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Re: project goal Re: Release schedule

From: Lars Sonchocky-Helldorf
Subject: Re: project goal Re: Release schedule
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2003 00:41:30 +0200

Am Samstag, 12.04.03 um 14:17 Uhr schrieb Philippe C.D. Robert:

Hi Helge,

a little late, but ...

On Sunday, April 6, 2003, at 10:33 PM, Helge Hess wrote:
Philippe C.D.Robert wrote:
Well, you cannot deny that there has been made much progress wrt the AppKit part of GNUstep in the last 1, 2 years.

It has made a lot of progress regarding completeness of just the implementation of just the GUI library. There is still little testing by application level developers and even less testing by application users.

That's true unfortunately. Personally I notice that I get almost no feedback wrt ProjectCenter (nor any other app I wrote). Now either they are perfect (...) or nobody uses them really, I guess it is the latter... :-| The question now is how can we change that and/or who can help us with this?

The initial implementation time of some piece of software is only a very small fraction of the time required to build a working system.

I know, but to do 100% we need apps and (more, new) users who test them.

To get more users we need to change towards a more user friendly attitude. Here comes especially the not so simple build process to my mind (it speaks for itself that such a thing like a GNUstep build guide IS NECESSARY - not that I dislike the build guide, I thank Dennis a lot for it - it helped me to do my first steps with GNUstep).

A good thing to have would be an easy installer (like the one Tom Koelman created for Win32 (get it from ftp://ftp.gnustep.org/pub/gnustep/windows/)) that installs everything (even the required libraries and some userapps) in one single step (of course we should offer some choices to the user). Before the experts start to protest now (Oh we don't want this, nobody knows what the installer does, I have a certain reason to keep an older version of this or that library and so on) don't forget you can still install manually and this installer is MEANT FOR USERS (nowadays not every Linux user is also a Kernel hacker).

My other point is about visibility. Currently GNUstep is not very well knows because it lacks visibility (announcements on popular news pages, articles in magazines and so on). While we have no direct influence on - for instance - magazines, we can definitely improve our visibility on the web. Currently there are over half a dozen websites dealing with GNUstep. But sadly most of the pages are not very active/up to date. Wouldn't it be better to concentrate the efforts on to one, but actively maintained website (www.gnustep.org of course)? Our website should also look professional, not amateurish.

CF adds compatibility to MacOSX. Several things (eg XML and full HTTP) are only available in CF but not in Cocoa but used in Cocoa applications (because it's useful base functionality).
It does, but this is not related to Cocoa, so if we target Cocoa why should we adopt CF? I don't think we want/can/should 'copy' Mac OS X. Unless of course it can easily be done or/and somebody is interested in spending time for writing such an interface...:-)

By targetting Cocoa I see "targetting Cocoa developers". And Cocoa developers often need to use (and will use) CF on MacOSX. Eg Nicola used CFXML on MacOSX for doing XML parsing. If you want to make it easy to port Cocoa applications, a CF implementation is helping a lot.

I agree, but this would mean to change the scope of GNUstep.

A part of CoreFoundation is already open source, you can get it from <http://www.opendarwin.org/cgi-bin/cvsweb.cgi/src/CoreFoundation/> or via anoncvs <http://www.opendarwin.org/doc/en/articles/opendarwin/cvs_howto/ #anoncvs-opendarwin>

But: I do not think, that this is the most important thing. It's "just" significant.


GNUstep tries for completion, otherwise we can stop working on it right now. One step at the time, even if it takes a while... :-)

But it misses a project plan on
a) what exactly to accomplish
b) in what timeframe
c) how and with which resources
Right now GNUstep is going on for about 10? years and the "only" stable output is a Foundation library and a Makefile package.

Yes, it would be useful to update the schedule by assigning concrete tasks to volunteers. If we cannot do that we cannot estimate a timeframe, if we can then we see if the assumed timeframe is reasonable or not.

I agree, moreover I believe this is the only way to convince people! It is the solution which matters, not the technology.

So shouldn't the GNUstep mission statement focus on solutions instead of the technologies to accomplish them ? And line out what exactly are the solutions' advantages against the existing solutions ?

I guess the fundamental issue here is that some of us see GNUstep as a cross platform API while others see it as some kind of successor to NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP, thus it is not easy to address this with one "strategy". Radically speaking I believe either we try to create an entire system based on GNUstep or GNUstep ends up being used by very few developers as some kind of alternative to Apple, probably for GNUstepWeb or other non-GUI stuff. I do not think GNUstep will ever be able to catch up with Gnome or KDE as pure X11 desktop solution ever. Hopefully somebody can proof me wrong...

The only way to success for GNUstep is to become widespread and this can only be reached if GNUstep is ALSO an Desktop environment. Otherwise - as a pure developer solution - who should use those apps developed with and - never the less - FOR GNUstep? To reach that goal we need some more user apps that make a desktop environment a desktop environment. Now all those apps are spread across the web, a potential user has to do a lot of searching to get them. It would be good to be able to get them from one source. What about hosting those apps on www.gnustep.org too? Maybe we should even put them in a userapps module of GNUstep cvs.

Discussion is needed, but talking alone does not solve the problem ...:-)
Neither is just hacking into the dark ;-)

IMHO GNUstep really needs some plan on what to do in what timeframe. If we still talk about OpenStep compatibility in 2010, it's really to late (IMHO it's already to late because other environments are well established and are getting better any year).

It is IMHO too late for GNUstep to compete with KDE or Gnome, but it is (hopefully) not too late for a GNUSTEP/linux or a GNUSTEP/FreeBSD or even a GNUSTEP/Hurd (kind of the real successor to OPENSTEP/Mach) :-)

Philippe C.D. Robert

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