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GNUStep

GNUstep Kickstarter Campaign Launched 131

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the will-code-for-crowdfunds dept.
borgheron writes "A maintainer of GNUstep has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the resources needed to make GNUstep more complete and bring the implementation to API compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6's Cocoa. This will allow applications for Mac OS X to run on GNU/Linux with a simple recompile using new tools developed by the GNUstep team to directly build from xcodeproj project files. If the Kickstarter project is funded beyond its $50,000 goal, it's possible that WebKit and Darling might also be completed allowing applications built on Mac OS X to run without the need for a recompile... think WINE-like functionality for Mac OS X applications on other platforms... including Windows, Linux, BSD, etc." GNUStep is pretty useful now, but increased coverage of newer Cocoa APIs would be nice, and Darling in particular is interesting by providing a portable Mach-O binary loader.
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GNUstep Kickstarter Campaign Launched

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  • Does this mean that we could run the Adobe suite on Linux? Maybe Dreamweaver as well? Or is this a hopeless dream. Anything is better than having to use the Mac OSX Finder.

    • by Geeky (90998)

      Unlikely, the market just isn't big enough.

      Photoshop and Lightroom would be nice. I use a Mac because I need the Adobe suite and prefer the unix underpinnings of OSX to Windows (to be honest, having used all three - Windows, OSX and Linux - for a number of reasons I'm now happy on OSX).

      Not so sure about Dreamweaver. I use it, since it's part of my Creative Cloud subscription and saved me searching out an alternative, but I'm sure there are plenty of better options.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @07:38AM (#44550999)

      Download Photoshop here http://gimp.org/ [gimp.org]

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @08:53AM (#44551489) Journal
      No. If there were a market for a Linux build of Photoshop, then Adobe would find it much easier to port the Windows version with WINE than the OS X version with GNUstep (and I say this as a GNUstep developer). Applications like OmniGraffle, however, would be easier to port. I think we already implement most of what OmniGraffle needs, but there are lots of missing bits of APIs. I have a Summer of Code student who is working on getting the CoreAnimation / CoreGraphics stuff integrated (our current GUI code uses the NeXT DisplayPostscript APIs) which should help with a lot of things.
    • by psergiu (67614)

      This means being able to run MS Office and iTunes - both of which are non-AppStore applications which can be downloaded separately and could be run with 10.6 compatibility.

      Or, if you install-it on a PowerPC Linux machine, you would even be able to run IE5 :-)

      • by WillAdams (45638)

        MS Office and iTunes are both Carbon apps, not Cocoa --- GNUstep is only targeting the NeXTstep-derived OPENSTEP-equiv frameworks, so only Cocoa apps need apply --- there aren't as many as one would think, and that's a shame.

        • Also, I have to assume that this project would have to also clone the various Core Foundation and Core Graphics and Core Text APIs as well, as very few real applications would use only the Objective-C wrappers for everything (I would think).
    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Does this mean that we could run the Adobe suite on Linux? Maybe Dreamweaver as well? Or is this a hopeless dream. Anything is better than having to use the Mac OSX Finder.

      IIRC, Photoshop at least still uses Carbon to run. This is why Adobe threw such a big fit when Apple originally talked about not taking Carbon 64-bit and expecting everyone to transition to Cocoa.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What the hell is a GNUstep, and why should I be supporting it?

    • by mlk (18543) <michael.lloyd.le ... il.OOOcom minus > on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @07:08AM (#44550881) Homepage Journal

      NeXTSTEP [wikipedia.org] was one of the many closed source OSes kicking about in the early 80s to mid-90s. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple he turned NeXTSTEP into MacOS X.
      GNUStep is an open source API based on the NeXTSTEP API.

      Why should you support it? If you really really want MacOS X software Y this will make porting it to your-OS-of-choice a lot easier.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, Apple was bought by NeXT for -429 M dollar and -1.5 M Apple shares.

        Apple is a continuation of NeXT, we know this because the CEO of NeXT was the same person as the CEO of Apple after the takeover of Apple by NeXT.
        And OS X is a continuation of NeXTSTEP, we know this because the class names of the API still start with the letters "NS".

        • I assume Netscape Portable Runtime [mozilla.org] isn't also NeXTstep or NeXT/Sun. The name dates back to a company bought by AOL that handed off development of Mozilla to Mozilla Foundation. Have there been namespace clashes over this?
      • by Arker (91948)

        I do not care for OSX software and cant think of any that I would want ported off the top of my head. (I am sure there must be some that would be useful, possibly even to me if I thought about it, just saying it isnt something I worry about.) But I loved GNUStep and mourned the way that the developers years back all seem to have switched over to bloated nasty frameworks from GNOME and KDE instead of fleshing it out and finishing it.

