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  1. ajbpre's Avatar
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       #21  
    Back in the day (2007) Microsoft released Silverlight 1.0 - the in-browser plugin that provided full graphic support. Pages were designed with XAML, a type of XML. And the code-behind was JAVASCRIPT. A scripting language?

    Microsoft quickly came to their senses and released Silverlight 2.0, with the code-behind provded by C#, a variant of C which uses the .NET Framework. Result, one very cool combination of graphics and programmer friendly functionality. Silverlight could now integrate server side functions with the client side in just a few lines of code. Sadly, Silvelight got itself lost somewhere in the Cloud - mainly due to it's overpowering learning curve, overpriced development tools and Microsoft not quite knowing why Silverlight existed. WPF anyone?
  2. #22  
    Quote Originally Posted by ajbpre View Post
    Microsoft quickly came to their senses and released Silverlight 2.0, with the code behind provded by C#, a variant of C which uses the .NET Framework. Result, one very cool combination of graphics and programmer friendly functionality. Silverlight could now integrate server side functions with the client side in just a few lines of code. Sadly, Silvelight got itself lost somewhere in the Cloud - mainly due to it's overpowering learning curve and overpriced development tools.
    C# is Microsoft's answer to Java. It's not really a variant of C (any more than Javascript). Objective C and C++ could be described as C variants.
  3. #23  
    The Pre needs a robust SDK which allows compiled languages and GPU developer access, Period =P
  4. #24  
    and C# is a language I am -far- more comfortable with than Java. Microsoft did a LOT of things right in C#.
  5. #25  
    Quote Originally Posted by ADGrant View Post
    The arguement is not about a particular language, it is about loosely typed interpreted scripting languages vs more formal strongly typed conventional OO languages. It has been going on since the days of Basic vs Pascal. There are a wide range of views, however most formally trained developers would agree that the more complex a system is, the less likely it is that a scripting language is the appropriate tool. OTOH, there any many programming tasks that (for example) C++ is complete overkill for.
    If by "most formally trained" you mean most people trained to believe strongly typed is the only way, you might be right. That doesn't make the view right.

    Many formally trained programmers don't really have much experience with other languages. I've programmed more than simple programs in Assembly, Basic, Ada, Pascal, Lisp, Scheme, C, Objective-C, C++, C#, Fortran, Cobol, Java, Perl, PHP, Postscript, Prolog, Python, Ruby, Smalltalk, JavaScript, and many others scripts or control languages I can't remember doing. I worked and learned whatever language was needed to get that job done.

    The more complex the programming problem, the more likely that the most efficient language will yield the best solution. Strong typed languages are often the most complex and require much more work to produce the same outcome. It isn't uncommon for C or Java programmers to have SEVERE productivity gains by switching to Python for most things. Only coding C and tying to it when needed for performance.

    There is a reason why many formally trained and intelligent programmers at Google are writing in Python. There is also a reason why they write is in Java at times too.

    The only thing that can be said is almost all blanket statements are false. A good programmer uses the right tool for the job. They don't argue that their favorite language or style is automatically it.
    Your Pre wants Word Whirl from the App Catalog.

    It told me.
  6. #26  
    Quote Originally Posted by rboatright View Post
    and C# is a language I am -far- more comfortable with than Java. Microsoft did a LOT of things right in C#.
    Yes, it is very improved over Java. The improvements are in the libraries. The languages are almost the same. We have converted back end business logic from Java to C#, by changing the headers and recompiling.

    On the other hand ASP.NET an abomination. Why in the world should you have a DLL for a page? It just makes doing good web solutions very hard at times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow-360 View Post
    The Pre needs a robust SDK which allows compiled languages and GPU developer access, Period =P
    That I agree with, also.
    Last edited by sacherjj; 10/22/2009 at 09:57 PM.
    Your Pre wants Word Whirl from the App Catalog.

