Windows UI summer of code project

Mark Doliner mark at
Tue Apr 21 19:56:37 EDT 2009

On Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 8:13 AM, John Bailey <rekkanoryo at> wrote:
> Mark Doliner wrote:
>> This year we accepted TWO students to work on a better/native Windows
>> user interface for libpurple.  It's not decided what these projects
>> entail exactly, nor if/how these two students should interact.  I know
>> I'm opening a can of worms here, but I think it's probably a good idea
>> for us to talk about what we'd like to see from these projects.  The
>> language and drawing toolkit are the biggest decisions.  Wade proposed
>> using either .NET or XULRunner with the possibility of also comparing
>> against MFC, and Gregor proposed using straight up win32 api.
> For the record, I'm fine with one project being .NET and one being W32API.


>> I feel like the lower-level solution would allow for a more perfect
>> product.  But a higher-level language would be more accessible to
>> developers, and that's very important since we want this project to
>> survive and prosper on its own.
> Both projects could survive on their own after the SoC.  It's also possible that
> each project could make different choices to best serve a particular set of
> Windows users, thus achieving my primary goal with a Windows UI--provide
> something that serves our Windows users better than GTK+ does.  If two UI's make
> us better able to fit Windows users' needs, then it's definitely time and effort
> well spent.
>> It sounds like Wade and Gregor might not have very overlapping
>> experience with Windows UI toolkits.  Gregor, are you very familiar
>> with MFC or .NET?  Wade, are you very familiar with win32 or MFC?  If
>> not then it seems like it makes the most sense for the two students to
>> work independently, with Gregor using win32 and Wade using .NET (or
>> maybe XUL or MFC).
> The two students have to work independently anyway to comply with the terms of
> participation in SoC.  Of course, there's no reason they can't share ideas, but
> they can't commit to each others' branches.

Hmm, I didn't realize that was a strict requirement.  Well in light of
that everyone's responses (thanks everyone!), it sounds like people
generally agrees that Gregor should stick to his proposal and work on
a win32 (or possibly MFC) UI, and Wade should stick to his proposal
and compare .NET WinForms, WPF, XUL, etc. and chose whichever one is

Next question: Where to host the source code?  We should not put it in
im.pidgin.pidgin with the rest of libpurple, Pidgin and Finch.  We
could certainly use our monotone repository, though.  Something like
im.pidgin.crazy_windows_frontend_code (but probably more sane).

However, it does seem like the Monotone revision control system is
losing ground to other DVCSs, mainly Git, Bazaar (bzr) and Mercurial
(hg).  If we think it makes sense for the new UIs to live in their own
repositories then maybe it makes sense for them to use one of these
three DVCSs from the get-go?

Each project should also probably have its own public web site and bug
tracker, independent of the Pidgin website and our trac.  We can host
this on our servers or we could use a free source code hosting
service.  This decision should probably wait until later (like the end
of the summer).


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