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Minimalist GNUstep possible?

From: Jonathan Wolf
Subject: Minimalist GNUstep possible?
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2010 18:24:17 -0600

Hey everybody,

I have an ObjC library that I built for iPhone development, and
chances are improving that we will be trying to expand beyond just
iPhone dev with our toolset, particularly moving to a desktop
environment. We want to keep using our tools that we've taken a while
implementing in ObjC, which we feel is a superior language to C++.

I've played around with GNUstep and the tools, which, honestly look
really antiquated (but still work obviously), and was finding out that
there is a reasoning behind the whole App Package experience when
dealing even with just the core foundation library (especially around
NSUserDefaults and other "user space" setup options). I was also
reading various online forums and a large number of posts, written by
various people, well, they weren't saying very good things about
GNUstep in general (in fact, their common wordage was "everybody who
has used it has walked away from it saying 'it's not worth the
headache'"). I was hoping that things have improved and the experience
would be different today than it was a few years back.

The thing is, we're only using a handful of core foundation, which
includes mainly NSObject, NSMethodInvocation (and related), and
NSString. We're not using NSUserDefaults or any other form of "App
Package" needed items, none of the XML parsing or date objects, just a
really core base to mainly get ObjC up and running (without having to
inherit directly through Object and lose out on some of the nifties in

My question: Is there any way one could rip out just the core
functionality, or perhaps instead skipping the entire App Package
process, and just make a minimalist GNUstep, with just the most basic
of basic functionality, no extra "user space" weight (I'm thinking a
stand-alone .so/.a library)? Or are the components so intertwined that
doing so would essentially be the equivalent of trying to rip a jet
engine out of an F-16?


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