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Re: Object environment for windows question

From: Nicola Pero
Subject: Re: Object environment for windows question
Date: Mon, 30 Sep 2002 13:09:48 +0100 (BST)

> Hi all,
> As a part of my thesis is going to be a simulation tool for multi-agent 
> systems. 
> Besides other key features it has to be easy to use and understandable
> by non-computer literate and it has to work also on Windows, because
> most of targeted people are using them. Environment I would like to use
> has to be OO (for me) and easy to install (for the user). I am
> considering GNUstep, some Smalltalk distribution, Squeak and
> Swarm. Swarm is using ObjectiveC and tcl/tk interface, so it works fine
> with windows and has single .exe installation file. Squeak also works
> with windows, but it is like 'big monster', it runs in one window with
> its own UI.
> I would prefere GNUstep, because I am familiar with it and it provides me 
> almost everything 
> I need except portability to windows. I do not have experience with
> windows programing so I would like to ask what is the state of Windows
> backend? How it is usable?

You could try using the windows backend, and switch to use another sort of
interface (like tcl/tk, the same Swarm uses), if it turns out too

Actually, you could rewrite Swarm to work on top of GNUstep ... replace
their custom basic classes with GNUstep ones, their custom libobjc with
the standard libobjc, etc ... <not sure how they would take it :-)>

> Another question: how is it difficult for non-developer to install GNUstep? 
> Is there any self extracting GNUstep-install.exe?

No - there is no self extracting GNUstep-install.exe, you're supposed to
compile everything from sources, and it's difficult at the moment.

But it could be made easy for end-users.  Once you've compiled everything
from sources on your machine and built binaries, I suppose you could then
create a self-extracting .exe file which just unpacks the (prebuilt)
binaries, ready for use.

Users would then just download the self-extracting .exe, and need not work
with sources etc.  If they run applications and stuff via a wrapper script
which sets up the appropriate environment variables, it might be very user

Work will be required in this area ... but with the benefit that it's
useful work which would benefit the project :-)

I'm willing to help you with the technicalities of gnustep-make if you
need help ... but unfortunately I don't run windows.

> My another reason for using GNUstep instead of some another environment 
> (althought 
> GS may not be the best choice for such thing) is that I whould like to
> 'advertise' GNUstep and to show that it can be also used for scientific
> applications.

I quite like Swarm's idea/approach of using Objective-C dynamic features
to build simulations of multi agents systems ... I just wish they used
GNUstep rather than building their own base/gui class libraries. :-)

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