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Re: Release schedule

From: Alexander Malmberg
Subject: Re: Release schedule
Date: Thu, 03 Apr 2003 15:25:26 +0200

Nicola Pero wrote:
> Btw - I would much prefer to have to maintain and achieve Cocoa
> compatibility than OPENSTEP compatibility, since I have a Cocoa system, I

I disagree. Although I wouldn't mind Cocoa compatibility if a solution
be found that provides it without affecting the rest of GNUstep, I feel
compelled to put forward an alternate point of view.

For GNUstep, my interest lies in creating a free, *buzz-word*
environment that I can use to develop things on free systems. This
environment is based on core/, a *buzz-word* implementation of our basic

There are plenty of buzz-words to insert there, but, including the
stuff, I'd say that I want core/ to be a stable, free, cross-platform
implementation of an interface that is stable in the long term (in the
that apps I write now will not cease to work because of some random
change), consistent, un-bloated, and well documented.

OPENSTEP(/OpenStep) provides the base for this. It gives us a wonderful
language in objective-c, a consistent philosophy in the interfaces and
surrounding things, and a wonderful set of interfaces and behavior in
FoundationKit and AppKit. However, it is not perfect; in some areas,
designed additions are good, in some cases even changes, and in extreme
even removals (consider NSCStringText).

I want to be committed to maintaining this in the form of the
and AppKit interfaces, updated with great care and thought, and a free
implementation of them.

I see Cocoa-compatibility as a hindrance to this. Apple is a commercial
entity, and is committed to entirely different things. While a few of
additions are good, they have already made many additions and changes
are, at the very best, questionable. Committing ourselves to tracking
changes is folly: Every interface change means more compatibility
for existing apps. Every addition is another set of classes and methods
we are committed to implement, regardless of technical merit,
appropriateness, or feasibility (do you really plan to implement things
AppleScript, Quartz, or NSQuickDrawView and NSMachPort?). Every bit of
functionality added in Cocoa is a bit of functionality we won't have the
freedom to do a better job with.

Nicola: If Cocoa were to add a system for defining auto-layouting,
localizable interfaces in an xml format, would you ditch Renaissance?
Regardless of the quality of the Cocoa system?

Even should we succeed in tracking Cocoa, we would only be as good as
no better.

I think that GNUstep has much greater potential.

- Alexander Malmberg

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