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Re: Thoughts triggered by these NeXTbuntu guys

From: Riccardo
Subject: Re: Thoughts triggered by these NeXTbuntu guys
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 23:34:11 +0200


wow, the typical bla bla bla, but this time from another user. I think you got some good points though.

On Thursday, August 31, 2006, at 04:39 PM, Jiva DeVoe wrote:

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.

Although your conclusions are pretty wrong, in my very humble opinion, your start is good. Gnustep is not only a development environment, those who continue to say that make me really sick. Also, the specification of OpenStep gives you almost all what you need. Gnsutep is, presently, already almost a desktop environment, see my comment below. Still, Gnustep needs to remain a very viable solution for someone who wants to write a single dedicated application for a dedicated purpose which will run on one or more platforms. Gnustep can be both in once, just care needs to be taken when doing some "desktop" things.

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!

I think the term desktop environment is fuzzy and clearly overrated. APart from KDE and GNOME which are total bloat and kitchen sink, various environment differ from what they offer and are much less comprehensive, especially at the beginning.

Even XFCE, a pretty common environment, let's say the 3rd big usually found in linux, doesn't have stuff like a mailer or a browser, you use third party stuff. A windowmanager, a set of preferences, a bunch of utilities, a dock and a terminal is what it started with. Now it has a filemanager, which I don't like but exists.

CDE, maybe the first to have "desktop environment" had a couple of texteditor, terminal, emailer, various environment preferences tool (not system dependent stuff), dock stuff, an unspectacular filemanager... no ftp application, no browser (mosaic or netscape were often bundled by vendors). Still you can't doubt it is a desktop environment, all applications have a common look, homogeneous icons and look... and the power are the extreme tools to set up CDE in a networked and shared environment (customization of icons among users, messages, excellent remote desktop: dtlogin is still really very very nice by leveraging xdm). Ah, yes, it had color schemes, but I don't think that was what really made it shine, or? 90% of the times I have seen it with the vendor-supplied theme.

Even our Beloved Macos-X 10.0 was "much less" than you might think, it had no apple browser for example. A crashy IE was available. No iTunes either!

My Point? GNUstep is much more "there" than we might assume, but until developers themselves won't realize it and continue to complain, how can we market that to users? I use my gnustep desktop daily, pretty easy to setup once the stuff was compiled. Maybe the most tedious thing was to make WindowMaker look decently as NextStep did, removing shades, AA, setting fonts so to match gnustep.

Of course we need and can use more apps. I advocate that. I repeat that. But it is not really the only problem and they can well be from "third party" like GAP. GNUstep itself should be lean, but well integrated, stable and uniform looking.

We have a perception problem of ourselves.


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