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Re: The Path of GNUstep (Was: Re: Gnustep + mac + windows? Possib Re: Th

From: Stefan Urbanek
Subject: Re: The Path of GNUstep (Was: Re: Gnustep + mac + windows? Possib Re: The Path of GNUstep (Was: Re: Gnustep + mac + windows? Possib
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 00:14:57 +0100

On 2002-09-23 23:34:43 +0200 Nicolas Roard <address@hidden> wrote:

Well it's not that simple... take wxwindows for example : it's an existing, 
working and useable cross platform library. But is that feature leads to
a major wave of people adopting it ? well, not really...
Same for themes. It's all eye-candy, and not add a cent to the usability
of a program. But people want it, bad or not.

What I want to point, is that, for _you_, cross platform ability is THE
major selling point. But it's not the only truth : others people like
the NeXTish look, others the great object oriented frameworks, others,
the possibility of developping apps quickly with Gorm, or the
distributed objects features, etc.


Of course, fixing bugs will be great. As cross platform. And, I will
say, even theme support.
I found the NeXT UI really stylish and nice, but, from my own experience, I can tell you the FIRST 
comment about GNUstep you heard when you show it to people, is the fact that the look is to 
"greyish", "old", etc.
That's their first impression, and it impacts the way they see GNUstep.
With KDE/Gnome existing, it's quite hard to interesst people to still another 
desktop/library. It's harder when you have an exotic
programming language. And harder when you have a GUI people found "too old".
If you disagree, try to ask you WHY GNUstep still isn't
widely adopted, and younger desktop/environment as KDE/Gnome had
take the lead. My opinion is that it's because NeXT wasn't known
by many; it was famous, but not so many people *used* it. So people
have a hard time to figure in what GNUstep would be interessting,
when you compare it to a more known environment/philosophy/language,
with approximately the same features.

Here I have to agree with Nicolas and I hate to say it, but today many people 
are attracted by the look. That phenomenon does not apply only on the software. 
Personaly I am fine with the next-look which does not distract me, but...

Many people will look on the outer shell without looking what is inside. 
Sometimes it seems to me that in KDE or Gnome, the theming is the only thing 
that you can do there (just look at the control panel, how many options you 
have for configuring the look and feel and compare the m to other opptions).  
And what is under the hood? You know... However many will not realize that  
because they have never seen anything different. Themes should not be the main 
point, but they should be used only for attracing new users. And if the new 
users will discover that there is Something (read: GNUstep) under the hood, 
they will like it.
One has to know both, good and bad, to be able to compare and tell what is good 
and what is bad. Many people know only one thing and will say that it is the 
best just because they do not know the other. We have to show them the good. 
And because there are several possible audiences, we have show to each audience 
what is good for it. There are:

* Users who know what they want (prefered GNUstep target)
   - show them 'killer' apps
* Developers
   - show them the 'killer' features of the frameworks
   - show them that the features are already there, they are really easy to use 
and they are perfectly working
* User who do not know what they want (majority)
   - show them fancy themes

If I look at other environments (judging by applications and tools they 
provide) majority of users are developers and those who do not know what they 
want.I think that the GNUstep is on opposite side.

GNUstep is for users who know what they want, but by keeping as many users 
satisfied as possible GNUstep should only benefit from it. I am not against 
themes, but I cosider them only as important as is important to attract new 
users from the third category I have mentioned.

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