GNUstep Base Release Notes


Adam Fedor (
Richard Frith-Macdonald (

Version: $Revision: 1.26 $

Date: $Date: 2007/01/27 21:39:47 $

Copyright: (C) 2005,2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

Base Release Notes

The release notes include descriptions of API changes, behavior changes and other information that might help developers and users migrate to using a newer version of the library.

Version 1.13.1

This is a bugfix release improving the stability and security of applications using the base library. Programs dynamically linked with the existing stable release will automatically benefit from these changes once this version is installed.

Fix for crash when initialising the bundle system in an applicatiuon linked with many frameworks.
Fix for buffer overrun problem mwhen initialising date from string. Also fixed to return nil when initialising from some illegal strings.
Some locking fixes to avoid rare deadlocks in heavily multithreaded applications.
Fix to handle current locale properly when initialising.
Fix bug adding indexes in a range which lies within a range already in the set.
Fix problem writing negative numbers into old-style property list.
Fix for problem with keyed archiving of simple strings.
Fix a potential repeated load of the same resource. Also fix to return nil when initialised with a string which does not contain a URL scheme.
Improve handling of persistent connections when the remote host drops the connection unexpectedly.
Fix bug causing removal of newline characters from escaped strings. Fix error setting start end end element for SAX.

Version 1.13.0

Several sets of classes have been added for dealing with urls and predicates. A few minor api changes have occured as well.

Character sets
Character sets were improved with regard to ranges (chinese characters, etc).
Keyed Archiving
Better compatibility with MacOSX. In particular, some gueses are made as to how some objects should be encoded.
GNUstep configuration file
Extra keys are allowed in the configuration file with the definition of the GNUSTEP_EXTRA key.
URL Loading
Headers and a basic framework for Apple's new URL loading scheme were added, although this is not fully implemented yet.
Most of the code was updated to compile nicely with the new gcc objective-c++ compiler.
NSString designated initializer
The GNUstep designated initialiser for the NSString class cluster has changed to -initWithBytesNoCopy:length:encoding:freeWhenDone: from -initWithCharactersNoCopy:length:freeWhenDone: and older code subclassing NSString will need to be updated.
NSBundle bundleWithIndentifier:
The NSBundle method +bundleWithIdentifier: was added.
A basic implementation of the NSPredicate classes (NSPredicate, NSComparisonPredicate, NSCompoundPredicate, NSExpression) was added.
Stack traces
Support for getting stack traces via bfd was added experimentally. You have to define STACKTRACE when compiling base to get this.
Added new language files Esperanto, Korean, and Ukrainian.
Run loops
Removed the timeout facility for runloop watchers - you should use standard timers instead. The watcher interface is deprecated anyway.

Version 1.12.0

There have been a number of API changes and several methods have been depreciated in this release. Although current GNUstep programs that use these methods will still work in this version, there are enough changes that a new library version was considered useful.

NSCoder deprecated methods
Several methods using the old libObjects style scheme withName: are now deprecated. You can use the new NSKeyedArchiver and NSKeyedUnarchiver functionality to perform the same function in a much more portable way.
NSPortCoder, NSPortMessage private methods
The private method _components was removed from the public interface.
NSString -getCString:maxLength:encoding:
The return type of this function was changed to BOOL.
NSBundle deprecated and private methods
Several deprecated and private methods were removed from the public interface including +gnustepBundle, and +pathForGNUstepResource:ofTpye:inDirectory:.
NSNotificationCenter deprecated method
The GNUstep method setLockingDisabled: method was deprecated.
NSNotificationQueue private functions
Private functions GSNotifyASAP, GSNotifyIdle, and GSNotifyMore were removed from public interface.
NSRunLoop watcher API updates and other changes
We are starting to integrate the Cocoa NSStream classes into GNUstep, which allow you to do much the same things as the GNUstep-specific run loop watcher API was intended. At some point the watcher API will be deprecated as it will be redundant with NSStream functionality. Also the deprecated win32 specific methods for NSRunLoop were removed.
NSAttribtedString deprecated method
The non-standard attributedSubstringWithRange: method (just a synonym for the real method) was deprecated.
NSConnection, NSDistantObject method removal
Several legacy methods from the original GNU Connection class were removed or moved to the additions category of the library.
NSAutoreleasePool private methods
The private method _endThread: was removed from the public interface.
NSPortNameServer private methods
Several private methods were removed from the public interface.
NSStream, NSIndexPath
New classes added to the library.
NSUserDefaults improvements
User defaults were restructured to create the defaults lazily and can be set to not write to an external file at all, for developers who wish to use the library as a stand-alone library or in other situations where using external resources is not desired.

Version 1.11.2

GNUstep.conf and relocation
Support for GNUstep.conf and relocation of the filesystem is much improved in this release.
Windows platform
The WM_QUIT message is now intercepted to allow an application to terminate cleanly.
NSMessagePort - Windows platform
NSMessagePort was implemented on Windows platforms.
This function has been un-deprecated, and the documentation clarified so it is easier to understand what it does and does not do.
Deprecated support for system-wide GNUsteprc files has been removed.

Version 1.11.1

New class.
NSStringFromPoint, NSStringFromRect, NSStringFromSize
Functions now output strings that can be read by old OpenStep implementations (but can also still be read by GNUstep and MacOSX).
Debugging support
More support for debugging on mingw, including writing logs to debugger and event viewer.

