General question on D-Bus design considerations

Havoc Pennington hp at
Fri Aug 20 20:29:58 PDT 2010


On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 10:31 PM, Kybernetik Kollektiv
<kybernetikkollektiv at> wrote:
> I have a general question for the designers/developers of the D-Bus
> specification: What would you do different compared to the current
> design of D-Bus, if you could or had to start the development of D-Bus
> from scratch today?

Only minor things really. GVariant has some type system improvements
such as maybe types that could be nice. I would change more about the
libdbus implementation, which has various flaws. My opinion is that
the protocol itself works very well for what it's intended to be used
for. I'm sure there are minor things here or there to improve but you
know, it works, which is why a lot of stuff uses it, and it even has a
lot of nice aspects. If I do say so myself. Most of the things that
could be improved are (in theory) improvable via extensions, too.

The implementation side has been rockier, with the reference libdbus
being too low-level / least-common-denominator to make anyone happy,
though at the same time those properties led to fairly wide adoption.
And the higher-level bindings (for GLib anyway) never got done until
recently with gdbus, while the rather questionable dbus-glib just sat
there tricking people into trying to use it. So people tried to use
dbus-glib (ugh) or libdbus (too low level) and got annoyed with those.


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