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GNUstep Project Gets New Chief Maintainer 129

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the turning-over-a-new-leaf dept.
stivi writes "OSNews is reporting that Gregory Casamento has accepted the position of GNUstep Maintainer. Adam Fedor, former GNUstep leader writes: 'After over 15 years of being the Chief Maintainer for GNUstep, I've found I have too many other responsibilities to devote as much time to GNUstep as is necessary. I still plan on contributing to GNUstep in the future in a lower capacity.' Gregory has been a prolific developer for GNUstep for the past seven years and is currently the maintainer for Gorm (the graphical interface designer) and the GUI library. I think he will make a great choice to lead GNUstep in the future. New plans for change have been set up already. Thank you Adam for the past, congratulations Gregory to the future."
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GNUstep Project Gets New Chief Maintainer

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  • Direction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bsharitt (580506) <brandon@nOspAm.sharitt.com> on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @07:40AM (#17365440) Homepage Journal
    Hopefully we see GNUStep get some definitive direction to show the world that it's still alive. Most people think it's a legacy development tool kit which at one time was meant to replicate OpenStep, but is now dead, though that is not the case, but they need to let the world know they are alive. Also, they either need place nicer with the rest of the Linux/Unix desktops(Gnome or KDE) or either acknowledge that they are indeed their own little enviroment(the site still tries to pass it off as development libraries and tools)
    • Alive (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bartvh (60919)
      The previous news item in this category was exactly 4 years ago. He could start by sending out more 'press releases'.
      • by stivi (534158)
        well ... if only the GNUstep related articles were not rejected or left pending for weeks... this article is my second sumbission, not counting submissions of other steppers.
    • Re:Direction (Score:4, Informative)

      by Somnus (46089) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @08:16AM (#17365630)
      There is at least one effort [etoile-project.org] in the direction of a desktop environment. Theming is provided by the Camaelon [etoile-project.org] bundle.

      On the toolkit/tools side of things, the major hurdles are:
      • app icon (perhaps could be integrated with/translated to the f.d.o. systray standard)
      • the work it takes to set up GNUstep just to launch an app (e.g., setting up paths -- thankfully handled transparently in my Gentoo setup)
      • incompatibility between GNUstep services and dbus, etc. etc.
      • non-standard build system (still easy enough to making into ebuilds/RPMs/etc.) and monolithic libraries
      Sidestep [gna.org] is an experiment in addressing these issues.
      • Etoile-buntu? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pschmied (5648)
        I've been casually flollowing the etoile development, and I've even gone so far as to (mostly successfully) build GNUStep and Etoile on my OS X-running Powerbook. It's clear that GNUStep has made some strides in recent times. Etoile seems to be proving that there are some with a vision of what a GNUStep *platform* could be. All in all, pretty exciting stuff.

        The catch is, that integrating this stuff is a bit more work than your average ./configure, make, make install... I'd like to see someone pick a ref
  • Ok I read TFA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Psychotria (953670) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @07:52AM (#17365504)
    And... I think this dude is a complete moron. He types (on the page and in his blog) all this "business" speak gibberish which, in the end, means nothing. He says that he thinks KDE and Gnome are "amateurish" but doesn't bother to explain his reasoning behind the assertion. To me, this implies that he doesn't actually have a reason behind the assertion and that the whole silly blog is propaganda. I find his "business speak" patronising, transparent and meaningless. It may work for Microsoft, but propaganda does not work for the audience he is (supposed) to be targetting.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jcr (53032)
      He says that he thinks KDE and Gnome are "amateurish" but doesn't bother to explain his reasoning behind the assertion.

      If you had ever used NeXTSTEP, you would know what he means. It's one of those things that's hard to explain to someone who doesn't have the experience to tell the difference.

