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Re: [Fwd: Re: really attracting developers]

From: Helge Hess
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: really attracting developers]
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2006 00:13:10 +0200

On Aug 25, 2006, at 14:55, Andrew Satori wrote:
What they aren't is Cocoa complete, and in many areas, it's a near rewrite to port advanced applications from Cocoa to GnuStep. That's not saying it can't be done, or that it's a bad thing, but one of GnuStep's major selling points is it's likeness to OpenStep & Cocoa, and there is a whole lot more Cocoa development going on today than there is OpenStep.

The reason that Cocoa apps are not ported is not that it can't be done, its because it doesn't make a lot of sense for the authors. Remember that the far majority of the Cocoa apps are not OpenSource/ Free Software ones but proprietary ones. That is, people want to make money by selling them (there are exceptions, like Adium, but those are sparse).

Now even Linux _desktop_ as a whole (including KDE and GNOME) has a much smaller market share than MacOS desktop has. So its not very interesting from a start. And then, GNUstep-like applications have an even smaller market share. If you would want to explore the Linux market, you must choose KDE or GNOME to reach any kind of significant audience.

So ports are basically restricted to niché enterprise applications providing custom applications. Now, how many Cocoa enterprise applications are there? A few, but in itself they are extremely niché too.

Summary: having Cocoa compatibility (which is getting harder every day as MacOS advances, just think ObjC 2.0) for Linux is _not_ a selling point. The majority of Cocoa developers simply don't want to deploy their desktop applications to Linux/BSD.

IMHO there are two spaces which can be explored if you want to advance the GNUstep community:
a) reasonably easy and convenient Windows porting for Cocoa developers
b) server stuff

Obviously a) is interesting for the sales-driven Cocoa developers since the Windows desktop market is much larger than the MacOS one. I think a lot of people would be _very_ pleased to be able to provide Windows versions of their apps with a reasonable effort (it doesn't and probably can't be a simple recompilation).

Well, and b), Cocoa people usually want to stick with ObjC, which they use for their desktop apps. And they are most likely using Linux on their servers. Which makes ObjC server development for Linux interesting. Maybe DO Cocoa <-> DO GNUstep interoperability is a key thing here.
Though the server development area is extremely crowded too.

Just a few thoughts ;-)

Helge Hess

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