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"Look, Ma! No code!"

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  • Shlomi Fish
    Included here is a conversation that took place on the Freenode IRC network between a Guy named Darien, me and other people. It all started when he made the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 24, 2005
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      Included here is a conversation that took place on the Freenode IRC network
      between a Guy named Darien, me and other people. It all started when he made
      the claim that on Mac OS X he can create useful applications without writing
      any code. I'll let you be the judge of who's right:


      Shlomi Fish

      <rindolf> Darien: do you enjoy programming?
      <Darien> rindolf: I enjoy solving problems
      <rindolf> Darien: but do you enjoy the act of writing code? Sitting
      in front of an editor, typing chars, refactoring, etc.?
      <Darien> rindolf: nope
      <rindolf> Darien: I see.
      <rindolf> Darien: well, I do.
      <Darien> rindolf: that's why I'm enjoying developing on OS X so
      <rindolf> Darien: I mean I like programming.
      <rindolf> Darien: why's that?
      <Darien> there's a lot of mindless crap that you just don't have
      to code
      <rindolf> Darien: heh.
      <Windrose> Darien: would it be appropriate to say that you enjoy
      solving problems, but only with your favourite tools?
      <Darien> Windrose: I enjoy solving problems period
      <Darien> Windrose: I hate implementing the solutions a lot less if
      I can use my favourite tools
      <rindolf> Darien: I enjoy throwing a lot of Perl scripts for doing
      things. (Some of them I doubt exist even in Mac OS X)
      <rindolf> Darien: or Bash scripts.
      <Darien> rindolf: for example, in OS X, I could make an
      application that stores e.g. an employee database,
      including relations, images, etc., without writing a line
      of code
      <rindolf> Darien: I see.
      <Darien> and have it output as either a binary file, an XML file,
      or an SQLite database
      <rindolf> Darien: and what happens if I need to extend it? Change
      the interface? add another table, etc?
      <reisio> Darien: does your stuff work in Darwin?
      <Darien> rindolf: then you do so and it continues to work
      <rindolf> Darien: what if I want another XML format?
      <Darien> rindolf: why does it matter the format of the XML?
      <rindolf> Darien: is this some kind of Accesss thingaling.
      <Darien> rindolf: nope
      <Darien> it's an actual honest-to-god program
      <rindolf> Darien: is it a wizard?
      <Darien> using OS X's CoreData library
      <Darien> no
      <Darien> let me find the tutorial, it's easier to see
      <rindolf> Darien: Access is an actual honest-to-god program.
      <Windrose> While I dislike it, Access /is/ a program y'know ...
      <rindolf> Windrose: I've seen one amazing thing created in Access.
      <Darien> rindolf: yeah, but what you *create* with Access is a
      <Darien> http://cocoadevcentral.com/articles/000085.php
      <Darien> this creates a separate, document-based application, with
      Open, Save, Save As..., and New
      <rindolf> Darien: it is a GUI thingy.
      <rindolf> Darien: I can write something exactly like that in Perl.
      <Darien> rindolf: the point is that I don't *have* to write
      <rindolf> Darien: but it would be faster to adapt my Job Tracker to
      do that, and it will be web-based.
      <rindolf> Darien: will work on lynx!!
      <Darien> rindolf: so what?
      <rindolf> Darien: yours only work on Crap OS X.
      <Darien> rindolf: so? I only use OS X
      <rindolf> Darien: I -don't-!
      <Darien> rindolf: so what?
      <Darien> just because YOU don't use the same OS as I do doesn't
      mean I can't write programs for my OS
      <rindolf> Darien: mine would be web-based and will be usable by
      <rindolf> Darien: didn't say that.
      <Darien> rindolf: so what?
      <rindolf> Darien: but I write portable programs.
      <Darien> rindolf: good for you
      <Windrose> No, but if you implement it in, say, Perl, it has a
      larger probability of being portable.
      <[bn]ennoia> in perl?
      <Darien> I honestly don't see what *any* of this has to do with
      <[bn]ennoia> portable programs?
      <reisio> Perl
      <rindolf> [bn]ennoia: yes.
      <[bn]ennoia> How is Perl ultra-portable?
      <Windrose> [bn]ennoia: an excellent choice for portability, yes.
      <rindolf> You can write portable programs in C, for that matter.
      <reisio> [bn]ennoia: yes, virtually all operating systems that are
      worth using have perl
      <[bn]ennoia> What about windows?
      <rindolf> [bn]ennoia: there's Perl for Win32.
      <reisio> Windows can have perl
      <[bn]ennoia> wierd
      <Windrose> [bn]ennoia: Perl exist (ActiveState)
      <rindolf> [bn]ennoia: and for VMS, and for Symbian...
      <Darien> can you build a GUI interface that works on OS X,
      Windows, and Linux?
      <[bn]ennoia> probably, using gtk
      <Darien> ah, but GTK isn't reliably portable
      <kirun> Qt is :)
