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Re: GNUstep moving forward

From: Fred Kiefer
Subject: Re: GNUstep moving forward
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2005 19:39:39 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20050921

Gregory John Casamento wrote:
> GNUstep has been relatively stagnant over the last several months and it has
> become a cause for concern for me.

Here I have to agree with you. GNUstep is for some time now actually
usable, but progress and contributions have slowed down a lot. I can
only talk about my own reasons for contributing less. Now idea, why
other core developers like Alexander Malmberg, who was responsible for
the great progress on gui in the previous year, no longer contributes.
But the same is true for Quentin and even for Adrian in recent months.
To be honest, there never were more than just a few people working on
gui at the same time. We just need to find new people taking up the
orphaned work, or get the old ones back again. For example it is great
to see Nicola working on make again!

> I've been doing a lot of thinking and have compiled a list of things I believe
> that GNUstep needs to address to stay on top of things.   The list follows:
> 1) More apps.  Many of the following points will help with this, but this is
> very important.
> 2) Better theme support.  Integration of Camaelon into the core gui library if
> possible
> 3) Better win32 support.  Many companies are really eager to port their legacy
> NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP or Cocoa apps to GNUstep under Windows.   The prospect of
> Linux and BSD support appeals to them as well, but not as much as Windows.   I
> currently have two companies with whom I am talking about this.
> 4) Better distro support.  We really need to get GNUstep into as many
> distributions as possile, this will ramp up exposure of GNUstep to more people
> and help us get more developers and users.

All of this is true. It would increase the general preception of
GNUstep. Make it a better usable system. But who should be doing this?
We will need to motivate developers first. In my view, the bounties that
Adam presented some time ago, are a desparate step in this direction.
But I know of no better one. Perhaps one, I remember when joining
GNUstep there were these list Adam had set up on the GNUstep web site,
listing open tasks, classes to do and time frames for all of this. Of
course this was somewhat ridicules, how could you set up a schedule,
when you don't ahve any resources to control? Still, for me this was a
motivation to join and to do my part to keep the schedule.

> We as a project need to be more adaptive and less resistant to change.  More
> than anything right now we need to consider the audience we are playing to.
> GNUstep needs to be better able to integrate with other environments.

I am not sure, if GNUstep is really that much against change. I for my
part would like to see GNUstep integration with DBUS and other new hot
technologies. Perhaps I might even start to work on that. Do you have
any specific examples of change resistence in GNUstep? My feeling is
rather that new stuff in GNUstep gets ignored until the person working
on that gets bored. To me this happend with the win32 stuff, the
keyed-encoding and currently again with the cairo backend.

> Additionally, I've noticed recently a trend for certain people to constantly
> query the list asking for permission to make this or that change.  It seems
> that what we need more than anything right now is more action and less talk. 
> If you are interested in doing something, please do it! :)

> Please think about what I've said and let me know your thoughts.  I say the
> above out of concern for the community.   GNUstep is and always has been a 
> true
> labor of love for me.  I want to see it thrive.

Same for me :-)

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