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GNUstep user knowledge requirements

From: Stefan Urbanek
Subject: GNUstep user knowledge requirements
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2003 10:25:47 +0100


What new users have to know so they can use GNUstep? What of that knowledge is 
really required for GNUstep development and what can be removed later? I mean, 
knowledge requred for new users with very little knowledge of programing - a 
person that is deciding between various development platforms and environments.

This came into my mind while I was doing a list of knowledge requirements for 
potential users of AgentFarms project:


Here is a list for GNUstep. Even it is numbered, treat is as unordered, numbers 
are there just for easier referencing. After knowledge, there is a dificulty 
level for learning that knowledge for very-beginners.

1 ObjectiveC - basic language principles, expressions and messages - easy
2 ObjectiveC - interfaces and implementations: difficult
3 Terminal application (xterm, Terminal.app,...) and some unix shell basics 
(cd, rm, mkdir, cp, mv) - easy
4 'make' tool: easy (make, make install, ...)
5  GNUstep make package: intermediate
6  Makefile structure/grammar: intermediate
7  Property Lists: intermediate
8  GNUstep/Cocoa classes: easy, requires 1
9  Reference Counting Garbage Collection: easy, requires 8

I have intentionaly mentioned obvious things there, because i think they are 
important. Even most of current users do not think about them, new users do not 
have to know them. Moreover, think that person who is deciding between 
development environments will decide to chose the one where he can start 
creating applications sooner, without having to learn too much.

I think that ProjectCenter can remove requirements 3, 4, 5, 6 and somehow 7. 
Moreover, if there was some class editing tool, it can remove also requirement 
2 (and transform it into just basic OOP knowledge).

What do you think are other requirements for basic GNUstep development? What 
knowledge requirements can be removed to make GNUstep more accessible for new 

I have also put a copy of this email onto Wiki pages, so others can put 
comments there.



Best Regards,

Stefan Urbanek

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you 
- Mahatma Gandhi

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