        The only concern I have is they do seem to be looking at it more as a framew

        • The only concern I have is they do seem to be looking at it more as a framework for porting, which is the least important use from my perspective. This is the tool to build the better desktop on linux everyone claims to want.

          GNUstep aims to implement the APIs that Cocoa uses. This has a natural use as a porting tool, but the main reason we're implementing the APIs is that we want to use them (which has the unfortunate side effect that ones we don't like tend not to be implemented quickly, even if lots of OS X code uses them). Over in Étoilé (which, no doubt, Slashdot's early-'90s character encoding support will mangle: Etoile with accents on both 'e's) we're building frameworks for building better environments, some

          • by unixisc (2429386)
            Slashdot didn't mangle them - how did you manage that? More importantly, what characters does /. support - just ASCII?
            • by tepples (727027)
              It appears Slashdot supports ISO 8859-1, plus the euro sign, possibly minus a few characters. It used to be possible to use numeric character references until Slashdot killed that due to abuse by vandals.
          • by smash (1351)
            Is Etoile still actively developed? The news page last i checked was quite out of date, but I'm keen to see the end result...
            • Yes, we had a DevMeeting in Cambridge last month. Lots of progress on LanguageKit, CoreObject and EtoileUI, not much progress on a web site that doesn't suck...
              • by smash (1351)

                Excellent to hear. But yeah, the site as it stands looks like there was a flurry of development up to about 12-18 months ago and then.... nothing (I've been lurking around the site every so often for a couple of years now keeping an eye on it).

                Even a few token updates like "yeah we're still alive, busy working on Etoile!" would be great though, because the site does look like a bit of a dead project.

                I'll try and allocate some time to check it out. :)

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          I do care for lots of OS X software, and perhaps some of it would be useful ported to Linux, but I agree the real value of GNUStep is as a cross platform GUI toolkit in it's own right. Write something using a good toolkit (nicer than GNOME and KDE and free unlike Qt) and it happens to run on OS X, Linux and other Unixes.

          • by dos1 (2950945)

            "free unlike Qt"

            Are you from the past?

            • by ceoyoyo (59147)

              I am pleasantly surprised to see that QT was LGPL licensed in 2009. Before that it was GPL, which is really an exceedingly poor option for a GUI toolkit, unless your goal is to sell commercial licenses (which it was).

              Sorry for not checking the QT website constantly.

      • by unixisc (2429386) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @09:29AM (#44551807)

        NeXTstep - on those black workstations - was the first UNIX workstation that I found a breeze to use in college - in sharp contrast to either the vt100 terminals w/ SunOS C-shell prompts, or X-terminals running - at the time - either Openlook or DECwindows. I could log into my UNIX account on a NeXT, and then either do my assignments, or be on Usenet. Somehow, it wasn't as easy on other UNIX terminals.

        For this reason, I'd root for NEXTSTEP to be a common OS across UNIXstations, and that looked like it might happen when Sun & HP both had projects porting NEXTSTEP to the SparcStations and HP-9000 workstations. But before that could really go far, NeXT got acquired by Apple, and so that idea went away.

        GNUSTEP is a way to get that dream on to any platform. GNUSTEP is OpenStep, as implemented by the GNU project. It is FOSS, and therefore, it could theoretically be ported to any platform, giving it a usable UI. The project, as w/ most FOSS ones, had been languishing, but if there is a company that drives it, it could well make some important inroads and improvements in the FOSS world. Particularly be a good alternative to KDE in the marketplace. Also, while there are X based desktop managers like WindowMaker or AfterStep, making something like GNUSTEP would enable the environment to be ported and run on any platform, regardless of whether it has X or not. One may not even need Wayland or Mir.

        The biggest reason to promote this is to recreate the paradigm of RAD, but on FOSS platforms, making them more viable for businesses to adapt. Today, the main roadblock to FOSS is the lack of applications, and also the fact that one would have to hire a staff of experts to have a proper platform for the corporate environment. With something like GNUSTEP, the level of expertise required could be more on the higher levels of application development.

        Once such a platform is there, it would also be easier to develop cross platform applications, and make organizations less dependent on one type of hardware or another.

      • What's the difference between GNUStep and Darwin? I assume GNUStep will be attempting to emulate the OSX system libraries and GUI that Darwin lacks.
        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          GNUStep is a free, cross platform reimplementation of the NeXT/OS X GUI toolkit. Darwin is the open source kernel and command line userspace of OS X.