      <[bn]ennoia> how about qt?
      <reisio> GTK isn't reliably portable? :p
      <Windrose> [bn]ennoia: as far as I know, yes.
      <reisio> compared to what?
      <Darien> QT still doesn't make it easy to target OS X
      <Neo`> Capso: why not :P
      <Darien> and even if you do, it won't work the same as a native
      <Darien> and users won't want to use your program because of that
      <Thunder-> wxwidgets.
      <reisio> Darien: Qt
      <kirun> Qt can do a much better impression of native than GTK can
      <reisio> they can both do it
      <Darien> yeah, but it's still not *good*
      <[bn]ennoia> Gaim looks pretty native on windows
      <Thunder-> wxwidgets actually is native on all 3 platforms :P
      <Thunder-> if you count gtk as native on *nix ;)
      <Windrose> Darien: it's fine. As long as all you want to do is
      create an application that looks good on, what was it,
      Cocoa, then there is no problems.
      <Darien> yeah, but it's not going to work/feel the same on OS X as
      an actual native program
      <Darien> Windrose: yes, this is exactly my point
      <[bn]ennoia> Vendor Lock in is fantastic!
      <Darien> idiots
      <Thunder-> Darien, it is if you make the proper concessions in your
      ifdefs :P
      <[bn]ennoia> why are we idiots, because we don't use a mac? :\
      <Darien> you're idiots because you think that writing for a
      particular platform is a bad idea
      <Windrose> [bn]ennoia: no, because we don't agree with his personal
      <Darien> I can't think of any cross-platform app that actually
      works/looks nice on three platforms
      <[bn]ennoia> oh
      <[bn]ennoia> I'm a total idiot then
      <reisio> writing for a proprietary OS is a very bad idea
      <[bn]ennoia> I don't agree with a lot of peoples opinions
      <Darien> and yet somehow you're all claiming that writing
      something in perl is better than writing for a specific
      <[bn]ennoia> Hey, I don't even like perl
      <reisio> if the company goes under all your work amounts to
      bullshit :p
      <[bn]ennoia> stop generalizing
      <Darien> Windrose: you know, ops trolling is really bad form
      <[bn]ennoia> bitwise looks cool
      <Windrose> Darien: yes. Luckily, I don't. It is called "sarcasm",
      and I am sorry if that escapes you.
      <Darien> Windrose: oh yes, beacuse you sounded *oh so sarcastic*
      <Capso> It escapes just about everyone -- on IRC.
      <Capso> Darien: You can hear Windrose speak?
      <Windrose> 'tis your problem, Darien; just as is your personal
      opinion. Do you notice that I've not called /you/ an
      <rindolf> Darien: you might not need to write a single line of
      code, but you have do a lot of clicks, and write texts.
      It's the same thing.
      <Darien> rindolf: not really, no
      <rindolf> Darien: how does your application magically knows which
      fields you want it to have?
      <Darien> rindolf: actually it can, yes
      <rindolf> Darien: does it read your mind.
      <Darien> and then I can adjust them as I need
      <rindolf> Darien: does it have presets?
      <Darien> rindolf: no, you write a schema and then it's done
      <rindolf> Darien: _write_ a schema.
      <rindolf> Darien: how do you write a schema?
      <Darien> rindolf: yeah, which is hardly any typing at all
      <rindolf> Darien: "_hardly_ any typing at all"
      <Darien> rindolf: as opposed to perl?
      <Darien> give me a break
      <rindolf> Darien: so you agree that you need to select some stuff.
      <Darien> rindolf: you click the + button to add a new schema, then
      in the next list you click the + and put in the name of
      the field, the type, any limits you want, etc.
      <rindolf> Darien: Perl involves some typping.
      <Darien> rindolf: you don't have to write any code
      <Darien> perl involves a lot more typing
      <rindolf> Darien: at the first time. Then you can re-use stuff.
      <Darien> rindolf: I give up
      <rindolf> Darien: and Mac OS X involves a lot of pesky mouse
      <Darien> this conversation is pointless
      <rindolf> Darien: and my Perl code can be accessed from a VT-100
      terminal running lynx.
      <Darien> rindolf: I don't care
      <[bn]ennoia> rindolf: what is your point, exactly?
      <[bn]ennoia> what app is darien building anyway?
      <Darien> rindolf: you need to understand that NOT EVERYONE NEEDS
      <rindolf> [bn]ennoia: my point is that my code is more accessible,
      more portalbe, and not much more work to perform.
      <reisio> Darien: it'd be nice if it could just run outside of OS
      X, though
      <[bn]ennoia> rindolf: what code?
      <reisio> Darien: even just Darwin would be nice
      * Darien done
      <rindolf> [bn]ennoia: my _Perl_ code.
      <[bn]ennoia> for what?
      <rindolf> [bn]ennoia: haven't you been following the conversation.
      <[bn]ennoia> sure, if you want to call it a conversation

      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Homepage: http://www.shlomifish.org/

      95% of the programmers consider 95% of the code they did not write, in the
      bottom 5%.
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