[Openmcl-devel] GUI on MacOSX (was: Carbon should be easy)

Gary Byers gb at clozure.com
Wed Jan 30 14:21:11 PST 2002

On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Yannick Versley wrote:

> I think it would be even nicer to have the Cocoa framework available in
> OpenMCL. Ideally, this would mean creating an interface for getting
> classes and sending messages, and realize the rest via dynamic conversion,
> possibly creating something similar to the already existing Java bridge
> (there is an opensource clone created by folks of the GNUstep project),
> even if it does not blend very well with the CLOS-style of object
> orientation more common with LISP.
> just daydreaming,
> Yannick Versley

Based on some very superficial playing around with Cocoa and with Carbon,
I tend to agree with you: Cocoa's higher-level and slicker, and I imagine
that (if and when the issues of talking to Objective C are solved) one
can do a lot more with a lot less lisp code.  I followed a tutorial
I found on the web, dragged a few things around in Interface Builder,
built the project, and had a mostly-functional text editor (with Emacs
key bindings) just by connecting a few Cocoa objects to each other;
it's hard not to be impressed by that.

Since you mention GNUStep: it's worth noting that Cocoa (aka NextStep/
OpenStep/GNUStep) is already cross-platform.  (I have it installed on
a LinuxPPC box, and have been looking at GNUStep sources while trying
to figure out how Cocoa works ...)

Another (possible) factor: I don't want to encroach on Digitool's
commercial MCL product (or to be seen as doing so).  It'd be good if
OpenMCL's development environment was a bit richer than it is and
if there were ways to make deliverable applications that had something
more than a TTY interface, but if OpenMCL goes too far in that direction
and starts competing with commercial MCL, that wouldn't be good for
either product.  Using something other than the Carbon framework (which
commercial MCL uses) might help to keep the products distinct.

At the moment, we can make all of the windows we want but can't display
them (because OpenMCL's just a command-line tool, apparently.)  I guess
that this is all daydreaming for the time being, but it seems to be worth
thinking about.

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