    It told me.
  7. #27  
    300 words redacted. I'm out.
  8. #28  
    Quote Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
    The more complex the programming problem, the more likely that the most efficient language will yield the best solution. Strong typed languages are often the most complex and require much more work to produce the same outcome. It isn't uncommon for C or Java programmers to have SEVERE productivity gains by switching to Python for most things. Only coding C and tying to it when needed for performance.
    C programmers can enjoy 'SEVERE' productivity gains by switching to any number of strongly typed programming languages, Java for example.

    Java is not a particularly complex programming language to use and neither is C#. In my experiance productivity problems are most often caused by complexities or bugs in the APIs that are being used in association with the language or by a lack of skill on the part of the developer.

    Its true that scripting languages often allow code to be written very quickly (though modern IDEs eliminate most of that advantage), the problem comes when the original developer leaves the company and someone else has to maintain it. Perl is infamous in this regard and is sometime described as a write only programming language. In Python, removing a tab character from the source code can completely change a scripts behaviour.
  9. #29  
    Quote Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
    Yes, it is very improved over Java. The improvements are in the libraries. The languages are almost the same. We have converted back end business logic from Java to C#, by changing the headers and recompiling.
    Java and C# don't have header files (a major advantage over C and its OO derivatives IMHO). They also have significant differences such as how they handle virtual methods, explicit exception declarations in Java, operator overloading, structs properties an events in C#, dynamic type loading and many other details. OTOH they do have a lot in common both positive and negative (such as the lack of a robust const model).
  10. ajbpre's Avatar
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       #30  
    So ADGrant Sacherjj Rboatright etc ... Will Palm have to replace Javascript with some strict language like C++ or Java, or will they just have to go back and add-in the missing features of the HTML5 model - like full CCS3 support.

    Personally, I would like to see Java adopted as the language of the assistant; Java has the strictness and feature set advanced developers need to make their Palm devices do the cool things that the i- user takes for granted. Even my dinky and very cheap Sendo mobile phone can run compiled Java games - on it's microscopic 32x22mm screen!

    Project JAVA 4 ASSISTANTS anyone?
  11. #31  
    I think it would be rad if they didn't ever support C++ or Java and just went ahead with HTML5. Someone's gotta do it. Actually I'm hoping Dion and Ben are pushing hard in that direction.

    But realistically, it's pretty far off and Palm mostly depends on Apple, Google and Mozilla to advance the state of the art. What I'd like to see: WebWorkers, WebSocket and full Canvas support.

    Then again, I personally don't care for games on my phone.
    Palm Vx > Treo 650 > Centro > G1 > Pre > BlackBerry 9700
  12. ajbpre's Avatar
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       #32  
    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    I think it would be rad if they didn't ever support C++ or Java and just went ahead with HTML5. Someone's gotta do it. Actually I'm hoping Dion and Ben are pushing hard in that direction.

    But realistically, it's pretty far off and Palm mostly depends on Apple, Google and Mozilla to advance the state of the art. What I'd like to see: WebWorkers, WebSocket and full Canvas support.

    Then again, I personally don't care for games on my phone.
    Well I'm not a gamer but... on the i-Store, the volume of free and paid for game downloads far outweighs any other class of app. This is why the likes of Sega and EA are pumping millions into i- games. Close behind in sales volume are e-books and social networking apps. But utility apps, for which the Pre has an abundance, tail way behind in demand.

    There's only so many change-my-wallpaper apps that the market can bare. Consumers want games and interesting ways of presenting mundaine content (it's been that way since the ZX Spectrum days). Not so easy eh, when you can only place a Jpeg in a Canvas tag by employing a workaround?

    My quote for this weekend:

    "I can understand why Palm did what they did. Now Palm has to understand why the developer community cannot do what it wants to do. AJB"
  13. #33  
    Quote Originally Posted by ajbpre View Post
    So ADGrant Sacherjj Rboatright etc ... Will Palm have to replace Javascript with some strict language like C++ or Java, or will they just have to go back and add-in the missing features of the HTML5 model - like full CCS3 support.

