Updated to epiphany-2.28 since I got sick of epiphany-2.26 crashing when I wanted to make it remember a new password. Turns out it’s not as nice as I would have thought a nearly two years efforts would be. Lots of problems where loading of a page would stop in the middle of the process. I had to install firefox to fill bug reports and access the pages that fails. That’s quite a regression but upstream is now aware of it through Gnome bug #598115. Hopefully it’ll be fixed for Gnome 2.28.1.

I also spent some time cleaning up unneeded revisions in tree since I had to occupy myself when building all those c++ bindings. So where are we now, a bit less than 41 packages to go for review and about 80% of completeness on my gnome 2.28 status page.

Review progress

In overlay news, we are currently at 75% of completeness for the 2.28 release. Currently reviewed 46 ebuilds, at bit less than 55 to go.

In other news, if you get strange gnupg related failures, head over to bug #275291. We will apply patch when someone from gnome herd has a chance to get around it.

Update: fix typo