Friday, March 07, 2008

mySTEP vs iPhone SDK

mySTEP is an embedded GNUstep framework to develop applications for Linux/X11 based handheld devices. It is a open source project and is under LGPL. It runs on Sharp Zaurus, OpenMoko, Acer n30, etc. See the complete comparison with iPhone SDK for details.


Günther Noack said...

I'm sorry to play the devil's advocate on that topic, but basically, it couldn't be more biased.

A valid point: QuantumStep is free software. That's really good for developers.

But on the technological side: I don't care whether I'm using GCC 2 or 4. Why should I? I can get both for free. And what about "addressable deployments"? Installing an application on the iPhone is two or three clicks away for every potential customer, installing QuantumStep requires changing operating environments (and possibly operating systems), which you can hardly expect from users.

Besides, what's the value of year-long availability, when there's hardly any documentation on myStep-specific topics to find? The iPhone SDK will probably have more developers within a week than myStep could have ever hoped for.

Superior developer technology aside, this comparison page will have a hard time convincing application developers of using myStep. I can understand the project needs advertising, but trying to distort reality too much can lead to the exact opposite of the intended result.

hns said...

QuantumSTEP does not need to change the OS or complex installation. It is just 2 or 3 clicks away from automatic installation for each owner of a Zaurus or the Openmoko device. There are also plans to provide devices where QuantumSTEP is preinstalled through distributors. Thanks to the openness this *is* no issue.

And, mySTEP does not even need to search for new developers, because any Cocoa or iPhone SDK developer can also use it without much learning. The main documentation is included in Xcode - the Cocoa class descriptions.

You don't care when using gcc on your desktop systems. But on embedded systems it still makes a difference.

Converting existing Cocoa application to run on mySTEP can be done in approx. 5 minutes (unless features outside Cocoa are used). Converting to an iPhone application requires a complete rewrite.

Yes, you are right, the documentation can be improved. What would you need?