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So, honestly, is GNUStep a viable development option?

From: Mark Grice
Subject: So, honestly, is GNUStep a viable development option?
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 23:54:03 -0500

Hi All... I don't mean to come on and be a flame thrower my first
post. Believe me, I am hoping to be convinced that GNUStep is a great
choice... but my three weeks of poking and playing makes me wonder...

Here's the thing: I am getting ready to start a pretty big project in
Linux and I am trying to decide what to use as a GUI/Framework. I did
a lot of research and came across the GNUStep project and thought:
Aha! This sounds great! Just what I was looking for!

I downloaded it and ran through the couple of (old) tutorials I could
find. It's enough to get a SENSE of what is possible... but not enough
to persuade me to commit my future to it. And the look and feel of it
is -- I'm sorry -- very tired and worn.  I know from reading the
archives that apparently a lot of the GNUSTEPPERS  look longingly at
the bland square icons and widgets of GNUStep getting nostalgic warm
fuzzies (the way my father does when he looks at a '54 Buick)-- but
trust me no user I'm building an app for will have the same reaction.

So... I did some more reading... and I come across this great blog post:


And I think: YES! Great! the guys in charge get it... this is exactly
what I am hoping for... then I see the date: 2006??? Oh oh. That was a
YEAR ago this was discussed... What has a year wrought?

"1) Adopt a more modern look. "

Umm... no... it still looks like it did in 1999.

"2) Make regular releases. Start courting different distributions to
include GNUstep in their package set."

Can' comment on this... I don't know how frequently the releases were
before, but it appears that UBUNTU releases new versions of their
whole distro more frequently than GNUSTEP releases updates.

"3) Eliminate the need for GNUstep.sh..."

Well, this one wasn't a biggie for me... but I still had to run the
GNUStep.sh to get things to compile.

"4) Start appealing more to the Mac OS X/Cocoa crowd."

I honestly don't know how important that is, or what is meant by it...
but appealing to the Mac OS Users by updating the look and feel would
be a wonderful place to start.

"5) Focus and concentrate on one and only one set of display
technologies per platform."

Not sure where this is... but it seems reasonable. Having a way of
using the native look and feel would also be a huge plus for those of
us who don't WANT to look different than every other app on a

"6) Decide what we are. Yes, that's right. Some people view GNUstep as
a desktop, others view GNUstep as a development environment."

I see this still being debated today... Someone in charge needs to
stick a stake in the ground and move on already...

"7) Make GNUstep friendly with other environments like GNOME, KDE,
Windows and etc. Make sure that GNUstep functions sanely in these

Oh yeah, you betcha. This is a biggie. And not done. I can run a
GNUStep app in Gnome, but if I hit the wrong key,  suddenly find
myself in a non-responsive wmaker session! Yikes!

Selling GNUStep is hard enough... having to sell Window Maker on top
of it is a real stretch...

I guess what I'm asking is this: Is GNUStep a living, breathing
project that wants to be useful in 2007 and beyond, or are you guys
the Computer version of the SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism) --
happy to be the caretakers of a historical moment in time, extolling
the virtues of a system that has lost its effectiveness, but was
really cool way back when?

I apologize for the language here. I know many will be greatly
insulted, and I don't mean it that way. I just want to know where
GNUStep is headed before I commit time to learn it, and resources to
develop in it...


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