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Raphael Bauduin: Regarding GNOME and Ghostscript: An Answer to the Open Letter from Raph Levien [Updated: Raph Levien Responds]

Oct 20, 2000, 21:09 (35 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Raphael Bauduin)

Raphael Bauduin writes:

[ Raph Levien has responded to Raphael Bauduin in a talkback below. lt-ed. ]

Last month, Raph Levien posted an open letter about the future of ghostscipt. In this letter, he expresses the fact that he would like to see it linked against GTK+ and GNOME.

Though he emphasizes he doesn't want to exclude other desktop environment, I'm wondering if it is a good idea to link such general software against non-general non-ubiquitous libraries like GTK+ and GNOME libraries. I am not a advanced programmer, so I won't argue that what I say is the truth. However, I think this is an issue that needs to be discussed and debated more than it has been until now. Ghostscript is a piece of software used in a lot of programs, lots of them being non GTK/GNOME software. If I want to use ghostscipt from the command line, would it mean I would have to install the GTK/GNOME libraries? What about KDE software extensively using Ghostscript? Talking with other people, I was suggested that it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing to link ghostscript to a toolkit, but that it could be clever to, for example, consider XUL that already has a GTK binding, and that could have a QT binding in a near future. It wouldn't be linked to Gnome libraries in this case, but that's what I'm advocating anyway ;-) It seems Raph wants ghostscript to be linked to GNOME even under KDE, making it appear as a KDE app. I don't consider ghostscript as a GNOME app, and I think that by linking ghostscript to GNOME, we would have a dangerous precedent. Wouldn't it be much more reasonable to have ghostscript kept apart from any desktop environment? Different versions could be developed for the specific desktop environment, but it should always be based on the same central "desktop independent" source code. Even some GNOME users are skeptical about it as a post underlined on GNotice. Alfonso Landin makes a good point by saying: "If the mantainer want to do a particular version supporting GdkRGB and Bonobo, i will welcome it, but it should be forked, and not shipped with the project." I'm sorry if the next sentence irritates people, but it makes me think of some M$ tactics ;-) I have the hope this is not the motivation of Raph. As maintainer of ghostscript, I hope he will be able to think objectively about the development of his project, just as Linus greatly did (and still does) for the Linux kernel. The goal of ghostscript is to be useful for as much people as possible. It should not force people to install GTK or GNOME libraries to use it.

I hope this letter will be the start of a calm discussion .

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