[blfs-support] Toolkits

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Tue Mar 8 16:18:14 PST 2016

On Tue, Mar 08, 2016 at 03:27:09PM -0800, Paul Rogers wrote:
> ---
> > Here is a quick list of what I build after Xorg to support firefox
> > (ignoring fonts - DejaVu is probably sufficient for Paul) - items with
> > square brackets are other toolkits or e.g. for TeX.
> ...
> > glib2
> ...
> > gtk2
> ...
> > [ gtk3
> I see Ken has both.  I'd be interested if he has experienced the
> breakage & incompatibility problems.

No, not at all.  If you look at the wiki page for firefox, you will
see that whenever I first tried it with gtk3 I was underimpressed
(black text on black menus, except for the current item - if my
memory serves correctly), but now as I say it is fine.

I do not recall any particular problems with gtk3 - but I only
normally update an existing system for vulnerabilities, or
(occasionally) if I'm editing for a newer version.  So for most
things, (excepting openssl, openssh, perhaps gnutls if I notice a
vulnerability, firefox) I do not often upgrade packages on an
existing system.  And when I upgrade firefox, like at the moment, I
make sure that sqlite, nspr, nss and cacerts are all current.

None of that is very likely to hit problems with gtk3 changes.  I
have not been building so many new systems recently, but I did build
at least six in the last six weeks, often building packages where
nothing had happened for several months, and I do not recall any
gtk3 problems.

> ---
> > There is a question if firefox actually needs gstreamer I ditched
> > gstreamer completely from my systems as soon as firefox decided to use
> > ffmpeg by default so I can confirm that it doesn't need it.
> I just glanced at FFmpeg yesterday, but was put off by all its
> dependencies.  Is it more efficient, lightweight, than Gstreamer, all
> things considered?

Apples and oranges.  Gstreamer uses system libraries, and is
required for packages such as parole.  It us all about allowing some
application to play audio, or audio and video.

Ffmpeg can use system libraries, and we recommend many (for maximum
capabilities), but it is mostly for manipulating AV, e.g. converting
the format to something of lesser video quality but much smaller, or
extracting audio from a video, or changing the format of audio (but
using ffmpeg to reformat just audio is probably a heavyweight
solution).  Packages such as vlc then use ffmpeg's libs to play the
audio and video.

Aside: for music in videos, particularly classical music, I prefer
xine which uses almost none of the many available libs.  But there
are many video formats which xine cannot play.  For those of us who
have the interest, adding more AV packages increases our options -
but probably does very little to add to the enjoyment of speech, or
indeed of kitten videos.  I cannot guess what you prefer, but I do
not think either ffmpeg+libs, or gstreamer+libs are particularly
lightweight.  I can say that firefox with ogg/vorbis/theora
*appears* to handle most current youtube videos in firefox (at
least, as of ff44 and newer),

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