September 2011 – Greg Casamento

Thanks to Greg Casamento, lead developer on the GNUstep project, for driving up from Laurel, MD to talk with us. That is quite an arduous day trip, and indicates how committed he is to spreading the word. Greg told us about the history and status of the project and answered our many questions about under-the-hood stuff. He showed us ProjectCenter and GORM, which are GNUstep's counterparts for Xcode and Interface Builder. They looked like the old NeXTstep dev tools, which struck a nostalgic chord with me.

One neat thing was when Greg took the source code for Bean (an open-source Cocoa text editor) and compiled and ran it on Linux, Windows XP, and Windows 7. He did all this within a virtual machine on his 2007 white MacBook, which we were viewing via Screen Sharing on my MacBook Pro, over WiFi, because we didn't have the video adapter he needed. Gotta love the technology we take for granted these days.

Greg's drive to New York took rather longer than he expected, so his talk got off to a late start, but we found stuff to talk about while we were waiting — more about that in my next post. We had our pizza delivered instead of going to Patsy's so Greg could talk while we ate.

After the meeting I took Greg to the Good Stuff Diner where we yakked for a couple more hours. Just one thing I learned: you may remember how it used to look in IB when you Control-dragged to make an outlet connection. You'd get an L-shaped line connecting the start point to the destination point. The thing about this connection was that it wasn't confined to a window; it typically connected points between windows. It turns out that way of drawing a connection was patented, which is why it isn't used in GORM (or at least wasn't — I forget exactly). Who'd have thought?

I hope to see you all next month, when Jon Nathan will be talking about how to make your app plug-innable.

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