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  1.    #41  
    Quote Originally Posted by Brain_ReCall View Post
    This right here proves you have never developed on a targeted platform. We have a platform that is NOT a standard PC (custom Linux running on ARM). We have code that we need to run and debug. Guess what? We can debug the code on our PC if we run it through an EMULATOR! Amazing! This is how programming is done for all embedded platforms, including all smartphones. If you have actually done any programming for them, you would know.
    I have never developed app for Palm Pre if that is what you mean by targeted platform. I am trying to. I never claimed I did.

    I am developing software for last 25 years so I know what I am talking about in regards to software development... I know what is productive and what is not.

    But pray tell since you are expert, how would I do following with Palm Pre:

    - Start running an app in emulator and set breakpoint in code
    - My IDE stops on break-point and I inspect app state
    - I find what's wrong and change it
    - I simply continue running that same app without restarting

    I could not find a way to do this. If you know how to do that please educate me. I'd love to learn how to do that since that would improve my productivity 10 fold. The Rough Cuts book that is written by Palm devs says they are using TextMate which does not have integrated debugging...

    Just one example on why current model is simply unproductive. You write your code. You mis-type method name or property name. Since you do not compile you have no clue you made this mistake. You build the ipk, you deploy it and thing crashes. You find out that something is mis-typed, then you hunt it down in your editor, you correct it, and if you don't have auto-complete you will screw it up again for something else. Then you create new ipk, deploy it to emulator and run it just to find another mistake. And you do it like that all day long. I can't be the only one that finds this extremely unproductive...
  2. SirWill's Avatar
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    #42  
    Quote Originally Posted by devexpert View Post
    I have never developed app for Palm Pre if that is what you mean by targeted platform. I am trying to. I never claimed I did.

    But pray tell since you are expert, how would I do following with Palm Pre:

    - Start running an app in emulator and set breakpoint in code
    - My IDE stops on break-point and I inspect app state
    - I find what's wrong and change it
    - I simply continue running that same app without restarting
    How would you do that on an iPhone? Windows Mobile? Blackberry? symbian? Machine specific hardware specific code simply doesn't run native on an x86 platform.

    You also never answered if you are in the official SDK Beta program. Seeing as how the leaked SDK is only a small fraction of what is available on the developer portal at Palm I'm not sure how you can speak one way or another about the tools that Palm provides.
  3. #43  
    rabble rabble rabble...
  4. #44  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    Javascript is a lot of things but elegant it not one of them. Java OTOH is reasonable elegant. The developers you deride as 'old' are the developers who wrote all those great PalmOS apps and iPhone apps and just about all the PDA and smartphone apps released to date. Palm may well attract a large number of web developers to their plaform. Time will tell.

    If Android phones actually start to appear from other manufacturers and on networks other than T-Mobile, the plaform will be very attractive to developers. They already have a very polished SDK and Eclipse plugins.
    I think elegance is in the eye of the beholder - I believe javascript (especially with classes like jQuery) is more elegant because you write less code to do similar tasks. Combined with HTML & CSS, you can get a lot of flexibility with how you implement design your GUI.

    I agree that debugging javascript is not the easiest - although with tools like firebug, javascript has come a long way in terms of debugging. I think the reason Palm has taken some time in releasing their SDK is that they're trying to develop a good way to debug your apps. I think that's the biggest thing this SDK needs to become complete. However, you can't hate on javascript because there's no debugger. It's not a fault of the language, it's just that people haven't spent the time to make good IDEs & debuggers.
  5. #45  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    Javascript is a lot of things but elegant it not one of them. Java OTOH is reasonable elegant. The developers you deride as 'old' are the developers who wrote all those great PalmOS apps and iPhone apps and just about all the PDA and smartphone apps released to date. Palm may well attract a large number of web developers to their plaform. Time will tell.

    If Android phones actually start to appear from other manufacturers and on networks other than T-Mobile, the plaform will be very attractive to developers. They already have a very polished SDK and Eclipse plugins.
    I think elegance is in the eye of the beholder - I believe javascript (especially with classes like jQuery) is more elegant because you write less code to do similar tasks. Combined with HTML & CSS, you can get a lot of flexibility with how you implement design your GUI.

    I agree that debugging javascript is not the easiest - although with tools like firebug, javascript has come a long way in terms of debugging. I think the reason Palm has taken some time in releasing their SDK is that they're trying to develop a good way to debug your apps. I think that's the biggest thing this SDK needs to become complete. However, you can't hate on javascript because there's no debugger. It's not a fault of the language, it's just that people haven't spent the time to make good IDEs & debuggers.
  6. #46  
    I haven't seen the SDK or looked at the source for apps yet but have a few comments about the generalizations made here.

    Quote Originally Posted by devexpert View Post
    I think Palm really shoot themselves in the foot with this whole approach...

