[Geany-Devel] Core Terminal Plugin (was Re: [Geany-Users] no Terminal tab in Geany preferences??)

Matthew Brush mbrush at xxxxx
Sat Mar 2 05:43:13 UTC 2013

Hi All,

I wanted comment/respond to a message on user list that is completely 
off-topic (development related). I don't know how to do it in 
Thunderbird so hopefully I didn't mess up the threading too bad:

On 13-03-01 05:24 AM, Frank Lanitz wrote:> Am 01.03.2013 05:10, schrieb 
Lex Trotman:
 >> FWIW I think Matthews suggestion of removing vte and using multiterm
 >> is the "right" solution, then only multiterm depends on libvte and it
 >> can be a hard depends.
 > I like the normal terminal more than multiterm to be honest (sorry
 > Matthew ;) ).

No worries, and to clarify what I probably didn't express clearly to Lex...

I like the multiple tabs in MultiTerm (obviously, that's why I made it), 
but to even be close to a viable alternative to built-in VTE, it needs 
to integrate better with Geany like running execute command in it, 
receiving text from Scintilla buffer, other misc GUI integration, and to 
be completely re-written in C instead of Vala.

I'd rather see a plugin _similar_ to MultiTerm providing a multi-tabbed 
terminal (but in C) as a core Geany plugin if it could provide the old 
features. The user experience would be the same or better[1] and we 
could get rid of all dependencies on VTE in core[2] and generally clean 
up all kinds of compile/run time checks and VTE-related code necessarily 
mixed about Geany's code currently.

I think writing such a plugin would be relatively easy compared to 
safely removing VTE from core code, which seems rather difficult and 
error-prone. It would be interesting to start an experimental branch 
that didn't touch core at all (yet) and made a core plugin equivalent to 
the builtin VTE. If it could implement all of the existing functionality 
as well as multi-tab support, IMO it would cross the threshold of being 
worthwhile to replace the builtin VTE.

I imagine it would be easy enough to keep such a branch in sync with 
master during development since there's very little overlap as a plugin. 
Also, if it doesn't work out, it could be easily abandoned without 
affecting main branch at all.

±1? Thoughts? comments? Anyone want to work on it?

If anyone shows enthusiasm I could start a wiki page giving a bit of a 
"plan of attack" in case people want to help out and to collect ideas. 
I'm moderately interested in working on this myself in the near 
future[3], and also possibly extending it to include a Windows "Command 
Prompt"-like alternative using Win32 console API.

P.S. Sorry for such a long email, it's difficult for me to express all 
of this concisely in English[4].

Matthew Brush

[1] Especially if there is or could be a way to have core plugins loaded 
by default, if supported/available.
[2] VTE doesn't seem worthy for Geany core to depend on since it doesn't 
work on most operating systems (except UNIXey ones not including OSX in 
my experience).
[3] Especially if no one objects and I don't have to do it alone :)
[4] Yes, it's my native language, but it still sucks

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