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Re: GNUstep moving forward

From: Adrian Robert
Subject: Re: GNUstep moving forward
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 08:18:17 -0400

On Oct 24, 2005, at 5:08 AM, Sašo Kiselkov wrote:

Quoting Gregory John Casamento <address@hidden>:

Although we have Gorm and ProjectCenter, I believe we do need more to make GNUstep attractive to devs. Some debugging (think MallocDebug) tools and
other things might be nice in this regard.

Also, a fully working ProjectCenter would be good as well.


Currently I'm working 100% on - an new IDE completely
from scratch. It currently still lacks many features, but what is done:

Why not help out on ProjectCenter? Instead of having two halfway-useful IDE's, maybe we could have one powerful one..

Specific comments below..

 - bundle extensible project type

Project Center has this.

 - allows for arbitrary file layout (through grouping files in abstract
`categories' (sort-of like directories, but not really on disk))

Project Center could use this. XCode has it, so users that also develop on Apple will grok it (and indeed, would like it).

- build error interpretation - errors are grouped in a table, double click on a
row and the error file opens, highlighting the error line.

XCode (and I think ProjectBuilder) had this. It would be nice to enhance ProjectCenter to have it too.

- fully functional code editor (except for colouring... but I'm working on it)
   + line/character indication and "Go To Line..."
   + autoindentation
   + customizable external command output piping
   + customizable tab to space conversion

You can try writing an editor from scratch, but unless you pump a LOT of time into it you'll end up with something that someone will shift away from once they have some real work to do. Project Center has Emacs integration via gnuclient, and in my opinion this is the most sensible way to go. Add Vim integration or your other favorite editor, improve the richness of the interface between IDE and editor, etc.. I talked to the maintainer of ProjectCenter about this a year and a half ago, and he had some ideas to move forward, but neither of us got the time to do it.

If you are still insistent on this, take a look at , or TextEdit here: . Both would be good starting points. Alternatively, an idea I had was to bundle into a framework so you could have an emacs pane wherever you needed an editor panel. This would be a bit of work, but a whole lot less than writing your own editor, and the result would be truly excellent. (Also, I think the emacs-20-based emacs-on-aqua is a good base, lighter-weight than the upcoming emacs-23-based port --

Comments are welcome, though please still consider the code practically a tech-demo, I would not have released it for another two weeks (currently working on it about two weeks already) if this discussion would not have come

I strongly encourage you to think about working on Project Center. Much of the grunt work that you'll have to redo is already done, it has a nice clean interface so far, with plenty of scope for extension, and it's design is fundamentally familiar to Apple developers, so more widespread adoption is likely. If you still want to explore making your own IDE for a while, please at least consider integrating some of your code into ProjectCenter at some point.


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