    First the choice of JavaScript. Man, what was going through their mind there? Coding complex apps in JavaScript is royal PITA. If you ever coded something complex in JavaScript you know what I am talking about. If they've chosen Ruby or Python I could understand, and I bet people would love that much more and be more productive... And faster, phone is slow because it runs in browser and on JavaScript.
    This criticism pertains to all interpreted languages. Python and Ruby are not much different, though arguably more mature and elegant. But I'd be hard pressed to think of advantages either would have brought to the type of applications running on the Pre, which are user facing.

    Then, they send us, developers, back to freaking 1990's so we have to code in Notepads and other plain text editors all without syntax checking, auto-complete and debugging. Serious time waster...
    You clearly come from a static language development background and expect extensive IDE support. But many programmers who use interpreted/dynamic languages are used to and are still content without these amenities. And as has been said, there are more advanced editors and you're not confined to notepad.

    Next you have debug your app in the simulator for anything serious. It it appears that this is here to stay for some time according to Rough Cuts book. WOW, talk about pain.
    I don't understand the issue but I haven't seen the emulator. In any case, I don't think debugging support will be lacking. You are also likely using an unofficial release of the SDK and seem have no documentation and are trying to figure out things on your own.

    I really looked forward to trying to develop something on Pre, but man this thing is just badly architected. If you study the code for internal apps you'll understand. Everything based on JavaScript and browser, you can see un-elegance of the whole solution... JSJSJS $is$ $just$ $ugly$...
    Well, I think Palm is taking a big gamble here. On the other hand, it seems that they really tried to answer the question "what's the simplest thing that could possibly work?" in their approach. Now, of course, this means webOS will be somewhat slower but we're talking about mobile apps so they may have nailed the simplest architecture that could possibly work for the needs on the device.

    I don't know. The Android SDK is nice, but the layout is built with its own XML dialect, which you have to learn from scratch. And here you have familiar XHTML and CSS instead. You have to ask, who took the smarter route?

    So with this SDK there are no serious games you can develop with it, you are stuck with ancient tools and unproductive process.

    If you had time to look into the internals and how internal apps are developed what do you think?
    Again, I haven't looked, just responding to your generalizations. But you should reassess your notion of what's really necessary for this category of applications. Other than games, and maybe VoIP, I don't see where this framework is inadequate. The Pre won't be a gaming platform for some time, but I've rarely played games on my Palm devices so for users like me it makes no difference.

    With that said, I think that JavaScript is both friendly to beginners but at the same time very powerful and demands experience and good judgment for this type of application development. This is an aspect where Android is more mature due to its monitoring of application behavior and resources. In webOS it doesn't seem to be as developed and so developers will really need to know what they're doing and be careful with resource usage.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  7. mosdl's Avatar
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    #47  
    Lets not rush to conclusions when the actual sdk hasn't yet been released (and those who have it can't comment due to the NDA).
  8. mglinski's Avatar
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    #48  
    Quote Originally Posted by devexpert View Post
    I have never developed app for Palm Pre if that is what you mean by targeted platform. I am trying to. I never claimed I did.

    I am developing software for last 25 years so I know what I am talking about in regards to software development... I know what is productive and what is not.

    But pray tell since you are expert, how would I do following with Palm Pre:

    - Start running an app in emulator and set breakpoint in code
    - My IDE stops on break-point and I inspect app state
    - I find what's wrong and change it
    - I simply continue running that same app without restarting

    I could not find a way to do this. If you know how to do that please educate me. I'd love to learn how to do that since that would improve my productivity 10 fold. The Rough Cuts book that is written by Palm devs says they are using TextMate which does not have integrated debugging...

    Just one example on why current model is simply unproductive. You write your code. You mis-type method name or property name. Since you do not compile you have no clue you made this mistake. You build the ipk, you deploy it and thing crashes. You find out that something is mis-typed, then you hunt it down in your editor, you correct it, and if you don't have auto-complete you will screw it up again for something else. Then you create new ipk, deploy it to emulator and run it just to find another mistake. And you do it like that all day long. I can't be the only one that finds this extremely unproductive...
    The Inspector in Safari 4 includes full support for breakpoints, please do take a look. Things have progressed immensely since the days of the XMLHttpRequest. Its not going to be as integrated and mature as say, VStudio or XCode but what you are complaining about as not being there is there. The SDK actually requires Safari 4 to install and run properly, perhaps the upgraded Inspector was one of the main deciding factors behind that.
    Code:
    yfrog[dot]com/42picture1ydrp
    (I don't think my post count is high enough to post links or images, so replace the "[dot]" in that link with a "." to see the Safari JSJSJS $Inspector$.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    Javascript is a lot of things but elegant it not one of them. Java OTOH is reasonable elegant. The developers you deride as 'old' are the developers who wrote all those great PalmOS apps and iPhone apps and just about all the PDA and smartphone apps released to date. Palm may well attract a large number of web developers to their plaform. Time will tell.

