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    {OPEN,NeXT}STEP was the most beautiful and usable desktop environment in history, moreso even than its macOS descendants. This is a beautiful project as well.

    One of the biggest problems that faces this sort of thing is the lack of NeXT-style menu supports for arbitrary applications. I know that Ubuntu added patches and shims to get major applications to have their menu bars work along with the Unity desktop environment, but I have no idea what the status of that is now.

    I wish Objective-C had been standardized. That would have allowed the OpenStep specification to be fully specified all the way down.

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      The best part of NeXTSTEP UI was the detachable menus. Sadly this feature went away with the transition to macOS X.

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        It could be worse. Some X11 toolkits retained the ability to detach menu bars (and toolbars) for a few years afterwards but could only stack the menu bar horizontally and couldn’t detach submenus, rendering the whole thing about as useful as a chocolate soldering iron.

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        I wish Objective-C had been standardized. That would have allowed the OpenStep specification to be fully specified all the way down.

        I’ve made that complaint over the years but Apple has always maintained that, as the trademark owners, they can do whatever they want with the language. ARC was great, as was proper exception support, but the rest missed the point. The dot notation for properties violated the core design principle in Objective-C that new semantics must always have new syntax. The overloaded field access (which is just pointer arithmetic followed by a load or store) with something that did a message send. The number and collection literal stuff wasn’t too bad in the syntax but the semantics were confusing: if you write @"42" then you get an immutable string object baked into the data section of your binary. If you write @42 then you get a dynamic message send to NSNumber.

        That said, clang is now the de-facto standard implementation of Objective-C and the language works equally well on other platforms with the GNUstep runtime. The rest of GNUstep, unfortunately, lags a long way behind Apple and has some significant weaknesses even compared to OPENSTEP (particularly in the text system, which is one of the best features of OpenStep).

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          Well… Unity is still around and there’s an Ubuntu remix that uses it: https://ubuntuunity.org/

          I am running 21.10 on my work laptop and it’s as good as it ever was. The Waterfox Classic browser still supports the global menu bar. https://www.waterfox.net/

          Chrome does, too. Firefox $CURRENT doesn’t, though.

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          It looks cool… and I really like the old school design rather than the „modern“ flat one… but do you expect this project being more successful than e.g. Window Maker?

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            Seems like the author is working on the project out of enjoyment, not to “be successful”

          Stories with similar links:

          1. trunkmaster/nextspace - NeXTSTEP-like desktop environment for Linux via inactive-user 4 years ago | 48 points | 1 comment