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

From: Gregory Casamento
Subject: Re: Changes I've been thinking of...
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 11:21:35 -0400


On Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 10:30 AM, Stef Bidi <address@hidden> wrote:

>> 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).
> I just completely disagree with your arguments here.  So what if you like
> "eye-candy"?  Riccardo and Richard like the grey NeXT look, and using the
> mailing list as the sample space I would say it's divided roughly 60/40 for
> the NeXT look over the so called "eye-candy".

The problem is that the current look does not inspire new developers
to keep working on GNUstep apps because the look is very spartan and
old fashioned.   Looks do matter to some people (perhaps more than
they should, in my opinion).

> Have anyone here using GTK or Qt applications ever actually built these from
> scratch?  I would assume no, because the idea of "an easy install" always
> comes up.  I've personally next built Qt, but have done GTK.  Simple put,
> it's hell!  You have 15 dependencies you need to satisfy before GTK even
> configures without an error, and another 10 dependencies to get decent
> support for everything you want
> (http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/svn/x/gtk2.html everything in
> "Required" + their dependencies).  Then, after you're all done with that you
> still end up with a "dull and grey" look... so you go out and install the
> clearlooks theme engine.  How is that any easier than building GNUstep?  I
> can truthly say, it's not.  I still say we need distribution support, which
> the little that we do have we seem to be loosing.  How do we get their
> support?  Marketing will become much easier if all we need to say is "do
> apt-get install gnustep-core gworkspace" instead of "grab the sources from
> svn and compile".

Indeed.  Part of the problem, though, is some distributions stick to
the FHS as if it's gospel.   On Debian they put our stuff into the
weirdest places so that GNUstep will "conform" to the standard.
Also, they (Debian) tend to have VERY old packages for GNUstep which
gives a bad impression of our stuff.

> To be honest, I don't like WindowMaker.  don't like using and think those
> icons are a waste of my precious screen space.  What I'll generally try to
> do is use nothing but GNUstep applications with no window manager (since
> GNUstep supports it, even though it has issues).

Indeed.  What I would like to see is better integration between
GNUstep and other Window Managers including GNOME and KDE.   I would
also like to see the new window manager from Etoile.

> On top of all that, GNUstep has a serious identity crisis.  It's such a far
> departure from the usual Gnome/KDE/Windows desktop metaphore.  So you end up
> with the problem that most people expect you provide at least a half working
> desktop in order to feel comfortable, but that's not GNUstep's goal, it's
> just a development environment.  You can see that littered all over
> Michael's post, he's trying to compare GNUstep with KDE and Gnome instead of
> with Qt and GTK (+ GLib and GDK).  Etoile is definitly working to bridge
> that gap, but even so it's not easy to get it.  I personally do not build
> all of Etoile because it's just simply too much work.  I would not use Gnome
> if I had to build it everytime either.

GNUstep does have an identity crisis.   By collaborating with Etoile
I'm hoping to deal with that.   GNUstep is to Etoile what GTK is to
GNOME.   We are the framework on which they build.   We provide the
fundamental support structure.

>> > 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.
> Again with the "eye-candy".  GNUstep doesn't need to be providing this by
> default, and no project does.  GSTheme is a great step forward, but it's
> still unfiinished, and even when it is finished it shouldn't be

I believe what Richard said in a previous posting was the most
correct.   We should finish GSTheme then we should develop some themes
and then and only then should we decide if there will be a new

>> > 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?
> Here I agree with one of the messages that was posted before on this
> thread.  GNUstep needs to stop chasing butterflies.  GNUstep barely has full
> 10.3 compatibility, yet there already are 10.5 features in.  In my opinion,
> and that's all it is since there's not much I can do to help in this aspect,
> GNUstep needs to focus on finishing full compability with one version of OS
> X before moving to the next.  Pick one, and stick with it until you're at
> least 90% finished before moving to the next.  I'm going out on a limb here,
> but I'd say it will take a few years for a good chunk of applications to
> move to 10.5 features.  New application might start using these features,
> but application being ported from one version to the next will probably not
> use them.

I believe we should target 10.5 as our target version for now.   Once
we finish that we should move on to later versions.   We should,
however, keep moving on the theming efforts which are already

> Anyway, that's enough for me.  I've already spent too much time typing.
> Stef
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss-gnustep mailing list
> address@hidden
> http://lists.gnu.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss-gnustep

Gregory Casamento
Open Logic Corporation, Principal Consultant
## GNUstep Chief Maintainer
yahoo/skype: greg_casamento, aol: gjcasa
(240)274-9630 (Cell), (301)362-9640 (Home)

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