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

From: Michael Thaler
Subject: Re: Changes I've been thinking of...
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 19:33:19 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.12.2 (Linux/2.6.30-1-amd64; KDE/4.3.2; x86_64; ; )


ok, one final message on this subject from me.

> My meaning of "professional look" have nothing with "gray and dull".
> Windows 2000 has professional look and feel, OPENSTEP has. Professional
> GUI is a GUI which doesn't bother over time and don't take much
> attention. And I feel that CDE GUI created not by designer but by
> programmers. It's a big difference. NS/OS GUI created by talented (IMHO)
> designer.

It does not matter if NS/OS GUI was created by really talented people or if it 
is more useable than the Windows GUI or KDE or GNOME. NS/OS is irrelevant 
today. If people would be interested in having a NS/OS like OS with a NS/OS 
like Look & Feel, there would already be lots of GNUstep users and developers, 
but there aren't. Apple, on the other hand, took the most important thing Next 
created, the API, modernized the UI so that it appeals to the average users 
and sells lots of computers, notebooks and phones today. In my opinion, 
GNUstep should just do the same.

> So why just not steal Leo GUI?

I know a lot of Linux users who also own MacBooks (including me) and who would 
be really happy to have a OSX like GUI for Linux. I guess that would be a 
quite efficient way to attract new users and developers. But I think you 
answered your question yourself. You can't just steel the LEO GUI. But why not 
create something similar?

> Because of lack of developer resources. Browser is a huge and complex
> project by itself. Second, it's really hard to implement such complex
> project as web browser that based on incomplete and buggy application kit.

You don't have to implement the whole browser yourself. Just take some 
existing rendering engine and build a user interface around it. I guess webkit 
would be the obvious choice. There are projects doing this for KDE:


I think at least rekonq is a hobby project of a single person. But you are 
right, it is probably still a lot of work, especially because there is nothing 
like QtWebkit which these browsers use.

> Office suite another big project. Who will write it? On the other hand,
> GNUmail was good enough last time I used it. But it definitely needs
> polishing and bug fixing.

My point is not that GNUstep should write a office suite. My point is that most 
software people need is not available for GNUstep and it is really important 
that KDE / Gnome applications integrate well with GNUstep and the other way 

> What application you want to port? My personal feeling - you should port
> only those applications that you need to use. Don't try port everything.
>    Try to focus on little useful thing instead of starting another big
> project that never aimed to be completed.

I prefer not to tell. I don't want to raise expectations and I also don't want 
some bigshot GNUstep developer step in and port the whole thing in a couple of 
hours. I do it because I want to learn more Objective C and Openstep/Cocoa.

But so far my experiences weren't that great. I tried to create a project with 
project center. No icons are shown at all, so Project Center is not useable. 
In addition, it still shows an annoying icon in the lower left corner which is 
mostly hidden by my (KDE 4) taskbar. On the other hand the applications is not 
shown in the taskbar. If you right-click on the icon (well, the parts that are 
not hidden by the taskbar) a menu is shown when you release the mouse button, 
but vanishes at once (well I know you can get it by double clicking on it). I 
guess many GNUstep developers and users think putting application icons on the 
lower left is more useable then a windows-like taskbar. But for everyone else 
it is just annoying and that's one of the first things I would change.

When I tried GNUstep about three years ago, it was exactly the same. So from 
the point of view of a user and wannabe application developer, using GNUstep 
applications under KDE is as broken as it was three years ago. I could not see 
any improvments in this respect.

I hope you do not see this as just critisizing. I think Next created a great 
API and it is awesome that the GNUstep project has created an open source 
version of it. But I also think that most users today are not interested in 
the NS/OS look & feel and that the GNUstep project should develop a modern 
looking Look & Feel that appeals to people and integrates with other open 
source desktop environments. GNUstep applications should be shown in the 
taskbar, they should not put icons on the desktop, the should not provide 
vertical menus when everybody else uses horizontal ones and so on. Apple's UI 
is not identical to KDE / Gnome / Windows, but as KDE / Windows user, I feel 
relatively comfortable with it. Some things you have to get used to, but it is 
not too difficult.  The GNUstep project should also make GNUstep themable and 
provide a really polished default theme which appeals to a wide range of 
people. I think it would be better to have one really polished default theme 
(like Apple does) instead of many mediocre themes like KDE or GNOME. 

I don't have the knowledge (and time) to help with all of this, but I am still 
determined to learn more about Objective C / the Openstep API and maybe I can 
at least port some applications to GNUstep or write some small app myself.
This is really the final mail on this subject from me,


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