IgnorantGuru's Blog

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SpaceFM 0.8.2 and GTK3 Alpha Testing

SpaceFM 0.8.2, a maintenance release, is available. This fixes hal build issues (even though hal is no longer actively developed, please continue to report any problems building spacefm with hal) and a few other issues present in 0.8.1.

Also, a gtk3 branch of SpaceFM is now available for alpha testing. Much thanks to BwackNinja who has put a lot of work into bringing SpaceFM into GTK3. This branch can be built for either GTK2 or GTK3. While you may encounter some GUI issues (please report them so this branch can mature!), the file operations should be as stable as in 0.8.2. The more feedback we receive on GTK3, the faster it can evolve and move toward inclusion in the stable release version.

For the details on the 0.8.2 release, and also how to test the gtk3 branch, please see News.

October 25, 2012 - Posted by | Software


  1. I’d kindly like to hear your take on this (Mint dev Clem’s words quoted in a Mint forum):

    “I’ll apologize in advance for the sarcasm here.. I need to take another cheap shot at the GTKGnome developers here. GTK3 isn’t a reliable API. Maybe it should be called libgnome instead. GTK3.4 came with Gnome3.4, and wasn’t compatible with previous GTK3 themes. This means all GTK3 applications looked really ugly not only with all the GTK2 themes which don’t support GTK3 (almost all of them), but also the few which did. With this in mind we had three options:

    1. Give you a desktop with poor integration and applications which look different based on the API they use (which is completely unacceptable)

    2. Ditch all GTK3 applications from Mint and replace them with earlier GTK2 versions, or GTK2 or QT applications (this includes Gnome apps, but also Gdebi, Transmission and a few others)

    3. Rant like mad, remove all themes, and waste countless hours in giving Mint-X and Mint-Z proper GTK “3.4″ support even though it’s likely to break again in 3.6…

    We went for option 3 “this time”. I hope this little example was enough to convince 3rd party developers not to use GTK3. I couldn’t find any release notes or documentation explaining the regression or how to solve the issue.. I genuinely get the feeling that GTK 3.4 is developed for Gnome 3.4, that it doesn’t really matter if it breaks things and that we’re not supposed to use it outside of Gnome.”

    Comment by tablethater | November 5, 2012

    • Thanks for the great quote and great timing – I’ve included it in my new article just published on this subject – you should get an idea from that what I think. ;)

      SpaceFM’s gtk3 port has been running quite reliably, though the choice of theme is critical. Also, SpaceFM now builds on GTK 2.18 thru 3.6.x, which is quite a range for an app to support. The plan is to continue gtk2 support for some time. So no one should feel forced to move to gtk3, certainly not by me.

      The caveat is that once the gtk3 code leaves beta, many distros may package only the gtk3 version of spacefm (for example gentoo has a policy of always using the newest version supported). You can request a spacefm-gtk2 package be added to your distro’s repo, or just build it yourself – the self-installer is very trouble-free.

      Comment by IgnorantGuru | November 5, 2012

    • My bad news is that it breaks again at 3.6 and again after 3.6. Choice #3 is painful but gives you the best experience afterwards. #2 is insanity because you’d basically have to fork a whole bunch of projects if you want things not to have lots of old bugs and missing new features/compatibility that people have come to rely on, as well as Gtk3 is nice beyond the theming incompatibilities that keep popping up. #1 is giving up and just saying “fend for yourself,” which doesn’t quite sound like something I’d ever want to hear a distro say.

      I expect (or hope) that these issues will just disappear after a couple more versions. Right now they make it sound like Gtk3 (and Gnome3 for that matter) is ready to be developed for, but isn’t quite meant to be used yet.

      Comment by BwackNinja | November 5, 2012

  2. I want to try spacefm with http://asturix.com/en ! Lets see what happens.

    Comment by Σταύρος Δαλιακόπουλος | November 6, 2012

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