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GNOME GUI Programming Python Software

GNOME's Text Editor gedit 'No Longer Maintained', Needs New Developers (gnome.org) 239

AmiMoJo brings news about gedit, the default text editor for GNOME: In a post to the gedit mailing list, Sébastien Wilmet states that gedit is no longer maintained and asks "any developer interested to take over the maintenance of gedit?" Just in case you were considering it, he warns "BTW while the gedit core is written in C (with a bit of Objective-C for Mac OS X support), some plugins are written in Vala or Python. If you take over gedit maintenance, you'll need to deal with four programming languages (without counting the build system). The Python code is not compiled, so when doing refactorings in gedit core, good luck to port all the plugins (the Python code is also less "greppable" than C). At least with Vala there is a compiler, even if I would not recommend Vala."
Sébastien's comments were surrounded by a <rant-on-languages> tag, but they're still crying out for some serious discussion. Any Slashdot readers want to share their own insights on Python, some fond thoughts on gedit, or suggestions for maintaining a great piece of open source software?
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GNOME's Text Editor gedit 'No Longer Maintained', Needs New Developers

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  • Use XeD [fossmint.com]. It is part of the Mint team XAPPS initiative [wikipedia.org] whose purpose is to maintain a set of basic end user desktop apps, such as text editor, image viewer, photo organizer, etc.

    I believe it's all part of maintaining a consistent user experience on Mint so that nothing you're used to about your preferred desktop experience/workflow gets changed/compromised, something that I really appreciate personally!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know if I'm ready for such bleeding edge features as:

      View CVS changelogs

      For now, I'll stick to RCS changelogs, thank you!

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      Yes, what is needed is yet another set of basic desktop apps based on the fork of another set of basic desktop apps based on the fork of another set of basic desktop apps. There's not enough of those. Maybe they should also have a browser and a media player.

  • use mcedit from midnight commander instead.

    • I don't like GNOME anything if I can help it, to be honest. I find myself using nano more than anything for simple text editing. If not TTY, then XFCE and GTK all the way.
  • Har. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2017 @10:52AM (#54946331)

    maintaining a great piece of open source software?

    It was ok once upon a time. It's a UI disaster now.

  • by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @10:59AM (#54946349) Homepage Journal
    I don't gedit.
  • by timlewis_atlanta ( 195776 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @11:12AM (#54946407) Homepage

    Just wait for systemd-geditd

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2017 @11:18AM (#54946443)

    A Slashdot commenter [slashdot.org] predicted the demise of gedit almost three years ago. The core of this argument was the following:

    Hipsters are killing open source projects left and right with their fucking awful UI changes.

    Just look at what happened to gedit [gnome.org]. It's a text editor that comes with GNOME.

    Gedit used to look like this: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/Gedit2261.png [wikimedia.org]

    It had a clean, usable, consistent UI. The major functionality was easily available, and the UI was extremely intuitive and efficient to use.

    The hipsters can't stand for usable software, of course. It needed to be "improved"!

    This is what gedit looks like more recently: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/Gedit_3.11.92.png [wikimedia.org]

    I'm not joking. That's really what it looks like. Using it is even worse than it looks.

    Gedit's UI today is fucking awful.

    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      Wow, gedit went from usable to fucking touchscreen UI?

      I'm hoping he's quitting it because he got chewed out for this shit UI choice.

      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        I don't think it's a "shit UI choice". Huge toolbars like in the old version are a waste of space; do you ever use the undo/redo buttons? or even print? What would you want huge square buttons constantly in your face for that?

        To do what is needed in a text editor you need the same amount of clicks in either versions, but in the new version there's more room for the text and less for buttons that are not needed. Plus there's a decent search and a file browser in the sidebar.

        I understand that some people pref

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          View -> Toolbar to disable the toolbar. The default layout reminds me of nano, which is targeted toward people who might not want to learn how to use it.

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "do you ever use the undo/redo buttons? or even print?"

          Yes. Often.

          "Plus there's a decent search and a file browser in the sidebar."

          And it's still nowhere as useful as a properly-indexed FS. Waste of space.

          Pass. Some of us stick to the 90s because performance and lack of bloat, plus nobody's going to bother targeting old stuff beause practically nobody worth targeting is using old stuff.

          • by lucm ( 889690 )

            "do you ever use the undo/redo buttons? or even print?"

            Yes. Often.

            So you type stuff, and then you realize you made a mistake, and instead of hitting ctrl-z you move your hand away from the keyboard, take the mouse, point it to undo, then click?

            Maybe the issue here is not modern text editors, maybe the issue is you having terrible productivity.

            • by allo ( 1728082 )

              Maybe you should think outside of your personal usage. You hit ctrl-z. I use (g)vim and hit u. The average user wants a toolbar button.

        • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

          ACtually the new version wastes more space. You can turn the toolbar off in the old version. We're just stuck with a big chunk of pointless ugly grey in the new version.

    • That does look unusable. I wonder where I go to print. I would have to click on random buttons hoping I eventually get it. In the old one, the functionality is fairly obvious [wikimedia.org].

    • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @04:42PM (#54947903)

      Totally agree, I absolutely hated that switch. It was so obviously bad that for the longest time I honestly thought it must be a bug or something.

      Anyway, I just use Pluma instead. Its basically a branch of Gedit that kept the old interface.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    • And those who were paying attention moved to Mint Linux MATE where sanity and usability prevailed. Take a look at its Pluma text editor [dlinkddns.com]. While it has updated Mint icons, it goes back to the classic look, feel, and function of the old Gnome2 gedit". So does the rest of MATE.

      The kids seem to have forgotten a prime engineering adage... If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Maybe it's because "Computer Science" isn't engineering, so they don't teach those basics. Don't know. Computer Science was just getting started

      • by Raenex ( 947668 )

        I don't know what's going on now, but when I took Computer Science back in the 90s it was an odd mix of math, physics, theory, programming, and some basic branches like operating systems, compilers, etc. Very little in the way of actual engineering discipline. I would hope by now there are Software Engineering degrees based on real world requirements.

    • by psavo ( 162634 )

      Naah. Just dumb-as-fuck maintainership. It couldn't even open a "binary" (f.ex /bin/cat) file "as-is" for fucks sake and that is pretty much a required feature for anyone targeting developers.

  • Geany (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 05, 2017 @11:31AM (#54946505)

    I've used Geany for years. Active development, lots of useful plugins, capable of being built with GTK2 or GTK3, etc.

    • Geany convert here. Used to use Kate/Kwrite, even on a MATE desktop, but recently icons weren't showing up for things like "save" and "close" and "open file". Even with all the KDE libs installed, they would only show up if you were using the actual KDE desktop.

      Of course, on teh "down" side of Geany - it is really a light weight very configurable IDE, not just a plain text editor. Personally don't consider it a downside, but some may...

  • by Trax3001BBS ( 2368736 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @11:47AM (#54946565) Homepage Journal

    He says using it for this post. I have a rather large hosts file. Using gedit I sorted it alphabetically and closed it without saving. It's now sorted.

  • With Atom being available and on more than just one platform why would someone care about gedit?
  • 4 languages (Score:4, Interesting)

    by steveha ( 103154 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @12:40PM (#54946807) Homepage

    gedit is written in C. There is a little bit of Objective-C for Mac OS X support. Then plugins are written in Vala or Python.

    Why is this rant-worthy? IMHO Python is a great choice for writing plugins. And for a while GNOME was pushing Vala so that is not a shock.

    Seems like Sebastien Wilmet is nakedly trying to encourage people to want gedit to die. After the language rant he says that helping gedit also helps some guy who sells gedit on the Mac. He also rants that gedit ought to be a super-thin shell around his new project Tepl, libraries for text editor features. This is a weird and barely-concealed agenda.

    I am not going to volunteer for this, but it's because I am busy, not because I am scared of a project with 4 languages.

