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Re: Changes I've been thinking of...

From: Sergii Stoian
Subject: Re: Changes I've been thinking of...
Date: Fri, 09 Oct 2009 12:27:57 +0300
User-agent: Opera Mail/10.00 (Win32)

Hi, Gregory. Hi, guys.

I can't resist expressing my opinion on GNUstep changes as I see it.

I've defined several problem areas of GNUstep:

1. Maturity of GNUstep code for developers (functionality, docs, stability)
2. GUI appearance
3. Portability
4. Applications

Gregory, behind all things you've mentioned I see a goal that can be expressed by the following phrase: "World (all stuff outside of GNUstep) acceptance of GNUstep as alternative developer framework that will help creating of alternative desktop environment."

Do you really think that improving website, theme (argh!) lead us to rise of user attention to GNUstep? I don't think so. I see a lot of people comparing GNUstep with GNOME/KDE ("What's Etoile? Another desktop environment? Why we should use it?"). IMHO it's not our target audience.
In my strong opinion our target audience could be:
- NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP users who misses NS/OS look, feel and user experience in general (I'm one of them);
- developers who knows what OpenStep and Cocoa are;
- technical people who loves WindowMaker;
- researchers, students who can use GNUstep as basement for it's works.

In my opinion GNUstep project needs more forcible approach to reach the goal I've phrased above.
I propose to discuss the following approach:

1. Select reference platform for GNUstep development. Make GNUstep work ideally on one platform and then port it to another. My choice is FreeBSD (Xorg 7.4, ART GUI backend) despite the fact that I'm Linux user for over 13 years. I have set of strong reasons for this, we can discuss it later. 2. Stop chasing MacOS functionality. Let's set our target to for example MacOS 10.5 for a several years.
   In other words - polish and finish current implementation.
3. Stop trying to work everywhere. Let's make it working good at one place, then go to another. Let's speak frankly - we can't compete with Qt. Despite the existing of DO, Objective-C and other great things. 4. Make work good ONE FINISHED gui backend on reference platform with all needed functionality (OpenGL,
   Fonts, Graphics).
5. Finish gnustep-gui as it is. Problem areas are: text subsystem, fonts, graphics to name a few. 6. Create working destop environment for developers at least. Some day I realized that I'm working
   inside mess of not interacting things. My plan is:
   - Create Login application
   - Create Preferences
- Create Workspace Manager (Workspace + WindowMaker), excellent integration of GNUstep with it (focus,
     app management, dock interaction).
   - Create Terminal application based on Alex Malmberg application.
   - Create Mail application (GNUmail can be used as starting point).
   - Finish ProjectCenter (anyway it's my responsibility).
7. Make it clean, fast and simple as NS/OS. Personally I'm tired of bloated desktop environments (KDE/GNOME).
   I want improved (at reasonable degree) OPENSTEP.

It's not a plan targeting on world domination. It's plan to make comfortable development environment as I see it.
And if it will be comfortable to me it can be useful to somebody else.

Summarizing this long email: we should focus on achievable goals by narrowing down portability and loosing competition with MacOS for now. Let's agree on strong, clean, simple vision of project future and users will

On Wed, 07 Oct 2009 22:24:01 +0300, Gregory Casamento <address@hidden> wrote:


There are a number of things which need to change on the project:

We need to:
1) improve our website.  It's been the same for years and doesn't
reflect our progress.
2) improve GNUstep's default theme as well as theming in general.
While I know some people will respond negatively to changing the
default theme from a NeXT-like look to something more modern, I
believe it's one way for us to spark interest in the project is to
update it's look.   The current look should always be available, but
not necessarily the default.
3) Improve our ability to market ourselves in general.

One thing that GNUstep has been lacking in is marketing.   I've been
trying to improve things on that front, but I'm not the best marketer
to say the very least.

Does anyone have any questions or comments regarding this?  I would
like to hear any and all input people have.

Later, GC

Sergii Stoian

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