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I just discovered a jewel

nostalgia2302

12 months ago

In my search to buy a macbook I somehow landed in a Quora question asking why Apple didn't port Xcode to Windows. One of the answers mentioned the Cocoa Framework which used to be called (or was based in) NeXTSTEP, the OS created by NeXT Computer, founded by Stove Jobs when he was fired from Apple.

So I discovered that a FOOS (Free and Open Source) implementation of Cocoa called GNUstep has been in development during all this time. That's why I have some questions.

  • Does this mean MacOS applications are compatible with GNUstep? why or why not?
  • Why wouldn't one be able to use GNUstep's ProjectCenter (Equivalent of Xcode) to compile Mac/iOS apps instead of Xcode? -What could potentially be done with GNUstep? would it be possible to make Mac apps run on Windows?

but more importantly

  • Is a "open source MacOS" somewhat of a posibility? We have the Kernel, Darwin, since Apple released it. We have the GNUstep Framework. We just need these:

  • Equivalent of the Carbon API

  • An Equivalent of Quartz Compositor (display server) and XQuartz
  • A graphical UI equivalent of Aqua. A team of graphic designers to beautify it. I can think of the Deepin environment ported to GNUstep.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Does this mean MacOS applications are compatible with GNUstep? why or why not?

Well, GNUstep isn't in itself a platform, so the question doesn't really make sense as such, but you could also just say the answer is "no". It's just a framework for writing software, which happens to aim for compatibility with Cocoa.

What you may be interested in is PureDarwin, which is a continuation of the OpenDarwin project. It seems to be heavily experimental, but from what I can tell, it would be binary compatible with command line Mac OS X software if it's compiled for the same architecture. GUI apps wouldn't happen because it doesn't have the Aqua/Quartz/Cocoa/whatever APIs and libraries yet.

As for source compatibility, i.e. can you recompile a Mac OS X application from its source code for another platform (e.g. Linux), GNUstep aims to make that possible. How well it works, I'm not sure. I've never heard of anyone bothering to do that these days.

Also related is Darling, which would be the equivalent of Wine, allowing you to run unmodified Mac OS X binaries.

So anyway. An open source Mac OS X/macOS/whatever they're calling it now is technically possible, but given that Darwin isn't really receiving much attention from hobbyist developers, I don't think anyone is going out of their way to make it happen. It's a difficult thing, it took ReactOS this long to get where it is today.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Speaking of ReactOS how’s that coming along, have they hit windows server 2003 compatibility yet, and are moving on to XP?

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Apparently Office 2010 is working and they have a new NTFS driver, among other things. I really should give it a try sometime.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Hmm. As soon as DX11 works without a hitch I will have myself a new primary OS.

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