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Re: GNUstep History

From: Dennis Leeuw
Subject: Re: GNUstep History
Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 15:29:36 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.5) Gecko/20031107 Debian/1.5-3

Thanks MJ, esp. the note on the next newsgroup. Missed some of that stuff.

A very early draft on the early years of GNUstep is attached.

Hope people comment who have been around from almost the beginning (Adam?), to fill some gaps.

Happy looking back,


MJ Ray wrote:
Dennis Leeuw <address@hidden> wrote:

But the problem is there isn't much left of the GNUstep history. I found bits and pieces about Paul Kunz but that's about it.

You probably already have these, but
have a (very) little historical information, while
may suggest people to ask for more info.  Searching old newsgroups for
info can also help, as early developments were discussed on
comp.sys.next.* at least. Try
for example.

Table of Contents
1. Dates list

Chapter 1. Dates list

11 May 1991. Barry Merriman first uses the name GnUStep as far as I have been able to figure out:

Subject: GnUStep

>The best bet is Next being nice enough to give NextStep to the FSF,
>and let us run it on GNU (based on Mach3).

Yes, this would be great; they could call it GnUStep.


December 1993.

I must let you all know that a "GNU" implementation of OpenStep is in the works,
and has been for a few months now.

It started from two directions: One, some people at the Stanford Linear
Accelerator Center needed to be able to compile their NeXTSTEP apps on
a other machines.  They wrote quite a bit of their code to make a NeXT-
like API on top of Motif.  More beyond this, I really shouldn't say, as
that wasn't my project.  Two, I decided that I'd like to be able to create
programs in a NeXT environment, but couldn't afford the NeXT machine OR
their software for Intel machines (or the special hardware they require
for the Intel machines).  So I decided to start drawing up my own API.

Since the announcement of OpenStep, our two teams have come together,
somewhat.  SLAC agreed to let what they created into GNU, and my idea
was to make my software GNU all along.  While their are still differences
in the implementation details between our groups, I believe we can
still create the "GnuStep" everyone here would like to see in a reasonably
short period of time...

The current implementation is still rather flakey, but IT DOES WORK, kinda.
The idea, at the moment is to fix up what we already have to make it
true OpenStep.  The current phase is to isolate the Motif components of
SLAC's library, and set the whole thing up so that Objective-C "categories"
can be used to run OpenStep on a variety of windowing systems.  The
first windowing system we are supporting will, of course, be X.  Motif
support may be done at the same time, although Motif is being looked
down upon the the GNU gods (can't say I disagree!).

There has been a call for help placed in the GNU Objective-C mailing
list, and it's now being placed here.  It would be a tremendous help for
those out there to be willing to spend some time to "fix" what we already
have (isolating Motif), and to build the remaining necessary components.
If all of you out there really mean what you say, that you'd love to see
OpenStep for your machine (even in a somewhat crippled implementation),
let me know!  The plan is being layed out, and WE NEED HELP!

The current SLAC implementation is available at


	Thank you.

	  -- Keith
	  Keith Mason

27 January 1994. Michael D. Marchionna sends out a CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS FOR A NeXTStep -> OpenStep --> GnuStep PROJECT

According to the NeXT/SUN announcement  the OpenStep specification  will
include the following:

 o Objective-C compiler
 o Display PostScript
 o The NeXT AppKit
 o Portable Distributed Objects
 o Project/Interface Builder

For GnuStep  to become a   reality the above  software  tools need to be
developed.  If this sounds absurd  perhaps you should stop reading  now.
If not, let's take a closer look at what needs to be built.

January 1995. The first announcement in the GNU Bulletin:

GNU's Bulletin       January, 1995:
* GNUStep: GNU OpenStep

OpenStep is an object-oriented application programming interface
specification being proposed as an open object standard.  Since its
announcement over a year ago, there has been much interest in a GNU
implementation, which is named GNUStep.  Work has started on an
implementation using an existing library written in Objective-C as a
starting point.  Much work remains to be done to bring this library
close to the OpenStep specifications.  Volunteers should contact

9 March 1995. Paul F. Kunz announces version 0.84 of the objcX library

27 April 1995. gnustep.org is registered

18 July 1995. Paul F. Kunz announces version 0.86 of objcX library

26 December 1995. Adam Fedor announces version 0.87 of the Objective-C GUI Library (objcX)

Oktober 1996. gnustep-base 0.2.3

December 1996.

* GNUstep Base Library (gnustep-base): gstep-base-0.2.10.tar.gz.
* Display Ghostscript System (dgs): dgs-0.1.1.tar.gz.
* GNUstep GUI Library (gnustep-gui): gstep-gui-0.1.1.tar.gz.
* GNUstep GUI X/DPS Backend (gnustep-xdps): gstep-xdps-0.1.2.tar.gz.

16 March 1998. Adam fedor announces GNUstep version 0.5.0

14 September 1999. Adam Fedor announces GNUstep Version 0.6.0

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