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Re: Gnustep + mac + windows? Possible?

From: Philippe C.D. Robert
Subject: Re: Gnustep + mac + windows? Possible?
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2002 09:53:42 +0200

On Fri, 20 Sep 2002, Jeff Teunissen wrote:
> "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.

Out of curiosity, which one for example?...

> 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.

Well, Apple is adding new features to Cocoa, thus it becomes more powerful, or
at least this is what should be the result if the additions are done well. Ie.
native 3D support ( OpenGL ) or scriptability ( although I do not know anything
about the quality of their additions there... ).

> 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.

Well, do you blame them for protecting their stuff? 

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

Such is business ...

> > > 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.

Your statement partially implied this, at least to me...:-)

> 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.

Please give me a concrete example, I am curious!

> > 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.

OK, but this is more the question then whether GNUstep is about cloning Mac OS X
or about something new based on *step. Personally I'd vafour the latter, because
GNUstep won't ever be able to be a 100% clone of Mac OS X, because I miss a
real successor to OPENSTEP 4.2 Mach and because if you want to use Mac OS X
then you anyway do not want to use GNUstep... also by explicitly following such
a 'strategy' we are more free to design/implement new additions to GNUstep.

Also this leads (again) to the question whether GNUstep is about cloning an API
or an OS ...

> 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.

I agree.

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

Yup, but this is a general issue, not bound to Mac OS X or Apple. I guess
GNUstep already violates patents etc. ...

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

Again, I agree.


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