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Re: Extremely poor quality of GNUStep applications

From: Zhang Weiwu, Beijing
Subject: Re: Extremely poor quality of GNUStep applications
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2011 11:56:28 +0800
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On 04/24/2011 05:55 AM, Ivan Vučica wrote:

For most apps, that's ./configure, make, sudo make install, so that part shouldn't be a problem.

Having a standard way to distribute binaries for various operating systems would be excellent, too.

From a user's prospective, it's not necessarily binary binary distribution that satisfies users. Users want something unified, easy to operate, and doesn't fail (much), if source code distribution can reaches this, it's as good as binary distribution. We had so much binary distribution to uses because on non-gnustep systems compiling can be so problematic that fails very easily. Furthermore shipping source ease GPLv3 compatibility.

I do believe users are not even bothered if they see: "configure in progress. Trying to adapt the software to your system's environment", "making" and "installing", as long as they can get what they wanted. Especially because various apps I tried are mostly rather small, wouldn't take too long to compile.

No I don't mean to recommend distributing source, I just want to make a point binary distribution is not a criteria of defining a good package manager.

Ink.app has an excellent name, it implies writing. Project Center.app has a good name (although it might get confused with a non-IDE project management application).

Split the topic a bit, what is the role difference between Ink and TextEdit? I just tried TextEdit (attracted by the name obviously a text editor and by the fact it's mentioned on wikipedia's gnustep page) and found it offered most basic RTF editing feature with a lot of failures. Since this list is not about complaining non-gnustep application, I'll only go this far mentioning it.

I think the most reasonable name is Warehouse. Here are a few more derivatives that sounds better than the ones I mentioned before:

GNUstep Warehouse
GNUstep Packages
GNUstep Apps
GNUstep Installer (maybe not -- a dedicated installer similar to what Apple has with their pkg might make better use of this)

I have an addition to name candidates, "source". This isn't really cryptic to users, see how much the concept is used in pop-culture. The name is fancy and modern. But on the other hand it confuses developers.


Quite off topic again, and I am still talking under umbrella of Riccardo Mottola that anything gnu-step related can be discussed, hope I don't get more hatred this time.

We are developers, we are product builders (no, I am not, but I just try to get into the developer's thinking), thus it's very easy to correlate a new problem to a new product.

The typical thinking is pretty linear, like a hammer to a nail.

 [PROBLEM] -----> need a solution -----> [a new product]

Now let's think again, the end user distribution doesn't have to be solved by a product. I just list a few possible solutions, from a user's head:

   * A well designed website that competes attention well, become entry
     point of user's finding software. Other people can comment and
     rate the software. sf.net mode.
   * A quality assurance branding. Let's say we develop GAP from an
     application building entity to a quality assurance entity and
     having GAP certificated. I mentioned GAP because it was said to be
     doing the best in the years. Packages must mention in their first
     line of description if the product is GAP certificated.
   * Or a mixture solution: in case co-operation is difficult to
     establish, GAP work on its own, renaming every package to
     gap-something. If organizational power can hold (now GAP is only
     mostly one or two person working) it will develop so that users
     always prefer to install gap-something. I know the other serious
     implication that happens with renaming package, please let me
     spark before killing ideas, that holding of judgment is necessary
     for incubating creative ideas.

I am sure there are other ideas to deliver good products to the users too (app store, live-cd with only select goods on it to emphasize selection, 'green software' label as used in Windows applications, "0-day way" as in pirate branding, and many others). Just to call to think expanding ideas first and focus on methods second.

By comparison in a commercial world a single product is almost never the solution, it's an action. Usually a solution is formed with many other actions (e.g. marketing actions) put together.


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