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Re: Is our name confusing people....

From: Quentin Mathé
Subject: Re: Is our name confusing people....
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 15:35:38 +0100

Hi Greg,

Le 17 nov. 2010 à 17:18, Gregory Casamento a écrit :

> All,
> I keep wondering if our name is confusing people as to what this
> project is.   Since our name references a bygone standard (namely
> OpenStep) and we have already, admittedly, moved on to being more of
> an implementation of Cocoa than anything else the GNUstep name doesn't
> really convey what the project is CURRENTLY all about.
> Does anyone else have any thoughts on this point?

Well I agree with what others said about keeping GNUstep as a project name. I 
have some suggestions though…

If we put aside the installation issues, I think the simple way to change how 
people see GNUstep is to have a better website that shows GNUstep maturity. Few 
well-thought pages could be good enough to begin with. Some ideas:

- remove the "grey" screenshot on the home page, and use instead more 
proeminent screenshots that shows Windows and GNOME integration (I think that's 
what people such as Cocoa devs are interested in and not GNUstep as a NeXT-like 
desktop environment)… A clean NeXT theme screenshot could be added if we want 
to; the current overcrowded one doesn't look clean and appealing, I mean this 
- remove Current Stable Packages, it's hard to understand its purpose and this 
section stands out too much. Possibly we should show the latest core, Gorm and 
Project Center releases on the front page (may be the equivalent of the purple 
header of the wiki start page in the home page side bar).
- add a page that explains how to port a Cocoa app to Windows and GNOME (or 
KDE) with the pbxbuild tool, the nib support, Gorm, gnustep-make and packaging 
etc. and suggest some cross development testing setups. This page should be 
linked proeminently on the home page
- add a link to the software index on the home page or in the side bar
- add a page about theming and the various themes available with some very nice 
- add a page presenting the gnustep/libs frameworks (still maintained or under 
development), there are plenty of things here (gdl2, sqlclient, performance, 
webservices etc.) and nobody knows about them. We should try to have some Cocoa 
devs giving them a try.

Some more page ideas where I would use simple/catchy comparison tables rather 
text content to summarize:

- which compiler and runtime to pick to get the desired ObjC features on the 
platform you are targeting. Now we have libobjc2 and Clang support, things have 
become very complex in this area. My point is that the ObjC 2 wiki page serves 
a distinct purpose, but it's not complete and precise enough, it's too long to 
read and most people are not interested in hearing about historical details 
such as the Étoilé runtime.

- Cocotron vs GNUstep vs Cocoa API completness. For each framework such as 
Foundation, AppKit etc., shows how much of the API is implemented with a 
percentage against some recent Mac OS X versions (10.4 to 10.6), this should 
make clear GNUstep easily outmatches Cocotron. We could be agressive and put 
some key numbers on the home page too. Ideally we should provide a more 
detailed comparision that shows which classes are complete, which are not and 
which ones are missing. We could push compatibility infos to the method level 
to be perfect, each class/row could be expandable to show/hide the methods.

I think the key is the home page… Filling half of the home page with two or 
three clean and attractive screenshots showing the same Cocoa app running app 
on Windows, GNOME and Mac OS X, with a link 'How to port a Cocoa app to Windows 
or Linux/GNOME ?" that stands out, could really change how GNUstep is 
perceived. We might need a basic tab-based gallery to show the three images big 
However I haven't really followed the theming support lately, so we might not 
be quite ready to present GNUstep in this way.


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