      -jcr

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by Psychotria (953670)
        Actually I have used NeXTSTEP. This doesn't change my opinion of the self-proclaimed new "Chief" though. Seriously, why does he have to keep reminding us (the poor serfs) that he is the "Chief"? And why all the business speak crap? Why not speak to us as equals, rather than speaking down to us like we're idiots? I don't think I'm an idiot. I don't think you're an idiot. But he thinks (judging from his blog) that we're both idiots. That is what is irritating me. I am a technical person. I can see through pro
    • Re:Ok I read TFA (Score:4, Informative)

      by mungtor (306258) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @10:15AM (#17366170)
      "He says that he thinks KDE and Gnome are "amateurish" but doesn't bother to explain his reasoning behind the assertion."

      He does to some degree. He clearly states that neither look like they started with a clean vision of what the desktop environment should be and have simply "evolved" to what you see now. He also states that the code base which makes up most of Gnome is a nightmare. I can't speak about KDE too much since I don't use it (strikes me too much as Windows, which I don't particularly like).

      GNUStep looks something like the Sun OpenWindows desktop used to... Icons and apps minimize to the desktop, not the the taskbar area.

      Either way, I just hope that it will finally be easy to customize the behavior of windows... For example:

      I want my Xterm window to maximize to the vertical height of the screen without changing width when I double-click the title bar. How would you tell a non-programmer to accomplish that in Gnome or KDE? Will it be easier in GNUStep?

      (and I am sure the Gnome answer is to navigate some XML file to find the variable Window.click.title.bar.some.other.arbitrary.and.me aningless.string.that.you.will.not.know.unless.you .coded.it and change the default value from 1 to 3. Excellent usability there)
      • The funny thing is that the same criticisms can be made of GNUstep as of GNOME. Further, while the codebase issue may be true, GNOME is far from "amateurish" in 2006. It's a slick, professional, desktop, that, IMHO, is more usable and friendly than Microsoft's Windows, even if it isn't yet up to Mac OS X standards.

        Does GNUstep have direction? Does it hell. There is an official line (that it's supposed to look and feel like OpenStep 4), and an unofficial argument about where it's going. The look and feel

        • by mungtor (306258)
          Oh, I definitely agree that Gnome looks very polished and professional. I was only pointing out that the new GNUstep maintainer does elaborate some reasons why he considers them to be sub-optimal.

          FWIW tho, I am still annoyed at how hard it is to find the right variables to change in Gnome to accomplish some tasks. Having Folders open in the same window in the file manager shouldn't be nearly as buried as it is. It doesn't bother me since I hardly ever use it, but it is very annoying and difficult to chan
      • by amorsen (7485)
        I want my Xterm window to maximize to the vertical height of the screen without changing width when I double-click the title bar. How would you tell a non-programmer to accomplish that in Gnome or KDE? Will it be easier in GNUStep?

        This is actually a window manager thing, not something to do with Gnome or KDE. It's not particularly hard to accomplish with old-school window managers, but modern ones like Metacity deliberately prevent such configurability. Personally I'm just waiting for a modern window manage
        • by mungtor (306258)
          Ahhh... and that's another thing. Even using Linux for a few years I still don't have a good idea of where Gnome stops and Metacity starts...

          Why would Metacity want to prevent the configurability? Unless it's stupendously hard to code, isn't this the same lack of choices people generally deride Microsoft for?

          • by amorsen (7485)
            Why would Metacity want to prevent the configurability?

            You'll have to see if you can find their reasons on the web somewhere. Searching for gnome configurability on Google and Groups got me some results, but not something definite to link to. Perhaps you'll have more luck...

            Anyway, to solve your specific problem, you can actually assign a keyboard shortcut to "maximize vertically" to Metacity with gconf-editor. Not as good as what you really want perhaps, but it might tide you over. In the process I discove
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by claes (25551)
          This is not what you asked for but something handy to know: middle-clicking the "Maximize" button maximizes vertically. Left-clicking it maximizes horizontally. In KDE, at least.
      • "GNUStep looks something like the Sun OpenWindows desktop used to... Icons and apps minimize to the desktop, not the the taskbar area."

        kinda off-topic, but... what i'd like to see is a desktop environment that allows me to minimize apps to a _folder_ and a file manager that can tell me when a file is open by hashing it's icon, just like OS/2 warp used to do.

