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Re: Package building

From: cobjective
Subject: Re: Package building
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2019 01:13:52 +0200

On 19 Nov 2019, at 13:42, David Chisnall <address@hidden> wrote:
> 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.
How do you know about users? I tried Etoile some time ago. 
My thoughts were: “Cool thing. Not ready for everyday usage yet”.
NEXTSPACE is. And it looks and feels familiar to Window Maker users.

> 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.

Indeed. But keep in mind that GNOME and KDE apps share (with some minor 
differences) the same style for desktop and applications (icons on desktop, sys 
tray, in-window menus, scrollbars on the right and so on). That’s why it was 
quite natural to make look of Qt/GTK+ apps consistent (cohesive). GNUstep roots 
are in NeXT's OS (OpenStep specification appeared around 1997, NeXT and Apple 
started merging these days). This legacy has it’s own charm not because of look 
but mostly because of “feel” (style of doing things). That’s why I like GNUstep.
> 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.
Sure. Let’s imagine that GNUstep application follows Qt/GTK+ UI model. I have a 
question: Why average developer will want to write application using GNUstep 
libraries instead of GNOME/KDE? What are the benefits?
> 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.
And because MacOS often has good alternatives to Qt applications. Qt was 
created commercial company (it means: more testers, more time to make 
development, etc.).

> Currently, GNUstep apps look and feel like native apps on MacOS, when you 
> don't use GNUstep.  They look and feel alien everywhere else.
I agree. Also a lot of GNUstep apps look like “templates” - unfinished, buggy, 
I define for myself a “corner stone” for NEXTSPACE development - existing 
features must be fully completed and tested (usable).

> David


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