Re: official support for more scripting languages in gnome needed

On 19 Mar 2001 14:35:36 +0400, Vlad Harchev wrote:
> Yes, I was proposing to suggest programmers writing small utilities for gnome
> to use scripting languages, that would be mean requiring user to install those
> scripting languages for running these utilities.
As long as it's only for certain utilities, that's fine.  Requiring all of GNOME to require a language was the gripe he had.
>  Currently gnome is shipped with 4 major packages that require scripting
> languages:
> * sawfish - it requires rep (a dialect of lisp) - all logic is written in lisp
> * gnucash - uses guile internally for all logic
> * sketch (vector editor) written in python
> * gimp - most of plugins are written in guile and some in perl
All of which are fully optional, not requirements for GNOME itself.
>  Did you experienced any performance and memory issues with them that can be
> attributed to the choice of language?
> I doubt very much..
No, but running all those apps at once *will* - four different interpreters, is very resource-hungry.  A single scripting language at a time is usually fine, and if it's in a shared library, it will save on memory if multiple apps run it.  But most scripting language still take far more CPU and memory than C/C++/other compiled languages, simply thru their dynamic nature - the same way C++ takes more memory than C when virtual function and polymorphism and stuff is used.  For developers, these languages are great (I think solid C++ support has helped KDE devlop so fast and so well, on the application/interface side, where GNOME honestly needs to catch up a bit), but for end users with old and/or limited hardware, this sucks most royally.
>  Also configuration utilities for some window managers are also written in
> scripting languages (e.g. for IceWM) - do you have any problems with them?
Same issue.  Few people (they are out there, not that rare) are going to actively use multiple WM's.  In the situation described, embedded and limited devices aren't going to be running ten different WM's all with their own internal language and configruation utilities.
> I think you didn't try software that was written in scripting languages (may
> be you are deriving your attitude from running modperl or whatever for web).
> Using python-based floppy disk formatting tool that is *very* intelligent and
> smart and bullet-proof won't hurt your resources at all.. That is what I was
> proposing..
I'd say you've never worked with limited resources.  ~,^

He was saying that installing Python takes lots of room and memory, which it sort of does (12M for just Python+Tkinter+GNOME/GTK, which is a lot on older/embedded hardware), and he doesn't *need* a super smart floppy formating program, so why force him to install it and it's required interpreter?  Sure, in most cases one language/utility won't hurt, but they start piling up - this app needs perl, these 4 need Python, these 3 need scheme, these 5 need GB, these 2 need Ruby... if all those languages, or even half of them, or required by GNOME itself, just to be able to run a handful of applications most likely not needed, that's going to kill people not running 27GB hard-drives with 1Ghz Athlon's and 190+ MB of RAM.
>  And also don't forget about Emacs and vi - both of them use scripting
> languages to greatly extend functionality. Yes, they consume more resources
> than notepad, but it's obvious which one is more advanced and feature-rich.
And smaller embedded devices and such aren't going to be using either, most likely.
Scripting languages rock in a lot of cases, and good apps written for them are just as good as C/C++ ones in many cases.  But requries these apps or their interprets just to use GNOME for a web-pad/MP3 player is ludicrous.  Heck, most apps writen in C/C++ will take up too much CPU/disk space/RAM for some machines.  Some of these people will even be cutting out 'core GNOME libraries' like gconf, OAF, and so on if possible (and if these are ever required 100% by GNOME, there will be a good number of people using older versions, or dropping GNOME entirely).

As my web admin as schools likes to say, KISS.  Of course, he was just using that argument to explain why they were dropping FreeBSD for a Windows2000 server (my gods my school is so computer clueless, I could rant for days about the admins there), so I don't know if I'd take his word for it or not.  But you, and everyone else who thinks addinging ten billion features and requirements is a great thing need to realize that doing so really will hurt in the end.

Look at Windows.  ~,^
>  Best regards,
> -Vlad
> _______________________________________________
> gnome-devel-list mailing list
> gnome-devel-list gnome org
Sean Middleditch
AwesomePlay Productions, Inc.

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