Re: Open source project recommendations

Discussion in 'Java' started by tm, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. tm

    tm Guest

    On 21 Jun., 17:44, Patricia Shanahan <> wrote:
    > I'm looking for an open source project to join.


    My "technical problems" when Firefox is accessing Google groups are
    gone... :) Let me explain why I think that supporting a programming
    language project (and especially Seed7) is important:

    Languages are an instrument to think. Natural and computer languages
    provide a way to formulate ideas. How easy an idea can be formulated
    depends on the capabilities of a language. When new ideas emerge a
    language might need to be extended. Remember that the only constant
    thing in life is change. This led to the idea to make extensibility
    the most basic concept of a programming language.

    When a language is syntactical and semantically extensible all other
    features can be added sooner or later by using extensions. Most
    languages are extended by using ad hoc extensions for the syntax and
    the compiler. In the long run this is a wrong way. Syntactic and
    semantic extensions should fit into a structured concept. Otherwise
    a language and its compiler are in danger to become unmaintainable.

    Seed7 has several areas which need improvement. E.g.:

    - A database interface. Here I suggest something in the direction
    of LINQ. It is IMHO important to integrate database statements
    in Seed7 to avoid SQL-Injection. Sending unchecked strings as
    database commands from the user level should be avoided (or even
    prohibited).
    - Integrating a widget library (or inventing a new one) without
    complicated concepts with events and event loops (this should be
    hidden somehow).
    - Interface to OpenGL/Mesa (Complexities and OS/library differences
    should be hidden in a thin layer).
    - Checking and improving the documentation (this is a good first
    step to get understanding of Seed7 and its concepts).
    - Introduce statements with curly braces (many people are opposing
    Seed7 and don't have a closer look just because it is not a curly
    brace language).
    - Provide a mechanism such that Seed7 functions can be called from
    other programming languages.
    - Of course you can choose whatever you want.

    Be prepared to get stiff opposition when you decide for Seed7. New
    programming languages start in a hostile world and fans of existing
    programming languages fight against it from the first announcement.

    If you want to make a better world and don't fear the language
    competition Seed7 is the right project for you. :)

    Please give me some feedback.

    Greetings Thomas Mertes

    Seed7 Homepage: http://seed7.sourceforge.net
    Seed7 - The extensible programming language: User defined statements
    and operators, abstract data types, templates without special
    syntax, OO with interfaces and multiple dispatch, statically typed,
    interpreted or compiled, portable, runs under linux/unix/windows.
     
    tm, Jun 22, 2010
    #1
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  2. tm

    Lew Guest

    tm wrote:
    > Be prepared to get stiff opposition when you decide for Seed7. New
    > programming languages start in a hostile world and fans of existing
    > programming languages fight against it from the first announcement.


    I don't recall that happening with FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, C, C++, C# or Java.

    Nor, for that matter, with Forth or LISP.

    Kinda hard to substantiate a thesis with that many counterexamples.

    --
    Lew
    One should never generalize.
     
    Lew, Jun 22, 2010
    #2
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  3. tm

    tm Guest

    On 22 Jun., 14:01, Lew <> wrote:
    > tm wrote:
    > > Be prepared to get stiff opposition when you decide for Seed7. New
    > > programming languages start in a hostile world and fans of existing
    > > programming languages fight against it from the first announcement.

    >
    > I don't recall that happening with FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, C, C++, C# or Java.


    AFAIK these languages had support from big companies (with
    big budgets. E.g.: C# and Java), universities or the military
    (E.g.: COBOL).

    With an PR budget and other backing the success of this languages
    is not a miracle.

    Your answer shows what I said. Instead of looking at something new
    with an open mind (and discuss the proposed ideas) you concentrate
    on an unimportant paragraph and try to nail me down.

    Okay, you won. I was wrong and take the last paragraph back.

    It is possible to talk about the other ideas now.

    Greetings Thomas Mertes

    Seed7 Homepage: http://seed7.sourceforge.net
    Seed7 - The extensible programming language: User defined statements
    and operators, abstract data types, templates without special
    syntax, OO with interfaces and multiple dispatch, statically typed,
    interpreted or compiled, portable, runs under linux/unix/windows.
     
    tm, Jun 22, 2010
    #3
  4. tm

    Lew Guest

    tm wrote:
    > Your answer shows what I said. Instead of looking at something new
    > with an open mind (and discuss the proposed ideas) you concentrate
    > on an unimportant paragraph and try to nail me down.
    >
    > Okay, you won. I was wrong and take the last paragraph back.


    "Won"? This isn't a contest.

    It's about portraying truth, not misleading and unsubstantiable claims.

    It's interesting when people handle disagreement by claiming the other party
    doesn't have an "open mind" and issue claims that they're trying to "nail
    [one] down", as opposed to considering the argument on its merits. That's
    called an argument /ad hominem/.

    --
    Lew
     
    Lew, Jun 22, 2010
    #4
  5. tm

    tm Guest

    On 22 Jun., 14:57, Lew <> wrote:
    > tm wrote:
    > > Your answer shows what I said. Instead of looking at something new
    > > with an open mind (and discuss the proposed ideas) you concentrate
    > > on an unimportant paragraph and try to nail me down.

    >
    > > Okay, you won. I was wrong and take the last paragraph back.

    >
    > "Won"?  This isn't a contest.
    >
    > It's about portraying truth, not misleading and unsubstantiable claims.
    >
    > It's interesting when people handle disagreement by claiming the other party
    > doesn't have an "open mind" and issue claims that they're trying to "nail
    > [one] down", as opposed to considering the argument on its merits.  That's
    > called an argument /ad hominem/.


    Excuse me, it was not my intention to insult you. I take that
    paragraph back and state that you are open minded and
    did not try to nail me down.

    Is it possible to talk about the programming language ideas
    from my mail now?

    BTW: Patricia was searching for a project and I wrote a little bit
    about my programming language vision (to give an incentive to
    choose Seed7). More information can be found here:

    http://seed7.sourceforge.net/faq.htm

    I appreciate every feedback.

    Greetings Thomas Mertes

    Seed7 Homepage: http://seed7.sourceforge.net
    Seed7 - The extensible programming language: User defined statements
    and operators, abstract data types, templates without special
    syntax, OO with interfaces and multiple dispatch, statically typed,
    interpreted or compiled, portable, runs under linux/unix/windows.
     
    tm, Jun 22, 2010
    #5
  6. tm

    Tom Anderson Guest

    On Tue, 22 Jun 2010, Lew wrote:

    > tm wrote:
    >
    >> Be prepared to get stiff opposition when you decide for Seed7. New
    >> programming languages start in a hostile world and fans of existing
    >> programming languages fight against it from the first announcement.

    >
    > I don't recall that happening with FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, C, C++, C# or
    > Java.
    >
    > Nor, for that matter, with Forth or LISP.


    You should get your memory checked out. C++ people were knocking Java
    right from the get-go.

    Also, FORTRAN and LISP kind of had it easy, given that there weren't
    really any programming languages around when they came along.

    tom

    --
    We don't contact anybody or seek anybody's permission for what we do. Even
    if it's impersonating postal employees. -- Birdstuff
     
    Tom Anderson, Jun 22, 2010
    #6
  7. tm

    Lew Guest

    Lew wrote:
    >> I don't recall [fans of existing programming languages fighting
    >> against it] happening with FORTRAN, COBOL, BASIC, C, C++, C# or Java.
    >>
    >> Nor, for that matter, with Forth or LISP.


    Tom Anderson wrote:
    > You should get your memory checked out. C++ people were knocking Java
    > right from the get-go.


    My memory is fine. Undoubtedly I just hung around different C++ programmers
    from those you did. That said, I was speaking in broad generalities,
    naturally. Of course some people fight against every new thing. I was
    referring to a general resistance, which was notably absent in the instances I
    cited. At least to my own experience.

    Isn't it true that nearly all the early adopters of Java had experience in C
    and C++? I came from a background of working in C and C++ when I began in
    Java, and for a few years there was working in both C++ and Java, often in the
    same job. If Java didn't appeal broadly to C and C++ practitioners, it would
    not have gained popularity with the rapidity and reach that it did.

    For a C++ programmer to knock Java makes about as much sense as for a Java
    programmer to knock, oh, say, Groovy or Scala. Not that I'm familiar with
    those latter from my own use, but I certainly believe the credible people who
    sing the praises of those languages. Nor that that prevents small-minded
    people from excoriating new things.

    My own progression from Fortran to C to C++ to Java over my career is not all
    that unusual for someone who stays a programmer long enough. If you shut
    yourself off from new ideas from some bizarre pseudo-religious worship of the
    familiar, you risk greatly losing the practical advantages and income
    opportunities that arise from advances in the art.

    I'm sure Seed7 is a fine language, and who knows? It might even gain some
    traction in the industry. If it doesn't, then its proponents no doubt will
    whine that it's because people are small minded and resist new ideas. It
    certainly would never be because it lacks sufficient advantage to gain a large
    following.