        "I want my Xterm window to maximize to the vertical height of the screen without changing width when I double-click the title bar. How would you tell a
      • by welshmnt (787086)
        In KDE you can middle click on the maximise button to max vertically.

        KDE REALLY is very good.

        The standard themes look very windows ish, (thats because if it's not then everybody bitches about how strange it looks and how hard it must be to adapt to....) but it can look like any system you've seen ('cept plan 9) or like nothing on else on earth.

        Lots of power hiding underneath an (optionally) pretty face :)
      • by pimpimpim (811140)
        I STILL use windowmaker, as I don't want junk on my Desktop and windowmaker got installed by default on all machines at work. I have made a keyboard shortcut to maximize vertically.

        To do this, put in:

        ~/GNUstep/Defaults/WindowMaker

        the line:

        VMaximizeKey = "Mod1+Mod4+F12";

        Or whatever you want. You can probably also fix this in the graphical configuration interface of windowmaker.

      • by rg3 (858575)
        Someone has already replied this can be done under KDE (kwin to be precise). The specific procedure follows:

        * Click on the application icon in the title bar and select "Configure window behaviour", OR
        * Go to the control center or KDE settings and the same options can be found under Desktop, Window behaviour.
        * There, go to the "Titlebar actions" tab.
        * Change the action of "Titlebar double-click" to "Maximize (vertical only)".
    • by mrsbrisby (60242)

      He says that he thinks KDE and Gnome are "amateurish" but doesn't bother to explain his reasoning behind the assertion

      They are amateurish! Almost every rough edge in KDE and GNOME can be attributed to the fact that nonprofessionals have made significant UI decisions.

      GNOME is at the very least attempting to change that, but if you've ever used a professional user interface (such as NeXT/OpenSTEP, CDE, or OS/2's WPS) you'd see just how lacking it can be to use something else.

      Note that this isn't the same thin

    • by Raenex (947668)
      He types (on the page and in his blog) all this "business" speak gibberish which, in the end, means nothing.

      Examples? I read the blog post that was linked to in the article summary and he was very concrete in what needed to change.

  • by muecksteiner (102093) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @08:03AM (#17365560)
    was (and is), that few people realised how great the original NeXTStep environment - which GNUStep attempts to clone - was.

    I was already around as a CS major at the time NeXTStep basically failed in the marketplace due to a) asinine marketing/pricing on the part of NeXT Inc. and b) the fact that everytime we showed the NeXTStep environment to fellow CS students and CS faculty, you would mostly get blank stares, and a few polite remarks. But no more.

    Few "got it" how easy this was to use - concepts like the seperation of the user interface specification from the core logic of a program simply did not register with people weaned on TurboVision ("one line per code for each UI element"), and Apple has (probably rightfully so) more or less given up on educating people on how great the current successor to NeXTStep (Cocoa) is.

    Nowadays, people code for OS X because OS X is seen as a hip system with a small but viable installed base, and the fact that the dev tools are extremely nice is just an added bonus.

    So if GNUStep is just an Open Source version of something that is obsolete, why care at all?

    Well, because the likes of KDE could have had it so much easier if they had used something like GNUStep (the structure of which is pretty revolutionary), instead of toolkits like QT, which were developed to be just a "better Win32" API.

    Make no mistake, QT/KDE et al. turned out to *be* a better Win32/Foundation class environment, but I guess that most folks who were ever proficient in developing for the NeXT environment will agree, that a widely used and enhanced GNUStep would have been even more productive than that.

    And still could be someday - after all, Linux desktops are such a melting pot of different toolkits and environments, that perhaps some "killer GNUStep apps" (graphics apps, like an Illustrator clone would be a good start) could get people to notice GNUStep again.

