Name: Pierre poliakoff
Member since: 2003-06-11 21:14:19
Last Login: N/A


why buy it when it is more fun to build it

Recent blog entries by ppol

I have given up (temporarily) learning perl. Because: I don't think it is correctly integrated with GUI. I mean when you write a "print Hello World" in Perl it is not really foreseen in the langage to specify the font, the color or the position of the text on the screen. I know there are many ways to do gui with perl (TK, GTK,...) but none of them does look correctly integrated with the language to me.

I think we have a REAL problem here, in the 1980s under DOS it was easy to make a colorful program by playing with the text attributes or going to graphical mode. But today it does not seem to be so simple anymore (I see here a real regression: isn't programming expected to be easier with all the tools we have today?) when you talk to people and say let's write a tetris game (under Linux or windows) everybody (well nearly everybody) seems to think they cannot do it. In the past on TI99/4A, ZXSpectrum, BBCmodelB,Amstrad CPC6128, PC AT under DOS,... this was easy but since the 1990s with windows and Linux this does not seem possible anymore!!!

We have a real problem here: the languages have not integrated the GUI!!

The keyboard, the filesystem, the text display are well supported by all the languages: In C: getc, fprintf, puts,... give me all the functionality I need (ok they are not part of the language but part of the universaly supported standard library so they are available in all C implementation).

WHY aren't the mouse, the windows, the menus supported the same way? Why isn't there a standard way to open a window in Perl, in Python, in C++,... (OK JAVA was invented with AWT and afterwards swing but that's more an exception than a rule and I don't think this is the best GUI implementation I have ever seen)

What we need is a GUI framework that is
1/ universal (both Linux, windows, and even the other OS...)
2/ that is standardized
3/ that is well documented
4/ that is (nearly) part of the language (in the same way as printf is nearly part of C)

WE SHOULD REALLY FIGHT TO HAVE THAT otherwise our applications will still more look like mainframe batches from the 1970s than 21th century programs


The best GUI framework I have found yet is WxWidget (new name for WxWindows). Well, I don't like its documentation and it is not at all integrated with C++ or standardized but it seems to be easy (even fun) to use, quite stable and available on both Linux and windows. This is probably the best GUI framework I have found yet.

If I succed to write a pac-man with it then I will say it is great!

You are perfectly right "ask", "brondsem" etc.. has a very nice perl executable. I have downloaded it. It works great. No problem at all thank you!

By the way I there is a real problem with the win32 perl makefile. I have been trying to compile perl on windows ME (I know windows ME is the worst windows32 flavour but it is very stable on my computer so I have no reason to change it yet) for more than 10 hours without any success. I successfully compiled miniperl but never succeeded to compile dynaloader

I am sure that the perl win32 makefile is bugged: at least under my windows version and contrarily to what the perl makefile says /f is NOT a valid option for the "del" command

Anyway if someone with 15 years of professional programming experience is unable to compile a very popular language (i.e. perl) on a very popular (somehow ugly) Operating system(i.e. windows), I think there is a real distribution problem.

"make" is really not a friendly tool when it works ok everything is fine but when there is a problem understanding the problem's nature can be very very tricky (hint for the free software developpers: if you are searching for new programs ideas: a make program that would be user friendly for instance that would not use "tab" as a significant symbol, would report simple error messages,...)

Today I have at last decided to start learning Perl. I have not learned a progamming language since Java 4 years ago it is more than time learn something new. Since Perl seems to be very popular let's go to Perl. I don't believe that some language are better than other I think that what make a language valuable is the number of people using it. The more people use it the more books, libraries, implementation, users, examples,... are available and that is probably much more important than any feature of the language so lets go to Perl

I went to the best library in the city and searched for Perl books. I found the Camel book and the Lama book. I am an experienced programmer so may be I should directly go to the Camel book. But in the end I have chosen the more conservative way and I have chosen the Lama book

I have bought a book instead of using the many free resources available on the net for a very peculiar psychological reason: I need a motivation to force me to go on learning Perl otherwise after 2 days I will begin to look at Python or Ruby or linear amplifier design or anything else. Now I have spent more than 30$ (I mean Euros) on this book. If I give up that will be lost money so If I don't want to lose that investment, I have to succeed in my learning.

Now that I have the book I need the program. Let's go get it on Google. a quick search on « perl » and hop a ZIP file PERL5.8.0 for windows is downloaded on my computer. Now let's look at what is inside this ZIP. Oh they have provided the .c / .h of perl that's nice and a bit useless but may be I will want to look at those to see how it works internally (I probably won't be able to understand it but ok it is the spirit of free software to provide the source isn't it ?)

Hey wait a minute, there is NO EXECUTABLE !!! they provide only the source and they expect me to recompile. Oh Hell that's typical free software mind state, why provide executable when you can recompile it. I hate it it will take me days or may be weeks to compile it. Why can't they provide a nice exe file ??? Do they really think that every user has the exact environment to recompile everything they make.

So I will try to compile it (I will keep you up to date of my compiling efforts)


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