[maemo-developers] Community widgets for Fremantle

From: Graham Cobb g+770 at cobb.uk.net
Date: Thu Oct 1 13:11:37 EEST 2009
On Thursday 01 October 2009 10:16:56 Murray Cumming wrote:
> I don't see any need whatsoever to fork hildon. It's just an invitation
> to confusion and nasty problems such as this.
> If someone wants to create a reusable set of widgets, they should just
> create a new library. It's not difficult. What's the downside?

Quick summary of many emails: there are two options, both have 

1) New library: clean solution but problems are mainly that the widgets will 
never be included in Hildon, may not be consistent with HIldon (particularly 
as changes get made), the community will probably lose interest in maintaing 
them, they will not be in the standard SDK or documentation, many developers 
will never know they exist.  And it is yet another widget library on top of 
GTK: Maemo already has one (Hildon), do we really need two?

2) Put in Hildon: great long term solution (addresses all the disadvantages 
above).  Main disadvantage is that Nokia (not the Hildon development team) 
control Hildon updates -- it is not posible for the community to provide a 
package which updates Hildon on the device except as part of an official 
Nokia SSU.  Nokia control not only the timing of such a release but may (for 
reasonable business reasons) even decide not to ship an updated Hildon in an 
SSU because the risk of introducing a bug is larger than the benefit of the 
new widget.  Also, users may decide not to install the update for similar 
risk concerns (maybe less likely in this age of frequent security updates).  
So, a Hildon fork might happen if applications really want to use the new 

There is no good answer.  I believe the only long term fix is for Nokia to 
(effectively) fork all the libraries they use and put them in a completely 
separate directory (/usr/nokia/lib), and link their own applications to use 
that directory (not forgetting to release source packages for their forked 
libraries).  They would then allow the community/user to install and update 
any libraries in the standard directories, for non-Nokia apps to use.  Of 
course, any developers who trust Nokia more than the community (their choice) 
could choose to use the Nokia libraries.

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