    One can always dream... :-)

    Just my $0.2E-32

    A.
    • by jcr (53032) <jcr@[ ].com ['mac' in gap]> on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @08:21AM (#17365652) Journal
      So if GNUStep is just an Open Source version of something that is obsolete, why care at all?

      Well, if you care whether Linux is going to make a dent in Microsoft's market share, you should care very much about GNUStep. For my part, I'll just keep using the Mac, so GNUStep is mostly a matter of nostalgia.

      -jcr

      • by borgheron (172546)
        GNUstep implements many parts of Cocoa. It's not *simply* an implementation of OPENSTEP. It's also an implementation most of the Cocoa additions to OPENSTEP as well. GNUstep is a cross platform API first and foremost.

        GJC
        • by dosius (230542)
          What I think would be nice for GNUstep is source-level compatibility for OSX apps, though that's probably a pipe dream. GNUstep on Darwin might be closer, but I don't know.

          -uso.
          • Right now, the biggest barrier to GNUStep having source-level compatibility with OS X programs is the build system - there is not a good replacment for xcodebuild. GNUStep recently added support for OS X nibs, so GUIs do not have to be rebuilt. As far as the actual source, GNUStep has all most of the important stuff, but it lacks things like quartz and coreaudio.

            Source level compatibility is not a pipe dream by any means. Already, porting from OS X to GNUStep is fairly straightforward, with a few caveats. P
            • by borgheron (172546)
              There is a tool in the GNUstep toolchain known as pbxbuild which works well for this purpose. It's currently experimental, but it is making progress.

              GJC
              • I've used it. It is good, but it is not ready to be advertised as the way to migrate an xcode project to GNUStep.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by listen (20464)
      Did you ever actually use Qt? It is not to be sniffed at.
      Its main disadvantage is the same one as all C++ toolkits : the vast majority of people programming are absolute beyond belief raving idiots and will destroy their lives very quickly when they are given as many avenues of complexity as C++ gives them. Of course, this will probably make them feel that they are experts. I've recently realised after working on a few Python projects in groups that the same sadly applies to dynamic languages : most people
      • by hey! (33014)

        the vast majority of people programming are absolute beyond belief raving idiots and will destroy their lives very quickly when they are given as many avenues of complexity as C++ gives them.


        Which is just a stuck up way of saying that C++ doesn't meet the neds of most projects or programmers.

        And even smart people make mistakes.
        • by listen (20464)
          No, I really mean what I said. Most people programming do not understand the basics of what they are doing. They have a huge problem grasping concepts if they can not envisage in their minds directly how the code they are writing will be evaluated, and they have a very limited understanding of possible computational evaluation models. So they work at a very very low level of abstraction.

          The code they are writing "works", but generally has huge performance, extensibilty and maintainability problems. The reas
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by hey! (33014)

            is that the Java market place (maybe not through conscious design) is the only one where the central concept driving changes is that almost all people programming are utter dunces.

            Which is a stuck up way of saying that Java meets the needs of more projects than C++.

            Of course the best solution here is to stop employing muppets as programmers. This is certainly never going to happen in our lifetimes.

            One implementations of your best solution would be to hire, exclusively, graduates of the Vulcan Science Academ

