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Re: Windows and GnuStep

From: Gregory John Casamento
Subject: Re: Windows and GnuStep
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 06:58:09 -0800 (PST)


I enjoy nothing more than a good debate.  Since I am the person who wrote the response to the book, I will respond to each one of your points in turn:

1. "GNUstep also allows a developer to compile his/her application with almost no changes under most UNIX operating systems."

This is the absolute truth.   At last count, GNUstep works well on Linux, FreeBSD, Darwin, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Solaris, and various other versions of UNIX.   Mac users can certainly deploy thier applications on these 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."

This simply means that base is working on all platforms.  I was careful not to make any claims as to GNUstep's fitness on Windows as, quite frankly, it's not quite there yet.   No dishonesty here.  

I guess whether you think this refutation is valid or not depends on your interpretation of the term "cross platform" I believe that the simple fact that GNUstep works on such a wide variety of UNIX platforms provides ample cross platform opportunities for Mac developers seeking other avenues in which to deploy their apps.   I think that it's sad that a potential user *CAN* misread this entry since it clearly states that only foundation is working completely on Windows.  

2. I concede on this point.   When the refutation in question was written, Camealon was the official theme engine.  While it still is the official one, I have realized that it is better to have it integrated, since it's not intuitive.   So, yes, we are working on this.

3. I didn't say that ProjectCenter wasn't buggy.  I said that he was being unfair by using unreleased versions of the applications by checking out the CVS versions and expecting them to be stable.  His first line in that GNUstep chapter says "the best way to get the gnustep applications is to checkout from CVS...."  which is totally bogus.

I'm not sure about Gorm crashing when using Camaelon, but which version of Camaelon were you using?  Nicholas Roard (aka rIO) did a demo of Gorm (w/ the StepTalk palette) in which he used Camealon w/ the Nesedah theme and it works just fine.   The latest version of Camaelon is available from the Etoile project, not from the Camealon website.   I very much wish that someone would put the latest version there to avoid confusion.  ProjectCenter is the official "ProjectBuilder" application, not ProjectManager. 

When I wrote this particular clarification I was defending Gorm more than anything since I'm it's maintainer.  I should probably have been clearer on this.

In conclusion, I believe that I was being, as you put it, "honest and truthful" about GNUstep's state from my point of view as it is the only point of view I can actually give.   I believe that everyone's mileage varies.

Gregory John Casamento
-- Principal Consultant, Open Logic Corp. (A MD Corp.)
## Maintainer of Gorm (IB Equiv.) for GNUstep.

----- Original Message ----
From: Jiva DeVoe <address@hidden>
To: Andrew Ruder <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden
Sent: Thu 02 Feb 2006 05:12:03 PM EST
Subject: Re: Windows and GnuStep

Let's not shoot the messenger here.  I think he's got some valid  
points, if I may summarize in a slightly different way:

1. The GNUstep home page is misleading in it's refutation of the  
Hillegas book's comments about GNUstep.  Clearly, a book about Cocoa  
programing is referring to GNUstep-gui when it says it does not work  
well on Windows.  The GNUstep perspective that newbie users (the  
target audience of the page in question) should somehow catch the  
difference between gui and base is naive.  Especially, when the  
GNUstep home page features pictures about how easy it is to make gui  
applications.  I personally agree that this refutation SHOULD be  
changed or removed until GNUstep-gui (ie: the whole package) works  
well on both windows and linux.  I think it makes the GNUstep team  
look bad when a potential new user is disappointed because they  
misread this entry.

2. Until camaelon, a windows theme, WildMenus, and a couple of other  
themes become part of the actual core of GNUstep, refutation #3 on  
the book clarification page also is misleading.  I have installed  
Camaelon myself - it's documentation was poor, and finding any themes  
was nearly impossible (had to dig around to find the nesedah theme...  
it was not linked on the home page).  Now I know this is being  
integrated with GNUstep right now.  But again, the book clarification  
page should be changed to reflect not the positive "Oh look! We have  
themes, this is so wrong!" statement it makes to the more truthful,  
"Yes, this is true, but we're fixing that."

3. Point 7 on the same page is also incorrect.  Project Center is  
amazingly buggy from both CVS and official releases.  There should be  
no shame in bugs, but let's not lie and pretend it's functional for  
actual work.  I for one don't think it is.  There DOES appear to be  
"Project Manager" which seems a little better, but what's the  
difference between the two? And which is official?  GNUstep is very  
disorganized with it's tools, and the ones in the main tree are  
buggy.   GORM actually seems to be doing pretty well, but it crashes  
regularly when using camaelon (or at least it did a month or so  
ago)... so you see, the conflict here?  The page both tells the new  
users to use this great theme engine, but it also makes our very own  
tools crash.

Hey, it's true, no one gets paid to do this stuff... but if GNUstep  
actually wants to be taken seriously... the home page has to be  
honest and truthful about it's state.

On Feb 1, 2006, at 4:24 PM, Andrew Ruder wrote:

> On Wed, Feb 01, 2006 at 10:48:26AM -0500, Andy Satori wrote:
>> 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.
> Understandable; software can be frustrating at times.

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