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Re: Objective-C 2.0 and other new features in Leopard

From: Dr Tomaž Slivnik
Subject: Re: Objective-C 2.0 and other new features in Leopard
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 00:17:27 +0000

if I want gummy and a Cocoa environment with the bestest and latest bloatware included, I can, and always will, buy Apple.

Would I be far wrong if I guessed that most people involved in GnuStep are old-time NeXTies who want to be able to continue using their favourite user environment in the 21st century, and continue to develop it in the same careful, considered, and well-designed way the original NextStep was developed?

GnuStep may need to ask itself the question - is its goal to pursue quality and satisfy this core group of users, and grow its user base organically, OR, to try to appeal to the masses, aim to become mainstream (an aim which, incidentally, I think is bound not to be achieved), and consequently have to make some compromises as a consequence (like Apple has done)?

I think we need to do a little of both (growing organically and appealing to the masses).

What is the perceived need GnuStep wants to satisfy? What is GnuStep's goal / target audience/market?

I think it is crucial to be crystal clear on this and to stay very focussed on that goal if you want to achieve it.

From where I stand, it doesn't look like GnuStep has a huge amount of market penetration, or even developer penetration. So GnuStep does not appear to have had much success with these objectives.

However, it has been wonderfully successful at achieving another equally, if not more, valid, objective, i.e. that of re-creating and evolving the great NeXT design. A design of virtually Platonic perfection at the time, but one which has since needed to evolve to support modern day technologies. This is a niche you appeal to and you can grow organically. I think Apple has rather let the NeXT legacy down, and that the job could have been done *much* better. So I've assumed doing this was GnuStep's objective. If not, what is it?

By trying to appeal to the masses, you will have to compromise (like Apple has done) and sacrifice goals you've already achieved - and you have much to be proud of. What will you gain in return? There are a lot of competitors (Microsoft, Apple, Gnome, KDE etc.) out there who very successfully cater for the needs of, and appeal to, the mass market. You will be hard pressed to compete with them.


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