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Re: GNUstep on Windows, "desktop" bundles...

From: Alex Perez
Subject: Re: GNUstep on Windows, "desktop" bundles...
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 12:46:39 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 20 Oct 2004, Nicolas Roard wrote:

> Anyway. Apart for providing nice screenshots, I think it will definitely
> be good to focus a bit more on the windows backend -- a LOT of people
> are interested, and it's mostly working... A good start would be to have
> an installer for gui as well -- it should'nt be that hard ? I'll perhaps
> try to do something with Wix (the xml installer recently published by
> microsoft..) -- if I can keep the window machine a few more days... but
> if somebody else knows how to do an installer, go on :-)

Someone offered to build on the base installer, it might even have been 
larry cow---I will check my mail archives and find who it was.

> Ideally, I think we'd like to have a "GNUstep developer" install and a 
> "GNUstep runtime" install (for people who just want to use GNUstep..)

IMHO there should probably just be one installer, with some radios for 
developer/runtime and also base/gui, unless there is a size issue.

> Which also bring the second point of this mail... even with a good and 
> easy to use installer, and even with a gui theme matching  the Windows 
> GUI, GNUstep apps won't blend easily, because too many things are done 
> as if GNUstep was it's own OS rather than a cross-platform development 
> environment. In order to have gui applications blending easily, we 
> need to have things like menu in windows, use of the local file panel, 
> tracking of the color scheme, etc. And that's probably the same thing 
> if we want to run GNUstep apps under KDE/GNOME. Alex Malmberg once 
> raised the possibility of having "desktop" bundles, that is, isolate 
> all the specific code to "blend" in a particular desktop 
> (Windows,KDE,GNOME,Backbone,Garma,XFCE,CDE,ROX,etc.) in separate 
> bundles -- a clean solution. Do people agree on that idea ? and what 
> kind of things do we need to abstract ?

Yes I think it's an excellent idea in concept but it's one of hose things 
you can really mess up if you don't do it properly. A desktop 
bundle that did something akin to GTK-WIMP might be helpful to us (in fact 
we could probably liberally borrow win32 code from this project for this 

> What I can list is :
> - color schemes
Best thing would just be just to have GNUstep apps use windows default 
colors under windows, like GTK-WIMP does.
> - menu policy (vertical, horizontal, in windows, etc.)
Under windows, horizontal-in-window is the paradigm, so I think we should 
stick to it long-term if possible. Even NeXT did this.
> - theme
for starters, just setting system colors would go a long way towards 
proper integration.
> - open/save panels
Ours suck like the mightiest hoover/vacuum anyways, and IMHO they need to 
be redone. We can borrow code from any number of GTK apps or even gtk 
itself that use the standard xp open/save panel.

> - iconification..
This is not an issue that is unique to windows. GNUstep  apps should 
iconify properly into the taskbar when GNOME and KDE are running, which 
they currently do not do. This is bad, since the minimized miniwindow 
conflicts with the gnome/kde panels and leads to bad user experiences.

> - pasteboard
well recently it seems somewhat broken again, but I am sure we can borrow 
gtk win32 pasteboard code.

> - notifications
A whole other issue entirely. IMHO we should apply alexm's 
no-gdomap-required patch so it's on by default under windows. gdomap 
should maybe be run as a service under Win2k/XP since thats the closest 
thing to a daemon that we have and if we dont do it that way then you 
wouldn't be able to run a gnustep app as a non-administrative user, which 
is bad bad bad.

My $0.02

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