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Re: Thoughts triggered by these NeXTbuntu guys

From: Jiva DeVoe
Subject: Re: Thoughts triggered by these NeXTbuntu guys
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 10:39:39 -0400

I think in terms of both. Both are important to get developers to come to GNUstep.

One of the things GNUstep needs most is developers. We need to get them any way we can.

IMO, the key misunderstanding here continues to be in that despite all it's claims to the contrary... GNUstep, as it is today, cannot, and must not be _only_ a development environment. GNUstep must evolve into an entire desktop environment, and yes, perhaps an entire OS specification. The GNUstep project planners try very hard to make sure everyone knows that GNUstep is only a development environment. In order to be successful, I feel that GNUstep must, in fact, become an OS or desktop specification instead. It must be a full package. Then, users will come to it... and when the users are here... the developers will follow.

GNUstep is *not* at this time anywhere near complete as a desktop environment. To be there, you need working packages for all platforms, you need a GWorkspace that comes configured out of the box and is easy to use, you need mail packaged and included, and you need a web browser. EToile has made big strides in this area. GNUstep + Etoile is nearly usable!

The only way for GNUstep to remain strictly a development environment is if it gives up all the things that make GNUstep great... ie: app bundles, alt-c/alt-v etc copy/paste etc... and instead develops skins to fit the various platforms as good GUI citizens, and makes the GNUstep applications seem like they fit whatever they are currently running in. This is a *monumental* task... Java has tried to do this and failed for years. Do it if you want, but I think you won't get there any time soon.

Now I'm not saying I wouldn't love to have the ability to theme my app and make it work on windows for those poor saps who have to run that OS... BUT... if you want the short path to success... I think focus on making a real, honest to goodness, easy to use and modern desktop for Linux/BSD. KDE and Gnome just don't cut it.

All of this IMO... YMMV... IANAL... etc etc etc... flames > /dev/null

I am sure someone will tell me how they use GNUstep every day for everything and it's a great desktop environment... Sorry if you feel that way... I have struggled for nearly a year now to use GNUstep as my main desktop, and only recently through Etoile and some other add- ons have I been able to get it even close to reasonably usable... and that was after MUCH mucking around and wasting of time. We need preferences apps... and packages... and... well you get the idea.

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