[messages] [Developers] Roadmap for VASSAL 4

Joel Uckelman uckelman at nomic.net
Tue Mar 22 04:49:47 MST 2011


Thus spake Michael Kiefte:
> Hi Joel,
> 
> I agree with everything you've said here.  I wanted to comment on a specific 
> issue regarding language.  I'm not in favour of keeping Java.  I'm not terrib
> ly worried about the bugginess because, honestly, you're going to find that e
> verywhere and I don't have w good sense of whether Java is relatively better 
> or worse than everything else.  I would like to nix the idea of using JavaScr
> ipt: this will be a nightmare and with paint ourselves into a corner.  JavaSc
> ript is a very inflexible environment to work in and if you think we have bug
> s to deal with in Java....

Could you expand on that a bit? I've had a number of people suggest to me
that the frontend be done in JavaScript now. I'd like to know in more
detail why you think it would be problematic.

> I have some experience with wxWidgets (even back when it was called wxWindows
> ) and it's very useable and looks good.  Some things are hard to get right, b
> ut when you do, the results are excellent.  The platform is open source, so i
> f we find a bug, we can offer a fix ourselves (I've done that in the past). T
> he code is relatively easy to understand and there are cross-platform APIs th
> at can match the breadth of Java.  Also, I would like to point out that Java'
> s future is very cloudy. Oracle seems to not be interested in it and some of 
> their top people have left.  IBM may be the stewards of Java in the future (e
> ffectively anyway).

Yes, this worries me a lot. I have some doubt about whether we'll have
a good selection of libraries in Java five years from now.
 
> As you might be able to tell, I would support wxWidgets quite readily.  Anoth
> er downside, however, is that the number of willing developers might drop -- 
> and I'm not exactly the most prolific contributor.  I am, however, really com
> fortable with C and the good news is that wxWidgets does not use a lot of C++
>  "features" (or planned bugs as I like to refer to them). Bjarne Stroustrup i
> s a sadist, by the way.

Well, aside from Java, I'm also very comfortable in C, C++, and Perl. I
could become comfortable with basically any language in a few weeks,
though I think I would curse to myself if I had to use Python, due to the
restrictions on whitespace. I prefer C++ myself, and I think that for the
backend at least, it makes a lot of sense, and would give us the best
selection of libraries.
 
> Everything you've said here, I completely agree with, by the way.

I'm glad you think I've identified the problems correctly. :)
 
-- 
J.


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