          • by smash (1351)
            GNUstep is NOT a GUI toolkit. GNUstep is an application development framework including an Objective-C runtime. There is a difference.
        • by smash (1351)
          Darwin is a kernel and base OS. GNUStep is a development framework and objective-c runtime environment. GNUstep is to Unix as say, webkit or blink is to Safari or Chrome. The collection of libraries an application programmer can use to do desktop application type stuff. Not just GUI widgets, in OS X land, the equivalent includes stuff like location services, animation, PDF, etc.
      • by maccodemonkey (1438585) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @11:23AM (#44553187)

        NeXTSTEP [wikipedia.org] was one of the many closed source OSes kicking about in the early 80s to mid-90s. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple he turned NeXTSTEP into MacOS X.
        GNUStep is an open source API based on the NeXTSTEP API.

        Kind of, this simplifies things a bit...

        When Steve Jobs was at NeXT, the programming interfaces were standardized and turned into an open specification that any platform could implemented. This was called OpenStep. There were several implementations of OpenStep. OpenStep for Mach was what NeXTStep morphed into after the specification was released. Sun shipped a version of OpenStep for Solaris. A Windows NT port was created called OpenStep Enterprise. And then finally for Linux the GNUStep project was created (GNUStep actually started a bit before the OpenStep specification was released).

        So while NeXTStep was mostly (not entirely) closed, the entire API around it was designed to be open and implemented on different platforms. GNUStep is the project to implement the open spec on Linux, still going long after that spec got wrapped into OS X and unstandardized.

        There was a time that Apple considered still running with the ideas behind OpenStep. It was called Rhapsody, and it had both a full operating system that ran on both Intel and PowerPC hardware, and an environment for Windows NT and legacy Mac OS. For whatever political reasons this project didn't work out (Adobe and Microsoft had particularly strong objections to having to port to OpenStep.)

        Short version: Things are a little more complicated than NeXTStep being "closed source."

  • Personally, I'd just rather have real transparency (without invoking hacks) in Window Maker. I just miss the NeXT-style dock. That, I'd donate a few bucks for.

    • by DMJC (682799)
      With the APIs being completed in GNUstep, including Quartz (called Opal in GNUstep) This becomes VERY possible to make. Once webkit is ported there will actually be a working desktop with browser, video player, music player, irc, terminal. OSX style menus already exist. It would also make it possible to port the quartz composer and related video technologies which remain some of the best video pipelining tools ever made.
    • WindowMaker doesn't use GNUstep and is not a GNUstep project. GNUstep has supported full transparency in applications for a few years.
      • by captjc (453680)

        Did I ever say Window Maker was part of GNUStep? Doesn't change the fact that both are part of a handful of various projects to port or clone features from NeXTSTEP.

        They go together like like Bacon and Eggs. Both enjoyable and useful separately but also enjoyed together by many, including myself.

    • by smash (1351)
      GNUStep is nothing to do with UI elements. It's a collection of frameworks for objective-C to develop applications with.
  • Why bother? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zoffdino (848658)
    Why bother duplicating the exact functionality of a commercial software, only for it to be labelled open source? Are they doing this for only open-source sake? Mac OS X is certified UNIX, and with some care, applications cab easily be made to compilable on multiple Linux distros. GUI application is an entirely different matter, but there are cross-platform solutions like Qt, GTK, Java swing, etc. There are lots of technologies that are encumbered by patents in Mac OS X, like Time Machine, Core Image, or QTK
    • While OSX is "certified UNIX", there's a lot of proprietary APIs and libraries layered on top of that to produce the GUI environment most OSX users interact with.

      So the "With some care" you speak of to make "applications [...] easily be made to compilable on multiple Linux distros" includes a working implementation of those proprietary APIs and libraries. GNUStep is that, though it's currently more like OSX ancestor NeXTSTEP than it is like modern OSX

      Hence the kickstarter

      • by zoffdino (848658)

        Like I mentioned, you won't get Cocoa framework on GNUStep anytime soon. If you write a command line app, keep yourself to C or C++, and don't touch any of the Apple's proprietary frameworks, you can port your application to most Linux and BSD distros. If there are apps important enough for you and they are only available on Mac OS X, then get a Mac. Consider that a cost of doing business; charge your client more to cover your costs.

        GUI is a different matter, but there are cross platform frameworks availabl

        • Like I mentioned, you won't get Cocoa framework on GNUStep anytime soon

          That makes no sense at all. GNUstep is an open source implementation of the Cocoa framework.

    • by we3 (546328)

      I'll take a quick stab at answering your question.

      They're not trying to duplicate Mac OS X. The project started before that, to clone nextstep, or the api's at least, which were at one point being billed as a cross platform framework called openstep.

      I assume these guys liked Objective-C(which came from nextstep) and liked openstep and you know then the whole thing took on a life of its own.