    Personally, I would like to see Java adopted as the language of the assistant; Java has the strictness and feature set advanced developers need to make their Palm devices do the cool things that the i- user takes for granted. Even my dinky and very cheap Sendo mobile phone can run compiled Java games - on it's microscopic 32x22mm screen!

    Project JAVA 4 ASSISTANTS anyone?
    Neither Java or C++ are as strict as some suggest. Java would make it easier to develop applications for WebOS as would a debugger (actually more important). C++ or C does make certain types of apps possible or easier to develop. For example much of the Classic PalmOS emulator is written in C.
  14. #34  
    Quote Originally Posted by sivan View Post
    I think it would be rad if they didn't ever support C++ or Java and just went ahead with HTML5. Someone's gotta do it. Actually I'm hoping Dion and Ben are pushing hard in that direction.
    They are not even doing that now.
  15. #35  
    WebOS is a love/hate relationship with me. I'm still in love with the "feel" of the OS - using the Pre is largely a pleasant, frustration-free experience. Developing for it isn't. For instance, the lack of source hiding and binary support has gone from cute to annoying, and the number of fundamental API/SDK bugs and limitations that we've encountered has made us freeze development on WebOS. Guess iPhone gets another app. Sigh.

    I've been sharing an N900 for the last couple of weeks, and although Maemo 5 is not nearly as "slick" as WebOS, it is many times more functional. Programming for the platform is literally a breeze thanks to the use of Qt, C++, and a much more mature SDK, and the hardware is rock solid from the user's perspective. It has made me realize how far Palm needs to come before WebOS will be competitive.

    Battery life is another issue. I get about 2-3 hours of heavy use on the Pre, whereas the N900 (same battery size, same basic hardware with even more accessory silicon) gives me at least 7. This suggests that Palm has a lot of power optimization left to do.

    I love, love, love WebOS and the Pre despite its many flaws. Palm needs a time machine to compete with Android, Maemo, and the others, and realistically there are many other developers and users like us who are doing a hard reality check and wondering if this platform is ever going to graduate from curiosity to competitor.
  16. #36  
    Quote Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
    Anyone who believes that Type languages save you, will hate JavaScript or Python or others. Anyone who understands that you have to type check just as much in "typed" languages knows it doesn't matter. The big bugs usually aren't about typing incorrectly.
    My view is that strongly typed vs. untyped is a personal choice. A good parser/compiler can help you avoid all but the worst kind of mistakes in either paradigm, and in either case, the developer still has wide latitude to throw spanners in the gearbox.

    The real issue is that strongly typed languages are more directly compatible with machine code. Weakly typed languages (universally?) require run-time reflection and type inspection, which imposes a penalty on processing cost and limit a developer's control over optimization. When you are programming for tightly-bound targets - in the mobile space, we are bound by power, memory, and CPU - untyped languages generally add more problems than they solve. I'm finding that this is the case with WebOS.
  17. #37  
    Quote Originally Posted by ajbpre View Post
    So ADGrant Sacherjj Rboatright etc ... Will Palm have to replace Javascript with some strict language like C++ or Java, or will they just have to go back and add-in the missing features of the HTML5 model - like full CCS3 support.

    Personally, I would like to see Java adopted as the language of the assistant; Java has the strictness and feature set advanced developers need to make their Palm devices do the cool things that the i- user takes for granted. Even my dinky and very cheap Sendo mobile phone can run compiled Java games - on it's microscopic 32x22mm screen!

    Project JAVA 4 ASSISTANTS anyone?
    You know, there are a lot of "formally trained programmers" who didn't go to java schools, who learned scheme and lisp and who find functional languages to be liberating.

    The fact that your dinky Sendo mobile phone runs java apps through the mobile java UI is really of little if any interest. Enabling the mobile Java UI on the pre would be a giant step backwards. Google jumped through massive hoops to create a rich new mobile UI on android for java to talk to, Apple jumped through massive hoops to create a rich new mobile UI for Objective C to talk to.

