Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 18:19 UTC
OpenStep, GNUstep GNUstep is a set of general-purpose Objective-C libraries based on the OpenStep standard developed by NeXT (now Apple) Inc. The libraries consist of everything from foundation classes, such as dictionaries and arrays, to GUI interface classes such as windows, sliders, buttons, etc. In the new 0.8 version, the graphics/window interface was completely revamped. New functionality was added to make things faster and eventually implement Quartz compatibility. There is now a window server backend for Windows computers, although it is in a very alpha state. The most important applications written in GNUstep so far are the GNUstep Workspace and the GNUstep Mail Application.
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GNUstep Workspace v.s. WindowMaker
by Hornsby on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 18:44 UTC

Is it just me, or does the GNUstep Workspace look just like WindowMaker? Is it a seperate project, or is GNUstep Workspace just it's official name?

Re: GNUstep Workspace v.s. WindowMaker
by Eugenia on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 18:49 UTC

Windowmaker is a window manager & environment, which its preferences panel are developed in such a way that it resembles the NeXTSTEP kind of applications. GNUstep Workspace is a file manager, also made to resemble the NeXT look and feel. This is why they look similar.
I am not sure if WindowMaker is using GNUstep as its API, but Workspace does. WindowMaker and Workspace have nothing else in common. They are not the same project.

Re: GNUstep Workspace v.s. WindowMaker
by njm on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 18:50 UTC

Window Maker is as of now the official window manager of GNUStep, though there are two Objective C WMs (whose names elude me) in the works that might ultimately replace Window Maker in that respect. GWorkspace is not a window manager at all, but rather a file manager; more specifically, a clone of Workspace Manager from NeXT. The reason that the screenshot on the GWorkspace page looks a lot like Window Maker is, well, because Window Maker is more than likely the window manager being run in the screenshot.

Re: Eugenia
by njm on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 18:51 UTC

Window Maker actually uses its own toolkit, WINGS (WINGS is not GNUStep). Check out http://www.windowmaker.org/development-wings.html for more information on WMaker's toolkit.

Question:
by Eugenia on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 18:55 UTC

Will GNUstep allow somehow two themes on their libraries, interchanged via a preference panel? One that makes automatically all your Gnustep apps use NeXT-like widgets and colors, and one that use Aqua-like widgets and colors?

Re: Question
by njm on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 19:03 UTC

As far as I know, GNUstep is not themeable at all... I could be wrong, but I doubt it. I would expect, however, that grafting something like an Aqua interface on top of it wouldn't be the most amazingly difficult thing in the world, though it would take a good amount of work. I've thought of doing so in the past; however, a friend of mine brought up the idea of porting the graphics backend to OpenGL in the manner of Quartz Extreme, which I think would be a slightly nobler cause, and I'm hoping to start tackling that project with him sometime. The backend code is remarkably clean... I'd suggest checking it out. As for the Aqua interface, I think such a project would be great, and for once we could get a clone of Aqua on the desktop that doesn't looked like nothing more than a cheap, sub-second-rate imitation. =)

Themes
by Extra on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 19:08 UTC

GNUstep is themeable. Look at the screenshots available at:
http://www.roard.com/screenshots/

Window Managers for GNUstep
by Chris on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 19:16 UTC

While WindowMaker is recommended as of now, there are two (new) window managers, written in ObjC, that are supposed to replace WM in near future. One is http://interfacewm.sourceforge.net/">InterfaceWM WOOM" rel="nofollow">http://www.freesoftware.fsf.org/woom/">WOOM.

Re: Themes and HTML
by Eugenia on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 19:23 UTC

Extra: These themes look really crappy. The colors selected, plus the parts of Gnustep that are not themable, really make these themes ugly. If this is what it can be done so far, better stay with the default look.
I was NOT talking about themes btw. I was only talking for the capability of changing the look from NeXT to Aqua, because at the end of the day, these are the APIs GNUstep is after. GNUStep should not have other themes to look like KDE or Windows or other colors. It should only stick to the NeXT look, and to the blue and silver looks of Aqua. And that would be enough IMO.

Chris: Please read under the posting form before you post HTML on this site.

I was also wondering why is it so special? I mean, afterstep, WM, XFce, etc. all offer the same functionality.

what is the diffrence and why should I use it rather than the others?

also, what inovations or experiments are the GNUStep folks trying out to increase productivity?

Re: OpenGL Graphics Backend
by Hornsby on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 19:40 UTC

Sounds like a great project. It seems that GNUstep is a great development environment, but personally, I feel that the look and feel of WindowMaker is a bit dated and dull looking. It'd be nice to make use of the clean libraries of GNUstep and provide a windowmanager that's a bit more modern looking.

