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Re: Debian and SimplyGNUstep

From: Chad Hardin
Subject: Re: Debian and SimplyGNUstep
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 20:38:56 -1000

On Wednesday, October 8, 2003, at 07:57 PM, Matthias Klose wrote:
Chad Hardin writes:
Because the install locations are not ideal for a user-centered GNUstep
based desktop system.
That's the main reason.
GNUstep really doesn't fit into the FHS mode.  With KDE and GNOME you
can "hide" the actual program file locations with their (yucky) "Start"
menu type system.  GNUstep has no concept, you launch programs by
double-clicking the actual Application itself, not via some "Start"
menu abstraction.

well, what's the difference between clicking an icon on the desktop or
on the dock? why does have wmaker to care about the Applications
folder in / or somewhere else?

Uhm, this really has nothing to do with wmaker, or a window manager at all. It's about the user navigating the filesystem to launch applications and open documents.

You can't expect the typical user to launch Applications by going to
/usr/lib/GNUstep/System/Applications, that just won't happen.  Plus,
even expereince users probably wouldn't want to do that.

Much easier to simply go to /Applications or /System/Applications and
launch your app.

well, I never go there. either I double click on the desktop (and I
don't care about the locations), or I use openapp from the command
line (not caring about the location).

What Debian currently misses, is from my point of view:

- a setup for display managers (xdm, gdm, kdm), so a user can choose
  at the login prompt a GNUstep session and X starts up with a GNUstep
  desktop (before properly sourcing GNUstep.sh, starting GNUstep user
  daemons, etc ...)

interesting. Like I've said before, I'm new to Debian. Is the ability to switch this behavior kept in a configuration file in /etc? That is the way most of the other distros seem to do it. Is your idea something like a text-mode selection that is called just before xdm/gdm/kdm is started? That would be interesting, along with an option to stop asking, if wanted, and default to a particular login manager from then on.

- a GNUstep meta packages containing dependencies to packages which
  make up a basic GNUstep desktop.

Nice idea.

These two would make for a much better user expericence, any

I would but I'm still in the process of learning the system. I don't even know how to create a meta-package just yet. Can you point me to an example of a metapackage so I can apt-get source it?

- assume he makes his packages for one architecture, he's missing
  six other archs.

Shouldn't the .dsc sources I'm creating be able to be made into binary
packages of any architecture?  I'm brand new to Debian package making,
but this seems to be the case.

If you take care, yes. But who builds these?

Whoever wants to. I suppose if there is a need someone will build it for their arch.

The thing he doesn't like are the unusual/unfriendly places (called
the Unix File System Hierarchy (FHS)). Some time before the KDE people
didn't like, now someone from the GNUstep community doesn't like
it. If you know of a better schema which fits the FHS, please let us

FHS is great for the typical UNIX system, and I don't want to change it
all, with the exception of the GNUstep stuff.

I still think, this can be done by some clever UI abstraction,
provided you target a "user".

Why the need to be "clever" when it can just be done straight out?

Chad Hardin writes:
Yep, I'm not saying I want to inject non-FHS compliant packages for
GNUstep into Debian. I'm just saying that I'm gonna be making a lot of
GNUstep related packages which install in non-FHS locations, in my own
repository.  and, while I'm at it, I may as well contribute the work I
do to the Debian packages, which install the Debian way.

If you do this, please submit changes to the Debian bug tracking
system for changes in the Debian subdir, however I think you should
try to reach your goals on the basis of a Debian setup.

I'm sorry, no offense really, but i just don't think that is possible. I'm more than willing to contribute GNUstep packages for Debian which follow the Debian rules though,


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