GNOME DevX, FOSDEM

February 5, 2013

Back now from the GNOME Developer Experience hackfest and FOSDEM. I was a bit late arriving, and entered during the perennial Python/JavaScript/vala/etc. discussion.

Developer Experience

Languages

Let me write down my current thoughts on this – they’re a bit nuanced. First, this previous entry still stands. The big picture of the architecture is correct, where a bindable subset of C is the primary interface definition. Another way to say this is that there are no plans to, for example, change GTK+ to require JavaScript.

C/GObject is just the interface definition – it’s possible to write GObject libraries in C++. For example: pango is now partially a frontend around harfbuzz. What’s not possible and will never be sanely is some sort of mechanism where one language calls into a component in another.

Let me highlight the excellent work of Jasper St. Pierre on gobject-introspection‘s documentation generation over the hackfest. We’re getting quite close to an initially usable version; this is something people have wanted for a long time.

Applications

This was an interesting discussion – lots of ideas going around. Some of it is quite very far from realization (like a complete sandbox), so the key I think is going to break it down into individidually useful steps that can be iterated on. There’s also a lot of prior art here as well, but the glick2 page explains why it’s not about just bundles – they need to integrate with the system. For example, we still want applications to use GSettings, and system administrators should be able to have a global view of application configuration, with mandatory controls, etc.

Thanks to:


BetaGroup Coworking for providing space, and:

GNOME foundation and Red Hat for sponsoring travel!

FOSDEM

Awesome, overwhelming, informative, and fun. Lots of great discussions with a wide variety of people across the FOSS world. Really looking forward to next year.

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