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       renaissance - GNUstep Development Framework




       This   manual   page  documents  briefly  the  renaissance  development
       framework.  This manual page was written for  the  Debian  distribution
       (based  on the program’s README file) because the original program does
       not have a manual page.

       renaissance is a GNUstep develoment framework which runs on top of  the
       GNUstep  libraries.   It  also works on top of the Apple Mac OS X Cocoa
       libraries, providing an opaque layer to write portable applications.

       GNUstep Renaissance allows you  to  describe  your  user  interface  in
       simple  and  intuitive  XML  files,  using  an  open,  standard  format
       describing  the  logic  of  the  interface.    At   run-time,   GNUstep
       Renaissance  will  then  generate the user interfaces (using the native
       host  OpenStep-like  libraries)  by  reading  the   XML   files.    The
       connections  between  the  objects  created from the XML files, and the
       other objects in the application are done via outlets (as traditionally
       in  OpenStep);  a  new quick and intuitive syntax has been developed to
       make creating outlets as easy as possible.

       GNUstep Renaissance contains  quite  a  few  new  ideas  over  previous
       technologies.    Some  of  the  main  end-user  advantages  of  GNUstep
       Renaissance over previous OpenStep-inspired technologies for  the  same
       task are:

        - Portability.  User interfaces built using GNUstep Renaissance are
        truly portable.  They simply run without any change on any
        OpenStep-based platform on which Renaissance has been ported
        (currently, at least on both GNUstep and Apple Mac OS X).

        - Open, simple and standard format.  User interfaces built using
        GNUstep Renaissance are saved into open, simple files which can be
        edited and read on any platform using any text editor.  The XML
        format has been designed to be as easy to edit as possible.  We will
        have a specific graphical builder for GNUstep Renaissance, which will
        make editing directly the XML files a rare operation; still, it’s a
        great advantage to be able to actually edit and inspect them directly
        whenever needed.  Your user interfaces will no longer be locked in
        binary files which can only be edited using a specific
        platform-specific application; you will be able to compare different
        versions of the same user interface using diff and cvs diff (you
        can’t get any meaningful comparison with binary formats); and your
        user interfaces will be finally stored in a readable format, which
        you can read even from a terminal, making your program easier to
        check.  The format is so nice that I expect many hard hackers will
        keep creating user interfaces directly in XML even when a graphical
        editor is available!

        - Easy localization.  User interfaces built using GNUstep Renaissance
        are much easier to translate than in all previous technologies.  You
        no longer need to create a new separate interface for the new
        language: you can just provide the translation of the strings in a
        .strings file, and GNUstep Renaissance will automatically replace
        every string in the existing interface with the corresponding
        translation.  Previous technologies can’t do this because they don’t
        support automatic sizing and layout of widgets.

        - Themeability.  Themes are a problem for traditional OpenStep-like
        technologies, because a change in theme changes all the widgets
        appearances and sizes.  User interfaces built using GNUstep
        Renaissance can survive easily a change in theme, since all sizing
        and layout of widgets is done dynamically at runtime.  Previous
        technologies can’t, and you would need to create a different user
        interface for each different theme.

       Renaissance is composed of the following blocks:

        - AutoLayout: a collection of autolayout objects (h/v boxes, grids,
        spaces, ...), providing automated runtime widget layout, similar to
        what you find in most other toolkits on the market ... similar, but
        better :-) The missing piece of the AppKit.  Depends on gnustep-gui.

        -  Markup: an xml parsing/generating engine.  Depends on gnustep-base.

        - TagLibrary: a standard set of tag objects for use by the xml
        parsing/generating engine in order to read/write gui windows, menus,
        panels, etc.  Depends on the previous parts: AutoLayout and Markup.

       Renaissance was written by Nicola Pero <>  and  is
       part of the GNUstep project (

       GNUstep  Renaissance home page is at


       This manual page was written by Brent A. Fulgham <>,
       for the Debian project (but may be used by others).