            • by listen (20464)
              Erm... you have a truly unique talent for missing the point. My "best solution" was intended as a "this is NEVER going to happen" alternative. It is quite sad that you've wasted so much time attacking an opinion that no one professes to hold. To make it simple for you - I think it is very nearly impossible to hire a sufficient number of competent programmers for *any* project, mainly because the testing of competence in programming is incredibly expensive, and competent programmers are INCREDIBLY rare. So y
        • by be-fan (61476)
          It's a bullshit excuse C++ programmers use to divert attention from the fact that C++ is a crappy language. First, C++ is not particularly powerful. Any language in the Lisp family is an order of magnitude more powerful than C++. Second, its not complex because its powerful, its complex because its poorly designed. Template "metaprogramming" makes C++ people feel elite because of its sheer obscurity, but you can do more a lot easier with a Lisp-like macro system.
      • In terms of capabilites Qt and GNUstep/Cocoa are equivalent (roughly). The beauty of ObjC (the language underlying GNUstep/Cocoa), however, is its simplicity yet power which dwarfs C++ quite substantially in terms of ergonomics. If you are not familiar with ObjC you can best compare it with Java. As a matter of fact the Java environment is quite inspired by OPENSTEP which was developed jointly by NeXT and Sun, after which Sun moved to Java and eventually dropped OPENSTEP (for no good reason ;).
        • by listen (20464)
          Er, yeah. My point was, when someone contrasts Qt and OpenStep, all the "big" advantages are mainly just not having to deal with people getting into a mess with C++ ( in which it is easy to express some very neat abstractions, and ridiculously hard to express others - but this is not the way to judge a language you are choosing for other people).

          If you really look at ObjC objectively, it is kind of disgusting. Don't get me wrong, it is usable, and will "normally" get muppets in to less trouble than C++, but
          • If you really look at ObjC objectively, it is kind of disgusting. Don't get me wrong, it is usable, and will "normally" get muppets in to less trouble than C++, but it is C with bolt on bits of smalltalk syntax, and a very odd type system. And the tool support is quite, quite tragic.

            I do not think you are looking at ObjC objectively; in no way is it disgusting. It is a very simple, elegant, and powerful extension of the C language. The dynamic typing system may seem odd to you, but it is extremely flexib

    • by Blakey Rat (99501)
      I think a "big" problem with GNUStep and Apple's Cocoa is its reliance on Objective-C, a language most people have never heard of. Apple put some work into building Java compatibility into its Cocoa environment, but they seem to have given up on that. (To the chagrin of projects like Adium, which used it extensively.) I would also argue that Java is a terrible choice for Mac programmers, who seem to favor more elegant and "artsy" results.

      If you could code in Cocoa using C++, C# or even a language like Pytho
      • Well, having programmed in both, I'd take Objective-C over C++ any day. If you know C and an OO programming language, you can pick up Objective-C in a weekend. The same cannot be said of C++!

        That said, I'm looking forward to automatic memory management being added to Objective-C.
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by Blakey Rat (99501)
          I probably would, too. But I'd pick C# over both, and that's the real problem Apple faces.
        • When I moved to C++ about 20 years ago, I had a very good book called something like "From C to C++" which outlined the basic bottlenecks/problems etc in C one at a time and then showed how C++ could be used to overcome them.

          I remember starting work on Monday fired up with my shiney new C++ knowledge and was really able to push the project I was working on to a new level. It took about a week to convert the project to compile with C++ (sans classes) and then another week to make a big step forward by encaps
          • by metamatic (202216)
            C++ has grown enormously since then, and it's widely understood that it takes years of practice to be proficient in it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5) will have official support for writing Cocoa apps in Python and Ruby [theocacao.com]
        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          Of course, now after dropping Java like a hot potato, Apple's going to have to convince developers that if they write a Python app, it'll run longer than a few versions.
          • PyObjC [sourceforge.net] and RubyCocoa [sourceforge.net] are both open source projects, and they will remain open. Cocoa-Java apps still run on 10.4, and will continue to do so, but new features will not be ported to Java.
      • by Art Tatum (6890)

        I think a "big" problem with GNUStep and Apple's Cocoa is its reliance on Objective-C, a language most people have never heard of.

        If you could code in Cocoa using C++, C# or even a language like Python, PHP or Ruby, I think it would be a lot easier to convince programmers. I know that personally I was very taken-aback by Objective-C and it's frankly mystifying and strange syntax compared to the C++ I was used to.

