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Re: Thoughts triggered by these NeXTbuntu guys

From: Tima Vaisburd
Subject: Re: Thoughts triggered by these NeXTbuntu guys
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 00:46:02 -0700
User-agent: KMail/1.9.1

Thanks to everyone who took time to read my message and respond.

On Wednesday 30 August 2006 05:40, Gregory John Casamento wrote:

> > While many people here seem to think in terms of porting, I believe that
> > new development bears greater potential. I believe there are enough
> > people who have their own powerful ideas that would be happy to implement
> > them with our superior tools - if we provide ones.
> I think in terms of both.   Both are important to get developers to come to
> GNUstep.

Actually I was confused when I wrote this, I was thinking in terms of porting 
from Mac (Cocoa) to GNUstep -- I hope you're talking about porting (or just
recompiling) existing GNUstep application to other GNUstep platform - future
GNUstep on Windows or Mac.

Nevertheless, I maintain my position - 
I promote Unix and want the best development tools and best available
programs on Unix, I do not care so much what happens on other platforms.
If they like what they see on Unix, they can always install Ubuntu ;-)

I still care about world domination, no matter how stupid it may sound -
this is the thing I have in common with nextbuntu.

Of course, this is just my own view.

> Gorm is far superior to any open source gui builder out there.  When was
> the last time you tried using Glade? :)

Never. I have to admit I'm not familiar with them. My GNUstep programming
experience is limited to writing Objective C code by hand, which seems 
perfectly fine...

> As it stands, gui is about 95% complete.

Yes, and maybe even more. But there is huge difference between 95% and 100%.

>  The base library has been at 1.x for quite a while.

No question about that. Still, I consider the base library, no matter how
brilliant it is, far less important then the 4 packages together.
The base is roughly equivalent to standard C++ library (STL and such).
I can write class factories and reference counting pointers myself.
Yes, Objective C is way more elegant, but I can
achieve the same goals in principle without gnustep-base.

But I can't find an equivalent of gui/back combination. To my mind,
it's the gui/back that's crucial. But I'm repeating myself...

> Also, unlike GNOME or KDE, GNUstep has Cocoa by which it's completeness can
> be measured.  Additionally, Apple is constantly adding things to both
> libraries, so it should be expected that GNUstep will lag behind slightly. 

Maybe I'm shamelessly trying to inflict my own vision to others, if you think
so then please just ignore me.

I see the first goal (by time) for the project to create a functional and 
stable libraries for modern graphical programming under Unix.

So I would measure completeness by tasks that I can do. With that
position in mind the strict compliance with Cocoa is not so important.
We are allowed to improve, clean up, etc.

But I tried to demonstrate that simple tasks from Apple online tutorial, like
read the bitmap image, turn it 90 degrees, scale it twice and save back
cannot be done with the current state of GNUstep at all.
How can you do graphics, then?

No application satisfactory works remotely - at all. How can I choose,
say, GNUMail.app to be my default mailer?

And I believe there are other areas. (E. g. I could not make cursor tracking
to work - again according to apple online tutorial).

To my mind, this is the lack of basic functionality. With those things
missing, the visual appearance of already working widgets becomes
a matter of secondary importance, I believe.

> On Free Software/Open Source projects it's possible to set goals and show
> the way, but not to force people to do exactly what you want when you want.
> They are volunteers, after all. :)

Yes, I agree with that. But one can encourage certain direction.
This is what I'm trying to do.

So I'll summarize again:

1. Let's be honest to ourself and to the outer world about the state of
    project completeness. Illusions can only harm.

2. It would be nice to finish certain pieces of functionality in GUI:
     - bitmap formats saving
     - saving image after manipulation (already works?)
     - (does animation work?)
     - cairo backend (and make it fast)
     - maybe something else that other people know better

Thank you,

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