Maybe thats because you are looking at WindowMaker and not GNUStep. GNUStep is just really an API, so its a programmer thing, not a user thing.

Personally WindowMaker doesnt turn my crank, but i will give it credit for pretty good usability. Took my sister but a few hours in it to realize all the things she could do in it (the computer illiterate that i force linux upon), how to configure it and whatnot.

Re: Themes and HTML
by Chris on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 20:05 UTC

Sorry, I saw it the moment I hit 'Submit' ...

Re: Themes and HTML
by therandthem on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 20:11 UTC

The problem is that theme/skin support are not the focus of the main developers. The theme screenshots are probably, I said probably, from a single individual that replaced bitmap images for the widgets that use bitmaps. Scroll bars, etc need a bit more work because they are drawn (I think).

All the widgets need to be updated to support themes. It will get there, but right now it look consistant. Like I've said before, consistantly like crap ;) It is more uniform than KDE or Gnome though. People complain about Mac OS X's GUI but look and feel is very consistant thoughout. The same is true for GNUStep.

OpenStep/WindowMaker
by Brian on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 20:30 UTC

Back in 1991 when the CS dept at my university brought in a bunch of the big black cubes, I decidedly didn't like the interface much. I guess it was too GUIish for my taste at the time, having been raised on apple IIe's, VTAMs and 286's running DOS. But it was DEFINITELY prettier than the IBM RT's running twm already in the lab.

Funny, as I ran linux and finally got a machine that could handle X (about 1995) I went through fvwm, fvwm95, fvwm2, etc and finally stumbled on windowmaker, been using it ever since.

At work we use KDE very heavily and it's interesting how there are some little things in WindowMaker that KDE and others lack (like dragging and dropping on the docked apps).

For me at least it's very functional and a complete set, without all the massive bloat and stuff. I know the eye candy is missing, but I don't need eye candy to get my job done.

horizontal tree widget for windows?
by Michael on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 20:31 UTC

Does anyone know of a horizontal tree widget for windows?

I'm prototyping an application and would rather not mess around with stringing together a bunch of list boxes.

Gracias,
Michael

RE: horizontal tree widget for windows?
by therandthem on Fri 2nd Aug 2002 20:56 UTC

Why not use the standard NeXT/Mac OS X three pane "browser"? Using the file system for example, imagine the left pane showing "/", the middle pane showing "etc, bin, usr" and the right pane showing "X11R6, bin, sbin". A horizontal scroll bar at the bottom handles any further tree traversal.

RE: horizontal tree widget for windows?
by Michael on Sat 3rd Aug 2002 03:35 UTC

Yes, the 3 pane browser is along the lines of what I want.
However, I'm writing my prototype on Windows... ;-)
And a generic n-pane control would be more to my liking.

The old Next control is along the lines of what I want:
http://www.gnustep.it/enrico/gworkspace/Images/gworkspace.jpeg

Anyhow, I'll figure something out. Even if I have to use listboxes for now.

#m

...
by rajan r on Sat 3rd Aug 2002 11:40 UTC

It is more uniform than KDE or Gnome though.

KDE is very uniform, in fact, this is one of the main reasons why I recommend it over GNOME. GNUstep is not more consistent and uniform than KDE, maybe Aqua is, but then the longest period of me using OS X is 2 hours.

At work we use KDE very heavily and it's interesting how there are some little things in WindowMaker that KDE and others lack (like dragging and dropping on the docked apps).

Try this experiment on KDE 3.0. Drag a KSpread document from the desktop to KSpread, and see what happens.(You would see the document opened in KSpread)

For me at least it's very functional and a complete set, without all the massive bloat and stuff. I know the eye candy is missing, but I don't need eye candy to get my job done.

The same reason I give to my friends for me to move 100% from WM to KDE or Windows XP or OS X. (Believe it or not, I'm using Window Maker)

About GNUstep themes
by Nicolas Roard on Sat 3rd Aug 2002 14:59 UTC

[Eugenia]These themes look really crappy. The colors selected, plus the parts of Gnustep that are not themable, really make these themes ugly. If this is what it can be done so far, better stay with the default look.

Well it's a work in progress, so all the widgets aren't done. .. I began only less than 2 weeks ago. Be patient.

[therandthem]The theme screenshots are probably, I said probably, from a single individual that replaced bitmap images for the widgets that use bitmaps.

In fact, no. The major part doesn't use pixmaps, only radio and switch buttons.

Scroll bars, etc need a bit more work because they are drawn (I think). All the widgets need to be updated to support themes.

