a gnustep-based desktop

How is Backbone related to other projects?


Backbone is not an OPENSTEP clone, although we will likely be compatible to a large degree. While the look, feel, and programming interfaces of OPENSTEP are our starting point and our inspiration, they are not our final goal. Our mission is to evolve the NeXT philosophy, not to build a shrine to their implementation as the Final Word On All Things. :)


GNUstep provides the OpenStep implementation we base our system on. Regular GNUstep applications will be able to run on the Backbone system, although they might not completely "fit in" with the rest of the Backbone environment as well as native Backbone apps do. It's also possible that Backbone applications will be able to run on a plain GNUstep system, though they might be lacking some features.


The (currently defunct, but we hope it will one day be resuscitated) LinuxSTEP project aims to provide an entire operating system based (loosely) on the "*step" principles. It has much broader goals, but is also more system- (in this case, Linux-) specific. LinuxSTEP includes a GNUstep-based desktop environment as one of its core components, and we hope to be able to share code and effort.

Apple Mac OS X

Backbone is not a Mac OS X clone, although we will likely be source-compatible to some extent. We do not really care for its "flashy" interface, and we intend to not repeat the many (in our opinion) mistakes that the Apple Corporation have made in the development of their user environment.

A few words to know:

A specification for a portable operating system API, implemented in the Objective-C programming language. Published by NeXT Software and Sun Microsystems in 1994.
An operating system produced by NeXT Software, based on their earlier NEXTSTEP operating system (for more information on the various names that this operating system has had, see this page). OPENSTEP implemented the OpenStep API as its main programming interface. The closest "living relative" to OPENSTEP is Apple Computer's Mac OS X.