Support for pkgconfig

Francois Gouget fgouget at
Sat Apr 19 16:44:18 CDT 2003

On Tue, 15 Apr 2003, Dimitrie O. Paun wrote:
> But the big thing is that we'll have better binary compatibility than
> glibc had, a programming API known to *many* people, and a large set
> of apps aldready written.

I don't understand. In another email you are arguing that only toolkits
(Gtk, Qt, Gnome, KDE, wxWindows) should be using Win32 and that Unix
applications should use these toolkits. So applications would still be
subject to the whims of these toolkits, to that breaking source level or
binary level compatibility. And familiarity with Win32 buys you nothing
if you are going to code to these toolkits anyway. So Win32 buys
applications and application developpers nothing in that scenario.

For applications to benefit from the stability of the Win32 API, they
would have to use it directly, or maybe use it via a stable toolkit like
the MFC (urgh). IOW, people should write Windows applications and that
strikes me as a not so good solution for Unix applications!

There is another issue to consider which has not been raised until now:
compatibility with non-x86 platforms. Unix applications *must* work on
non-x86 platforms (in my view if they don't they're no good). Winelib is
portable... in theory. But in practice the Win32 API has all sorts of
portability issues (endianness of resources, endianness of DIBs, often
passes pointers via ints, etc.). IMO Win32 is not a mature
cross-platform API and that is enough to disqualify it as an API to be
used for building Unix applications.

So I would rather put efforts into making sure Gtk, Gnome, KDE and QT
are suitable solutions.
(or more precisely, have other people put efforts into that ;-)

> Look at SF, you'll see that the top downloads
> are by a huge margin apps that run on Windows.

No problem. Let's run them in Wine on a Gnome/KDE desktop (or fvwm if
you're like me). I see nothing that would prevent them from nicely
integrating with the desktop environment (be that menus or systray for
instance). And any problems there currently are (e.g. z-order of
unmanaged windows) should be solved in that environment. Yes they will
not have the exact same look as other applications, but it is no worse
than Mozilla not having the same look as Emacs, Konqueror or OpenOffice
or gkrellm.

I see no need for WIND/WIDE to take advantage of these Windows

(oups, stirring trouble, sorry, just had to add my grain of salt)

Francois Gouget         fgouget at
                           La terre est une bêta...

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