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Re: Camaelon <-> GNUstep

From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: Camaelon <-> GNUstep
Date: Sun, 3 Sep 2006 20:56:33 +0100

On 2 Sep 2006, at 20:25, Gregory John Casamento wrote:


Sorry to reply late to this thread... :)

-- Richard Frith-MacDonald wrote:
I *like* the default scheme much more than other systems... so I find
the argument about changing the look to attract developers very
unconvincing.  However, providing screenshots of alternative color
schemes won't do any harm and might help.

Here's a reply from one of the people from my blog right after I announced nib compatibility (I hope the original poster doesn't mind, but it was posted to my blog publically):

"Wow, very cool. The one thing that always bugged me about GNUstep, and the one thing that alwawys stops me from using it is the UI style; hardly up-to-date by anyone's standards. Are there any plans to create a more modern-looking theme? Not necessarily an OS X clone, but something that's a little more visually pleasing...

This could also be the one thing holding GNUStep from becoming mainstream, IMHO."

This is the most frequent criticism I hear concerning GNUstep. I've heard it from two companies that were planning to port their apps to GNUstep. I also heard it from another company which wanted to create new apps for GNUstep by itself (and perhaps port from GNUstep to Mac OS at a later date). I also hear it from people whom I show GNUstep to occasionally. While many like the look, some don't. Unfortunately people will almost always gravitate to something because it's attractive, in spite of what it's technical merits underneath might or might not be.

GNUstep, I believe. needs a theming system which is flexible and extensible. This will allow people to make new themes that make GNUstep look like whatever they want it to. I would, personally, prefer a significantly updated NeXT look to be the default theme (think about what NeXT's UI might look like, if NeXT hadn't been bought by Apple).

Just for the record ... my position on theming in GNUstep has *always* been that it's a good idea, and I believe that all core GNustep developers have held that position for a long, long time. I have (some considerable time ago) merged in horizontal menu support for a more MacOS-like theme, and offered to assit/work-on merging camealon code into gui.

The debate/argument whenever this issue arises is because we all have different ideas on how much difference theming is likely to make to the appeal of GNUstep, and what the default theme should be. IMO it is stupid to argue about these things as any argument gives some people the chance to interpret fragments of the argument as being against theming, and arguments about these issues are entirely hypthetical until we have good theming in place anyway.

1. we need the theme mechanism in the gui
2. we need good tools for rapid/easy development of new themes
3. we need a selection of ready made themes

Once that has been done we will
a) find out if it encourages lots of new developers to sign up
b) be in a position to argue about changing the default theme if we really want to.

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