[Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Activity version compatibility

Gary C Martin gary at garycmartin.com
Tue Oct 13 18:15:31 EDT 2009

On 13 Oct 2009, at 15:29, Tomeu Vizoso wrote:

> On Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 05:35, Wade Brainerd <wadetb at gmail.com> wrote:
>> BTW, we should still answer the question of the activity.info  
>> field...
>>  Seems like there 3 options to me:
>> 1) Deprecate host_version in the activity.info spec.  Activity  
>> developers
>> write code to test for presence non-BC APIs and provide fallbacks  
>> (or else
>> let activities fail to launch/work).

FWIW 1) is the one I've been following (testing for available  
features, providing fallbacks, accept failure to launch reports as  
bugs to fix). It seems to just be a small number of current Sucrose  
activities that are genuinely backwards incompatible with previous  
Sugar releases.

>> 2) Keep host_version as an incrementing number, make  
>> activityfactory respect
>> it, and bump the Sugar number from 1 to 2 in 0.86.1 to reflect the  
>> toolbar
>> changes.
>> 3) Deprecate host_version, introduce sugar_version which is set to  
>> the
>> oldest Sugar version number the activity is compatible with.

I'd not object to 3) if someone really has a bee in their bonnet ;-b  
but I'd be unlikely to use it, and don't see it helping in many real  
user cases (it just provides an opportunity to show a prettier error  
message). Sugar platform releases seem pretty far down the scale of  
reasons for most launch failures, 95% of such cases will be covered by  
a smarter pulsing-window launcher for when an Activity fails (bad  
distro installs, latest architecture flavour of the week, missing  
platform dependancies, new changes in Sugar that break old code, un- 
anticipitated security permissions, actual bugs, users hacking on and  
breaking code).


>> I'm fine with any of these, let me know and I'll provide the patch.
> Ping, I don't have a strong opinion on this, I think activity authors
> should take the lead on this one.
> Regards,
> Tomeu
>> -Wade
>> On Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 12:12 PM, Gary C Martin  
>> <gary at garycmartin.com>
>> wrote:
>>> On 29 Sep 2009, at 14:00, Wade Brainerd wrote:
>>>> On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 8:15 PM, Gary C Martin <gary at garycmartin.com 
>>>> >
>>>> wrote:
>>>> I have a prototype patch which fixes the launch window and adds  
>>>> an error
>>>> message.  I'll try to get it posted soon.
>>>> Cool :-)
>>>> Ok, a prototype patch is posted at http://dev.sugarlabs.org/ticket/1447 
>>>> .
>>>>  When an activity fails to start, it immediately displays a  
>>>> "<Name> failed
>>>> to start." with a close button.
>>>> If anyone can test it out I would greatly appreciate it.  Also if  
>>>> you
>>>> have a theory about the occasional segfault when clicking Close,  
>>>> or know how
>>>> to get a traceback when running jhbuild, let me know.
>>> Fantastic, looks great, I'm hacking on new Labyrinth toolbars just  
>>> now so,
>>> I will apply this and test it on all the tracebacks I get ;-)
>>> Regards,
>>> --Gary
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> «Sugar Labs is anyone who participates in improving and using Sugar.
> What Sugar Labs does is determined by the participants.» - David
> Farning

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