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Bug 20361 - Gnome should use /usr/gnome/2.x like KDE
Summary: Gnome should use /usr/gnome/2.x like KDE
Alias: None
Product: Gentoo Linux
Classification: Unclassified
Component: [OLD] GNOME (show other bugs)
Hardware: All Linux
: High enhancement (vote)
Assignee: Gentoo Linux Gnome Desktop Team
Depends on:
Reported: 2003-05-02 20:09 UTC by Daniel Tourde
Modified: 2003-05-04 16:16 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:
Package list:
Runtime testing required: ---


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Description Daniel Tourde 2003-05-02 20:09:44 UTC

KDE and QT have their own directories with a very nice and simple structure:
On Gentoo 1.4 rc4: /usr/qt/3, /usr/kde/.1
This gives the possibility to have several kde installed on the same machine and
this decreases drastically the number of executable under /usr/bin.
I know, there has been thousands of threads discussing the "orthodoxy" of such
kind of choice. Some people prefering to have everything under /usr when others
prefer to use environment variables (PATH for instance) to structure their
directory (/usr/X11, /usr/qt, /usr/kde ...)

Why is not the same structure applied to Gnome and its libraries?
Something like (I know, I am very novator in my choices...) /usr/gtk and /usr/gnome
Then this would give the possibility to structure as following (sorry for my
wild imagination... :) )
/usr/gtk/1.4 and /usr/gtk/2.2 on one side and /usr/gnome/1.4 and /usr/gnome/2.2
on the other side...

In the same spirit one could consider as well, /usr/motif (I think Gnustep
already uses /usr/gnustep), /usr/5dwm in a near future etc etc....

This would reduce the number of files under /usr/bin, /usr/lib ....

Reproducible: Always
Steps to Reproduce:
Comment 1 foser (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2003-05-02 21:02:02 UTC
because we are not the KDE team. There is no real added value and no i don't consider the amount of files in /usr/{bin,lib} a good reason.
Comment 2 Daniel Tourde 2003-05-03 04:37:27 UTC
Well I don't share your point of view. I think it will give the possibility to have clearly separated on a machine several version of Gnome for different kind of users. The ones willing to use 2.2, 2.0... for whatever reason and the more conservative ones, prefering 1.4.
Files would be clearly separated in 2 different directories. There would be no conflict name between applications who evolved with time but kept the same name and it would be easier to grasp what belong to what. Everything would just be a matter of changing some scripts and some environment variables.

The main problem with a thousand files in /usr/bin is that you get lost. It's simply a mess. An elitist mess where only the ones with a perfect knowledge of the UNIX tools and the installed programs can find their way out. Living John Doe alone, contemplating these thousand entries and thinking "This is complicate, this is not for me". After installing Gnome my /usr jumped from about 700Mb to around 1.4Gb... This is not a small program were are talking about, these are thousand of files. 
In /usr there are simply too many entries. I understand at once that everything under /usr/X11R6 belong to X11. I understand at once that everything under /usr/kde belong to kde. With /usr it is an other problem... The problem with /usr is that it became a black hole where everything is thrown because by doing so, there no need to add new components in PATH, MANPATH, libraries paths.... It's easier... It's easier to install but it's much harder to find your way out once you have 1.5Gb of unsorted data under /usr....

This issue (/usr or /usr/gnome, /usr or /usr/kde... seems to be a sensitive one). There are basically 2 schools. Yours and mine. It's like a schism in a religion. We are disagreeing on a small detail but we will never find an agreement... :)

So why do not give the user the choice?
Would it be hard to create an option in the installation procedure that would basically mean for Gnome AND kde: "I want everything under /usr" or "please separate stuff in at least 5 groups : /usr/gtk, /usr/gnome, /usr/kde, /usr/qt" This would be basically an option that would dynamically change the --prefix option in the ./configure procedure... Not the deepest and most complicate thing in the world.
By giving the user the choice, everybody would be happy.... Besides, isn't user choice and user power what Gentoo stands for?  
Comment 3 Alastair Tse (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2003-05-03 07:32:26 UTC
i couldn't stand the huge "summary." i thought a "summary" meant a _summary_ and not 2 questions.

i agree with foser on this because there is no real added value of putting gnome into it's own subdirectory.

