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Re: really attracting developers
Re: really attracting developers
Fri, 25 Aug 2006 16:25:35 +0200
Hello Rogelio, hello list,
* Rogelio Serrano wrote on Aug/25/2006:
Whats keeping other developers from gnustep?
incomplete nextstep based system?
i don't buy the general applications unavailability argument. we are
talking about people who want to create apps under gnustep.
i don't buy the appearance argument either.
Just a FYI, it's up to you/everyone what to make of it (of course it
ATM, there is a small community project forming around developers
dissatisfied with Apple's dilution of OpenStep and Unix principles.
AFAIU, the main goal is to work towards getting an OS/development
environment quite like Apple's -- just without the Mac stuff. If
anything, divergence would be accepted towards the old NextStep model.
The project is merely in the process of forming and many things are not
decided yet. E.g. I don't fully understand the goals that are to be
pursued and where or why they seem to differ from GNUstep. Then again, I
am not a developer at all, so maybe that's no wonder. Another thing that
has been discussed is working towards an Ubuntu-based distribution with
a full-blown (or maximum-blown) OpenStep environment set up -- the
problem there seemed to be that there is no agreed-upon starting point
(which leads back to the previous item).
Anyway, I am quite certain that there are rather competent and commited
developers there. You can maybe get an impression of your own by
browsing to the websites I reference below. I think Chris (cbv) has seen
one discussion thread at an Ubuntu forum, where they tried to gather
more volunteers (and ended up with people who wondered whether to outfit
GWorkspace with qt/gtk toolset), but he (as well as I) has not been
successful in getting them to explain what other/more than Linux/GNUstep
they have in mind either. I imagine (or hope) a more fruitful discussion
would be possible with core developers. Only my own, more or less subtle
hints didn't seem to lead them to #gnustep or to watch this maillist
yet. Of course I will keep on pushing them as much as I can without
getting on everyone's nerves too much, but maybe someone of you would
find an interest in showing up there. Even as a non-developer I can at
least tell it would be cool if both projects would get some boost. I am
going to drop a reference to this maillist thread over there, too.
I just realize the above might sound a bit funny -- "they" are a group
of volunteers around a couple of developers who have a long history of
coding, teaching and counselling. I came to know them in the late
nineties for their XPT -- a suite of small, independent tools for
windows developers. Happy to get away from Windows, they switched to OS
X (and I to linux) when it was launched to find themselves now
frustrated with Apple/OS X showing utmost disrespect for their Unix and
NextStep heritage. The main figure would be Rick Downes. But I am just
inviting you to browse the sites mentioned below.
Then, more directly to the matter at hand -- what's keeping other
developers away from GNUstep? (Keep in mind that I am hardly a
developer, but here's what I imagine to be more or less important
points. I take it that you are collecting ideas, not (yet) deciding
about which are critical and which aren't.)
- Uncertainty about cross-platform portability of their apps. (Well,
linux apps are probably not more portable anyway, but I think the
issue here is attracting apple developers.) I don't know how much
could be done there by means of run-time (compat.) libraries and such.
(This has been mentioned as "cocoa incompleteness" issue, but might be
more general. Also, it's not about "complete enough to write nice
apps", but about "inherently cross-platform compilable" IMHO.)
- In the same vein, how much are the apps dependent upon (how much of a)
GNUstep/OpenStep system when they are executed. Can one develop on
OpenStep and deploy without it? Can this be handled -- if it needs to
be -- with a runtime environment?
- Missing popularity in general, which maybe translates to:
- no distribution with its package management system backing GNUstep
(has been mentioned as "install/setup" issue)
- the outfit that is comparable to what everyone's more used to (than
to NextStep's) is not prominent enough (has been mentioned as "look
and feel" issue)
- Fears of RMS-ization. I have no strong feelings there, but I know that
many regard RMS to be over-politicizing things and whatnot. And it's
not clear what role he and the FSF are playing for the project. How
close is the affiliation? what rights is one transferring, are the FSF
exclusive owners of those rights or does the developer retain some?
OTOH, it would be worthwile to know if there has been a case where the
FSF successfully fought for some of GNUstep's rights.
Finally, coming to know GNUstep, I myself am tempted to learn
programming. Up to now, I am more the whitepaper reader, but I admit
that I am impressed with the possibilities of the development
environment, and the attempt to integrate technologies like cairo.
Unfortunately, what is keeping me from learning it is simply that I
don't have enough time (I should be writing my philosophy thesis), but I
have K&R under the pillow now for a start. If anyone could provide me
with literature tips more focused on real-world application or
X/Cairo/Glitz/WindowManager development than K&R or K&Pike -- probably
best by personal mail -- I would be very thankful. Or should I dive
right into the source code of some wm or gustep-backend? Other than
that, I have plenty of GNUstep tutorial urls to read through, I don't
think missing documentation belongs to the list above.
Here the promised links then:
http://rixstep.com/index.shtml - current home with development going on
http://rixstep.com/2/0/index.shtml - "The NeXTonian", ressources about
NeXTStep, the personnel and its history.
http://rixstep.com/2/0/nextbuntu.shtml - new page set up for the
NeXTbuntu project. Not much there yet except for a contact (email)
button. www.nextbuntu.org redirects here.
http://www.dotatdot.co.uk/clix/index.php - discussion forum (there are
Ubuntu, Openstep on linux, developer, and 'other people's platforms'
fora available when you register.)
http://radsoft.net/ - that's the site of the windows tools suite. still
a lot of reading ressources on it.
I suppose the best way to get in touch would be by email from
www.nextbuntu.org or on the forum.
I hope this whole mail doesn't sound too much like advertisement. I just
would love both projects find together and get ahead as good as
Thanks for taking the time to read this long mail.
Beware of low-flying butterflies.
My Public PGP Keys:
1024 Bit DH/DSS: 0x869F81BA
768 Bit RSA: 0x1AD97BA5
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