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LinuxFocus: GNUstep, the open source OpenStep

Apr 01, 2001, 17:00 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Georges Tarbouriech)

"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 yet finished."

"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."

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