GNUstep version?

I use at home a Mac. At work, I get my choice of Linux or FreeBSD. I sure would like to be able to use Scrivener at work. GNUstep (see website) should now be complete enough to port Scrivener to any platform with GNUstep support - such as Linux, BSD, and Windows.

Kieth, will you at least explore the feasability prior to rejecting the idea? Certainly, some things will prove quite difficult or even impossible to port (like QuickTime support), but the core should not be terribly difficult. It may even be as simple as importing the project files and compiling!

I will happily purchase appropriate licenses for each platform I want to operate in.

Since I am predicting a pretty quick no from Keith on this one, I looked into it a bit (I last looked at GNUstep a few years ago and built one “application” with it.

It looks like the major hurdles would be a lack of support for:

WebKit - I suspect Keith will not rewrite any of this code

Core* (CoreFoundation, CoreSound, CoreAnimation, …) I never used this, but I don’t know if Keith did

Quicktime - I suspect Keith will not rewrite any of this code either

So it looks like if all support for images, pdf’s, etc was removed (or rewritten), it could be possible, but would still take a moderate amount of work to create a makefile that works properly (not something many Mac programmers know anything about). Also, I am not sure how good the RTF support is, which is certainly at the heart of Scrivener…

Sounds like the sort of thing that would be great for an open-source project (I’m a big open-source fan), but I’m curious as to whether Keith would be interested (It would likely open up his market for sales since the total numer of Windoze and *nix users is much higher than the total number of OS X users but would require a good deal of work, or the addition of other developers)

A more interesting question might be whether he would license the code to someone else to port to GNUstep for sale on other operating systems as Keith has been pretty clear that he is ready to finish version 1 and start using it himself.

Heheh. No, there will be no GNUStep version, sorry. I do actually have GNUStep on my system, as I looked into this some time ago. The trouble is that GNUStep is about three or four years behind Cocoa. They are always playing catch-up. It’s not just a matter of QuickTime, the WebKit or PDFKit (but there would be a number of features which would disappear straight away). It’s also the fact that outline views, table views, text views - everything - are all slightly different. There are drawing methods that were introduced in Tiger which Scrivener relies on, and which are not available in GNUStep (yet); Scrivener relies on Cocoa bindings, which - I believe - are not a part of GNUStep… And so on. If I ever did port Scrivener to another platform, I am really a big fan of “going native”. On Windows, for instance, that would mean C++ and the MFC library.

But that is never going to happen. I wrote Scrivener for myself. It is Mac-only. If, by some miraculous occurrence, it made me lots and lots of money, maybe I would hire a programmer to port it to Windows. But that is really just daydreaming. Right now, I am only interested in providing the best Mac software experience that I can. After that, I am only interested in using this software for my own writing.

And personally, whilst I respect the big open source projects, as a user, I am not really a big fan of them. “Too many cooks can spoil the broth” and all that. Scrivener has a single vision - which, of course, is mine. :slight_smile: As a user, I always prefer respected shareware over respected open source software, as putting money into something gives me the right to expect that should I encounter any serious bugs, the developer will do their utmost to fix them ASAP. Just a personal bias.

So, to sum up: Scrivener will not be ported to any other platforms in the foreseeable future; Scrivener will not become open-source software and nor will its code be licenced to others in the foreseeable future. The only event in which Scrivener will become open-source is if for some reason I can no longer develop it myself.

All the best,
Keith

Okay, thank for clearing that up. I was dearly hoping to drop out of my workflow half a dozen different tools on the BSD and Linux boxen.

Also, I feel I must defend myself here for some reason: I never requested or inquired about a move to open or license the source. I was merely hoping to find - a year or two from now - a fine piece of software available.

Hi Paraplegic Racehorse - sorry, no need to defend yourself - a lot of that post was in reply Fletcher, who brought it open software and licensing and so forth, not you! So please don’t feel I was attacking you, I really wasn’t (I wasn’t attacking Fletcher, either, for that matter - I was just trying to address the issues brought up).

GNUStep is really interesting, which is why I have it on my system. A lot of Cocoa programmers have their eyes on it. We are all hoping that one day it will mature enough, or get some extra input from elsewhere to give it a big final push, so that we can all port our Cocoa programs over to other platforms with relatively little investment. Seriously, if it ever happened that it became just a matter of rewriting a few files, ditching a few others, tweaking this and that and then hitting “build”, you would see hundreds of OS X-only programs suddenly appearing on every other platform. Unfortunately, though, this is a bit of a pipe dream. From what I have read, it would be possible if you started by writing your app in GNUStep and then porting to Cocoa (though still with some difficulties), because that way you ensure that you are only using GNUStep-supported features (Cocoa has everything GNUStep has - aside from some minor utility methods - but not vice versa). Unfortunately, this would mean that the program would not be able to use any new Cocoa additions. This is what rules out Scrivener at this point - partly because it has a lot of interface files that would be difficult to convert to GNUStep interface files, but mostly because Scrivener uses a lot of Tiger-only code. And I don’t think GNUStep has even caught up with Panther yet.

One day, it would be nice. But it’s just not feasible in the foreseeable future, unfortunately.

Thanks again for your interest,
Keith