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

From: Michael Thaler
Subject: Re: Changes I've been thinking of...
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 15:01:06 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.12.2 (Linux/2.6.30-1-amd64; KDE/4.3.2; x86_64; ; )


> 1. Marketing to get people to give us a look.

To see what? A user interface that most people consider looking really dated?

Here are some numbers from the 2006 Linux Deskop Survey:

BlackBox   1.6 %
GNOME   35.1 %
Enlightenment   3.8 %
Fluxbox   3.9 %
IceWM   3.2 %
KDE   37.7 %
WindowMaker   2.2 %
Xfce   9.8 %
Other (please email us)

I could not find any results for 2008 or 2009 but I doubt that the market share 
of WindowMaker increased. Don't you think that a huge majority of Linux users 
prefer a more modern looking desktop environment with some eye-candy and will 
be just dissapointed if the see gnustep in its current state?

I don't really like too much eye-candy personally. The first thing I did at 
work was to change Windows Vista from Aero to Classic mode because I prefer 
Windows Classic (Windows 2000?) look compared to Aero. On the other hand, I 
think Snow Leopard looks quite good and I also think KDE4 and Gnome look sort 
of ok.

But the NEXTSTEP look is too old-fashened even for me (I don't care if it is a 
masterpiece. I don't want to put a picture of it in a frame on the wall, I 
want to use it as a desktop environment). I really like ObjC and the 
openstep/gnustep/Cocoa APIs. But everytime I sit down to develop something 
using gnustep, the old-fashened Look & Feel kills my motivation because I 
think nobody will use it anyway and I decide to use Qt/KDE instead (I am 
actually a former KDE developer).

> 2. Eye-candy to draw people in and get them to try things out
> (changing the default theme won't do that ... we need to have a group
> of three or four good themes to appeal to different people)

For me, the fundametal question is what direction gnustep wants to take. Does 
gnustep want to appeal to former NeXTSTEP/Openstep users? Or does gnustep want 
to be a MacOS X for Linux and other OSS operating systems? In the former case 
I am not really interested in gnustep. Openstep/gnustep might provide a nice 
API, maybe it is even a bit nicer then Qt, but I don't really see gnustep 
being adopted widely if it just tries to provide an Openstep-like API with a 
Nextstep-like inteface. If gnustep aims to provide APIs and a desktop 
environement similar to MacOS X I would be very interested. But I don't think 
gnustep can do both. Either it will continue to try something similar to 
Openstep or it will change direction and try to be something similar to MacOS 
X. A simple theme will not be enough to make a gnustep desktop really look 
cute and appealing. 
> 3. Enough good quality stuff so that people don't try once and then
> give up.

For this to happen, gnustep needs more developers. In my opinion the only way 
that this can happen is if more people start to use gnustep. Apparently 
gnustep did not attract a lot of users / developers for the last 15 years. So 
maybe it is time to change direction?


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