Version 1.11.0

The interface version of the base library has changed in this release. Applications, libraries and tools that wish to use this new version must be recompiled (otherwise, they'll use the older version of the library).

Window's changes
A lot of the behavior of path handling in the base library has changed with respect to Window's machines. Windows native paths are used throughout. The fileSystemRepresentation methods now use utf-16 as the external c-string representation on windows. The local to openstep and openstep to local methods are now deprecated and do nothing. Other changes to classes and class variables have also occurred (detailed below).
Path/Startup configuration
At the startup of any application or tool, GNUstep used to look at various environment variables in order to find the location of various data directories and other things. GNUstep still does this, but the environment variables are no longer required to find these files. In addition the configuration files used to override certain path behavior has been changed and expanded. See the base library documentation on GNUstep Configuration Files for more information.
Character sets are included in the library itself instead of being loaded from a data file. Also, the NSBitmapCharSet API has been removed.
Depreciated functions GSSystemRootDirectory and GSStandardPathPrefixes. In addition, beware of using the function NSOpenStepRoot, which may not necessarily return the information you need (see the documentation for this function for more info). Enumeration values for NSSearchPathDirectory have changed.
NSRunLoop and related classes now use native win32 event handling on Window's machines. See also GSFileHandle, NSSocketPort and NSMessagePort.
This GNUstep specific class has a new ivar on Windows.
NSSocketPort, NSMessagePort
This class has a new ivar on Windows.
A one-time warning is printed concerning a future change in which nsconnections will only work between processes owned by the same account on the same machine, for MacOSX compatibility and security. If inter-host/user communication is desired, the developer will need to set this explicitly.
Keyed Encoding
Work was done in many classes to support keyed encoding. It may not be fully implemented in every class, however.

Version 1.10.3

This release includes a few minor bug fixes.

Version 1.10.2

This release is most likely the last release in this series, aside from possible bug fixes. It was was branched from CVS on Feb 22, 2005.

NSContainsRect behavior change
The definition of NSContainsRect has changed to correspond with the current Mac OS X/Cocoa definition. The sides of the bRect can touch aRect.
Unichar file paths
Windows supports unichar file paths, but there isn't really an API for handling this. GNUstep-specific methods for dealing with this have been added, NSFileManager's -localFromOpenStepPath and openStepPathFromLocal and equivalent methods for NSString. In most cases the Base library should handle this problem internally, but it's possible that there are cases where the developer wants to handle the file name explicitly with system-specific functions.
Some ivars in NSDictionaryEnumerator have changed types, but the total storage space has not changed. This may cause problems if you access ivars directly, perhaps through a subclass.
NSNotification -setImmutablePost
This GNUstep extension method was removed.
NSPort extension methods
Unimplemented GNUstep extension methods -close, -outPackedClass, and +outPackedClass were removed.
NSTimeZone -abbreviationDictionary
NSTimeZone's abbreviation dictionary is now a proper one-to-one dictionary.

Version 1.10.1

Runtime version discovery of library
A developer can discover the version of the base library that is loaded using the NSBundle methods [[NSBundle bundleForLibrary: @"gnustep-base"] infoDictionary] and retrieving the GSBundleVersion key.
NSXMLParser class added
This is a Cocoa class that has been added for compatibility. The class is still alpha state.
NSArray makeObjectsPerformSelector:
The order of iteration through objects was changed to match Cocoa.
Designated initializer changes
The designated initializer for NSArray, NSDictionary, NSSet, and NSString for MacOS X compatibility. Like MacOS X, you can call [super init] to initialize the class from a subclass, although it is prefered that you use the designated initializer, with it's richer set of initializers.

Version 1.10.0

Interface version change
The interface version of the base library has changed in this release, as it will in all future releases with a new minor number (that's the second number in the release number). Applications, libraries and tools that wish to use this new version must be recompiled (otherwise, they'll use the older version of the library). There is no single reason for this change. Arguably, it should have been done long ago.
NSString clarification
The NSString documentation contains some clarification on the lifetime of returned NSString objects.
URL classes support persistant connections
The NSURLHandle and other classes have support for persistant connections.
NSMethodSignature clarification
Recent compiler releases have exposed a flaw in the way GNUstep gathers signature information. The documentation explains how the information for offset and registers may not be reliable.
Mac OS X compatibility
There have been many fixes in various classes for Mac OS X compatibility, particularly relating to XML encoding.

Version 1.9.2

GSMime parsing ignores extraneous data
When extraneous data is encountered in the input, it is ignored (and a warning logged) rather than adding it to the message body. Not sure this is right though, perhaps we should raise an exception or extend the api to return the extra data. Anyway, it's better than the previous behavior of adding the bad data to the parsed body.
New log functions GSOnceFlag and GSOnceMLog
Log messages the first time the code is executed. Typical usage is to log warnings about deprecated features.
New MacOSX compatibility class
Multiple new runtime functions that work with both GNU and Apple runtimes. These functions allow you to look at method lists, add and remove methods (for instance, if you want to make sure your method in a category overrides another method in a category).
NSProtocolChecker rewritten
Was previously almost non-functional.
Support added for building frames structured documentation. Add the flag -MakeFrames YES to the autogsdoc command line.
Binary incompatibilities
NSUnarchiver, GSIMapTable have new ivars added to them. Tools and applications that use these classes may need to be recompiled after the new library is installed.