        I hear this all the time, and it still doesn't make any sense to me. I have yet to understand

        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          I have yet to understand why anyone in this profession would run screaming into the night because they must learn something new.

          You don't have to understand it for it to be true. Besides, I'm not "in the profession." I'm just a hobbyist.

          It's not that it involves learning something new, it's that it involves something that conceptually I'm just not that good at grasping. I can't learn calculus, either, I've learned through many, many disappointing grades in college math courses. That's just the way I am. C++
          • by Art Tatum (6890)

            I guess I really don't get the point of your post. I thought it was basically a "well, everyone who doesn't think and act like me is wrong!" Slashdot Special, but after re-reading it I'm not so sure.

            Well, chalk one up for your intuition and mark me down with a loss for communication. :-)

            I suppose I feel a bit confused as to why there seem to be so many people who, when coming into contact with NeXT technologies, have such a visceral dislike of them; while at the same time there is a smaller number for who

    • was (and is), that few people realised how great the original NeXTStep environment - which GNUStep attempts to clone - was. [...] GNUStep (the structure of which is pretty revolutionary)

      Neither GNUStep nor NeXTStep were "revolutionary"; almost all of the fundamental concepts and designs in those systems came from Smalltalk. They may have been better than C and Motif at the time, but they were still a poor imitation of Smalltalk.

      Linux desktops are such a melting pot of different toolkits and environments,

      I'
      • The notion that Linux desktops are an inconsistent mix of different toolkits and interface styles is a myth.

        Hm, My Linux install (KDE) has several Gnome apps I require.

        There are several Illustrator clones for Gnome and KDE; what makes you think that GNUStep can deliver something that is better in any way?

        The only argument against GNUStep I've ever heard that makes sense is that it adds bloat for servers. This is a very weak argument in my opinion. Here's my argument for GNUStep. A while back one of m

    • by nuzak (959558)
      > Few "got it" how easy this was to use

      If you have to "get" how easy something is ... it isn't.

      I like my menus horizontal, and my scrolling list of icons, well, not to scroll, but vertical if possible. The newfangled "mousewheel" thingie makes vertical things even more desireable. I also think grey 3-d relief checkmarks on grey checkboxes is not really a good UI decision. And speaking of 3d effects, tastes change, so let's ditch the grey "bumpy" look already, mmkay?
      • First, the comment about "getting it" was about GNUStep/Cocoa as a development platform, not just as a desktop. InterfaceBuilder was revolutionary when it was released, and most clones are not as good because the underlying apis are ill-suited to the task. Even today, Xcode/IB allows some really neat stuff that cannot be done easily on any other platform. Case in point: creating a simple web browser without writing a single line of code. That is 100% code reuse. Once you stop trying to write windows program
    • by fm6 (162816)

      asinine marketing/pricing on the part of NeXT Inc.

      Marketing, I don't know about. But as for pricing, they probably did the best they could. When you create a proprietary hardware platform, you're forgoing the economies of scale you get with a commodity hardware platform, and that makes everything more expensive. Which is why there are fewer proprietary hardware platforms every year.

      The Wikipedia article on the company says that NeXTStep was originally meant to be a Windows toolkit. If that's true, then t

    • > And still could be someday - after all, Linux desktops are such a melting pot of different toolkits and environments, that perhaps some "killer GNUStep apps" (graphics apps,
      > like an Illustrator clone would be a good start) could get people to notice GNUStep again.

      Well, fancy this, there *IS* a GNUstep killer app, called Cenon, available at http://www.cenon.info/ [cenon.info] . It also happens to run under OS X.
    • There is an EXCELLENT Illustrator alternative for GNUstep, called Cenon. There is also an OS X version. You may find more about it at http://www.cenon.info/frame_gb.html [cenon.info]
  • what is useful about GNUstep? I read throw the Wikipedia article on it, and I got the impression that it is yet another GUI toolkit. So I am curious as to what makes it more useful in which situations: ie. where does it shine?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by m0llusk (789903)
      GNUstep is a GUI based on a toolkit and basic set of system services implemented using Objective-C. Because of the elegance of Objective-C, the design of the toolkit, and the architecture of the services, the experience of use is enhanced for ordinary usage and high level development and points in between. GNUstep emerged from the OPENSTEP standard.

