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Re: Changes I've been thinking of...

From: Eric Wasylishen
Subject: Re: Changes I've been thinking of...
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 17:24:54 -0600

In my opinion GNUstep has to stop this it's just a development environment thing and develop a desktop environment where GNUstep applications do not look totaly out of place. GNUstep probably can't compete with KDE or GNOME but why shouldn't it be possible to compete with something like XFCE or Equinox or one of the other smaller OSS desktop environments. I think GNUstep needs to be more attractive to KDE / GNOME / MacOS X. In my opinion these are the people most likely to use GNUstep and if GNUstep attracts more users it will automatically get more developers.

Well, although I would not write that, I think it is about correct. I got angry and almost livid when Gregory started pointing out that.

We are a development environment. And a good one. But we are not "just that".

On the other hand, GNUstep is not a Desktop Environment (I like it to call it a Workspace). It should never be. Other projects can fill that gap building up on GNUstep. Not by a total change the GNUstep Application Project shortens to "GAP".

As you compare GTK and GNOME or GTK and XCFEl, that is gnustep. GNUstep is a bit more than just GTK, it has also the developer tools and some reference applications like SystemPreferences and GWorkspace, which are totally optional!

SO you can use GNUstep with Etoile and get complete Desktop Environment.

On the other hand, GAP tries about the same. But since some applications like the windowmanager exist (WindowMaker) it leverages on them (also to retain easy compatibility with other X11 apps you currently use a lot but will always, in a lesser degree, need to use: be it a Browser, an Office Suite or just Skye).

GNUstep + Windowmaker + GAP

I do not exactly, other people can stand up, but the Backbone project has about the same idea.

Of course each project has different philosphies, exaclty like XFce is different from GNOME. It also means that you can run a standard GNustep applicaiton inside Etoile.


If I could draw one conclusion on behalf of this thread, it is that GNUstep would really benefit from a second, less radical, desktop environment besides Etoile. A project that integrates GWorkspace, WindowMaker, and GAP applications and says "We're a polished GNUstep- based desktop!", and can be installed with a single package yielding a desktop users can choose in their login screen.

I tried setting up such an environment myself on an Ubuntu 9.10 beta VM image last week, installing GWorkspace, WindowMaker, and a handful of GNUstep applications.

The problem was that I had to set up the environment myself. WindowMaker was installed as a desktop choice, but I had to manually start GWorkspace. By default, (I believe Zhang Weiwu also mentioned this a few months ago) you get two docks - one from WindowMaker and one from GWorkspace. I couldn't find a way of launching applications other than using the "Run" command in GWorkspace.

I am focused on Etoile, but would still love to see someone start this kind of project, whether it involves continuing Backbone, expanding GAP in to a desktop, or choosing a new project name. In any case, I think it would be healthy for the whole GNUstep community.


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