Sunday, November 27, 2011

Setting up GNUstep in Windows

GNUstep is a wonderful project that aims to replicate Cocoa APIs for a variety of Unix-like OSes and Windows. In effect this lets you get started playing with Objective C and a coding environment similar to Xcode, without owning a Mac or resorting to illegally running OSX on non-Apple hardware.

I've only just begun, but the whole GNUstep project seems more solid than I expected (although about as ugly as I'd expect from a GNU project).

It wasn't completely clear where to begin, since there are several different pages talking about GNUstep, ProjectCenter (the visual project builder), and Windows. So here is what I ended up doing to get started. I'm on Windows 7 64-bit.

  1. has good instructions on getting started on Windows. (Unfortunately to use ProjectCenter, you can't use the latest GNUstep versions since they're incompatible. As of this writing, GNUstep 0.29.0 stable was released very recently in Nov 2011, while ProjectCenter 0.60 was released December 2010. Since I mainly cared about using ProjectCenter, I chose the GNUstep versions that were released prior to ProjectCenter 0.60.)
  2. Download from
    1. gnustep-msys-system-0.25.1-setup.exe (July 15, 2010)
    2. gnustep-core-0.25.0-setup.exe (May 15, 2010)
    3. gnustep-devel-1.1.1-setup.exe (July 15, 2010)
    4. SystemPreferences-1.1.0-1-setup.exe
    5. gorm-1.2.12-setup.exe
  3. Install the exes in the order downloaded, shown above. I used the default C:\GNUstep target.
  4. Download ProjectCenter 0.6.0 tar.gz from into e.g. C:\GNUstep\home\Andrew
  5. In your Start menu, run "Shell" under GNUstep. (I renamed this to "GNUstep Shell" to be more sensible for Windows 7 start menu autocomplete.)
    Note: Non-administrator users must right-click and choose Run as Administrator (thanks Winston Lee).
  6. Install ProjectCenter
    1. Untar ProjectCenter--from the shell: tar xzvf ProjectCenter-0.6.0.tar.gz
    2. cd ProjectCenter-0.6.0
    3. make
    4. make install
  7. Run ProjectCenter from the shell (just type ProjectCenter)
  8. Run gorm from start menu.
  9. Follow tutorial at
    1. ProjectCenter doesn't recognize gorm for some reason, which is why I have to run gorm separately.
    2. Also, builds don't work from within ProjectCenter, but thankfully GNUstep generates makefiles for everything, so from the GNUstep shell you can just type "make" inside your project, and it'll generate a directory for you. Inside that directory, you'll find Windows binaries to run the app.
I'm really excited about this, because although I do intend to do a bit of development, and of course builds, for iOS apps using a Mac, GNUstep gives me a bit more choice where I want to do development from.

One more thing: there are other projects that go along with GNUstep. See for a work-in-progress cocos2d port. Given that cocos2d-GNUstep is written and tested on Ubuntu, maybe I'll want to use Ubuntu instead of Windows for this stuff.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

backbone.js nice new logo

I just noticed the new backbone.js logo (edit 2016-12-05: old link was Very professional looking!

Old logo:

New logo: