Subject: Re: Meeting the MS challenge
From: Brian Bartholomew <>
Date: Mon, 1 Dec 1997 18:03:54 -0500

> So here's a challenge I'd like to throw out for discussion: how can
> we help make addressing the above areas with libre software more
> attractive (to developers and to other kinds of businesses) and more
> feasible?

Libre developers like their development experience to be powerful and
entertaining.  X-Windows GUI programming is neither.  If X-Windows GUI
development was as fun as NextStep GUI development, there wouldn't be
a shortage of libre GUI apps.  However, I don't think GNUStep on X is
a panacea.  I do think higher-level GUI-building tools, editors, and
languages are a great strategy.

> Microsoft is generating new extensions to Windows faster than any
> conceivable horde of libre software volunteers can emulate them

I think the idea of cloning Windows is poisoned bait laid by MS.
Anyone who takes the bait wastes infinite time and never gets
anywhere.  Don't take the bait.  Instead, bypass them with superior
technology.  Consider the GUI you could build on a machine with a 1
GHz cpu, 10 Gbyte disk, 1 Gbyte memory, and an OpenGL graphics card --
if you wern't running X.  For inspiration, see the Starfire project
that Guy Kawasaki did at Sun.  There's a book out on it (title escapes
me) and it offers a videotape of the demo.

Another member of the League for Programming Freedom (LPF)
Brian Bartholomew - - - Working Version, Cambridge, MA