First Letter

This was sent out a while ago to all who’d signed up.

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Hi,

And thank you for expressing an interest in our project.

We have quite a lot to do to get this rolling. For starters we need a way to communicate. Using the sender address on this message might be the best way for now. We can conduct this as a mailing list – a very informal one – for now.

Next we need a mission statement. This takes time to formulate properly, but let me give you a bit of what we’re after.

– Cross platform compatibility with OS X. Within reason. Not Tiger or even Panther but Jaguar – the first ‘NeXTSTEP’ under Apple to be complete and make it out the door. Apple set 10.2.7 as a milestone for application development; we can do the same.

– The above means ‘total’ compatibility. I don’t know how many have seen GNUstep, but that won’t do it. They’ve changed the names of the classes and everything, and their application architecture is not the same as OS X. That won’t do at all. We will use the same class names as NeXTSTEP and link to frameworks with the same names – and if Steve Jobs wants to claim he has a copyright on the ‘NS’ prefix, let him try.

– We want entire applications – and application projects and frameworks – to be moveable between the two platforms – Apple’s and our own.

– Graphics makeover. Keith’s graphics for NeXTSTEP were certainly good but they’re dated. We need an identical look with OS X. I don’t mean ‘approximate’ – I mean identical. Totally identical. We don’t need to worry about unified toolbars and rot like that, but the look – and the feel – should otherwise be not only equivalent but identical. Totally identical.

– Re the above: give the user the option of using cascading menus instead of a Mac menu bar. Perhaps even make it the default. It will make the system stand out all the more.

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That’s enough of a mission statement for now. One more thing: I think we should not ‘GPL’ this. Richard Stallman wants everyone to leave their copyrights with him at the FSF. I do not like Richard Stallman, for the same reasons a lot of people do not like him, and I will not work under his heel. We shall retain copyright and most likely use the freer BSD licence. This software is going to be free, and by free we mean no one but no one will get their hands on it – including Richard Stallman.

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What we need to do:

– We need to find what code is out there so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. We need to make contact with GNUstep and find out how much they are willing to help. A second good research project is to find out what happened to ‘OpenStep on Linux’. I feel anyone who wants to initiate these contacts should feel free to do so.

– We need to get backing. This can mean money but above all it means names. I think the best name here is Mark Shuttleworth because he’s doing the right thing. We need to get him to show interest. Admittedly he’s likely to show more interest when we have more than a few ideals – when we actually have something to show for our work. But I don’t think it hurts to try to win him over now.

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That’s about all I can think of for now. Above all I wanted to finally get this out and thank you for your interest.

All the best,

Rick

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