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

From: Doc O'Leary
Subject: Re: Questions (was: Re: A Critique: Getting Started with GNUstep on Windows)
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2016 18:35:27 -0000 (UTC)
User-agent: com.subsume.NNTP/1.0.0

For your reference, records indicate that 
Liam Proven <address@hidden> wrote:

> On 28 February 2016 at 19:42, Doc O'Leary
> <address@hidden> wrote:
> Quote: *run existing Cocoa apps*
> Do you mean to try to run Mac binaries on Linux?

Not at this point.  I would say, though, that projects like Darling that
attempt to do that *do* have some relation to GNUstep and should be fit
under the same umbrella in some way.

Again, my aim is figure out what the main goal of GNUstep actually is,
along with any secondary goals that could reasonably considered “core”
enough to be part of the project (I would fit the compilation of existing
Mac open source apps under there).  Any tertiary projects should
definitely be linked to at the very least, and actively supported at the
very best.

> Outlandish is your term, not mine.

I can certainly quote your words: “strange” and “weird”.  I’d argue
outlandish covers them both.  And none of them are fitting descriptions
for the notion that GNUstep might be used to run Cocoa apps in some way.

> > If it is as narrow a goal as you say, it seems
> > like it should be subsumed under whatever larger vision there might
> > be for the project.
> Why does it need to have a "larger vision"?

Because, without one, people will have no idea whether or not the
project is useful to them.  They might poke around for a bit trying to
do what they *hope* it can do.  Then they’ll hit a roadblock, usually
sooner than they expected, and conclude that GNUstep isn’t fit for the
purpose they had in mind.  It’s terrible PR, and it could all be fixed
by simply *saying* what people can reliably count on GNUstep to provide.

> > The purpose of this discussion is to see if there *is* a shared aim that
> > can be cooperatively achieved.
> Is it? Since when? Says who?

Says me, since the point I started commenting, and going back for many
years that I’ve made posts along the same lines.  Look, are you trying
to be nothing but confrontational, or do you actually want to use the
discussion group to, you know, *discuss* the GNUstep project from a
bigger picture perspective?

> > If there isn’t, the GNUstep project
> > should explicitly state that it will not welcome code or coders that
> > work with Apple platforms.
> Why? I see no connection at all.

And that’s why GNUstep continues to stagnate after a decade when interest
in ObjC exploded.  Some of us see the connection.  I welcome you to take
a step back and think about these things, think *hard*, and then join the
discussion when you have seen ways to move things forward.

> I
> am interested in it as a NeXTstep-like desktop environment. Nothing
> more.

What does that even mean, though?  How do you get to the “desktop
environment” if you don’t have the apps it runs?  How do you run the
apps if you don’t have the frameworks they depend on?  You have to
break it down into components that can be addressed by the resources
available.  Without planning the path you want to follow, it’s a huge
waste of effort on a random walk.

> > No, scratching itches is simply *one* possible starting point for a
> > project.
> Who said anything about *starting* a project?

You did, when you mentioned scratching itches.  Because as soon as you
release a project *to the public*, it has gone beyond that and needs to
be handled in a professional manner.  The problem that continues to plague
GNUstep is that it is still being developed as an “anything goes/whatever”
effort, and the result is that very few experienced developers are
naturally interested in that sort of thing.

> That, too, is irrelevant. GNUstep is a mature, long-standing project.

A project that *still* doesn’t have a mission statement.  That’s what
keeps being relevant year after year.

> >  There is a vast graveyard of open source projects that never
> > go anywhere because they never strive to be *more* than ego-driven
> > coding.  Some of us still have hopes that GNUstep can escape that kind
> > of dead end.
> Me too. So? Do you think mission statements will help?

I wouldn’t still be here if I didn’t.

> >> That -- that's /insane/.
> That is ad-hominem, confrontational, hostile and a non-sequitur.

Yes, it is.  You should look into not doing that sort of thing.

> I am saying that to run an entire OS to access a single non-unique app
> -- and then not use the actual native OS to run it, but a third-party
> reverse-engineered one -- is not a reasonable technical decision.

Nobody said it was.  But it happens all the time.  There are businesses
right now that still have MS-DOS software they run on old PCs that are
critical to their operation.  It is presumptive to categorize any of it
as “insane”, though, because it’s quite possible they’ve crunched the
numbers and evaluated the risks and alternatives and determined they
actually have the best solution to the problem at hand.

Again, the point here is not about the technical merits of GNUstep.  I
would argue it has been outstanding in that regard since I first used
it 20 years ago.  Those laurels are not something that the project
should rest on, though.  It failed to capitalize on the popularity of
iOS, and now the introduction of Swift has forced another inflection
point on the purpose of the project.  If these issues are not
addressed in a straightforward manner, it will become an even more
niche effort that it has been.

> I see others have quit the list already over your offensive and
> hostile posts. I am very close to doing the same.

And yet the main hostilities are coming from your ilk.  I’m trying to
find a positive vision for the future of GNUstep, and most what I’ve
gotten in return is attacked, and then blamed for defending myself.
GNUstep would definitely benefit if those who are not interested in a
productive discussion would not participate.

I mean, really.  All this fuss just because people refuse to talk
about what the main goal(s) of GNUstep should be.  Does that seem
right to you?

"Also . . . I can kill you with my brain."
River Tam, Trash, Firefly

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