Monday, December 03, 2007

Watch your CPU

TimeMon, the CPU monitoring application popular on OpenStep runs now on NetBSD too. I added the necessary code to the GNUstep port, which is found inside the GAP project .
Porting involved using the correct sysctl calls (in true BSD philosophy, as opposed to the Linux mess which involves reading and parsing files!)

No, I didn't add myself to the list of the porters. Not yet.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Live from AlpenStep '07

We are enjoying a nice time in Les Marecottes where we are holding our first AlpenStep meeting. On topic are hacking, discussions and presentations about the various projects. Bug fixing was great, but the highlight was the GSCake. Please check the attached photo with Gerold Rupprecht, patient organizer of the whole event, and the excellent instance of [GSCake initWithFun]. Subclasses of the GSCake object are allowed, but please send us the instance for compliance certification.

We had a presentation from the Etoile and their frameworks, simplewebkit bug smashing. Extremely geek was the new OpenMoko Neo which Nikolaus brought.

Members present were the busy organizer Gerold, gui maintainer Fred, etoile developers Quentin and Nicolas. GAP was represented by me. Lars was present too, Gürkan felt unwell unfortunately and left earlier.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Spin, spider, spin

Hard work in the past month of a couple of programmers brought a rendering engine and a browser for GNUstep a step closer! Currently most of the limitations SimpleWebKit had compared to myStep are solved! Quite a bit of debugging went into Vespucci too as it is being refactored in a document-based application capable of displaying multiple pages at the same time. Equally merit has to go to Richard who patiently helped to improve GNUstep's core to handle URLs and the HTTP streams. Thus the text you seen in the screenshot is actually downloaded from the Web, not just a mere static string. Although several problems still remain, you may notice that there is lready some font rendering and that the Horizontal Rule is rendered correctly!

The keenest of you may have noticed another detail! The whole application is running on Microsoft Windows! The build process needs to be manually tweaked, but a working executable is possible. It works worse than on Unix though: images represent a problem.

I was really eager to display our progress, but held it back a bit until some details were solved.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The spinning spider

Some interesting activities cook inside GNUstep and GAP projects! Dr. Schaller is working actively in a WebKit implementation for myStep. Now I and Peter Cooper are helping him to bring the Framework into GNUstep, it already compiles! Although a lot needs to be done and SimpleWebKit may never reach the completeness of Apple's implementation I still think it is an interesting task and a total objetive-c approach should not only prove the power of the language but also give us advantages in the future regarding efficiency and customization.
As soon as the framework compiled I started the development of Vespucci, the program that will be GAP's Browser. The screenshot shows the debug output of the Current WebKit, interpreted really from a simple HTML string.
Maybe after the failure of the original port attempt of the WebKit by means of wrappers, this is the first screenshot of a GNUstep Browser? Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The double-face of GNUstep

Yesterday I had a long call with Gregory and we smoothed out many details about what GNUstep is, where it is and where it should go.

I noticed really a lot of confusion about what GNUstep is, everybody seems to have his own ideas, some of them are indeed correct but just a part of the whole pictures, others are just plain wrong. This ambiguity doesn't help us as a project, it confuses the prospective end-users, it confuses potential developers and also stirs up quarrels and useless polemics inside the group.

Thus I may sum up what I consider GNUstep is: essentially I see a double use of GNUstep: the base for an environment, a workspace inspired by OPENSTEP and a cross-platform, portable framework that enables developer the deployment of their application on Unix (Linux, BSD, Solaris...), MacOS X and Windows. I consider these goals absolutely not conflicting and they should be both taken care of; furthermore one reinforces the other.

As an environment GNUstep needs to offer a working framework which is solid and well working on most of the major Unix systems. Features that some people could find useful refer mostly to the look and feel, a comprehensive set of applications and utilities (either provided by the GNUstep project, or, more aptly, by affiliated projects like GAP, Backbone or Etoilé) and their integration.
People who see in GNUstep an OS should find what is needed by this environment and supply the remaining by themselves.

A framework that enables portability needs to work on more operating systems and needs to be even more flexible: it needs to be able to blend in to the Look and Feel of the host OS (as an option of course) but it also needs good ways to deploy the application; for example if the installation of more GNUstep-based applications is intended, the installation of the framework plus the different binaries should be an option, while if GNUstep is used just for one single application, everything should be self-contained and GNUstep itself should be unnoticed by the end-user.
If a Desktop Application of a certain project can be considered useful standalone, it shall prove interesting to support it both as part of the Workspace as well as a single application ported, say, to Windows or Mac.

I feel positive about the GNUstep project offering a set of applications, like it does now, which could be considered as a reference implementation. What should be taken in account by the developers is never ever to take the existence of these applications as granted: this would make a real portable core impossible. These application should be considered an option and other projects shall be able to replace one or any of them. Still, their sheer existence should prove the point that GNUstep is more than a mere toolkit.
At the current state of things, there should be no official appointed "Desktop Project" and the end-user shall be granted the freedom of choice