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Re: Some thoughts about GS

From: Frederic
Subject: Re: Some thoughts about GS
Date: Tue, 02 Jan 2001 00:21:03 +0100

"Philippe C.D. Robert" wrote:
> Hi,

>GNUstep never took off and played this role - IMHO it never *could* play this 
>role because of some important points:
> - it never became a product for the masses, as of today it isn't even 
> included in any Linux distro I know off.

Maybe, more up to date rpm, deb or even tgz should have a higher
priority on task list? (as least Linux binaries built from daily

> - the goals were/are IMHO too high for the few of us working on GNUstep


> - although superior, Objective-C never became very popular


> - in the meantime other technologies became very popular *and* powerful, such 
> as GNOME and KDE
True for KDE, wrong for GNOME. IMHO GNOME is a definitive failure, from
a technological point of view, as well as project management and
end-user point of view. I spent a lot of time studying GNOME, KDE and of
course GNUstep technologies and there is no doubt for me that GNOME is a
mess. This may be a chance for GNUstep as GNOME disappoints more and
more people that soon or late will have to find a replacement that
*cannot* be KDE for *political* reasons...

> - Mac OS X (Rhapsody) did not boost the interest in the OpenStep technologies 
> up until now...
Mostly true. I see a lot of interest in MacOS-X but no major concrete
development on it.

> While all the developers working on GNUstep and related stuff are certainly 
> brilliant, they are just too few to compete against GNOME and KDE. I do not 
> know if you (the active members of the GS community) want to compete at all 
> or if you have completely different goals in mind (for GNUstep).

I can speak only for myself, but this is how I see priorities:
1. GNUstep 1.0
2. ProjectCenter/GORM (to help faster development of other applications)
3. GWorkspace (To make GNUstep visible in day to day work)
4. A Killer application (to make GNUstep unavoidable): I don't know
which one right now.
5. Heavy usage of "Services" to reuse all other developments (eg: Think
about GIMP as services...)

> i)  We continue to work on GNUstep like we always did. One day we will 
> perhaps have a 100%
>working OpenStep/Cocoa API clone.
> ii) We alter our plans and visions and try to integrate GNUstep into another 
> desktop (GNOME)

IMHO, i) is the way to go, plus the above priorities.

> For me it seems that GNUstep is in a similar situation as Apple was when 
> working on Rhapsody.
>They had a beautiful system but no support from the (important) developers.

Except that we dont *need* developers as much as Apple did (no financial

> This said, wouldn't it be possible for GNUstep to enter i.e. the GNOME world, 
> share some/the
>foundations and integrate the GNUstep UI part into gtk (like the Cocoa AppKit 
>and CoreGraphics)?
>This way GNUstep could perhaps become the most advanced API to develop GNOME 
>applications (like Cocoa on MOSX). 

The GNUstep team is already reusing code where possible (libxml,
configure scripts, etc...) but further integration does not make sense
for me (eg: merging AppKit and Gtk)

GNUstep is worth the investment for numerous reasons on its own and more
and more people will understand this. Nevertheless, GNUstep probably
needs more advertisements to speedup this movement.

I understand the doubts you have but I think that GNUstep future is not
bad at all. After all, GNOME and KDE are commercial projects (they are
strongly supported by companies like IBM, RedHat, etc.), something which
is not going to satisfy everyone in the *real* Free Software world.
World domination is not my goal. I prefer a smaller but *better*

I also must say that I agree with Dennis Leeuw's answer.

> ...anyway, happy new Millenium!...;-)

Yep :-)


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