[Pharo-project] New IDE alternative (was Misc. newbie questions)

Gerry Weaver gerryw at compvia.com
Mon Jan 16 06:38:44 CET 2012


Hi Jimmie,

Good stuff!! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply to my post. Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated.


Thanks Again,
Gerry



-----Original Message----- 
> From: "Jimmie Houchin" <jlhouchin at gmail.com> 
> To: pharo-project at lists.gforge.inria.fr 
> Date: 01/15/12 19:44 
> Subject: Re: [Pharo-project] New IDE alternative (was Misc. newbie questions) 
> 
> On 1/15/2012 6:55 AM, Gerry Weaver wrote:
> > Hi Andreas,
> >
> >> I am not comfortable with the idea to write parts of an application in
> >> different languages.
> >> Typically the disadvantages overweigh the advantages to do so as you
> >> would have different languages and systems to master and update.
> >> Interoperability with other systems and languages should be easy and
> >> Squeak/Pharo are still lacking in this area. This is well known and
> >> hopefully there will be some improvements in the future.
> >
> > I guess I would have to disagree with you here. Most of the editors and
> > IDEs of other languages are not maintained by the language proper. There
> > are many editors and IDEs that support many languages in addition to the
> > one they are written in. I think the benefits of using a full featured
> > GUI toolkit to create an IDE would be significant.
> 
> And I have to disagree with you here. You lack the imagination and 
> knowledge to understand the significant advantage of having a single 
> language, environment and toolset that Smalltalk provides.
> 
> >> Planning to give up on parts like GUI is a bad idea in my opinion.
> >> Smalltalk would be even more niche than it is now. I want to be able to
> >> build complete applications without the need to build parts in another
> >> language.
> >
> > In theory I would agree with you. However, I wasn't able to come up with
> > an application scenario where the Pharo GUI would work. Either the
> > widget set and OS integration are too limited or performance is a
> > problem. For example, the last several applications I have done needed
> > to display PDF files. I have done a little testing with Pharo and I'm
> > sorry to say the results were not very encouraging. The problem I think
> > is one of limited resources. I think that maybe trimming some things
> > would render more progress on the core. Perhaps a good and complete
> > binding to one of the current GUI toolkits would be easier to maintain.
> > You would also get the instant advantage of everything the toolkit had
> > to offer (including performance). A more robust FFI would inevitably be
> > realized as a result.
> 
> Again, I think you lack imagination. You are stuck in box built by all 
> your previous tools and experience. And from your box you are trying to 
> look at Smalltalk and trying to shape it to your experience and thusly 
> declaring its deficiencies. This does not make Smalltalk wrong.
> 
> Most of us here like the Smalltalk experience. We like the language. We 
> like the image. Are there issues that we would like to overcome? Of 
> course. Outside of interfacing with the outside world being made easier, 
> I don't think you are really addressing those issues. Instead, your are 
> creating issues we don't have. And many of us find many things we can do 
> living in our world and slowly working on what our world can access.
> 
> If you want to mold Pharo into the image that you think it should be. 
> Please feel free to do so. It is open source. Fork it and make it so. We 
> would even help where we are able. But you are going outside of the 
> vision and worldview of this community and most any Smalltalk community.
> 
> Cincom, Gemstone, or any of the other commercial Smalltalks have 
> reasonable success despite all the deficiencies you have discovered.
> 
> And if you decide that Smalltalk doesn't fit your worldview. That is ok. 
> Find the tool that fits you. Be productive with it. And if you want to 
> create what you think is a better way with what you learn from 
> Smalltalk. Go for it.
> 
> As far as GUI. I like ours. I think it can be improved greatly. But I 
> like access to it as part of my environment.
> 
> What is a standard UI? Who set this standard? Why is QT standard? or 
> WxWidgets or ...? Look at the most used apps out there. Are they using 
> native standard UI? I don't think so. iTunes is a hugely used app. Is it 
> standard UI? No. Apple Mail? Safari? Windows Media player? No these 
> things are used by most of the computing world and they don't even use 
> the normal standard native UI of their platform. And they are all ugly.
> 
> Is Facebook standard? Web apps are used all the time.
> 
> Who says what is standard. And is what is standard today, what we should 
> strive for? Or can we work towards a better future.
> 
> I use all kinds of applications which do not meet your standard of being 
> a native standard UI. But I use them. Why? Because they provide the 
> abilities to do what I want or need. Not because they meet any 
> particular standards as defined by nameless potentially clueless people.
> 
> So more than meeting any particularly defined standard of UI, what is 
> required is than an application be compelling. If it is not, then no 
> matter how standards compliant it will meet with little receptiveness.
> 
> Is Eclipse, Netbeans, Vi, Emacs standard. Windows or Mac? If Windows, 
> XP, Vista, 7, 8? What is standard on Linux? KDE, Gnome, Unity, pick your 
> favorite WM. So why is it your developers get to use non-standard tools, 
> (Emacs, Vi), or define then standard as being what they use?
> 
> There are lots of applications where the UI is almost never standard by 
> anyone's definition. In my world financial investment apps. Education 
> apps, games, ...
> 
> This argument passes no reasonable standard.
> 
> >> Especially having the IDE in Smalltalk itself and thus being able to
> >> inspect and debug and modify everything is a big advantage over any IDE
> >> in a different language.
> >
> >> I don't understand why the IDE needs to be in the image/language to do that.
> >> All Smalltalk implementations have shortcomings in some areas. There
> >> are a multitude of reasons for it, be it commercially
> >> (greater estimated expenses than earnings from it) or just lack of
> >> capacity. Smalltalk users are rare these days and the community is
> >> split because of different implementations and interests. For me, Pharo
> >> is on a good way to take the Smalltalk language into a better
> >> ecosystem. But for the moment Dolphin Smalltalk is my preferred system
> >> because it's relatively cheap and has only few known bugs. In my eyes
> >> it deserves a bigger community and better commercial success. But I
> >> guess that's what every Smalltalker thinks about his preferred
> >> Smalltalk system...
> >
> > Dolphin seems to be one of the better implementations, but the problem
> > with Dolphin is Windows. All of the projects on my radar right now are
> > moving applications away from Windows to Mac/Linux (mostly Mac).
> 
> So, in this statement, by definition you are moving from the most 
> standard defined UI to lesser standard UIs. Linux is all over the map.
> 
> The above are simply my opinions and I make no express statements that 
> anyone else in the Pharo community agrees with them.
> 
> Personally I am all for improving the Pharo worlds and making more 
> things accessible within that world. Not necessarily becoming like the 
> world outside of Pharo/Smalltalk. If I want that world, it is already there.
> 
> I would also presume that by your exploration of our little world, which 
> by the way is 30+ years old, that you have sufficient deficiencies in 
> the world you come from to explore what else is available.
> 
> Jimmie






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