Bug#826374: mate-desktop: Provide an alternative GTK2 build of MATE

MENGUAL Jean-Philippe mengualjeanphi at free.fr
Sun Jun 5 20:02:55 UTC 2016

Le 05/06/2016 à 10:28, John Paul Adrian Glaubitz a écrit :
> On 06/05/2016 04:20 AM, Tom Maneiro wrote:
>> Recently MATE 1.14 landed on Testing, which brought to the table a change of
>> massive importance: the switch to GTK3 from GTK2. While this was a expected
>> change, clearly outlined at upstream's roadmap (it's basically their only
>> choice if they want to support Wayland), for some users dealing with constant
>> (and INTENTIONAL) breakages at GTK3 upstream (themes being the #1 offender,

Could you precise the problem? What are the problems you have, exactly?
Are they reported somewhere against DTK?

That's right it will be hard to maintain 2 GTK releases, as there are 3
people and probably still one release before freeze, or bugs. But if you
report bugs, probably we can fix them in GTK or MATE, include them in
next stable, and go ahead.

> Moreover, they have actually finished the design recently and it's now
> considered stable, see [1].
>> among other things) it's an undesired and uncomfortable change for such users
>> (including myself). For now I don't really care about Wayland support (not that
>> I don't want it, but right now it isn't a priority for my specific needs).
>> Dealing with such upstream issues at GTK3 is annoying to the point of making
>> MATE unusable for some of us!

Why? What kind of problems do you experience?

> "for me", "for some of us", "I don't care about Wayland support". Do you see
> a pattern here? I mean, I don't think I need to explain more why those are
> actually very bad arguments.
> Linux desperately needs Wayland to replace X11 because the latter is an absolute
> mess [2] and a security nightmare. They are still finding and fixing X.Org
> security issues all the time and the fact that the X server runs as root
> is a huge problem.
>> Fortunately MATE doesn't intend to drop GTK2 support yet, and 1.14 can still be
>> built against GTK2. Checking other distros, there are PPAs for Ubuntu (albeit
>> aimed at older LTS releases), but obviously we need a Debian-specific
>> alternative. What I suggest is having both flavors of MATE (GTK2 and GTK3)
>> available, at least for a while. Obviously you can't have both installed at the
>> same time, so you can choose between GTK versions and the packages will take
>> care of the rest.
> You know that this basically doubles the amount of work that the maintainers
> have, don't you? I think you underestimate the effort required to fulfill
> your request. Making both MATE GTK2 and GTK3 builds would mean the MATE
> maintainers would have to maintain approximately 100 packages instead
> of just 51 as of now [3]. Do you really expect the maintainers to take
> this additional load of work just because some users are feeling they
> don't want to use a GTK3-based version of MATE?
> This isn't even taken then security implications into considerations
> into account which arise when having to deal with effectively a
> second desktop which builds on top of an outdated and soon to be
> deprecated version of GTK.
> Like with Qt3, we can be quite confident that Debian is going to
> drop support for GTK2 at some point simply because having a set
> of libraries which are used by so many other packages in the
> distribution without active maintenance and thus security support
> is not acceptable in Debian.
>> Really, I love MATE to the point of it being my DE of choice for Linux, and I'm
>> using it across all of my desktop Debian installs, but the switch to GTK3 have
>> made me reconsider my choice of desktop, as I'm tired of dealing with the
>> obvious disconnect among GTK3 developers with its real-world users.

Explain your points. You know, the Debian you should use is stable to
get GTK2. And testing should be to prepare future. If future could be a
problem, explain why and let's fix problems. Are GTK devs (at least
maintainers) aware of it? I heard of weird upstream decisions, but I
think users feedback are needed to help Debian patching or not GTK.


> Sorry, but we cannot take request of individual users into consideration and
> as I have explained above, there are actual reasons why this particular
> decision was made, the primary concern being security. We are not
> going to rollback any decisions which improve security in the long
> time.
> If you feel uncomfortable with the changes, you are free to stay on
> Jessie which is going to be supported until 2020 or switch to any
> other distribution of your choice. I am pretty sure that most
> distributions will drop GTK2 support at some point, so you will not
> have much choice, I'm afraid.
> Alternatively, you can try building MATE based on GTK2 yourself,
> or, use a source-based distribution like Gentoo which will allow
> you to build MATE with GTK2 support without much effort.
> Thanks,
> Adrian
>> [1] https://blogs.gnome.org/mclasen/2015/11/20/a-gtk-update/
>> [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIctzAQOe44
>> [3] https://qa.debian.org/developer.php?login=pkg-mate-team@lists.alioth.debian.org
>> [4] https://wiki.debian.org/LTS/


Jean-Philippe MENGUAL

HYPRA, progressons ensemble

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