[messages] [Developers] Roadmap for VASSAL 4

Michael Kiefte mkiefte at dal.ca
Tue Mar 22 05:19:02 MST 2011

I have very little experience with JavaScript, but what little I've looked at suggests that there are a few implementation problems.  I would be uncomfortable dealing with browser-specific issues when they come up. As a JavaScript developer, you have a lot less control over the platform being run.  Also, my experience suggests JavaScript can be very inflexible and kind of kludgy.  It was never designed for large-scale applications. With wxWidgets there would be no restrictions on what we could do in the future and we would only be limited by our own imaginations.

To give you an example, when I was working on the JOGL stuff, I had in my mind a way to implement terrain elevation when location traits would be introduced (e.g., Combat Commander). In JOGL, there would be a very intuitive way to implement elevation.  That is probably doable in Jacascript, but it's probably a kludge.

Just my thoughts.

- m.

On 2011-03-22, at 8:49 AM, Joel Uckelman <uckelman at nomic.net> wrote:

> 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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