    What you're asking is the wrong question.

    Palm has -decided- that the UI for this phone is a BROWSER. That's just the way it is.

    Now, the question becomes, what shall we DO in that browser? The existance of apps like Classic, which run inside the palm mojo ui, the existance of homebrew apps like terminal which run inside the palm mojo ui, the forthcoming release of Flash for the pre, which will run INSIDE the palm mojo UI proves that the concept of using a browser as the user interface for the phone is solid.

    Those three apps do use backends based on compiled code, some in Java, some in C, and they could be written in ANY compileable language.

    So, I think, eventually, palm will release the specs for browser plugins which will allow you Java heads and C heads and ghod knows what else programmers to write your apps in your language of choice, and have them embedded in a page inside the mojo UI just like you can write java apps today to run inside firefox or internet exploder or webkit.

    Those apps will need to interact with the frame buffer through some interface, and I have no idea what it will be. I do know that ameng on Webos-Internals has released his code for the testing version of a direct frame buffer terminal running inside the mojo ui.

    So, if you wanted to get started before Palm releases the "binary sdk" you could use that as a base and start working on research now.

    or you could wait.

    I refuse to enter the discussion of strongly or weakly typed languages. I refuse to enter the discussion of classical vs prototypical inheritance. I know what I like. I also know that with modern compiler/interpretors, my favorite languages run every bit as fast as a JVM app does. V8 is an amazing engine.

    I also contend that we are far from reaching the limits of what can be written for the Pre. Business apps take time. But we have established in some detail that business apps _can_ be written in the existing API with no trouble at all.

    Reference apps can be written in the existing api with no trouble.

    With the extension of the API to include calls to an unzip/untar/etc utility, ebooks readers and similar apps are well within the ability of the framework.

    ((You could write an unzip in javascript, but by god, that's stupid when tar is setting on the machine already.))

    I expect the API to continue being opened, service after service will become available to programmers.

    Will this happen fast enough to keep the Pre alive? I don't know.

    Regarding games, it's CERTAINLY possible to write games in Javascript.

    It isn't really possible to write first-person-shooters or driving games or flight simulators in javascript without webGL. WebGL will need the graphics accelerator turned on in the pre, which it isn't.

    But OpenGL needs the same thing.

    I expect to see FPS and driving games as mojo apps with plugins "soon."

    How soon? Who knows? Ask Dion and Ben.
  18. #38  
    Quote Originally Posted by SiniStereO View Post
    Weakly typed languages (universally?) require run-time reflection and type inspection, which imposes a penalty on processing cost and limit a developer's control over optimization.
    and that is the FIRST comment in this thread regarding languages which is unarguable.
  19. ajbpre's Avatar
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       #39  
    Type reflection works to a point, but the JIT compiler can't figure that a number which has a range from 0 to 255 is a byte, and not a floating point number.

    Quote Originally Posted by rboatright View Post
    Palm has -decided- that the UI for this phone is a BROWSER. That's just the way it is.
    Tell me about it. And there is the central issue with WebOS. Developer's thought WebOS would have the same features as a Safari or Firefox browser... yeh right.

    Quote Originally Posted by rboatright View Post
    Flash for the pre
    Do tell us more? That might just save Palm from Silicon Heaven. An influx of Flash developers would add something different - not to mention a shed load of Flash games already out there.

    An eBook reader would be a welcome addition to the App Catalogue: One from Palm and for free? Then we can all quit programming and get down to writting that Red Dwarf sequel...
    Last edited by ajbpre; 10/24/2009 at 01:58 PM.
  20. #40  
    Hey ajbpre,

    Sorry, I know this is kind of off topic, but I REALLY like your avatar. The colored toggle buttons are ingenious. They look really good!

    Sorry...

    Let the opinionated argum... err... discussion continue.
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