21 Jul 2000 Jimbob   » (Journeyer)


I've decided to take the Salon article as an admonition for me to start keeping this diary up to date, rather than posting one diary entry every five months... :-)


The "Gnome System Administrator" application will not be coded by me. Helix is working on a scaled down version of it, and I trust them more than I trust myself re: coding.


I agree 100% with what I've heard of Miguel's comments on coding (although I think a transcript of his keynote will have to be put up somewhere There is waaay to much code duplication. Slashdot's ignorance not withstanding, it's just plain dumb for every app to load into memory it's own dialogs, stock buttons, printing support, etc.
    From a coding point of view, you're making you're own job tougher by doing this. From an efficiency point of view, you're making the system's job harder by making it load a different version of "Common Feature X" for each app.
    What's more, the aguments for not depending on lots of libraries is foolish. Unless you're doing something dumb, like linking to an unreleased library under heavy development, the APIs are not likely to change that much between revisions, and if they do, the earlier revision will still work (you can have more than one version of a library around, remember).
    "Saving the user some download time" is also lacking in veracity. If you put links up to the deps that need to be downloaded on the same page as your app download link is on, and toss some instructions on the page as well, where's the huge loss. These people are on the Internet all the time, and they still can surf while they're downloading (Modems are both not 14.4 and not single-tasking).
    Then there is the argument that libraries take too much disk space... Can anyone guess what the majority of my disk space is taken up by? MP3s. 30% of my system is MP3 files. One five minute song in 160kbps MP3 format takes up more space than all the .so files in gnome-libs and gdk-pixbuf. I would bet a serious amount of cash that a great majority of the people so concerned about their disk space can spare a few measily megs for what most GNOME apps need on top of GTK+... (And if you aren't using GTK+, you're using something nearly the same size.)

However, the most serious reason for using libraries (at least from my point of view and taking into account the assumption that your app is GUI-based :-)) is that they allow for a consistent user interface far more easily and with much more structure than the implement-it-yourself method does. And seriously now, what is the point of releasing a GUI app to the world if you don't care about the interface looking good and fitting in with the rest of the system.

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