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Re: GNUstep Window Manager (was RE: Idea)

From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: GNUstep Window Manager (was RE: Idea)
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2001 05:15:58 +0000

On Sunday, January 7, 2001, at 10:25 PM, Helge Hess wrote:

> Richard Frith-Macdonald wrote: 
> > > Maybe, but the discussion doesn't go about what I use !, but about the 
> > > usefulness of developing YAXT (yet another X11 toolkit) and about the 
> > > focus of GNUstep as a project. 
> >  
> > I'm sure you know this - but it's perhaps worth noting for the sake of 
> > those who 
> > don't, that gstep-gui is not designed to be an X11 toolkit (which is what 
> > xgps and 
> > xdps are), but to be a cross-platform toolkit able to efficiently work with 
> > a 
> > variety of relatively simple backend toolkits. 
> I can only note to this that any of the toolkits I mentioned already 
> *are* X-platform. Qt, gtk+, wxWindows, Tk all *are* cross-platform (at 
> least to Win* and partly even to MacOS) even thought you might consider 
> them 'X' toolkits. You say GNUstep-gui isn't an X-toolkit, but doesn't 
> provide a single backend which isn't X based - something is wrong here. 
> Qt even extends to Palm devices (really amazing !), I've recently seen a 
> gtk+ which runs on on the framebuffer device, ... 
> If the backend architecture is *the* technical advantage, this is to be 
> proved by implementations.

Not it's *not* the technical advantage.  As often seems the case I think you and
I talk different languages ... we seem to miss each others main points.

I wonder if this is just me, or might be down to english/german sentence 
structures -
my *main* point was supposed to be that it's not an X-style design (my first 
with the cross-platform bit being my minor (second) point.   Generally I tend to
put my point first and add peripheral details later.

In this case I guess I was pretty unclear anyway - but the AppKit (on whose 
gstep-gui is based) is very much *not* X.  The assumed mechanisms of interaction
between the application and the window server are very different because they 
want a window manager to mess with the windows.  Even the notion of a window is
different - X has a hierarchy of nested windows (though most programmers don't 
it much) while the AppKit does not.

I believe that toolkits designed for X and then made cross-platform are very
different (in programmer experience) from a toolkit that didn't have the X
assumptions in the first place - though they may produce a similar result for
the end-user.  I guess that's a personal thing, but the differences I see are
significant to me.
> Killer: If GNUstep manages to create a really good text framework, this 
> could be the breakthrough. I consider that incredible difficult, but if 
> it is done, it would be killer. 

I agree.

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