[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Windows and GnuStep

From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: Windows and GnuStep
Date: Wed, 1 Feb 2006 21:59:38 +0000

On 1 Feb 2006, at 15:48, Andy Satori wrote:

Ok gentlemen,

I've got a few questions and I hope they don't come across wrong. I want to clarify something before I begin. Yes, I'm frustrated.

On the GnuStep Website there is this lovely link

In which, the following is stated:

"This should read "Yes." :) GNUstep is being used commercially by a number of companies and is distributed regularly on Debian and Gentoo. GNUstep also allows a developer to compile his/her application with almost no changes under most UNIX operating systems. Applications which use Foundation (AKA GNUstep-Base) exclusively are portable to nearly any posix compliant OS, as well as Windows (using Cygwin or MingW). Stephen Kochan briefly covers how to use GNUstep under Windows in his excellent book, "Programming in Objective-C". A windows installer for GNUstep can be found at ftp://ftp.gnustep.org/pub/gnustep/binaries/windows.";

And yet, here I am after a month of casually futzing around with various revisions of the Windows installer, and the end results of those installers and I have exactly one Application from the GnuStep Applications page built. Of course, it wouldn't run without manually building a missing dependancy, and then manually starting a program that apparently all GnuStep GUI applications require before running (gdomap IIRC).

For the record, that one app is Gorm, which candidly is only of use to build user interfaces, and is an excellent project. ProjectBuilder, ProjectCenter, GnuMail, AddressBook all however failed, all for different reasons.

That clarification page goes on to extoll the virtues of camaelon to change the theme of GnuStep apps. This still doesn't make them feel like normal Windows applications, WildMenu's would appear to help, but since I can't get it working either, I suppose it's a moot point.

The advice I've been given in irc and email is to try CVS, so I have, and things are marginally better, however, I point you to your own comments again in the Clarifications page:

"There are tested and released tar/gz packages of all GNUstep source at ftp://ftp.gnustep.org/pub. It is also important to point out here that getting source from CVS is not advisable for the average user. Quite often there are issues with CVS versions of projects (in general, not just with GNUstep) since they are in development. There might be some experimental code or some code which might not work at all, again this is true with all projects, not just GNUstep. In general it is recommended that end users make use of the packages provided on the ftp site, which are considered to be official releases. These are generally better tested and more stable than what might be in CVS at any given point in time."

So which advice should a user or potential user follow? I shall not point out that Item 7 on that same page then goes on to explain that older versions from CVS were the issue. When the current "stable" version don't build, and the CVS tree is the only potentially viable option, and when those build, but don't actually work, what conclusions do you really expect?.

Now, all of this said, I will grant that things are better, under Linux. I did get more things built on the Suse 9 box, though, that was without icons in most applications, and having to make some other manual modifications to the system to get GnuStep apps to properly register themselves.

In short, I simply do not see how GnuStep, in it's current state, is usable for anyone but the most hard core, die hard users.

For what's it's worth, I wouldn't consider myself the average user, I built Mono from the ground up on the Mac OS before it was supported, I've built Gnome and GTK by hand on Mac OS. I've also worked extensively with Cygwin (and Win/U) to get Unix apps running on Windows. I'm not afraid of mucking with the system to get things working, but there are limits, and getting GnuStep apps working on Windows is currently beyond those limits.

What I want to know is if my experience with GnuStep is being marred by something I'm not seeing or is this more or less the norm, right now, I suspect that it's the norm, because as with most thing Open Source, Windows users are deemed to be clueless gits that aren't worth the time nor effort. Perhaps I'm wrong, but right now, I don't feel like I'm wrong, please sell me on why I should reevaluate my position, and convince my company that GnuStep isn't a dead end.

That depends what your company wants ... but you seem to have somehow misunderstood the paragraph you quite near the start of this email. It states that you can compile applications under most unix systems (which is the case), and that you can run those applications witch use gnustep-base exclusively under windows. However it's clear that you are trying to use applications on windows which *don't* use gnustep-base exclusively ... every application you listed uses gnustep-gui and I suspect most of them use unix specific code..

Basically, commercial/proprietory applications using gnustep pretty much use gnustep-base/make (ours run 24x7 and serve hundreds of thousands of users), while freeware stuff uses base and gnu/back. You can write creditable gui applications on unix, but realistically on windows you need to work seriously on the gnustep code to fix any bits you need which aren't working (though the fact that Gorm works on windows proves that it's perfectly possible for you to write windows apps using gui). If you want gui apps to look native, you have more work to do ... making the gui apps on windows look native is not a high priority for most of us (it's desirable as an option once the gnustep look and feel is working fully), but a contribution of the integration of camaelon and wildmenus with a windows look would certainly be welcome.

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]