1. choice. the user can choose between 1.4 and 2.x already. gnome/gtk 1.x libs can currently co-exist with gnome/gtk2 libs. so there is no need to introduce any complexity just because "KDE does it."

2. there is no value in allowing people to run 2.0 and 2.2 concurrently. it is good to give user choice, but this is not a choice is see value in. 1.4 and 2.x is a good choice, and it is already available without the /usr/gnome structure.

3. thousands of files in a directory is not a valid reason to do this seperation. if you were not familiary with UNIX, then you wouldn't be going around looking in /usr/lib. If you really wanted to know what file belongs to what pacakge, that is what a package management system does. that is what portage is good at. try doing "qpkg -l gtk+" or "qpkg -f /usr/lib/". that is a job of the package management software.

4. and for john doe, what would he do if he found that gnome took (allegedly) 700M ? rm -rf /usr/gnome ? putting it in its own directory doesn't mean john doe would KNOW and FIX the problem. that again is what package management software is for.

5. /usr/X11R6 is an artifact of how X was packaged historically and what they decided many decades ago. just because KDE and X does it, doesn't mean we should do it. there really needs to be merit to why this is a good thing to do.

6. i think you're oversimplifying the situation with KDE. have you looked at the kde eclasses and think that it is an elegant solution? it is not simple and elegant to manage versions by putting it in their own directory. in fact, i'd go as far to say it would create more confusion.

i'll now go get a cup of coffee and go fix valid gnome bugs.
Comment 4 foser (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2003-05-03 07:40:57 UTC
[ lot of common points with the prev comment probably, we wrote this around the same time :) ]

well you don't have to share my pov, but we're not gonna do it anytime soon (do really think this is the first time this idea has been brought up).

And ofcourse it will give the possibility you mention, thats the whole request. Frankly between 1.4 and 2.0 i can see _some_ merit in it, but not between 2.0 and 2.2 which is just bugfixes and feature improvements. Conflicts between apps in different versions would still be there, since there is no reason to dividide them up as well (imagine the mess it would give), what you basicly suggest is dividing up core libs, not apps. Mind you, quite a few apps in transition can be both installed for 1.4 and 2 versions, because of our SLOTs system. And maybe in your opinion everything would be a matter of changing some minor stuff (fixing every relevant app/lib, i think you back off from calling it 'minor'), but i think it would be major and introduce a lot of rare cases with unaivodable loads of new bugs.

Dividing things up your /usr would still jump from 700 to 1.4 and only scatter things around even more. I doubt anyone looks in his or her /usr/bin to see whats there today to start. Most of it is irrelevant and there are much better ways to start your favorite gnome apps (hey, theres a menu). Data isn't unsorted in /usr, use qpkg to find out what belongs where.

And i disagree this is a religious point of mine, we just don't see the added value vs. the added level of complexity. And no, it wouldn't be easy to give the choice to a user, do you want it seperated or not. You apperantly have no idea how complex this could get and with that how buggy.

And yes maybe Gentoo is about user choice and power - this is about the third time a reporter tries to push his ideas with me that way and it's pushing the wrong buttons, kindergarten psychology -, but also about the best possible experience and that is not introducing unnecessary levels of complexity and instability.

The power is to you (the user), if you want you can probably do it just fine at your local machine. It's your choice.

Now please leave this bug closed. Your idea is noted it just isn't going to make it in tomorrow, im sorry.
Comment 5 Spider (RETIRED) gentoo-dev 2003-05-04 16:16:36 UTC
Not only resolved.