Well Scroll bars have been changed ;) -- but not an Aqua look for the moment. Others widgets like NSTableView, NSPanel or NSOutlineView needs to be changed.

As I say, it begans just as an experiment 2 weeks ago, based on a previous experiment from Alex Malmberg.

Aqua theme
by bousozoku on Mon 5th Aug 2002 01:27 UTC

I can't imagine anyone wanting to create an Aqua theme for GNUstep unless they want to receive a "cease and desist" notice as Apple's lawyers have been so good to supply anyone who's tried it in the past, regardless of platform or software. Of course, making something similar with something other than blue or graphite might be nice...Apple, please give us more colour choices.

Re: Aqua theme
by rajan r on Mon 5th Aug 2002 06:50 UTC

Liquid didn't get such a notice. As long the default doesn't look like Aqua, they don't give a hoot. So, when you change to Aqua look, you would have to choose the correct colour in order to match Apple's default. If they want semi transperant window, they have to select another option. If they want the strips, another option to use a background file etc. I think you get the idea.

It's much more important to finish recreating the AppKit (right now it's only about an 80%) which is the GUI things (NSBrowser, NSTextField, and so...). Anyway, they have the intention of adding themes to GNUstep... Just later. When the AppKit is finished. About cloning Aqua, I think that a copy of Aqua on X11 will always be lousy and slow (or at least much slower than on Quartz), so better help out with Bascule's Open Source Quartz before asking for Aqua. And still more: I think GNUstep should get it's very own look, have it's own personality. I think GNUstep has a very bright future... If things work as they should.

Re: GNUstep Workspace v.s. WindowMaker
by Max on Mon 5th Aug 2002 19:24 UTC

@Eugenia:

Just a few notes:
The OpenStep API (please note the case-sensitivity here, you got it right ;) was created by NeXT (now Apple) AND Sun Microsystems, but was largely (re-)using the existing NeXTSTEP-API.

You are reffering to "eventually implement Quartz compatibility"; unfortunately this is not true. Quartz
is using DisplayPDF and other proprietary, closed-sourced and patented stuff. It is almost impossible to get ABI or even ABI compatibility anytime without support from Apple.

However the original OpenStep API was extended in MacOS X (i.e. Cocoa has some new methods, e.g. to handle URLs, HTTP etc.), and more and more of extensions are being implemented in GNUstep.

So if you're coding a pure Cocoa application (that doesn't use the Quartz ABI directly), it should be relative easy to port it to GNUstep (mainly rewriting/converting NIBs and Makefiles). Also keep in mind that the way Java, Objective-C++ and the runtime of Objective-C is supported/implemented differs from MacOS X and GNUstep, so you should stick to pure high-level Objective-C.

You said "I am not sure if WindowMaker is using GNUstep as its API";

That's true; WindowMaker doesn't use GNUstep at all, however it has support for GNUstep applications, i.e.
GNUstep Apps draw their own menus and icons which would normally interfere with the ones provided by a windowmanager. Moreover drag'n'drop of GNUstep apps won't work perfectly without proper support of the windowmanager.
You can run GNUstep Apps perfectly without WindowMaker but e.g. GNOME, but it looks a little bit strange.

And yes, the Windows backend is very alpha, but it is surprising stable for an alpha version ;)
Note that there is also a libarts backend available!

Finally your last question:

"Will GNUstep allow somehow two themes on their libraries, interchanged via a preference panel? One that makes automatically all your Gnustep apps use NeXT-like widgets and colors, and one that use Aqua-like widgets and colors?"

Well, right now the main focus is to finish the AppKit (the GUI libraries) before other things like themes will be supported. Some guys however implemented something like a "proof of concept" and yes, you can create you own themes as a bundle and load/change them on the fly. The link to the screenshots posted earlier by someone else should be considered as a test that it is basically possible, but not more. But I really doubt that there will a real Aqua-like theme as Apple has something against copying 'their' look-and-feel.

Brian said (he was speaking about WindowMaker):

"For me at least it's very functional and a complete set, without all the massive bloat and stuff. I know the eye candy is missing, but I don't need eye candy to get my job done."

That's the nice thing about GNUstep: all applications are really small (I haven't seen 80kb apps with a GUI for a long time) and they 'feel' very fast compared to GNOME or KDE apps! As usual it takes a little time for the first GNUstep app to start (because it has to load the libraries and start the GNUstep servers), but subsequently started programs pop up immediately.

greetings max

Re: GNUstep Workspace v.s. WindowMaker
by Max on Mon 5th Aug 2002 19:28 UTC

Sorry, I misspelled API (i wrote ABI) in some places in my previous post. I think you can figure it out easily when I ment ABI and when API ;)