      Much of Mac OS X Cocoa was derived from NeXTSTEP, so there is the possibility of some level of compatibility with Mac OS X. In some ways GNUstep might be cons
    • Where to begin? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tony (765) * on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @10:08AM (#17366126) Journal
      In 1985, Steve Jobs left Apple to found a new computer company. His company attracted many very talented individuals. They created the NeXT computer, a very advanced, very beautiful computer running a Unix-like operating system eventually called NeXTStep, which eventually became OSX.

      I use NeXTStep as proof that Microsoft has set the computer industry back 12 years. NeXTStep used display postscript on both the video display, and for printing. It was fully-preemptive, with a clean, POSIX-compliant system interface. The application framework was extremely advanced, and extremely easy to code for. Using Objective-C as the programming language of choice, NeXTStep had some very advanced programs for the time, such as Lotus Improv, the spreadsheet MS-Excel wishes to become when it grows up.

      As it is, MS-Windows still lags behind NeXTStep by a good amount, especially in terms of ease-of-development, ease-of-use, and aesthetics.

      Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web on a NeXT.

      Anyway, when it became apparent that NeXT was not going to survive, they released a bunch of specifications that together made up the technical documentation for OpenStep, based on NeXTStep. The idea was that OS vendors could implement OpenStep APIs, and application vendors could target a single API for multiple OSs.

      GnuStep is an implementation of the OpenStep API, and other programs to recreate the NeXT environment on any Unix-like operating system. Applications written for GnuStep can be recompiled to target OS X with little-to-no work.

      Basically, when people say Linux needs an easy-to-use, easy-to-develop-for application environment and desktop, they are talking about GnuStep, whether they know it or not. It's not as flashy as GNOME or KDE, but it's much cleaner, easier to develop for, easier to use, and much more consistent. Where both GNOME and KDE try to be similar to MS-Windows, GnuStep tries to be like NeXTStep, the best application development and user desktop ever created.
      • Re:Where to begin? (Score:4, Informative)

        by WillAdams (45638) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @10:23AM (#17366226) Homepage
        Tony said:
        >Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web on a NeXT.

        Other interesting programs which began on NeXTstep:

          - FreeHand v4 (essentially a port to Windows and the Mac of Altsys Virtuoso v2)
          - Doom
          - Lotus Improv
          - Stone Design's Create
          - sBook

        An interesting opensource app w/ NeXTstep roots:

          - http://www.cenon.info/ [cenon.info]

        William
      • by gdek (202709)
        "GnuStep is an implementation of the OpenStep API, and other programs to recreate the NeXT environment on any Unix-like operating system. Applications written for GnuStep can be recompiled to target OS X with little-to-no work."

        Does this mean that the converse is true? i.e. applications written for OS X can be recompiled to target GnuStep with little-to-no work?
        • So if you want to port to GNUstep don't use Carbon / QuickTime / CoreBlah stuff in your application. Also keep in mind that GNUstep has a certain lag when it comes to the latest features of Cocoa since the GNUsteppers always have to keep up with Apple (and since Apple NDAs new features GNUstep learns about those at earliest when Apple releases a new Version of OS X). Thats the reason they announce only: "Applications written for GnuStep can be recompiled to target OS X with little-to-no work."
      • Re:Where to begin? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Frumious Wombat (845680) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:17PM (#17367328)
        Microsoft is certainly one offender, and certainly the largest, but let's not forget our dear friend, X11. Pre-Irix-4.0 SGI ran NeWS, which was also display postscript based. Nexts ran NextStep, VAXStations VWS, all relatively light, efficient, and functional, and everywhere I went the same whine arose, "we can't use this, it doesn't run X11!" So, Nexts weren't purchased, even though given the software and performance, they weren't out of line versus Sun 3/60, Apollo, etc, and SGI had to port everything to X in order to survive. We took a performance hit on every machine that had to run X versus the previous window-manager, had to add megs of expensive (early 1990s) memory just to not hear the disks whine, and generally gained very little in return for adopting this, ahem, standard. Then, if you wanted to see real death by toolkit, running Motif on a Vaxstation 3100/38 that had run smoothly under previous versions of X alone was a good example. We had a program that *somebody* insisted had to be Motif only, and the performance was so apalling we spent ~$15K on an Indy, just to be able to work. That VAX was perfectly fine (and would have still been useful if the programs the lab used had an X11-only, VWS, or even Tek-4107 interface), but it had to be retired due to a bloated toolkit.

