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  • Programming Languages For X Applications

    Phoronix: Programming Languages For X Applications

    Bart Massey, an X.Org Foundation Board of Directors member and Portland State University employee, shared his opinions this week on programming languages for X applications and the web vs. the desktop...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTE5MDc

  • #2
    Great talk!
    I still remember the day I wrote my first GUI app using WINAPI in C++, so much effort for something that should normally be simple.

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    • #3
      This is why I like D. Convenience + Power/Efficiency. Still needs work though (better GC, ARM support, etc)

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      • #4
        I don't see how he ever actually made the case for the focus on languages (though I skipped some of the Q&A). Basically, a lot of his explanations come off to me as "someone wrote a problematic toolkit in/for <language> that became popular, therefore we should abandon <language> for desktop application development". It's not as though GTK+ or Qt represent the height of elegantly idiomatic C or C++. Had that been the case, I think his point would have made a lot more sense as stated.

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        • #5
          Well, he is an academic. Those are among the most misinformed people I know of, to the point of being completely detached from actual reality.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RealNC View Post
            Well, he is an academic. Those are among the most misinformed people I know of, to the point of being completely detached from actual reality.
            Although I really didn't get the conclusion of the talk (except that the choice of PL does matter of course), I just have to agree with him: GTK+ is a pain in the ass.
            Its also one of the reasons so little development (and optimizations - every GTK release since 1.2 has only gotten slower) happens inside of GTK+ itself, its just plain hard - adding a single public method requires the developer to add code to about ~4 different places, just because they still stick to C and emulate object orientation by abusing macros and structurs.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RealNC View Post
              Well, he is an academic. Those are among the most misinformed people I know of, to the point of being completely detached from actual reality.
              well, I didn't saw the videos but...everyone who writes a GUI based program in C or C++ should be thrown into a desert, far away from any technology so that he can't do any further damage to humanity.

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              • #8
                Please help me out here. To sum up the above comments:

                Gtk+ sucks.
                C/C++ for desktop applications sucks (Qt uses C++).

                So what shall we do?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Detructor View Post
                  well, I didn't saw the videos but...everyone who writes a GUI based program in C or C++ should be thrown into a desert, far away from any technology so that he can't do any further damage to humanity.
                  Yeah, right. I have a project with a 300.000 line code base (low level, performance-critical stuff), in C++. Throwing-in the GUI in C++/Qt which takes about 4000 lines of code is the *least* work. It's even almost trivial, so why even bother with anything else.

                  I stand by my "detached from reality" comment.

                  I only agree that writing GUIs in C is somewhat awkward. And besides, doing GUIs in C++ feels very natural. As if that's how the universe intended it to be.
                  Last edited by RealNC; 09-22-2012, 09:15 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RealNC View Post
                    Well, he is an academic. Those are among the most misinformed people I know of, to the point of being completely detached from actual reality.
                    What kind of people do you think, actually created computers, the internet and everything else required for you, to write that?

                    Hint: Not the farmers.

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                    • #11
                      I'm not sure but I think what the guy is getting at is he thinks writing an entire program from top to bottom in C++ is a pain, because changes to either the OS, the GUI toolkit, the graphical server, or the program itself can end up in a chain reaction of other code that needs to be altered. So, sometimes devs don't feel like working on that and which causes the program to hold back things that depend on it, or in this case, software that it may depend on.


                      For Linux, it seems the best way to make a program is to code a backed in a language like java or C++ but make a frontend in python, perl or ruby. that way it becomes less of a problem for everyone.


                      Whether I'm right about what I said or not, I think what this dev said was a little ignorant.

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                      • #12
                        This is rather a matter of taste...

                        Personally, I like responsive and fast GUIs. If I can get those by writing in C/C++, I will write in those, even if something more fancy would do it in less LOC.

                        For example, the python GUIs that take three seconds to start and one sec to respond to button presses. The fact they're 1/3th (or whatever) the line count is irrelevant when performance is down the drain.

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                        • #13
                          C is a bitch

                          C is a bitch to code in!

                          C# and Python is much nicer than C to code in.
                          Well, Ruby, Perl, and just about anything is nicer than C to code in.

                          The GNOME guys seem to like Vala.

                          I wonder if maybe it could be possible with Google's Go programming language to code desktop applications?

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                          • #14
                            One thing that he mentions that I think is a good point is that not every GUI app needs to be a big ugly project and sometimes you just want to bang something out. For my money, though, anything in the mainstream of Android or iOS loses out on that axis to Tcl/Tk, where the "Hello, world" app complete with button callback (i.e. not the usual cop-out of using an alert dialog) is:

                            Code:
                            #!/usr/bin/env wish
                            button .hello -text "Hello" -command {puts "Hello, world"}
                            pack .hello
                            Granted, Tcl is not the best language for business logic, but it's great for bits of of GUI glue.
                            Last edited by Ex-Cyber; 09-22-2012, 01:40 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by alexThunder View Post
                              What kind of people do you think, actually created computers, the internet and everything else required for you, to write that?

                              Hint: Not the farmers.
                              Academic people only talk.

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