Call to open source classic OPENSTEP and macOS apps for porting to GNUstep

Started by bheron, December 05, 2023, 08:39:46 AM

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Hey guys, 

Years ago I asked people if they would consider open sourcing their classic applications so that they can be ported to GNUstep.   As you guys know, GNUstep is an implementation of Cocoa and it retains its OPENSTEP roots so that any application ever written for OPENSTEP up to macOS 10.15 (Catalina) can be ported to GNUstep.   The community is working on making our APIs compliant with the latest of Cocoa, but we are only 20 or so people and it's difficult to keep up with a billion-dollar corporation.

I would love to bring classic apps to GNUstep so that people can have the richest possible set of apps for GNUstep.

For more complete information go to GNUstep site... or

Some of our prominent users are eggplant and Algoriddim

Anyway... it would be nice if we could collaborate on getting some of the classic apps from OPENSTEP and any apps that people might want from macOS ported or open-sourced, etc.

Yours, GC
PS. Please let me know if this was the appropriate forum for this, I wasn't sure which board to post this on.
Gregory John Casamento
GNUstep Lead Developer


Would be lovely, that's the best way of making sure that the software and its legacy is preserved. Porting OPENSTEP apps is something I'd definitely help out with!

Somewhat related, that is easier to achieve already, is porting existing open Frameworks to GNUstep. There are Obj-C ones for things like the Matrix protocol and XMPP but it seems while they could theoretically build on GNUstep, some more work would have to be done. Making some popular Frameworks build could raise the profile some more and enable more apps to be ported at the same time.
buildtool is really impressive, however I am still finding myself taking a hacksaw to the code in dealing with all the differences. Some pointers/guides on best practices in that aspect would be welcome for us non-familar-with-modern-Mac users!

I'd advise anyone who this may be of interest to check out the tools (such as buildtool) that are part of this repo. Because this should make porting things from mac OS way easier.


So all the example code (AppKit) provided on the OpenStep Developer CD compile 100%? That's pretty cool if it does.