GLib plans for the next cycle

Colin Walters walters at
Mon Mar 2 10:38:58 PST 2009

On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 3:40 AM, Mark Doffman
<mark.doffman at> wrote:
> Hello Everyone,

I think the DBus list would be interested too.

> I feel that the D-Bus introspection XML is used badly. For writing a
> D-Bus specification there is too little information to understand a
> protocol. Although numerous extensions have been made (Qt, EggDBus,
> Telepathy) these are all incompatible.


> The immediate criticism I imagine I will face when creating a D-Bus IDL
> is that we are re-creating CORBA.

Well, CORBA is a lot of things.  Some good[1], some bad[2], and some
completely insane[3].

> This is not the case. The D-Bus IDL
> has NO defined mapping into language bindings. They serve only to
> provide readable documentation for a D-Bus protocol. They may also help
> language bindings, providing hints as to how the protocol should be mapped.

A key question to consider is - do you plan for software to install
this IDL into a well-known location?  Should the ConsoleKit-devel
package come with IDL instead of the dbus-glib XML in
/usr/share/dbus-1/interfaces it has now?

If not, why not?  If so, then I think it makes sense to consider using
it for at least statically typed bindings.  In other words the goal
should be to replace the various XML formats as much as possible.

Also, some prior work:

[1] The IDL was generally OK
[2] Bindings weren't very good, though I guess we share this problem with DBus
[3] Trying to unify in-process invocation vs out of process vs on the network

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