[Geany-Devel] Proposal from the Mint distro

Lex Trotman elextr at gmail.com
Sun Oct 21 01:01:01 UTC 2012

Reply from Clement:

"Regarding the default text editor, I've read the emails on the mailing
list with interest. From our point of view, it wouldn't need to change
much. Typically we're looking at a generic unbranded "text editor" that
works great and is lightweight. Geany fits the bill nicely, pluma also to a
lesser extent. There's two different kinds of users at play here, so I
wouldn't like not having the full geany in the repositories (i.e. patching
geany and dumbing it down by configuration wouldn't be a good solution for
all devs using it out there), but I also wouldn't like to have geany
itself, as a dev tool, installed by default, since it's a power tool most
users wouldn't use (similarly we don't install tools like dconf-editor,

Cinnamon is a complete fork, we don't need Gnome Shell and it's not going
in a direction we want to follow. Geany is different, it's something that
works which we'd love to have a slightly different version of, in
supplement to geany itself.

If we were to fork Geany, we wouldn't deviate from it. Basically we would
rebase from new versions of Geany and reapply our modifications. Codewise
it wouldn't therefore be a complete fork, but a deviation of it. Geany
would still be there in our repositories as itself and with all features.
The deviation would wear a generic name "Text editor" for instance and we'd
credit Geany in our announcements (when introducing this change) and in the
editor about window. Bugs would come against the editor and we'd only
forward bugs to you when we think you might benefit from seeing them.

In essence, it would be as we patched Geany, but without hiding the
original version with the patched version.. thus ending up with both geany
in the repositories and the generic editor installed by default.

The reason we fork Gnome components is because we depend on them, the Gnome
team ignores our feedback and the needs we have and we have no other means
to get things done other than doing them ourselves. I'd be happy to explain
the reasons behind all this, maybe on the IRC we if get a chance. You can
see how Mint is still Mint whether it's with Gnome 2, MATE or Cinnamon.

MATE itself wasn't forked by us and came out of the necessity to keep Gnome
2 alive. For distributions to provide both Gnome 2 and Gnome 3 and for
users to be able to run both DEs, one had to be renamed. The Gnome devs
obviously decided that the new DE should be called Gnome and so because
they conflicted with each others, Gnome 2 had to be renamed. Perberos took
the initiative and called Gnome 2 MATE. We supported this project as much
as we could. Today we're able to run both DEs on the same machine. We've
got a great relationship with them and I personally joined their team.

We're quite a small team but we're happy to help. We understand feedback
very well and we're happy to feed ideas and valuable bug reports upstream.
I'll try to get a sample project up and running to show you how this could
be done easily and I'd love for us to chat about this. Is the Geany team
often on the IRC? do you use Freenode?"

I have already answered #geany to the last question.

My 2c:

1. The "lite" and the "full fat" version do need to be different commands,
the lite version is for simple use and has to start without options when
used from the command line, and whilst full fat could be an option on the
lite version, I'm not sure its preferable, a compile time decision makes
life simpler.  From a user POV two application names makes more sense I

2. The question as I see it is, do we want to make the lite version a part
of the Geany codebase, clearly sharing as much as possible.  That could be
complex if the needs of the two diverge, so how likely is that? That also
means two packages, two bug trackers etc.  In the end this would be my
preferred method if it looks like it will work.

3. Or should the lite version be a separate repository with patches
transported between them?  Of course needs separate bugtracker though.

4. As Clement says they are a small team, but we need to be realistic that
so are we, and we are completely volunteers, but we do have the advantage
of knowledge of the code base.

5. One question for Clement would be "whats the timeline you have in mind?"

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