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Re: Objective-C standard

From: Andreas Höschler
Subject: Re: Objective-C standard
Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2006 20:24:15 +0200

Hello all,

now that OpenStep seems basically dead GNUstep becomes something like Mono,

OPENSTEP yes, but OpenStep (the specification, or was it vice versa) is more alive than ever. There's Cocoa and a bunch of companies developing software for this platform and there is GNUstep which while running on Solaris and in combination with Sun Secure Global Desktop solves all (cross) platform related problems. We (Smartsoft) once were wondering when GNUstep for Windows would become usable so that we no longer had to convince new customers to replace their PCs with Macs. Now with SGD (can be freely used) this is no longer necessary. The combination of Solaris (rock solid OS), Sun Ray (Ultra Thin Client), Sun Secure Global Desktop (run application on the server and use it from everywhere) and GNUstep is a killer, at least in the enterprise market.

a more or less precarious clone of a proprietary API that is of use mainly for porting existing codebases.

This seems to be true.

Not quite true. We are currently in the process of replacing Macs with Sun Rays (Solaris/Window Maker/GNUstep) and are actually developing new software (mission critical database applications) on GNUstep. Of course we could also compile our applications for the Mac but our preferred deployment platform is Solaris/GNUstep now.

For how I could see Obj-C's (and above) market acceptance improved, see my answer to YL's post.

I have missed this post but IMHO people with some interest to check out a new language or API need a defined platform to do so. OPENSTEP 4.2 was such a platform for me in the old days. Install some CDs, read a few pages about Objective-C and Foundation and have 'Hello World' running very quickly. Right now such a platform is only delivered by Apple, though I don't like xCode very much and in my opinion it's too complex for beginners, but that's another story. There is no such defined platform based on GNUstep, that could be installed with a doubleclick. I think we need maintainers for binary distributions of GNUstep for at least the most important platforms (Solaris, SuSE, Debian,...). And these distribution should not only contain base gui and back but also Window Maker, TextEdit.app, Terminal.app, GNUMail.app, ProjectBuilder.app, InterfaceBuilder.app, StarOffice.app (wrapper)... to name only a few (just a complete desktop).

This defined platform gives beginners a real chance to check out Objective-C, OpenStep with acceptable effort. And it would provide a deployment platform for software sold in a box. Right now GNUstep based software can only be sold as part of a project that includes setting up an application server (installing GNUstep from sources). As soon as we see GNUstep based commercial (killer) applications (that can be used with any client device/os thanks to SGD), we have market acceptance for Objective-C/GNUstep.



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