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Re: Gnustep + mac + windows? Possible?

From: Jeff Teunissen
Subject: Re: Gnustep + mac + windows? Possible?
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 03:38:09 -0400

"Philippe C.D. Robert" wrote:
> On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Jeff Teunissen wrote:
> > Gregory Casamento wrote:
> > > So long as Cocoa is a proper superset of the spec, it strictly speaking
> > > (no pun intended ;) )  remains an OpenStep implementation.   I also
> > > think that if certain parts of it have been done away with that it's
> > > still fair to consider it an OpenStep implementation since the spec
> > > hasn't been updated for almost eight years.
> >
> > Apple do not seem to be even _considering_ OpenStep. The new stuff they've
> > created has a rather different API style, and the new classes are
> > substantially overengineered when compared to the OpenStep philosophy (and
> > the Unix philosophy, for that matter).
> What do you mean by that? Cocoa is still OpenStep wrt previously existng
> APIs, of course they add new stuff which cannot be OpenStep, but I
> consider this is a GoodThing - the OpenStep spec is 8 years old and a
> lot has changed since then (I don't say every addition they made is good
> or necessary, though...). Now if the new classes are well designed or
> not I cannot judge, I never used them so far...

In Cocoa, Apple have changed (and continue to change) the existing APIs.

As for whether or not it's a Good Thing(tm), WHY do you think it is a Good
Thing? Older things are not just something to be destroyed. Apple's
changes to Cocoa do not make Cocoa better, they just make it different,
and take away the hope for portability between implementations.

Apple have bound Cocoa to APIs that cannot possibly be implemented in a
Free Software operating system. They have bound Cocoa to APIs that they
have patented. They are putting operating system functionality specific to
their own OS into the Foundation.

These things are good for Apple. They are not good for anyone else.

> What would you have done better then, please give us an example!?
> > > One final note: It is worth mentioning that MOSX and Cocoa are very
> > > likely directly based on source code for OPENSTEP4.2/Mach.   I can't
> > > really think of a more direct descendent.
> >
> > Apple's Foundation is based to a large degree upon CoreFoundation, a C
> > library. This is one of the reasons Apple's Foundation is so slow, and a
> > reason why it is not a direct descendant from OpenStep.
> But isn't CF the extracted FoundationKit functionality put in C lib...? 
> And why should it be slow just because it is C, do you have numbers (
> ie. OPENSTEP 4.2 vs. Mac OS X/Cocoa )? I admit I cannot follow your
> reasoning...

It is not slow because it is C. That would be stupid.

It is slow because CoreFoundation and Foundation do not produce a natural
fit, and while it does all the same things, it's a lot more awkward in
doing them.

> PS: I don't try to defend Apple, I just don't understand your message -
> and I also get somehow tired of these Apple bashing discussions ( from
> both sides, ex NeXT and ex Mac OS )...:-)

I'm not bashing Apple. I don't hold anything against them for doing what
they are doing to Cocoa -- good for them. I'm simply saying that it is
probably not good, in a general sense, to follow where they are going.

1. The developers will still not come to GNUstep if it becomes Mac OS
X-compatible, so why do it? This is not just idle chatter, it has been
proven time and time again. Anyone remember OS/2? Between Win-OS/2 and DAX
(the Developer API Extensions -- a Win16 subset to make porting easier),
it really was "a better Windows than Windows", and that was one of the
biggest factors that destroyed OS/2 as a platform in the 2.x days.

2. There are some things that simply cannot be done because of patents,
nonportability, or a multitude of other reasons.

2. (or 3, for those counting) you can't keep up with Apple anyway, so it's
never going to actually happen.

| Jeff Teunissen  -=-  Pres., Dusk To Dawn Computing  -=-  deek @ d2dc.net
| GPG: 1024D/9840105A   7102 808A 7733 C2F3 097B  161B 9222 DAB8 9840 105A
| Core developer, The QuakeForge Project        http://www.quakeforge.net/
| Specializing in Debian GNU/Linux              http://www.d2dc.net/~deek/

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