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Re: Discuss-gnustep Digest, Vol 87, Issue 24

From: Nicolas Roard
Subject: Re: Discuss-gnustep Digest, Vol 87, Issue 24
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:08:06 +0000

On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 2:40 PM, J. Jordan <address@hidden> wrote:
> Gregory
>> Glade is an application, not GTK in it's entirety...  Xcode is an IDE,
>> not Cocoa in it's entirety... :)
> umm.. that was MY point.  :)
>> If we become a "Desktop" then the impression becomes that our apps
>> will not be useful on anything other than *OUR* desktop or that they
>> won't blend with other desktops.
>> What would you suggest we do to address this concern?
> Gnome and KDE do not seem to worry too much about assuring people that their
> applications will be useful on other desktops and the only way Gnome/GTK
> apps blend with KDE is a special KDE produced theme which sort-of works.  I
> think that is far outweighed but the average users response of "what do I
> need a development environment for, I don't intend to write applications?"
>  Which means they completely miss out on all of the great stuff in GNUstep.

Gnome and KDE *are* desktops, not (just) libraries. GNUstep would
probably more equates to Gtk/Qt (or more exactly, KDElibs), plus a few
development-oriented applications (Gorm, ProjectCenter, EasyDiff,

What you are advocating to is akin to go see the Qt guys in 1996 and
telling them they should be a desktop. What happened was that KDE was
formed and used Qt, but Qt stayed the way it was, focusing on its
role. I'd argue that GNUstep should equally focus on providing the
libraries/frameworks, maybe development tools -- it's certainly a
difficult enough task already without mixing all this with the task of
creating a desktop. And, mind you, this is actually the official
position of the project for quite some time.

What you want is not GNUstep, what you want is a desktop that is based
on GNUstep. Look at GAP or Etoile or Backbone -- Etoile doesn't want
to be a clone of OPENSTEP, so it's probably not what you want though
(and no, it certainly doesn't want to be a clone of OSX either).

> One spellchecker actually works across multiple applications in GNUstep
> (yeah, Gnome and KDE got that recently),  Speech Output actually works in
> GNUstep, Gnome and KDE can almost do that if you spend several days setting
> it up.  There are no system wide services in Gnome or KDE, no system-wide
> scripting.  PulseAudio works well with GNUstep so I can use my bluetooth
> headphones and multiple sound devices because GNUstep does not have any
> sound implementation screwing it up.
> So yes, I think it should be marketed as a Desktop with admittedly some
> holes in it.

Seriously, we have this discussion every few months/years. The
official position is that GNUstep is focusing of being a development
environment, not a desktop. If you want a GNUstep-based desktop,
contact the aforementionned projects and help them...

As you mentionned, it's often nearly enough to have the necessary
applications (file manager, etc) to make a nice standalone
GNUstep-based desktop, as GNUstep provides the necessary collaboration
mechanisms. It's still a lot of work, and it is outside the scope of
the GNUstep project.

> But the time is right, disaffection with KDE is growing, Gnome
> is stagnate and there is a renewed interest in alternatives.  Do a search
> for WindowMaker and look at some of the renewed interest, some of those
> sites have been quiet for years and suddenly they are coming to life again.
>   I think the time is perfect to get a supportive well written piece in
> _Linux Journal_ and I don't think that would be that difficult and would be
> great opportunity to start positioning GNUstep as the "Third Desktop"  even
> though it was in reality the First Desktop.  People are looking for an
> alternative "Desktop" but I don't think they are looking for an alternative
> "Development Environment."   I know it is semantics but semantics are very
> important  on initial contact.
> Users become developers, developers write applications, applications attract
> users, users become developers ad infinitum.   And, the base/back/gui/make
> developers do most of the hard work and get most of the heartburn and very
> little of the credit.

You're more than welcome to start helping GNUstep-based desktops.

Nicolas Roard
"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound
they make as they fly by." -- Douglas Adams

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