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Re: Longhorn Killer

From: Stefan Urbanek
Subject: Re: Longhorn Killer
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 2004 22:03:30 +0100

On 2004-03-22 20:14:13 +0100 Nicolas Roard <address@hidden> wrote:

> Le 22 mars 04, à 18:40, Helge Hess a écrit :
>> Indeed OGo includes something like that (project document database), it 
>> uses a combination of NSFileManager and EODataSource as the Objective-C 
>> API, so this would be possible for GNUstep. But of course using a database 
>> has quite some overhead in case you want to do just regular filesystem 
>> stuff.
>> Eg the gain of being able to sort the whole harddisk on filetype "gif" in 
>> milliseconds certainly isn't worth the loss of performance due to the 
>> increased management overhead on any regular operation.
> Yes... I think it could be interesting to use in GNUstep some DB-like 
> functionalities from filesystem like ReiserFS. It doesn't mean to redo 
> everythin in fact; for the desktop applications, a change on NSFileManager 
> and on the open/save panel would be enough I guess. But, well, that's imho 
> not really an important point right now. What we miss for the moment are 
> still applications and momentum, possibly LinuxSTEP or equivalent 
> initiatives; we don't need to focus on DB-like system yet.

Yes, you are right: we do not need to focus on DB like system yet. However, we 
have to have it in mind and prepare GNUstep frameworks so they are DB like 
system ready!

> With future filesystems which will provides us an easy way of looking at 
> thing in a db-way, with metadatas, we'll be able to do nice and interesting 
> things. But that's the future, and it's not really linked to GNUstep anyway, 
> more to linux in general.

How far is that future? It is linked to linux (or any other underlying OS of 
your choice) as much as implementation of a file system. However, the DB or 
kind of Object storage system is linked to GNUstep more that you think. It is 
about phylosophy of storage and that has to be taken into account by a GNUstep 
based environment. Example? Now you refer to storage objects by directories and 
files in the form of filename. You can easily browse a tree structure. What if 
there will be no tree structure?

Side note: the kind of file system we are using now is obsolete either way.  
Tree structure and filename based object referencing is just not enough. Just 
plain stupid file renaming prevents local interdocument linking. Yes, there are 
i-nodes, but ... is there public portable interface for them?

>> In contrary, when Longhorn is due, it will again be an *excellent* time to 
>> migrate users to other systems, because people will be told to buy 
>> upgrades. This worked very well to the advantage of Linux in the past.
> Excellent point :-)

Perhaps true.

>>> Its all about going beyond unix.

I strongly agree with this!

>> IMHO one of the strong points of NeXTstep was that it is not going beyond 
>> Unix but integrating it. And the same is true (to a lesser extend, Finder 
>> argh) for MacOSX.
> I agree ... what was good in NeXTSTEP, is that the Unix part was not just 
> "hidden", but more integrated. The workspace with its NSBrowser is a good 
> example; with current OS (unix..) you have quite often deep 
> paths/directories; NSBrowser is really good for browsing that. Compare to the 
> window's explorer, which is still, conceptually, tied to the DOS world where 
> you had not as much files/directories as you have now..

Please, hide UNIX with it's senile POSIX standard (from libraries to tools, 
shells and FS hierarchy) from me, provide me something more frendly. I do not 
care whether there is UNIX underneath or something else, if it works as I 
expect and I can do what I want. OpenStep once was a step further towards 
modern crossplatform standard... Can it be revived in some new form? What about 
agreeing with Apple on kind of OpenStep 2, is that somewhat possible? Set of 
Cocoa+GNUstep common interfaces. You want to write portable code? Use OpenStep 
2. You want something more? Use either GNUstep or Cocoa with their own 
extensions - use what fits you best.

Btw. if GNUstep wants to "Kill Longhorn" or anything else ... what is it's 
power? What are GNUstep's working or in the very near future working solutions 
and why are they exceptional? Sure we here know them, but do others know about 

Feel free to start the list of problem-solution-exceptionalities here ...

Stefan Urbanek

P.S.: To avoid confusion: I was not refering by "you" as to Nicolas.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you 
- Mahatma Gandhi

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