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Re: GTK_MODULES removal and the future of existing modules


On Sun, 25 Feb 2018 at 09:18, Philipp Emanuel Weidmann <pew@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I am the author of Plotinus[1], a GTK+ module that provides a
searchable command palette to GTK+ applications. Recently, it was
brought to my attention[2] that module loading has been removed[3] on
GTK+ master.

It appears that this change could mean the end for Plotinus and other
modules like it. I would be interested to learn:

1. What is the rationale behind the removal of module loading?

The module code was fairly ancient, and was hand rolling things for which we have better API down the stack, like GIO extension points, which support things like priorities and prerequisites.

2. What will be the first stable release of GTK+ that does not support
   modules anymore? Is this GTK+ 4.0+ only, or will support also be
   dropped in a 3.0 series release?

The GTK 3.x series is frozen, so it won’t be touched. This change is for 4.x only.

3. What, if any, alternatives are available/planned for software
   like Plotinus that needs to inspect the widget hierarchy of running
   applications in order to work?

We could be amenable to add an extension point for this, if you present a case for it, and explain what kind of requirements you need from the toolkit; granting blanket access to the internals of the toolkit is not something we’d be happy to provide, but if you have a specific domain it should be possible to accommodate your extension.

Alternatively, we could ensure that all our menus and actions are introspectable from the outside, and give you a proper API for writing Plotinus in GTK 4.0. We’d probably prefer that.


Any insight is appreciated!

Warm regards

[1]: https://github.com/p-e-w/plotinus
[2]: https://github.com/p-e-w/plotinus/issues/35
[3]: https://github.com/GNOME/gtk/commit/39d1537211501a8603f93a3196b910

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