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Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?"

Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?"

Posted Feb 5, 2013 18:50 UTC (Tue) by pboddie (guest, #50784)
In reply to: Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?" by FranTaylor
Parent article: Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?"

Maybe Scheme/Guile was historically the "official" GNOME scripting language/interpreter - I don't remember - although I actually thought it was the "official" GNU scripting language/interpreter, which is a separate matter. Meanwhile, the traditional languages for GNOME development appear to be C, Vala and Python, mostly, although as everyone has pointed out, with the right set of bindings you could develop in almost anything.

The problem with KDE and GNOME, as far as I have seen, has been the unwillingness to embrace high-level languages as first-class citizens. So although there have been some pretty good bindings for Python in both environments, there has been a tendency to push development in such languages to the margins, and the emphasis on supporting and documenting usage of such languages has been even less than for the languages favoured by the core developers.

Although I can understand that people don't want the core of a system to be a chaotic multi-language mess, the result of these policies seems to have been a reduced level of interest in developing the core components and even the accompanying applications. After all, doing stuff in C or C++ doesn't appeal to everyone. But the mindset that labels people who won't write C or C++ as "scripters", believing that they will be happy writing JavaScript on some impoverished API, is merely a continuation of the mindset that refuses to accept that people write entire systems in high-level languages and will gladly write applications for their platform if properly supported.

Instead, one gets the impression that the message is, "We hear JavaScript is cool these days, so how about you use that?" I think that people who have been pretty good at rejecting change over the years should perhaps spend a bit more time understanding their community before encouraging others to switch bandwagon, especially when those others weren't basing their choice of technology on how cool it may or may not be, anyway.


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Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?"

Posted Feb 5, 2013 20:15 UTC (Tue) by ovitters (subscriber, #27950) [Link]

You do know that various things have already been written in Javascript, for instance something like gnome-shell? This pretty much invalidates your assumptions about GNOME IMO.

Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?"

Posted Feb 6, 2013 11:02 UTC (Wed) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

I'm especially willing to be corrected about GNOME when it comes to which languages are used in which parts of the system. However, I feel that my point about the languages people have wanted to use pervasively in these systems still stands. My impression is that it has been like someone having a driving licence for a car going into a dealership and being offered a motorcycle or truck because the dealership isn't interested in what most of their customers want or need.

I used to be more interested in writing desktop applications, and I would have wanted to do this in Python. Admittedly, you could do this with PyQt/PyKDE and the corresponding Gtk/GNOME offering, but despite the best efforts of the project maintainers concerned (specifically referring to PyQt/PyKDE here), things never seemed to settle enough to support those projects fully in the underlying system. There were some attempts to make "official" bindings for KDE 3, and Kubuntu did introduce some Python-based components, but I perceive those things to be too little, too late.

Offering me JavaScript is like offering me a motorcycle. I could certainly learn how to ride one properly, but as others have pointed out, by the time I have done that my interests may be better served elsewhere.

Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?"

Posted Feb 6, 2013 11:28 UTC (Wed) by drago01 (subscriber, #50715) [Link]

Support for other languages is not going away. You can still write code in python, C, vala etc.

Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?"

Posted Feb 5, 2013 20:23 UTC (Tue) by kragil (guest, #34373) [Link]

Well, JS is the new machine code. What I am trying to say is that for every language there is a compiler that compiles to JS.

And any ways with the additions in ECMAScript6 JS will eventually be a decent language and it is small and fast and flexible.

At the moment it has a lot of warts, but you can use CoffeeScript or TypeScript to get around those now.

Javascript momentum will only increase in the future IMO, so betting on it now isn't that stupid.

Reitter: Answering the question: "How do I develop an app for GNOME?"

Posted Feb 5, 2013 22:44 UTC (Tue) by atai (subscriber, #10977) [Link]

Do you know if ECMAScript6 JS will be small and fast?


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