[Geany-Devel] Proposal from the Mint distro

Matthew Brush mbrush at codebrainz.ca
Thu Oct 18 02:18:26 UTC 2012

On 12-10-17 05:55 PM, Lex Trotman wrote:
> Hi All,
> Along with the previous response on the icon, the following was proposal
> was also received from Clement of the Mint distro:
> "Another thing I wanted to ask you about, and I'm glad you contacted us, is
> about the configuration of Geany as a text editor for users (as opposed to
> developers). Geany is brilliant and I personally use it as a developer to
> do most of my work in Python, C, PHP and other languages. But it could also
> be a great contender for a default text editor in Linux Mint in replacement
> of gedit. We're not happy at all with gedit 3, in particular when it comes
> to searching and replacing occurrences in a text file. We considered
> replacing it with Geany, with an older GTK2 version of gedit or even
> forking it to provide a new tool dedicated to text editing.
> What is your opinion on this? If we used Geany for this, we would hide all
> developer features (symbols, buttons, statusbars..etc) from it. Would you
> rather like us shipping a version of geany which by default looks like a
> simple text editor (and so devs would have to go in the preferences and
> re-enable all the normal features) or fork geany into a new project
> dedicated to text editing (i.e. basically a dumbed down version of geany
> with features removed). With a fork of course we'd give credit to geany in
> our communication and within the tool itself, we'd work with you on making
> sure you're happy with the end-result and the editor would have a distinct
> generic name ("text editor" for instance) so it would be possible for users
> to have both this editor and geany installed side-by-side and to open
> documents with either of them. Let me know your thoughts on this. We're not
> sure what the best approach is, but whether it happens now or later, we're
> pretty sure gedit 3 isn't what we want to use going forward."
> To kick the ball off, here is my thoughts on the topic.
> First thought is that there is plenty of upside to such cooperation in
> terms of attracting more contributors to the developer version of Geany.
> The flip side of that is of course that more bugs would be reported and
> expected to be fixed.  (Bug reports are good, its the *expectation* that
> they will be quickly fixed that is the problem.)  I would hope that Mint
> would be able to contribute to that effort.

The only problem here with more bug reports is that there's more bug 
maintenance. The actual number of non-duplicate, valid, 
non-GTK/Windows/Scintilla/FeatureRequest bugs are minimal and even since 
the beginning of the bug tracker have generally been fixed quite quickly.

> I am not sure how much effort it would take to make the Geany UI able to
> hide the "developer" features, it will be some complication for sure, but
> probably not a big one.

Not much, I did this for my WIP OSX bundle. I just bundle a customized 
geany.conf (and for OSX keybindings.conf)  and a few tweaks in a gtkrc 
file. Already Geany has the ability to mostly do this with existing 
preferences. I have a couple ideas how we could go further to remove 
more "developer" UI stuff that wouldn't be terribly difficult or cause 
much code changes.

> If Mint use a "friendly fork" approach it does reduce the impact this has
> on the Geany project, but it will also reduce the possible bugfixes that
> come back to Geany (since the fork is different patches may not apply).

I have no problems if they want to fork Geany but it would cause a loss 
of concentration of efforts so we would both go off adding/changing 
stuff and (as you said) cross-fork efforts become less and less useful 
over time (or at least more painful; see TagManager c.c file :).

> If we provide the "plain editor" version as an option on Geany it adds to
> the workload, though I would hope that Mint would contribute to that extra
> effort.

It's not like the workload is overwhelming :)  I don't think it'd be too 
big a deal.

> I am personally undecided at the moment, noting that Mint will do what is
> appropriate for their distro, and it is up to us to try to engage with them
> ina way that provides the maximum benefit for both groups.

I have no problems with it and I'd be willing to help out with 
implementing the "simplified mode" since it's something I've been 
thinking about before.

Matthew Brush

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