XScreenSaver vs. CADT

Dear Lazyweb, I am told that the Linux folks have been "improving" things again, and by "improving" I mean "deleting 25 year old APIs without providing a compatibility layer." Specifically:

I'm told that some distros have stopped shipping gdk-pixbuf-xlib.

I'm also told that libglade is on the chopping block, and that there is a migration tool, and also that said migration tool does not work.

It would be great if someone were to send me a patch that makes xscreensaver still compile and run properly in the face of these pointless, unnecessary changes.

I have no interest -- in fact, less than no interest, a positive disinterest -- in figuring this out, so I'm not going to. I haven't thought about GTK since the 90s and I'd like to keep it that way.

To whoever does this, the xscreensaver users thank you, and my inbox thanks you.

Previously, previously, previously.

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16 Responses:

  1. Rodger says:

    The brave new future where xscreensaver works on Android but not a desktop Linux distribution.

    • the hatter says:

      Bit of a stretch to call it a "future" when it's a linux that just neglects a lot of updates. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that it'll continue run on a slackware 10 box, and no doubt compile fine when I get a slackware 15 box, but I'm not pretending I want to live in the future, or even the now.

  2. japh says:

    It still works in *BSDLand, thank Dog.

    "I'd like Welsh rarebit with a poached egg on top, not too runny. Bacon, scones, butter, cream, jam--not strawberry. A pot of Lapsang, please. And a stable API. And sausages..."

    • Chris Hanson says:

      Yeah, NetBSD is moving forward much more cautiously with this stuff. For example, they just switched the default window manager to ctwm, and I hear it might even perform better on old hardware like my HP-Apollo 9000/433s. Which reminds me, I need to build the latest xscreensaver on it…

  3. Julian Macassey says:

    When I see utilities that have worked for decades replaced, deleted, or new ones thrown up, I'm pretty sure often the people doing that were not alive when the replaced utility was written.
    A few years ago, a bug was found in bash, the guy who wrote the bash shell said he refused to be interviewed by anyone not alive when bash was written.

  4. cheese says:

    searching for libglade deprecation I stumpled across https://mail.gnome.org/archives/devel-announce-list/2009-May/msg00003.html

    oh my, i hate bitrot!
    as far as i found gdk-pixbuf-xlib was split out of gdk-pixbuf, in preparation for deleting it, i suppose.
    could you share a bit more info about what was that non-working migration tool.

    • jwz says:

      No. If you're not prepared to try and and then email me a patch when it succeeds, then you're not really helping.

      • cheese says:

        i think i already tried/wasted some time by searching without knowing what exactly was the problem and by asking to point me into the right direction. anyway i clearly don't want to waste your time as i don't want to waste my own time. if that was your impression: sorry about that.

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  6. Poprocks says:

    libglade has been deprecated for years and is no longer maintained. It's all a relic of the gtk/gnome 2.x era.

    In the gtk3 era (and in later versions of gtk2, optionally) this functionality has been built into gtk by way of the GtkBuilder API.

    If you've no interest to move to gtk3 (and surprise! gtk4 is slated to come out at the end of the year) there's really no point in trying to patch this. All of this software (gtk2, gdk-pixbuf2, libglade) still all works perfectly fine. I think the issue is more a function of distributions dropping support for these libraries. No patch will address that, unless the patch is to fully port xscreensaver to gtk3.

    • jwz says:

      I think the issue is more a function of distributions dropping support for these libraries.

      Yes, you have correctly re-stated the problem. With the clarification that to them "dropping support" doesn't mean anything so prosaic as not installed by default, or not running QA, but instead means "the libraries are no longer available in their package managers at all."

      No patch will address that, unless the patch is to fully port xscreensaver to gtk3.

      If that's how you want to re-state the request -- "send me a patch that makes xscreensaver-demo function with the libraries that so-called 'modern' distros actually ship" -- I can accept that.

      • Poprocks says:

        > Yes, you have correctly re-stated the problem. With the clarification that to them "dropping support" doesn't mean anything so prosaic as not installed by default, or not running QA, but instead means "the libraries are no longer available in their package managers at all."

        That sounds absolutely crazy. Gtk2 is old and in pure maintenance mode, but it is NOT obsolete software. The GIMP still relies upon it, for instance, as well as a lot of other applications. The Gtk3 release cycle has been a well-documented nightmare.

        Which distros have users reported the dropping of it from their package managers? Why do I get the feeling a bunch of users don't realize a bunch of these packages are still available but in many cases they'll need to stick a '2' somewhere in the package name to distinguish from the Gtk 3.x stuff.

        • jwz says:

          I am told that "Gentoo" no longer makes the "gdk-pixbuf-xlib" package/APIs available, as of "gdk-pixbuf 2.42.0". I am told that this implies that other distros will eventually be pulling the same shit.

          If this is incorrect, and I can go back to never thinking about this again and changing not a single line of code, that would be a near-perfect resolution.

          • Poprocks says:

            OK, I've looked into this, and this is what I think is going on on Gentoo.

            Upstream, as at version 2.42.0, `gdk-pixbuf' and `gdk-pixbuf-xlib' were split into separate packages, presumably because they want to keep using gdk-pixbuf upstream for gtk4, but want the xlib-specific stuff out of the main tree because they don't need it for gtk4 going forward. Fine.

            So now with Gentoo, the issue is (just advised to me by a mod on IRC) that gdk-pixbuf-xlib was only added to the testing repo yesterday, whereas gdk-pixbuf 2.42.0 was added to testing "some more days ago," so some overly zealous users probably tried to upgrade to gdk-pixbuf 2.42.0 immediately only to find that gdk-pixbuf-xlib didn't yet exist on their servers, causing software like xscreensaver (but likely many others) to break for them.

            Anyhow, now that gdk-pixbuf-xlib has been added to testing on gentoo, users that have their mirrors up to date should be able to now get gdk-pixbuf-xlib installed, thus resolving the issue.

            I think users that fancy themselves as `l337' enough to run not only Gentoo, but Gentoo testing, should be smart enough to solve or investigate these issues as they arise on their own.

  7. jwz says:

    Alan Coopersmith:

    If anyone wants to work on this, this is the patch I made a few years back to use GtkBuilder instead of libglade in xscreensaver on Solaris, but it's only tested with GNOME 3.18 on Solaris, not Linux, BSD, or other OS'es, nor current GNOME/GTK.

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