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2010-11-25

Sony’s Networked Application Platform is based on GNUstep

A long time ago, Apple bought NeXT and its operating system NeXTSTEP would later evolve into Mac OS X. GNUstep is an open source implementation of the NeXTSTEP APIs that was created even longer ago. Applications based on GNUstep run on many Unixes and (with some hassles) on Windows. I’ve followed it since its beginning, because I wanted to have the quality of NeXT’s APIs on an open operating system. Alas, GNUstep took a long time to mature. During this time, Mac OS X made it much cheaper to try out NeXT’s technology and my focus shifted towards web applications, so I never tried it out.
And now comes this kind of crazy news: Sony’s Networked Application Platform (SNAP) will be based on GNUstep. They want to modernize it for features such as touch displays and 3D graphics. The technology is certainly intriguing, but also feels a bit anachronistic. Maybe web technology and JavaScript would have been a better decision. This is the way Palm went to create a smartphone operating system as quickly as possible. Assuming that they will package GNUstep with an operating system, I’m also not sure how they can position SNAP against its many competitors (Android, Chrome OS, Meego, etc.).
[Source: Daring Fireball]

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