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Re: project goal Re: Release schedule

From: Philippe C . D . Robert
Subject: Re: project goal Re: Release schedule
Date: Sat, 5 Apr 2003 17:19:44 +0200


it's funny and sad at the same time that we have such discussions every now and then...

On Saturday, April 5, 2003, at 01:40 PM, Helge Hess wrote:
a) does Cocoa add any *technical* instability or complexity ?
No, absolutely not. IMHO Cocoa scripting classes and even CoreFoundation *should* be added to gstep-base/gui to improve compatiblity. If you don't want Scripting, don't use it, if you consider it instable, don't use it. Almost anything in Cocoa are *additions*, not incompatible changes affecting OpenStep > compatibility.

Well, I am not sure about that. What added value does CF offer compared to pure OpenStep? As far as I understand this API has been mainly introduced for previous Mac OS developers in order to help them bring their sources to Carbon and new Mac OS X technologies such as Quartz, as well as for Apple itself to have a common base layer for the Carbon and Cocoa worlds.


OK, now what I think GNUstep should be. IMHO the GUI thing should be dropped altogether. Really !! (I know I'm going to get killed ;-)

Why ? Because they are definitly not enough resources and there are working (and implemented) solutions available for any platform. Some points which may might clear why I think so, totally unorganized in note form.

<snip reasoning for dropping gui>

OK, some of your points are worth a second thought while others are IMHO not - as you have stated before, if somebody wants to work on gui he will do it. And I certainly don't think this discussion is about "whether we should drop gui or not". Moreover you are always free to start a new project based on -base, and you don't even have to kill -gui beforehand :-)

- I know quite a lot of former NeXT users. Some of them moved to Windows, some to Linux and most to MacOSX. Know what ? Nobody is really interested in a NeXTstep looking GUI anymore ! Certainly, any NeXT user will look at GNUstep and say "wow, cool", but nobody will actually want to use it, because UI technology has evolved. MacOSX UI is considered better than NeXTstep and XP UI is considered better than NeXTstep (talk with someone who uses VisualStudio.NET !).

I am a former NeXT user (I still have 3 black boxes running at home:) and guess what, I still *am* interested in NEXTSTEP's look and feel, or more precisely I am mainly interested in that :-) This is one of the major reasons for me to use GNUstep. What I would like to become reality one days is a system as elegant as NEXTSTEP was but based on GNUstep and a modern foundation. I am less interested in a cross platform API (there are enough APIs around which are stable, widely adopted and so on) and I am not interested in using KDE or GNOME or Windows as my primary desktop platform, what I really would like to see is nothing more than a resurrection of NEXTSTEP based on GNUstep. Maybe it is just a dream, but even after such a long time I keep dreaming it ...:-)

BTW call me a die hard NEXTSTEP fan, but IMHO neither Aqua's nor Luna's UI *feel* come close to what NEXTSTEP provided. Maybe they look more modern, maybe they use more colours and nicer looking icons, but this is just sugar!

- GNUstep-GUI might get significant attention if the goal would be to reproduce MacOSX completly. Pretty much comparable to WINE at a higher level. But this is even a bigger project impossible using existing resources.

I agree. And this would also be dangerous - we all know how Apple reacts on "cloners" ...:-)

If I think another day about the topic, I would probably come up with more reasons. I know that those a pretty aggressive points, but IMHO gnustep-gui can only lead into nothing. It might be a fun project, but anyone who actually wants to accomplish something useable for more people should think about the points above.

I just disagree with that :-) But on the same time I agree that there is an inherent problem with GNUstep and its development cycles. Why does it make such a slow progress, why are there not more programmers interested in contributing? I am afraid one main reason (for the latter) is the language, would we use C++ or Java I bet we would see much wider interest. But unfortunately this is not in our hands, we can only hope that Apple's marketing will help us here!

So what would I suggest as a GNUstep goal ?
I have no ready made answer on that, again only some thoughts ;-)

First I think we should focus on GNUstep's real advantages. I see two things which are worth a project:
a) Objective-C (and Foundation)
b) gstep-web

I have some difficulties explaining that in email, but I give it a try ;-)

a) IMHO the real advantage is Objective-C. It's simply the better Java and the better C#. IMHO the biggest advantage of ObjC is it's 100% integration with C (to the level of toll free bridging as seen in CoreFoundation).

It is better indeed, but who knows it, who uses it aside from some Apple developers? So while it is better in technical terms it imposes (big) problems to the project because it is so little known and used - but again, maybe Apple can change this (in the long term!)...

Objective-C is the better C and instead of writing everything from scratch we should use that advantage and become a "value-adding" product for existing stuff. Pretty much like scripting languages, only on a different level. It's certainly a project that looks very doable to write a very good and complete Objective-C wrapper for Gnome or KDE in, say 3 months using 5 people.

While this could definitely be an interesting project I doubt it has anything to do w/ GNUstep :-)

Philippe C.D. Robert

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