    If Android phones actually start to appear from other manufacturers and on networks other than T-Mobile, the platform will be very attractive to developers. They already have a very polished SDK and Eclipse plugins.
    As mentioned before(not by me) Elegant will mean different things to different people based on what they are trying to do. While I do point out one main difference between 'old' and 'new' and a (somewhat negative) reference to the changing media landscape, I don't intend to deride the 'old' development crowd. I love compiled languages for some programming tasks. I just think it's a little messed up that because it works in one place we shouldn't try new things and make it better in a different environment.
    -G01
  9. #49  
    Quote Originally Posted by SirWill View Post
    How would you do that on an iPhone? Windows Mobile? Blackberry? symbian? Machine specific hardware specific code simply doesn't run native on an x86 platform.
    With Android you simply fire up Eclipse, set your breakpoint and hit F11. Typo's will be caught at compile time and if the app builds, the emulator will start up, the app will load, run and stop at the breakpoint.
  10. #50  
    Quote Originally Posted by mosdl View Post
    Lets not rush to conclusions when the actual sdk hasn't yet been released (and those who have it can't comment due to the NDA).
    Javascript is a well known language so we are hardly making a leap into the unknown here.
  11. #51  
    Quote Originally Posted by mglinski01 View Post

    As mentioned before(not by me) Elegant will mean different things to different people based on what they are trying to do. While I do point out one main difference between 'old' and 'new' and a (somewhat negative) reference to the changing media landscape, I don't intend to deride the 'old' development crowd. I love compiled languages for some programming tasks. I just think it's a little messed up that because it works in one place we shouldn't try new things and make it better in a different environment.
    -G01
    The web development model is not new and Javascript is almost as old as Java and much older than C#. Scripting langages are as old as the OS that Linux copied from. I am amazed that so many people think that WebOS is revolutionary in some way.
  12. #52  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    You seem not to know the meaning of the word 'inherit', I think you mean inherent. You also seem not to understand the inherent advantages of strongly typed OO languages or Objective C (which is a weakly typed OO language).
    Objective-C has dynamic (to be absolutely correct, hybrid), and strong typing, and is not weakly typed.
  13. #53  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    The web development model is not new and Javascript is almost as old as Java and much older than C#. Scripting langages are as old as the OS that Linux copied from. I am amazed that so many people think that WebOS is revolutionary in some way.
    It's something new in the sense that JSJSJS $is$ $now$ $a$ $first$ $class$ $language$ $on$ $a$ $device$. $I$ $don$'$t$ $know$ $of$ $any$ $other$ $mainstream$ $device$ $that$ $uses$ $an$ $interpreted$ $language$.

    I guess to me the test is in what it can or can't do. And thinking of the various apps I've used on my smartphones, excluding games, I can't think of much that it can't do. So why not have it if it does what you need, why have something more complicated?
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  14. #54  
    Quote Originally Posted by ydaraishy View Post
    Objective-C has dynamic (to be absolutely correct, hybrid), and strong typing, and is not weakly typed.
    Well its weakly typed relative to C++
  15. #55  
    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    It's something new in the sense that JSJSJS $is$ $now$ $a$ $first$ $class$ $language$ $on$ $a$ $device$. $I$ $don$'$t$ $know$ $of$ $any$ $other$ $mainstream$ $device$ $that$ $uses$ $an$ $interpreted$ $language$.

    I guess to me the test is in what it can or can't do. And thinking of the various apps I've used on my smartphones, excluding games, I can't think of much that it can't do. So why not have it if it does what you need, why have something more complicated?
    Because the 'complicated' language results in simpler to maintain and debug code. Most developers spend most of their time maintaining existing code and debugging. A well designed application written in a well designed language can significantly enhance a developers productivity as can mature debugging tools.
  16. #56  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    Because the 'complicated' language results in simpler to maintain and debug code. Most developers spend most of their time maintaining existing code and debugging. A well designed application written in a well designed language can significantly enhance a developers productivity as can mature debugging tools.
    Okay, but this is a debate that's older than webOS specifically

    I sympathize with your point but the fact is that there are legions of developers who prefer scripting languages for any scope of work, and will argue you to death on how much more productive they are.

