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Re: Package building

From: David Chisnall
Subject: Re: Package building
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2019 11:42:04 +0000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.2.2

On 19/11/2019 09:40, Johannes Brakensiek wrote:
I understand that the initial idea was to attract more users/developers, but… It’s not working.

Hm, yes. I think developers don’t need a nice UI at first place (and I think most of what developers need luckily is already provided by Apple as of today). But developers need happy users (if you’re not developing only for yourself) and I think happy users need a stable, solid and consistent UX. That would be provided by a NextStep based UI guideline. But they also need a pretty UI (which is not what you’d call that NextStep look nowadays, imho).

I would add to that: most users will not be using a GNUstep DE. This was one of the biggest mistakes that we made with Etoile: we did not have an incremental adoption story.

If you want GNUstep to be attractive to developers, you need to make it easy for them to ship apps that integrate with an existing *NIX DE and with Windows. One of the biggest things that RedHat did for Linux desktop usability was teach the GTK+ and Qt theme engines to understand a shared format and unify shortcut keys between the two. After that, it didn't matter (much) if you needed a mix of GNOME and KDE apps, your desktop still felt (approximately) cohesive.

At the moment, people with one GNUstep app feel that it sticks out and is difficult to use because it doesn't follow the same UI models as the rest of their system. That means that they then don't want a second one.

Qt on Mac has the same problem: the controls are all subtly different and it took them years to even have the same shortcuts for navigation in a text field, so everyone who ran a Qt application on Mac hated it and never wanted to use another one. This didn't matter so much for Qt, because they did have good Windows and X11 support.

Currently, GNUstep apps look and feel like native apps on MacOS, when you don't use GNUstep. They look and feel alien everywhere else.


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