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Re: project goal Re: Release schedule

From: Nicolas Roard
Subject: Re: project goal Re: Release schedule
Date: Sun, 06 Apr 2003 23:44:07 +0100

On 2003-04-06 20:10:26 +0000 Helge Hess <address@hidden> wrote:

Hello Helge,

sorry, I do not have the time to go into detail on each of your points, and 
frankly I do not think that we can reach a common state anyway. Nevertheless I 
try to point out some things ;-)

Yes ... problem here is that we each see totally different things in GNUstep :-)

I think we can stop the thread as replies to my (every extreme) mail. The mail was 
intendend as an attempt to urge people to think about other problems than just 
"should we implement OpenStep or Cocoa", the further discussion should go 
between the active contributors to GNUstep which obviously need to find a new, clearer 
mission statement.

Nicolas Roard wrote:
I disagree. A GNUstep-gui 100% stable would be an equivalent of Cocoa;
do you
really believe that Cocoa is just slightly better than KDE ?

I do not like to argue about that "would be" because GNUstep will never be a 
100% equivalent to Cocoa, if you only have 90% of Cocoa it's only slightly better than 
KDE, yes.

BTW: you are asking for a comparison of different things, the environment and a 
UI library.
Cocoa/gnustep-gui is comparable to QT
MacOSX            is comparable to Linux+KDE

Hm, I was speaking here of the KDE-libs and the KDE devs tools, not the desktop

KDE is great, yes. But on the other hand, we have Gorm and Objective-C,
a very, very, good API. I don't think we will overthrown KDE or GNOME,
but we could easily become
the 3rd desktop. We have the technology; what we miss is marketing.

Yes, blame marketing - the way the project goes on for more than ten years 
can't be the reason ;-)

Well it's perhaps not the only reason, I don't know :-)
But lack of marketing is a major reason imho. Because few people worked
on NeXT/OPENSTEP, not many people see the interesst of this approach.
And the difference with GNUstep and KDE/GNOME is that even with the alpha 
version of KDE/GNOME they could *show* something ('coz they were
based on existing gui libs) and thus attract coders -- and year after year
they improved their api, incrementaly.
GNUstep couldn't, as for a working system, an entire rework was necessary.
I think it's the basic reason. Or at least, not a minor one.
On the other hand, GNUstep won't need major api break up ... (at least that's 
my hope ;)

I'm pretty sure that people will come aboard when the project will reach
a more visible state and stability.

So we agree that GNUstep is not even stable for *developers*. But the real QA 
phase starts (the 90% of the work) if people actually start implementing more 
complex applications on top of it and then, if *users* try using them.
Sorry, but IMHO you clearly underestimate the time which is required for that.

I'm perhaps too optimist, yes :-) but if we won't try, we won't see. Honnestly, 
KDE nor GNOME were stables at their beginning, and people used
them. Ok, I think it won't be the same thing today, but I think that people 
will come
on GNUstep anyway. I said the same thing last year, yes. But in one year, we
had more coders, more visibility, more stability for gui apps and more
functionality. Of course things won't be fixed in 6 months, but things improved,
and that's the important point.
could be done *now* for us is to program some additionals palettes to Gorm.

First you need to understand why fixed positioning systems are not working very 
well on X11 (and why X11 systems are different to NeXT or Apple computers). 
You'll find out why any other window toolkit uses a box system.

? what's the relation with palettes ? I was speaking of programming components
in the form of Gorm's palettes. It could be on the form of Renaissance editor's
palettes, it doesn't matters. But I don't really understand why fixed 
positioning systems aren't working
very well on X11 ?

But I think the simple "palettes" road is enough for most uses.
Embedded components is generally a bloat.

If we cannot embed Mozilla, we need to write a similiary good HTML viewer (KDE 
did with Konqueror). If we cannot embed a WebDAV storage, we need to write a 
similiary good one. If ...

That's unrelated. What we miss here is ObjC++, and it's on the gcc side.

Configuration management, I don't understand ... we have the defaults base
(which is good) and we have an application such as,
wich is exactly what we need.

