Interview with Adam Fedor of the GNUstep Project

GNUstep provides an Object-Oriented application development framework and tool set for use on a wide variety of computer platforms. GNUstep is based on the original OpenStep specification provided by NeXT, Inc. (now owned by Apple and incorporated into MacOSX). We are hosting today an interview with Adam Fedor, of the GNUstep project.1. What is GnuStep and its purpose?

Adam Fedor: GNUstep is a cross-platform developement environment for writting applications and tools modeled after the OpenStep specification released by NeXT Inc in 1994. GNUstep has since commited itself to following the API of the MacOS X (Cocoa) frameworks

2. What is the status of GnuSTEP right now and where would like the Gnu team to bring it? What are the future plans?

Adam Fedor: The non-GUI framework is essentially complete and stable. The GUI system is still evolving, but many improvements are occuring and we make major releases at least every 6 months.

We eventually hope to provide a complete, superior GUI framework for developing intelligent, useful applications. After that we’ll probably work on the applications themselves…

3. Were they any NeXT applications ported over to the GnuSTEP and Linux? If no, why no one took the time to do a simple re-compilation?

Adam Fedor: There have been a few. One notable port is the NeXT Music Kit. Fewer graphics apps have been ported because of the incomplete nature of the GUI. I know of several companies that have or are planning to port their company applications to GNUstep.

4. What are the advantages of Obj-C against C or C++?

Adam Fedor: Objective-C offers a power Object-Oriented model that is much simpler to learn and understand than C++, yet it is still completely compatible with the C language.

One can develope and debug applications faster in Objective-C, as well as easily expand the scope of a project (something that happens often in software developement).

5. Does GnuStep 0.7 changes will be incorporated into a newer version of WindowMaker?

Adam Fedor: GNUstep and Windowmaker are essentially separate developements. WindowMaker is a window manager. GNUstep is for application developement. While it’s technically possible to (re)developer a window manager using GNUstep, there’s little reasons to do this.

6. Does the GnuSTEP API have similarities with the MacOSX API? If yes, do you believe that programmers will try to transition their apps to Linux? If no, are there any steps taken to provide MacOSX API compatibility?

Adam Fedor: Yes. GNUstep follows that MacOSX API as closely as possible.


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