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Thoughts triggered by these NeXTbuntu guys

From: Tima Vaisburd
Subject: Thoughts triggered by these NeXTbuntu guys
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 21:12:37 -0700
User-agent: KMail/1.9.1

Hi list,

This  person was, of course, very rude and very unfair to 
Gregory Casamento. His obvious dissatisfaction with current GNUstep 
project, however, reflects my own state of mind.

My interest in GNUstep stems from the desire for powerful and practical 
graphical programing library for Unix. In the line from pure X - 
Motif - GTK - Qt I was inclined towards Qt, but none looked very 

The GNUstep made huge leap over those technologies in the right direction,
and I was very happy as I  though we are getting the definitive programming
environment for complex applications that's far better than enything else
in existence (it was in 1998).

I still maintain my position that the creation of the superior 
development platform for modern Unix systems (Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD
and that's, probably, it) is the primary meaning of this project.
The Windows and OS X compatibility, while being nice, is, IMHO, not as

While many people here seem to think in terms of porting, I believe that
new development bears greater potential. I believe there are enough people who
have their own powerful ideas that would be happy to implement them with
our superior tools - if we provide ones.

However, we do not have such tools to show, because the core libraries -
I mean four of the packages taken together - are still incomplete.

Since I'm writing some image editor I happen to know that writing of
images in any  format other than tiff is not implemented (and most people
need jpegs or pngs instead). We do not have a single backend that works
perfectly. The arts backend is prohibitely slow on remote connection.
Xlib does not support rotation and poorly supports transparency. There are
cairo backend in development, but it's not released yet.

I often connect to my home machine from work, and use X windows over ssh
and then cable internet provider. Since GNUstep is extremely slow on that
connection even with xlib it exludes any GNUstep program as a viable
alternative to other X clients (but emacs, for instance, works reasonably

These are things I can claim from my personal experience, but from reading
this mailing list I got the impression that there are other unfinished areas.

Yet Gregory Casamento writes:
  "The libraries are complete in every sence that they need to be."

By what standards?

It seems to me that the project lost its leadership and its focus.
Good leaders can set the goals and show path from one goal to another.
I think we need that.

Instead, it seems, we start things like facelifting, windows port, desktop
environments without completing the foundation, beginning the new
project without finishing the old. That way there is nothing solid to show
to the mankind at any point in time - for years.

I believe this is the most important GNUstep problem right now.

Then if we get a person who is able to contribute there is another thing
that I consider the second most important problem - the copyright
assignment to FSF.

This topic deserves another message with a different subject line,
here I can only say that it presents a natural obstacle for people who,
like me, wants their work to be recognized by others.
Thus the Nextbuntu's idea on removing this requirement seems to me
quite appealing.

To summarize: before going into new desktop environments, please finish
the core gui/back libraries to let people learn and use them for their own
purposes. Declare specific API version - being it Mac OSX 10.2.7 or not -
and make it work completely under at least one platform.

Thank you and sorry for being so long.


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