Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Re: GNOME Online Desktop

I just finished looking at the slides from the GUADEC presentation on the GNOME Online Desktop and the associated screencasts. The concept of installing software from a browser like that (given that I have some idea of how it works) is ridiculously awesome. More importantly, I would like to see how they design the following:

an HTTP library that shares cache and cookies with the browser, and supports asynchronous operation with the GLib main loop out of the box

OK, so right now, Gtk+ and friends currently have libsoup, which fulfills the latter requirement. The former requirement seems to me to be much more complex. First, do you require compatibility with multiple browsers (complexity becoming O(N*M) for varying N and where M is the number orf browsers to support), and if so, what do you do with browsers which seemingly don't provide an API? (I bring this up because I have no idea whether Opera provides one.) Now, imagine that they chose only the Gecko/XULRunner libraries to be compatible with. That API is always changing, so does this mean that the resulting library will also be unstable?

As an aside, I wonder whether this will also be available for Windows. Of course, this assumes that D-Bus will be available for Windows at some point in the future.

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