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Re: project goal Re: Release schedule

From: Philippe C . D . Robert
Subject: Re: project goal Re: Release schedule
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 13:19:04 +0200

On Saturday, April 5, 2003, at 11:57 PM, Helge Hess wrote:
Philippe C.D.Robert wrote:
it's funny and sad at the same time that we have such discussions every now and then...
Yes. Notably GNUstep didn't move any further in public recognition so far. We still have the state that gstep-base is stable, other things not.

Well, you cannot deny that there has been made much progress wrt the AppKit part of GNUstep in the last 1, 2 years. But the public recognition is very low, probably also just because nobody waits for GNUstep, the existing alternatives are there and indeed good - so yes, we have to be really better in order to become successful.

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.

CF adds compatibility to MacOSX. Several things (eg XML and full HTTP) are only available in CF but not in Cocoa but used in Cocoa applications (because it's useful base functionality).

It does, but this is not related to Cocoa, so if we target Cocoa why should we adopt CF? I don't think we want/can/should 'copy' Mac OS X. Unless of course it can easily be done or/and somebody is interested in spending time for writing such an interface...:-)

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 :-)

Sure. My points are only true if the goal is a project which tries for completion. If it's pure hacking-for-fun without a required goal and for the developers personal use only, there is no need to discuss.

GNUstep tries for completion, otherwise we can stop working on it right now. One step at the time, even if it takes a while... :-)

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 :-)

OK. +2 for NeXTstep, +1.000.000 for MacOSX ;-) Again, no doubt that there are people which still like the NeXTstep UI better (Richard said so too), but *IMHO* the vast majority of users do not care and prefer the other.

Again, this is more a question about the feel than the look. While I prefer NEXTSTEP over Mac OS X in this respect, I don't dislike the latter, but if I can choose ... :-) Anyway, I guess one argument here is also that almost nobody knows NEXTSTEP and its user experience. I bet that if more would do so we would see more contributors. Hey, not even all of the current GNUstep contributors do know NEXTSTEP as it seems!

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!

We are discussing that for years without effect. Apple is advertising Cocoa for years now with little effect for GNUstep. Why ? Because it's not interesting because it does nothing a Cocoa developer cares about.

To be honest, Apple does not really advertise Objective-C and it just starts shifting from pushing Carbon to pushing Cocoa. I am really curious what the next WWDC brings in this context. But lets be realistic, there will probably never be the day where hordes of Objective-C programmers will "flood the market", even if all developers on Mac OS X will use this language it will remain a niche.

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!)...
You can convince/show people by providing *solutions* (usually applications). Zope is the Python solution which made it widely know, before it was just yet-another-scripting language.

I agree, moreover I believe this is the only way to convince people! It is the solution which matters, not the technology. Now having a good technology means that it is far more easy to write good solutions - this is why there are still people out there which believe in GNUstep and Objective-C, this is why Apple puts more and more focus on Objective-C and Cocoa and this is why MS came up with something like C# or SUN with Java. Unfortunately it is not enough to have a good technology, you also need people using it, otherwise you will just "die in beauty"... You need to convince existing developers to switch and you need to teach new developers to use it from the start. This is what Apple can do for us, nothing more and nothing less.

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 :-)
What is GNUstep ? ;-) An incomplete GUI library which is never going to be completed ? (yes, aggressive, but see my points about resources which do not go away by not talking about it ;-)

Discussion is needed, but talking alone does not solve the problem ...:-)

BTW I believe -gui is in a state where it can be used quite well. What we lack is the applications which proof it, the solutions which convince the people (more developers first) that there is something out there which is worth spending time with. No desktop project started with a perfect library which could be used to write perfect apps, but all successful desktop projects managed to attract developers to write or porting apps.

Philippe C.D. Robert

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