And how do you configure the rest of the Linux system ? I'm talking about the 
"Windows Control Panel" which is required for a desktop environment.

Well, for me a "window control panel" is os-related ... it's the job of 
to provide such an app for example. Anyway, it's that last of our problem ...

Package Management ??what's the relation
with GNUstep ?

See above, you aim to replace KDE, not Qt. Just Qt provides little value.

Hmm, I speak more about Qt or more precisely KDE-libs here, yes, because
GNUstep for me is a programming framework, not a desktop in itself.

it's a distribution-related program. And, we have anyway a
good (very good) thing with our system of app bundles -- anything embedded
in the app bundle, multiple languages, even multiples architectures ...

This is not package management. APT or RPM are package management systems and 
required for distributing a desktop environment. A major feature of 
Ximian/GNOME is the RedCarpet system which allows you to install and update the 
complicated GNOME system in a simple way.

Yes, but that's not related to Ximian/GNOME ... it's distribution (or os) 

BTW: this is something which is really lacking in OSX.

well, a good package management is great, yes, but for example, apt/dpkg has
nothing to do with kde or gnome ... I don't see your point.

A multimedia framework would be good, I agree. But on that particular
KDE or GNOME aren't very well mature either.

Did you ever use current GNOME and KDE applications ?

Yes. And I wouldn't say that their current multimedia framework are stable.

Themes for emulation do not work. Proven by Mozilla, by Swing, by OPENSTEP/NT, 
by ... Themes almost always only provide the same look but almost never the 
same feel.

Well that's an entire other issue ... I agree with you; but it doesn't stop 
to use Mozilla for example.
You are seriously missing the point of your project members. Richard as well as 
Philippe have pointed out that the UI is the (their) major focus.

I was speaking about UI "ergonomy". the feel. Not the stability of -gui .

With GNUstep hopefully, we'll have
great UI for
our programs (at least compared to KDE/GNOME apps) if we follow the NeXT
guideline for example.

See above, several people want an exact replacement of the NeXT UI.

And what's the problem ? What I am interessted in, is UI ergonomy. I don't like
the current ergonomy of KDE/GNOME. I think in beeing consistant we could
add something. Following the NeXT guideline for example.

Many people don't see behind the look, and it's normal. And I agree that
if we want the project a little more visibility, a theme support,
or at least another theme than NeXT, is mandatory.

Themes do not work well at all with the fixed positioning AppKit technology but 
need a box system. Claim ;-)

Well, with a box system you could have a free approach of themes, yes -- int 
that you could have any sizes etc. With fixed positioning, we are tied to the
actual size of the widgets. But it doesn't matters. People don't care about
that. What they care about is if there is shiny buttons, not if the button isn't
exactly the same size as on OS X (for an OS X theme). So I won't say that "themes do 
not work well at all with the fixed positioning" ...
I works, period.  It's perhaps not the "optimal" theming, but people don't care
about that. Claim :)

see for example
for my current tests. It's far from beeing finished, but it's *possible*
to add theme to GNUstep quite easily.

Well, I do not see how, but I'll take a look if it's ready ...

nope. I need to rework on that before ;-) and currently, I don't have much free 
time (I shouldn't type this msg :) Other thing is that I'm not so interessted 
about theme, it's fun, but I think
there is other important works. Anyway, I'll try to release something, if 
somebody wants to work on that ...

BTW: you are going to get sued for the presented image ! ;-)

Why ? :-) And for the moment, I didn't released anything.

I tried to use GNUmail, but GNUmail didn't cover my needs, *unfortunatly* no 
replacement for Moz-Mail (but could be better than Sylpheed or KMail). GNUmail 
is a good example that the UI needs to be rewritten between OSX and Linux 

Oh no, you're wrong here. The UI was rewritten because of the lack of a stable
Gorm version -- but now, I think it could be based on Gorm. No more UI rewrite.

[KDE, GNOME wrappers]
Well that's alreday done. KDE and GNOME for Objective-C exists since a
long time. No one use them.

