"More than 10 years ago, an incredible machine with an even more
incredible OS was released. It was called NeXT and NeXTStep was the
name of the OS. We had never seen something like that before : it
was a very nicely designed machine, with a breathtaking display.
The OS was based on BSD 4.2 at the beginning and 4.3 a bit later,
with a very compact mach kernel. With it, appeared the first
graphical and object oriented development tool : Interface Builder
(Thanks to Jean-Marie Hullot and Bertrand Serlet for such an
unbelievable tool). Commercially speaking, this machine didn't
really succeed. Then, NeXT decided to port the framework to
different OSes such as Sun, for instance. This API was called
OpenStep. From there, GNU started a big project, GNUstep,
http://www.gnustep.org, to build a free OpenStep implementation.
This article tries to present this great work, even if it is not
"For GNUstep, you need another great free product : Window
Maker. It's a window manager a la NeXT. If you don't know it yet,
you can take a look at it. At the time of this writing, the latest
version is 0.64.0. This window manager is part of the GNUstep
project and you can get it from http://www.windowmaker.org. Let's
add, Window Maker runs on almost every Unix platform, either
commercial or free. It's a bit different as far as GNUstep is
concerned. It will run on most Linux flavors, NetBSD, FreeBSD,
OpenBSD, it is more or less stable dependent on the OS you run it
on. Regarding commercial Unixes, it will run on Solaris, Irix...
with more or less stability. Once your screen looks like NeXTStep,
you can go to GNUstep web-site to get everything you need. And what
do you need ? Obviously, an objective C compiler (remember, it's an
object oriented framework). gcc 2.8 and up will do the trick.
Recommended is the libobjc. Apart from the tools needed to compile,
you need GNUstep stuff : that is the base library, at least, the
gui library, the X11 backend (xgps or xdps)... and so on. There is
a lot you can download, it's up to you : check the list to make
your choice. For instance, you can get Gorm which is the Interface
Builder implementation (only as CVS), and of course, the examples
or the users apps."