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Its seems that the programming framework with Objective-C was NeXTStep's main advantage. Duplicating the NeXT system (or OSX for that matter) just seems kinda silly to me.
uh ? I don't understand. GNUstep reimplements the OpenStep framework. It's not the look who matters here, but the available class to program with !
NeXTStep was and is great, but unless it is actively being improved beyond its originial state, it will eventually fall behind other systems (it already looks out-of-date - superficial, I know).
Well, if you take apart the look, explain me in WHAT OpenStep fall behind other systems ? Frankly, it's quite the opposite in my opinion (and I am a former Qt advocate ;-)
OPENSTEP, due to mechanisms like services, was perhaps the only "true" Unix Desktop sytem, in that it follows the same basic idea (small programs cooperating with each others).
Is there any way the framework could be linked up (efficiently) to KDE or Gnome (or even just QT or GTK+)? GNUstep just seems destined to remain a small niche (of a niche) otherwise.
??? Well if you simply want to program with Objective-C, which is a language, some bindings for KDE and GNOME exists.
But how the hell do you want to plug an existing programming framework, GNUstep, and "plug it" to ANOTHER programming framework such as KDE/Qt or GNOME/GTK ??? it's simply not possible.
What could (perhaps) be done, is to have some gui-backend for GNUstep which would use some "local" set of widgets, such as windows widgets or Qt or GTK. But actually, the backend system is not *at all* done in this sense.