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Re: Release schedule

From: Nicola Pero
Subject: Re: Release schedule
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 01:33:42 +0100 (BST)

> > This sentence directly upsets an important part of our user base, who *is* 
> > expecting us to track these changes.
> Do you seriously believe that you can track the changes to Cocoa, and 
> successfully maintain a functional product?  At the moment, from the 
> experiences that I've had, and those of others I've spoken to, the most 
> important thing at this point is having a working environment.  This has 
> been relatively elusive.
> Do you believe that GNUstep is stable enough for open source developers 
> to attempt to track Cocoa, without GNUstep being crushed under the 
> weight of shifting APIs and the whims of Apple's well paid developers? 
> They're certainly not bound by the need to be compatible with anything 
> but their own implementation.
> I'm certainly not interested in GNUstep developers spending their time 
> tracking Cocoa, or trying to create a Cocoa clone.  I'd rather have a 
> solid API, that's stable.  Chasing Apple around the yard diverts 
> energies from developing a superior product.  A house built on sand will 
> fall, no matter how visually impressive the front porch is.

We are discussing general statements of principles.

Saying that we welcome Apple compatibility doesn't mean we will spend our
development time chasing it - something else (stability) might be higher
priority - and yet Apple compatibility, while lower priority, can be an
important/useful thing in our wishlist.

I see your point - and I like it - I personally don't like feeling we are
"cloning" or that we are "chasing"  or that we are "following" what a
proprietary system does.  I'd prefer us to be the innovation makers
(spending our energies "developing a superior product" as you say), and
others to follow us :-)

But realistically, Apple compatibility is a great boost for GNUstep.  

Even if we don't invest much effort in tracking the latest Apple changes,
we must recognize that being Apple compatible makes GNUstep a lot more
interesting and attractive.

So, I'd suggest to keep balanced when writing such statements of general
principle - while developing a superior free product is our main
objective, being compatible with Apple can be a strategical win and help
us to reach our main objective by making our free product look more
attractive in real-world terms, and enlarging our user (and contributor)

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