  • Not surprising (Score:2, Insightful)

    by qbast ( 1265706 )
    Writing Gtk-based applications is about as much fun as root canal without anesthesia. It is no wonder that popular open source apps are migrating to Qt.
    • root canal without anesthesia

      This comment is amazing considering that a root canal is usually done on a dead tooth and that you should therefore not actually feel anything with or without anesthesia.

      Now root canals are still not fun, but are you saying writing GTK based apps is "normal"?

  • by grumpy-cowboy ( 4342983 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @02:12PM (#54947245)

    Emacs and/or Vim.

  • I've been using gedit as a copy paste area since it first came out. For alt-tab and alt-tilde convenience, I like having a separate, barebones text editor with syntax highlighting from my main editor. I'll be sad if this project is abandoned, but I doubt it'll be rendered useless any time soon.
  • In a terminal ...

    Most if the time I have an IDE open anyway and don't need an extra 'text editor'.
    But I usually have a few terminals open, too.

    So I use what ever opens the file faster.

  • If gedit is the mess that is described above, then it should be redone ASAP our die. Plain and simple.

    People, it's a freakin' simple text editor, not the next coming of Photoshop. Redoing it in pure Vala should be a walk in the park for your type a gnome dev. Besides scintilla there has to be some default text widget on top which gedit is built or can be rebuilt in 2 weeks flat.

    And Jesus, screw python. I love python, it's my favorite PL, but what douche had the brilliant idea to build a freakin'text editor with Python? Seriously?
    And screw macOS compatibility. They have their own editors. Literally no one uses gedit on macOS, trust a long time Mac and Linux user on this one.

    If Vala and Gnome Builder were useable, I'd might even step up for the task. Sadly, even native IDEs on Gnome are a large type PITA. Anjura and Gnome Builder have fallen flat on their noses with me time and time again. Sad but true.

    My 2 eurocents.

  • (1) I don't mind the call for volunteers, but I also don't mind the thought of gedit (or any other project) dying due to lack of interest. I think I used gedit for an entire afternoon once and that was plenty for me, but if it scratches somebody else's itch, good on them.

    (2) "The Python code is not compiled, so when doing refactorings in gedit core, good luck to port all the plugins" - this doesn't entirely make sense to me, but my best guess is that he's saying that the preferred approach to refactoring is

    • Refactoring a public API or a large codebase is hard and requires great care, and there's only so much you can do to get around that.
      In C, yes. OTOH there are not many refactorings you can do anyway. Rename function, add parameter, remove parameter, add field to struct remove field from struct ... rename type ... that basically was it.

      That is why in modern business code no one is using C anymore.

      Why people when GEdit was incepted used C and not C++ is beyond me anyway.

      Your point about "greppable" is very tr

  • Because there is a shameful dearth of text editors under Linux.
  • So what happens if someone tries to use gedit? Will the OS warn the user that the software is now unsupported and possibly insecure?

    What if there was a ongoing-cost project to support software? What if the OS were responsible for checking the validity and support status of software, and if the software was unsupported, there would actually be an option to help support it?

    Oh well. Pointless to repeat the obvious. DAUPR is my new motto, but it never happens. Especially not on Slashdot, where never is heard an

  • by DutchUncle ( 826473 ) on Sunday August 06, 2017 @12:16AM (#54949209)
    Some things get to the point where they serve their purpose well, and they don't need changing any more. People don't invent new flatware to eat with; companies keep coming out with new patterns, but everything is pretty much the same size and weight and angles, and forks usually have four tines, and the designs are pretty well set. The FOSS community seems to think that constant change is good; most products in the real world stabilize.
  • I didn't know gedit supported plugins.
    I've used gedit like I think most people use it. To quickly jolt down something or as a cut and paste buffer.

    But now I know there are plugins. So I searched for them. And there are a few, I found less than a dozen, so I don't really understand why not being able to keep the api would be such a big problem.

    I don't even understand why a barebones editor, like gedit, would even need a plugin system. It's like it is every project whet dream to have other programmers use the

  • by chthon ( 580889 )
    Just use gvim already. It is graphical and has a 'g' in front!

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.