      Now they could stick with the state of openstep when NeXT shutdown, or they could go off on thier own, or they could br

      • by unixisc (2429386)

        They could offer a choice of UIs here - either the old NEXTSTEP UI, at the time of NEXTSTEP 3.3 or 3.4, or they could offer something like OS-X. Or even something like Étoilé

      • GNUstep started to implement the OpenStep specification, which was a public spec for portable application development and was implemented by NeXT and Sun (hence the NS prefix on all of the class names). The most popular implementation of OpenStep is called Cocoa, and includes a lot of extensions to the base spec. We try to implement these extensions as well.
      • by borgheron (172546)

        I'll take a quick stab at answering your question.

        They're not trying to duplicate Mac OS X. The project started before that, to clone nextstep, or the api's at least, which were at one point being billed as a cross platform framework called openstep.

        I assume these guys liked Objective-C(which came from nextstep) and liked openstep and you know then the whole thing took on a life of its own.

        Now they could stick with the state of openstep when NeXT shutdown, or they could go off on thier own, or they could bring in the new stuff from Mac OS X(which is descended from nextstep).

        They seem to want to the last one.

        We've done the last one for many years now. The issue is that there are very few of us and none of us have the time to work on it full time. What I propose to do is take some time to purely work on GNUstep so that I can bring it up to a standard that everyone can live with and build on.

    • > Are they doing this for only open-source sake?

      They're doing it to have free software that can replace proprietary software. Being free software means the user community knows exactly what the software is doing and can decide how it will be modified.

      Proprietary software locks users in, adds back doors, imposes DRM, gathers personal info and sends it to advertisers, omits features so that users can be pushed to buy the more expensive version, and omits features that users want (i.e. to protect privacy)

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      If it was just for FOSS sake, it might be questionable, but there is a good precedence for why it should exist. When NEXT got acquired by Apple, NEXTSTEP disappeared after a while, since they were now working on OS-X. Had there been no GNUSTEP, that whole thing could have been lost. Of course, there are big differences b/w the NEXTSTEP UI vs that of OS-X, and GNUSTEP is expected to look more like the former, w/ some improvements from OS-X made optional.

      Mac OS X is certified UNIX, but one would have to

    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      GNUStep is a reimplementation of the OS X GUI toolkit. If you want to write a Mac application that will work on Linux at the moment you can write the whole thing in C and use something like Qt or GTK. Qt is proprietary and GTK is bloated and sucks. GNUStep makes available the NeXT/OS X equivalent of Qt/GTK/etc., which is really very good.

  • I'm staying away these days from anything that even remotely associates with Apple.

  • by root_42 (103434) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @08:47AM (#44551443) Homepage

    I like this campaign. Objective C is continually in the Top 5 of the most widely used languages (http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html). It is a very nice, simple object oriented C dialect. It is used on OS X and iOS, the latter of which is installed on hundreds of millions of devices (http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/23/apple-over-500-million-ios-devices-sold/). Both operating systems heavily utilize Cocoa as their framework

    Having better or even any Cocoa support on Linux would help to get developers to target both world. Linux on the one side, and iOS/OS X on the other side. I think this is well worth for all Linux users to chip in some money (even if it's only $1).

    • by abies (607076)

      If by 'continually in the Top 5' you mean 'already second year in a row in Top 5', then I can agree. But I think that compared to other top-10 languages, 'just very recently became of any importance at all' would be more honest statement.

      • by borgheron (172546)

        If by 'continually in the Top 5' you mean 'already second year in a row in Top 5', then I can agree. But I think that compared to other top-10 languages, 'just very recently became of any importance at all' would be more honest statement.

        Well, first it's a couple years, then it's a third and a fourth, then it's 20. ;)

  • "NOTE: Some of the rewards say Linux instead of GNU/Linux. Apologies for the omission." LOL!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    See, the best way to raise money for a cause is to tug at the hearts of the Apple faithful..

    So:

    "Do it for Steve.
    This is the grandchild of his baby."

     

  • by smash (1351) on Tuesday August 13, 2013 @10:43AM (#44552679) Homepage Journal
    ... I think having a complete and competent objective-c development platform on Unix/Linux is a very good thing. Even if it is up to OS X 10.6 level - plenty of Mac users still run 10.6 and as far as a platform goes 10.6 is still pretty powerful.
  • For those who don't know, there are actually multiple ways to run GNUstep's UI There's Macintosh Style: http://www.flickr.com/photos/camaelon/1317405806/lightbox/ [flickr.com] There's Next Style: http://www.gnustep.org/images/GWorkspace.jpg [gnustep.org] And there's Microsoft Windows Style with all menus attached inside of application windows: http://www.gnustep.org/experience/images/lm_xp_themed.png [gnustep.org] The Classic UI style is only one of many options, you can set which style you prefer in System Preferences.app and it applies across
  • Is this Darling project going to be the easiest way to get a functioning google drive client for linux ? Windows, MacOSX, iOS, and Android all have clients, and at this point the lack of a functioning linux client is not a technical issue.

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