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From: Sergii Stoian
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2017 22:56:12 +0200

On Sun, Nov 26, 2017 at 11:50 AM, Riccardo Mottola <address@hidden> wrote:

Hi Sergii,

More than 15 years ago I joined the GNUstep development because I like NeXT's OS design, look and feel. At that time my dream was to return NeXTSTEP desktop to Linux. After 15+ years my dream still alive. I understand that GNUstep project goals somewhat changed over these years. And this is good until project is interesting to broad kind (goals, tastes) of people involved in it's development.

Exactly... actually I think "the goal" didn't change for everybody, just for some and we have many dreams, but the core still sticks together!
Yes, but many people nowadays found NeXT look outdated, boring, etc. To be honest, I've started NEXTSPACE to create desktop environment that will be pleasant and useful for me. ;)

The next step is to build Frameworks, then Appplications. You can create new user with all needed files inside it's home dir. You can start Login with command 'systemctl start loginwindow' or login to newly created user from your login application (it should start ~/.xinitrc in user home dir). That's it.

Some noticeable achievements I've got:
* I integrated Workspace and WindowMaker into Workspace Manager. That's it - one application. It was made possible by using libdispatch and libobjc2. For example, when non-GNUstep application starts Workspace's Processess panel shows it with info grabbed from WindowMaker. Another example: when you start application by double-clicking in File Viewer and appicon already exists in Dock icon fly from FileViewer's to docked appicon.
* In general Workspace is ready to be NSWorkspace povider.
* GNUstep and WindowMaker unified look and feel (menus and titlebars, fonts, miniwindows).
* Media management: Workpace automatically mounts removable media inserted (UDisks integration).
* Terminal: a lot of improvements. It's better to see it.
* -NXAutoLaunch option implemented. Now applications started with this option doesn't show menu at all. No focus flickering. Smooth as it should be.
* Preferences: everything you need to set up must be here. Not only GNUstep NSGlobalDomain options (localization, fonts) but system specific options also (display, keyboard, mouse, sound, networking).
* A lot of other things I can't recall now but I write it down someday. ;)

This sounds great and the screenshots look promising

Thank you. More to come.

There are some facts I don't like and want to change:
* NEXTSPACE is based on quite outdated release of GNUstep (base 1.24.8, gui and back 0.24.1);
* It is based on ART backend. I want to use Cairo backend but ART has usefull features (.nfont packages provide ability to set hinting and antialiasing options on per font basis).

I understand that! ART continues to be intriguing and it still works after many years, it is fast, fotns look better and the possibility of using non-antialiased fonts is just great. They look far better in Terminal, Code-Editors and for my test also Menus.

Yes! That's it! I think ART and Cairo backends need to be merged with the best features of both. However I'll not plan to do this in near future.

* DE needs documentation. I plan to discuss NSHelpPanel implementation with you guys. First of all we need to define format for help files.

Indeed, this is a cross-GNUstep issue. We don't have documentation and the HelpViewer app we had long time ago disappeared into void.
One solution would be to revive it and to use RTF: this would be cool because you can read and write it with GNUstep tools and it would be low-resource.
ANother would be to go more apple-like and use HTML, but you need an external editor and also no native viewer for GNUstep. Maybe in the future pull in the monstrum of WebKit or it could use SWK if it were a little more complete. It is capable enough to "almost" display our GNUstep reference libraries, except for a couple of issues. Might be worth it.
A discussion worth of a separate thread.


* It is developed and tested on CentOS 7. I have no plans in near future to port it somewhere else. I need to finish what I've started first.

Understandable, also your solution looks quite linux tied and depends on a couple of nasty things, but nevertheless very interesting for a lot of people.
Clean up headers, copyrights and such. This is very important if you want your application to be ever packaged in a distribution.

The project was started on FreeBSD. It is quite good OS. But it has to many drawbacks to use it as base OS for desktop. I had no plans to develop OS-level features.

2. Return to development of ProjectCenter. First of all PC badly needs good editor, then GORM interoperation and next debugger.

I took over maintainership of ProjectCenter after your leave. I stabilized the application quite a bit, but not totally.
With hard work I fixed crashers in the editor and improved the class and syntax parsers. With Gregory we started a debugger, the first iteration was simple and not portable, the second (not yet released, it is in GIT) is interesting, but hard to complete and work halted a bit because of these issues.
If you wish we can sync on that if you are interested.

I read announcements and read bug reports and your replies. Thank you, Ricardo, very much.

I hope my work will be useful not only for me but for GNUstep project also.

A good application is useful for everybody and attracts interest. Maybe some of your improvements can also directly go into the application you started from?
E.g. I think we should also have an exchange on Terminal, because I put quite some work there. I took over a couple of years ago.

If you want you can grab the whole Terminal from NEXTSPACE and use it as you wish.
There are couple of places where NXAppKit (mainly it's alert panel I've played with)  but you can find and modify them quite easy.
Or maybe you talk about some enhancements that you want to go inside NEXTSPACE? I'll be glad to discuss it with you. But you'd try my version of Terminal first.

Happy Coding,

Sergii Stoian, ProjectCenter maintainer

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