Development Environment

  • johnoc

    johnoc - 2008-01-13

    Hi Derm

    I've downloaded the source and binaries but am not having a fun time putting the whole thing together.
    I see that you have decided to go down the M$ route with .NET and VB.

    Is this a hard decision? Or are you open to suggestions here too?
    Would you consider an open dev environment that is cross platform?

    What was your reasoning for choosing this route over a more platform friendly language like Java?
    To be honest, having to install .NET and VB and whatever else Bill decides I'll need is painful.

    As a developer I should be able to read the code using any editor I so wish (xemacs of course) and I really ought to be able to build from a command line (makefile/ant files would be better - I can help here).

    By going down a more open route you'll also be more likely to attract more interest from the community. Being able to just download the source (along with the open tools needed) and just typing make from your favourite shell (cmd, cygwin, etc) is what I'd be more used to.

    Are you regretting emailing me yet? ... ;)


    • Derm

      Derm - 2008-01-14

      I take one weekend offline...

      Right, the main reasoning behind VB is ease of use and learning. I read somewhere that Basic is the most widely used language in the world, with VB leading the way. Eolas is primarily aimed at education due to possible legal requirements as to providing accessible content, therefore the core audience would not be coders. In my masters year all of the teachers loved VB but em, endured, JAVA. VB is widely used by non-coders and I wanted them to feel they can change the app as much as coders.

      Secondly I hadn't coded in about 8 years, so a widely-used, easy-to-learn language with plenty of Idiot books and online references was ideal. Especially as I had already played around with it :)

      Thirdly, SharpDev,, is an open-source .Net coding environment for VB & C#. It's less forgiving than M$ VB.NET and I'm working on fixing up the code. There's also a cross-platform open-source .NET in development whose name escapes me. So, I am open to an open cross-dev :)

      All-in-all though, I've opened up this development so everything and anything is eligible for change. Obviously the app needs coders and I still don't know how well VB will perform in an open-source environment.

      I'm not regretting emailing you as I'd like to get it off the ground, but I hope I won't be getting  5-6 post from you after a relaxing w/e :)

    • johnoc

      johnoc - 2008-01-14

      Derm you should know better than take a w/e offline!!! :)

      I would have to question your stats on most widely used language. But thats for another day/post.
      I'm more interested in the other reasons. It sounds like you want non coders to update the codebase. Is this true?
      Run away with hands in the air!!!

      Why do you want to do that?
      Your tailoring to a tiny and very scary subsection of the populace. Rather then the massive population of straight up Java (or whatever) developers on either Linux or Win or whatever - a jvm is a jvm is a jvm. That be its beauty.

    • Derm

      Derm - 2008-01-14

      1. Can't remember where I read the stat so I am open to correction, however, after browsing VB sites I know that a lot of good non-professional coders use the language.

      2. :) Okay, re-phrase, I'd like non-professional coders to feel like they can update the codebase. That doesn't mean that all changes would be incorporated. I'd like a strong input from teachers and especially from people with special needs - the app should be more important than the code, i.e. insulate against feature-centric development(users over cool features).

      3. Non-coders are a tiny subsection of the populace?? I think you should open up your social circles :)

      4. Again I'm open to a whole root and branch overhaul of the project as long as the concept remains, i.e. allowing easy manipulation of documents with a strong commitment to accessibility. Cross-platform would be nice but most schools/ educational establishments run windows so that's why it wasn't a priority.

    • johnoc

      johnoc - 2008-01-14

      Ok this is moving away from the thread - but i'll get the last word in! ;)

      non-coders who want to dabble in code are the tiny subsection!!! thank god.
      if you have a strong reason to allow these ppl access to the codebase than maybe Java is not the way forward.
      But another approach would be to make a solid design that allows easy tool extensibility.
      I gave an example of how that might be achieved in the Ideas thread. Having to gain access to the code to extend the app probably means that the app hasnt been designed very well. Look at Firefox and its extensions. A much better approach I'm sure you'll agree.

      Hampering the power of the dev tool to allow access to (a tiny number of) non-coders to dabble is questionable.

      But now back to the thread.
      Ok agreed that most schools probably got paid off by Bill ages ago. But the dev environment doesnt have to be the same as the user env!

      And code in JVM's doesnt care what env its in.


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