    My concern is a bit different and has to do with how well applications will be managed by webOS. Android monitors applications for responsiveness and resource usage automatically. I'm a bit concerned about beginner programmers who know a bit of JavaScript but don't have the awareness of how an application should behave in a shared environment, and what optimizations are necessary on a mobile device.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  17. #57  
    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    My concern is a bit different and has to do with how well applications will be managed by webOS. Android monitors applications for responsiveness and resource usage automatically. I'm a bit concerned about beginner programmers who know a bit of JavaScript but don't have the awareness of how an application should behave in a shared environment, and what optimizations are necessary on a mobile device.
    The same argument could also be made for novice developers doing far more drastic things to the Pre if coding incorrectly in C, C++, Objective C, etc. I would think that Javascript would possible hinder performance of the device, which would be identified and people would stop using the App until it was optimized. However, bad JSJSJS $would$ $but$ $probably$ $less$ $likely$ $to$ $crash$ $the$ $device$ $than$ $bad$ $C$.
  18. #58  
    Quote Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
    The same argument could also be made for novice developers doing far more drastic things to the Pre if coding incorrectly in C, C++, Objective C, etc. I would think that Javascript would possible hinder performance of the device, which would be identified and people would stop using the App until it was optimized. However, bad JSJSJS $would$ $but$ $probably$ $less$ $likely$ $to$ $crash$ $the$ $device$ $than$ $bad$ $C$.
    Yes, but with JavaScript you provide an opening to legions of web developers for better or worse.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  19. #59  
    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    Okay, but this is a debate that's older than webOS specifically

    I sympathize with your point but the fact is that there are legions of developers who prefer scripting languages for any scope of work, and will argue you to death on how much more productive they are.

    My concern is a bit different and has to do with how well applications will be managed by webOS. Android monitors applications for responsiveness and resource usage automatically. I'm a bit concerned about beginner programmers who know a bit of JavaScript but don't have the awareness of how an application should behave in a shared environment, and what optimizations are necessary on a mobile device.
    True, the debate has been going on for at least the last 20 years or so. Version 1.0 of Perl was released on Dec 18th, 1997. From Wikipedia:

    'There is a broad practical bent to both the Perl language and the community and culture that surround it. The preface to Programming Perl begins, "Perl is a language for getting your job done." One consequence of this is that Perl is not a tidy language. It includes many features, tolerates exceptions to its rules, and employs heuristics to resolve syntactical ambiguities. Because of the forgiving nature of the compiler, bugs can sometimes be hard to find. Discussing the variant behaviour of built-in functions in list and scalar contexts, the perlfunc(1) manual page says, "In general, they do what you want, unless you want consistency."'

    Of course all scripting languages make it easy for beginners to make a mess.
  20. #60  
    True, the debate has been going on for at least the last 20 years or so. Version 1.0 of Perl was released on Dec 18th, 1997. From Wikipedia:
    It's been going on a lot longer than that. There were similar arguments as early as the first developer tools for the IBM PC, that I remember. And probably for the Apple II. Heck, even mainframes had scripting languages, although the distinction between what one would use REXX for, as opposed to COBOL, were much more clear.


    I find this thread moderately amusing. I'll start off by saying I'm not a web developer. I pretty much moved out of development about the time the web started becoming a useful host for applications. Did a little bit of Java coding, and some Javascript, but more playing around that doing serious applications.

    BUT, I've done a lot of development, from Fortran and COBOL up through C++ on one extreme and Visual Basic and dBase on the other. And I've seen variations on these arguments for pretty much every platform from IBM mainframes to 8088 based PCs.

    COBOL vs. PL1, Basic vs. Pascal, dBase vs Access. At some point it becomes a religious war, like Mac vs. PC, iPHone vs. Pre (or whatever), Mainframe vs. mini, etc.

    Every language has weaknesses. Things it doesn't do well, or things that are difficult and complicated to do. Javascript is no different. Neither are Java or C.

    There is no question it's possible to write powerful apps in JSJSJS. $And$ $there$'$s$ $no$ $question$ $it$ $can$'$t$ $do$ $everything$. $But$ $there$ $are$ $many$, $many$ $things$ $it$ $does$ $very$ $well$. $How$ $severe$ $the$ $limitations$ $are$ $for$ $most$ $things$ $will$ $depend$ $more$ $on$ $what$ $APIs$ $Palm$ $opens$ $up$ $than$ $any$ $limitations$ $in$ $the$ $language$, $I$ $think$.

    For some things, gaming for example, Palm will clearly have to provide an alternative. Given how popular handheld gaming has become, I find it hard to believe that Palm won't eventually provide the proper tools. But the current development platform is a way to get a lot of apps available quickly. People are already building apps without full access to the SDK.

    Finally, it seems a relatively pointless argument (just like most religous arguments). It is what it is. Palm's not going to suddenly say "OMG, we screwed up, and we're changing the SDK to support Java and Objective C!" If you want to code for the Pre, today, you'll use JSJSJS. $If$ $you$ $really$ $don$'$t$ $want$ $to$ $use$ $JS$, $don$'$t$ $code$ $for$ $the$ $Pre$. $Those$ $are$ $really$ $your$ $only$ $choices$.
    Bob Meyer
    I'm out of my mind. But feel free to leave a message.
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