        The Knight with the Chicken is going to be very busy in the computer industry one of these days.
  • by phoxix (161744) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @09:45AM (#17365968)
    Their annoying usage of a top level conf dir ~/GNUStep (or whatever it is). No other app I've seen does such garbage, dot-dirs all ftw.
    • by m0llusk (789903)
      Sure, or you could. The code is open and the software makes it easy to put all that stuff where ever is best. The only problem is agreeing on where is a location, what format is best and so on. There are a number of variations available if you poke around.
    • In theory (I haven't tried it), this is configurable: The GNUSTEP_USER_DIR, the default of which is set in {GNUSTEP_HOME}/Library/Makefiles/GNUstep.sh, has the name of the GNUstep directory relative to your home. ie, if you're prefer ".gs", place "export GNUSTEP_USER_DIR=.gs" in your .profile, or if that doesn't work, in Library/Makefiles/GNUstep.sh.

    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      Oh well. I never actually look at the files that are put in my home dir; there's too much crap there anyway. And dotfiles are doubly evil [inglorion.net], because they both clutter the home dir and get in the way when you don't want them to, and are hidden and often ignored, so that you forget to process them when you need to (e.g. when making backups).

      I put everything under three subdirectories of my home directory: local, private, and public (with appropriate permissions), with some frequently accessed things having syml
    • by dircha (893383)
      "Their annoying usage of a top level conf dir ~/GNUStep (or whatever it is). No other app I've seen does such garbage, dot-dirs all ftw."

      Insightful?! It's a fricking directory. You have thousands of them. Can you give one single reason why any sane, non-obsessive compulsive person would care that the GNUStep directory doesn't have a dot in front of it?

      And this is "garbage"? This is your biggest complaint with the framework?

      Seriously. Are you obsessive compulsive?
  • Sexiness. It isn't at the moment.

    It needs users to go "wow I want that" and for developers to go "wow I want to do that". Take a lesson from Apple and Microsoft here, make it look and sound good.
     
    • It would be easy to make GNUStep look like aqua. It could be made to look more aquaish than Vista. But that would probably piss off the apple legal team, which so far has played nice with GNUStep.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Colin Smith (2679)
        1: You can pretty much rip off a GUI as much as you like, nobody's won a court case to prevent competitors copying them.

        2: Take a lesson doesn't mean copy. If I wanted Aqua I'd just buy an Apple.

        However a great looking GUI along with a genuinely intuitive user interface, which is API compatible with an Apple Mac is a compelling proposition. In fact I reckon it has more potential than Gnome or KDE. The ability to write a GNUStep app and then just re-build on a Mac (and viceversa) vastly increases the market
        • by smash (1351)
          Agreed, and the more i read about objective-C, the more it seems like the "right way" to do things :) I'm no major application developer, but I do have a bit of programming experience... the flash demo for GORM that's online somewhere is very impressive.

          Personally I'd love to see OpenStep take off in a big way - just yesterday in fact I was going through a bunch of old stuff in my email and was thinking "I need to try out openstep again this weekend" :)

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