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Re: Questions (was: Re: A Critique: Getting Started with GNUstep on Wind

From: Richard Frith-Macdonald
Subject: Re: Questions (was: Re: A Critique: Getting Started with GNUstep on Windows)
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2016 11:07:24 +0000

> On 26 Feb 2016, at 05:35, Svetlana A. Tkachenko <address@hidden> wrote:
> Gregory Casamento wrote:
>> HelpViewer uses RTF format.

The use of RTF in the help classes in them GUI was copied from Apple (ie it was 
required for Apple compatibility).  Apple in turn inherited the use of RTF from 
OpenStep, who adopted it from Microsoft.
I don't know the *current* state of Apple's help support in the GUI, but have a 
vague feeling that they may have changed from RTF to some other format in 
recent years ... It ought to be a fairly simple research project to see;
a. if Apple have changed to use a new format (or added a new format so you can 
use both)
b. If GNUstep-GUI has followed any change (normal policy is to try to retain 
support for old API/format while adding support for new ones introduced by 

>> Speaking of documentation I am of the
>> concerted opinion that we should do away with autogsdoc.  The reason
>> for this is because it is yet another example of NIH.
> ... not invented here?

Not true ... it just pre-dates popular auto-documentation, and long pre-dates 
anything that understood ObjC, so was started before other options were 
GNUstep is an old project, and there's quite a bit of stuff like that which, to 
the uninformed looks like NIH, but in fact is just the way it is because it 
pre-dates alternative free software implementations.

> I was under the assumption that it
> is using an XML format resembling something from Apple.

Yes and no ...
autogsdoc generates gsdoc documents, which are xml.
The premise behind gsdoc was that xml tools could then convert that 
intermediate format to a variety of readable output formats.   However nobody 
has bothered to write code to produce anything other than html.
This isn't from Apple though (at the time I'm not even sure Apple had added XML 
support to Cocoa; GNUstep added XML parsing well before Apple did).

BUT ...
I don't think HelpViewer (which is not part of the GNUstep project, but rather 
an experimental app written using GNUstep) uses the native RFT support from 
GUI/AppKit OR the gsdoc XML format.
IIRC it uses its own format (or amybe some other standard I'm not familiar 
with), so perhaps this IS and example of NIH.

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