July 6th, 2006

Freedesktop and next generation GNOME?

I didn't go to GUADEC (but will be there next year in Birmingham) so I'm not sure if anything was said about improving freedesktop integration.

There are a number of worthy goals and applications that are needed to make freedesktop more successful (top of the list would be a common configuration system and perhaps a common VFS too) but these are somewhat hampered by differing attitudes most notably KDE prefers in-process stuff for config/VFS whilst GNOME is more daemon friendly in those regards especially as they provide more benefits (notifications, shared connections etc).

For me, now that we have a common rocktastic IPC layer in DBUS, the only thing missing is a common component system which should be dbus based too. In-process Dbus should be possible (just like it is with Corba) and could help solve the above requirements for making system both in and out-of-process with the minimum of effort (think VFS where local stuff would benefit from being in-process whilst network stuff would prefer being out-of-process).

It would also make in-process and out-of-process scripting a breeze and provide full introspection too (something sadly missing from GObject).

Its the shot in the arm that freedesktop needs right now and hopefully the next generation GNOME/KDE will be more inclined to consider using more freedesktop based technologies.