Yes, none is complete nor developed in an active way ?! Those wrappers of 
course also need a significant amount of work ! But this will take an order of 
magnitude less time.

Perhaps, but what I like on GNUstep is not only ObjC but the entire API ... 
Programming in ObjC using GNOME API ... well ... I'm not interessted by that.

If that would be done, 5 people could finally start out writing
applications in Objective-C ! The model layer could be easily shared
between OSX and Linux applications.
Arg, it will be a pain in the ass, seriously...

Decision between write something or write nothing ;-) We cannot find agreement 
on this if you insist that GNUstep GUI is stable for writing applications.

Well I could say it's stable enough ;-) but it needs bug fixing, yes.
I see no big interesst in programming KDE using ObjC. I could use C++...

And we can write good GNOME applications in ObjC much faster than
other people in plain C.
Oh yes. But personally, I really dislike the GNOME project :-P
I think it's doomed. Perhaps even more than GNUstep ;-)

Well, I also think that KDE is much more streamlined, but GNOME is still much 
further than GNUstep. Eg (not to lower someones work !) Evolution is a much 
better mail client than GNUmail. This is not because the people are smarter or 
the technology is better, but because the technology is not *ten* times worse 
(only 50% or something) and significantly more resources are thrown at it.

In fact, it's perhaps ten times worse  :-) On the last year fosdem, during the 
gnome presentation, MDI spoke about
1 million of code line (I think it's lower in fact, but we could say 500k) and 
I don't remember exactly how *full time* programmers (more than 10 I believe). 
Btw that's why he advocated the use of Mono instead of C for gui programs ...
(it was his reason at the time at least)

On the other hand, GNUMail is mostly ludovic's works.
Anyway, and I'm honnest here, (yep, no trolling :), It's not 50% or something,
be sure. It's perhaps not an order of magnitude, but it's more than 50%, no 
Said that, -gui needs works, yes ...

We could do that using GNUstep. In fact I think we could do that in
small apps, *cooperating* with each others, and we could end with a better
desktop experience than KDE/GNOME. That's my opinion ...

Could, would, if ... your reply is full of it and the points are years old. 
Four years ago both, KDE and GNOME were not as far as now, now it's almost 
impossible to become a third desktop environment even if you throw loads of 
resources at it.

All this somehow reminds me of the various attempts to regain the Amiga OS. 
Amiga OS was great ... at it's time, now it's hopelessly outdated.

Possible. I'm optimist :-)
I think I need to improve my english level, I use too much repeats :)

Yes, I really love gsweb, and we could do great things with it.

"Could". You need more resources to "do". If *all* GNUstep would commit their 
time to gsweb, it could become awesome in a year. If the work keeps being done by Manuel alone, it 
will still be good but won't become awesome.
BTW: a lot of the things which are nice about WebObjects are currently 
implemented in ASP.NET which is going to be implemented by the Mono project. 
And the Mono people are *very* focused and have resources.

I agree ... but I'm not sure you will find all thoses ressources.
Well, as it's an opensource project, you can't force people to work on
things ...

And I won't ;-)

They need to be convainced :-)
I agree with your ideas concerning Objective-C and GSWeb, I'm all for it,
but that doesn't means I will stop working on gui apps ... ;-)

Yes, I know ;-) I know that gnustep-gui won't be stopped, because it's nice 
hobby-time hacking and even looking at an incomplete NeXTstep UI on top of 
Linux is plain fun.

But if you think that you can accomplish a third Linux desktop environment 
without good project management and project plan in sparetime, then sorry, you 
are unrealistic.

What I want is something good to work with ... if only a minority use it, what 
could I do ? Linux is used by less than 5% of the desktop, Apple same ... both 
additioned don't reach 10% I believe ... But I won't start using Windows and 
program using MFC for this only reason !


I understand your points, but I'm not sure it's related to GNUstep ... it's more
GNUstepWeb :-)
What miss GNUstepWeb is tutorials, examples, and hosting... Examples on GDL2 
too .


Nicolas Roard

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