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Re: Some questions about GNUStep

From: Philippe Laporte
Subject: Re: Some questions about GNUStep
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 17:00:56 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; fr-FR; rv: Gecko/20090605 SeaMonkey/1.1.17


Thanks very much for your great answers.

Do you have more information on the OpenGL back-end effort? Or some pointers?

Thanks a lot,
Philippe Laporte

Riccardo Mottola wrote:

other have replied, but I'll just drop in my opinions too.
In order to figure out how to best contribute to the development 
efforts, I have a few questions:

How far are you for MAC OS X 10.5 level support in the AppKit?
We support many methods ranging from original OpenStep (mostly Mac 10.0) 
to even stuff of 10.6. Mostly we add stuff that is indeed useful. Not 
everything which Apple adds from release to release is really "useful". 
We miss also some stuff that is recent and not trivial to implement 
(like text tables ...)
I'd say that if you stick around 10.3 you have a sure bet, but check the 

We take care that our implementations are Cocoa compatible. So if you 
code and test regularly on GNUstep, you know you don't use unsupported 
features and your code will work on Mac too (this is the approach I 
follow for all applications which I maintain for both platforms).
Has anyone started retargeting to other than X11 for Linux, like SDL?
We can target many unices, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD as well as HURD.
The backend itself can work on X11 through different libraries (current 
preferred is cairo, libart was up to the last release and it has the 
highest quality rendering but some quirks, and directly xlib, which is 
low-resource usage, fast display export and portable but lacks some more 
advanced graphic stuff because it is harder to implement).

We target windows too were we directly use GDI currently. Some people 
want to go through the cairo layer on windows too, which would provide 
more feature uniformity and less code maintenance.

A backend directly on OpenGL was done experimentally. mgStep, an 
embedded fork of GNustep, has a direct framebuffer support in the works. 
It would be perfectly possible on standard GNUstep too.

In the past we supported a display-postscript backend (the OpenStep 
ancestor of Quartz, so to say) but it was later dropped because X11 
support for dgs was never really good and complete.

So you can see that the three layers base-gui-back offer a high degree 
of flexibility.
How do you avoid needing Core Foundation?

To be honest? If you Write a pure Obj-C program you do not need 
CoreFoundation. CoreFOundation was created to allow people using C 
instead of Obj-C to port their programs (Carbon, which made it possible 
to port old Mac software and also C-coded apps from other platforms like 

There are Frameworks to provide this if really needed, as other explained.
What exactly is in core/gui/Headers/Additions/GNUStepGUI?

GNUstep provides additions to both Base and Gui. They are called 
additions because they are new methods or entire classes not present in 
the OpenStep specification (or, now, Cocoa). Some of them can be quite 
convenient. It is possible to build the additions layer only on Mac, to 
provide support for porting an application from GNUstep to Mac and 
maintaining it native.



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