    --
    Lew
     
    Lew, Jun 23, 2010
    #7
  8. tm

    tm Guest

    On 22 Jun., 14:57, Patricia Shanahan <> wrote:
    > tm wrote:
    >
    > ...> If you want to make a better world and don't fear the language
    > > competition Seed7 is the right project for you. :)

    >
    > > Please give me some feedback.

    >
    > ...
    >
    > Although I have no objection to improving the world as a side effect,
    > user base and development team are higher priority. Can you tell me a
    > bit about the users who are depending on Seed7 and the rest of your team?


    Statements about Seed7 users are not easy since it is not required
    to give me feedback and most users don't tell me what they do.

    But I try to do some estimates:
    At Sourceforge Seed7 is downloaded 400-500 times every month and the
    ranking floats approximately between 1000 and 2000 (today it is at
    1142). AFAIK there are approx. 250000 projects at Sourceforge, so
    this ranking is not bad. There are sites such as Heise (publisher
    of the German computer magazine c't) who maintain their own download
    repository (see http://www.heise.de/software/download/seed7/62678)
    so the actual number of people downloading Seed7 is probably higher.
    There is a FreeBSD port (see http://www.freshports.org/lang/seed7)
    where I have no information about the number of users. I have also
    information about magazines releasing Seed7 on their CDs or DVDs
    (In the moment I have no link at hand). The number of downloads and
    the number of mirrors and reuses is definitively going up.
    BTW: I do not download Seed7 to push the numbers. :)

    There are Seed7 users who present their workings in the internet.
    E.g.: Mensanator (I know his real name but he prefers to use this
    alias in the internet) who presents some of his research on the 3n+C
    extension of the Collatz Conjecture (as comic book) in the internet
    (see http://mensanator.com/mensanator/cycle/ultimate_cycle.htm). He
    used Python and the GMP library for this research and switched to
    Seed7 and its built in unlimited precision integer support to get
    more performance (The compiler compiles Seed7 programs to C which
    subsequently is compiled to machine code). For this example Seed7
    succeeded where other languages failed. AFAIK Mensanator also
    continues to use Python (probably for other stuff). I recently
    ported Seed7 to 64 Bit Mac OS X to support Mensanator. He had
    switched from PC to Mac and now his Seed7 programs can be moved
    between this platforms without any change. He talked also about
    another project where he wanted to use Seed7, but I have not asked
    for the details.

    Several people have contacted me because they try to use Seed7 for
    embedded stuff (which was not my prime goal). Other users have sent
    me example programs (such as Volker Schuller with his analog clock)
    or libraries (such as Leonardo Cecchi with his Gtk-server connection
    library). The analog clock and the Gtk-server connection are in the
    Seed7 release for some time now. BTW: Most users prefer to contact
    me directly therefore you will find only few and outdated mails
    in forums and mailing lists (I would prefer that this would be
    reverse but obviously most users want to talk to me directly).

    A relative new contact is someone who wants to use Seed7 to write
    a board game. I gave some unreleased code (portable bitmap font
    support and other stuff) to this person in the hope to get improved
    versions back.

    Although I get patches, suggestions, examples and other stuff
    from various people I cannot say that there is a team of regular
    developers. IMHO users usually request more features than they
    contribute, but this is not a problem. Generally I think that the
    number of users always outnumbers the number of contributors by far.

    > I spent the last few years doing programming to answer research
    > questions, so now I want to make sure that what I do is really useful.


    One of the main goals of Seed7 is that it is really useful for
    practical problems. This results in much unseen work in the
    libraries. E.g.: Supporting big UTF-32 strings and huge files
    (with 64 bit offsets) on several operating systems with several
    compilers (when there are different native UNICODE representations
    and different (sometimes buggy) functions to get and set the file
    position). Reading of UNICODE file names from directories or getting
    the current time under Windows and UNIX (using various compilers)
    needs also several driver libraries. Portability cannot be reached
    when a Seed7 user has to rely on operating system functions or
    external libraries.

    > For comparison, I know Apache is producing useful stuff, because I've
    > used some of it. There is obviously a substantial group of people
    > working on it.


    Of course Seed7 cannot compete with the user base and development
    team of Apache. If it is just size that matters you should probably
    not choose Seed7. OTOH Seed7 is definitively used (and useful) and
    its user base is growing so you could be an important part of
    something which grows instead of being a small part in something
    which is already big.

    Please take a look at the Seed7 homepage to get more information.

    Greetings Thomas Mertes

    Seed7 Homepage: http://seed7.sourceforge.net
    Seed7 - The extensible programming language: User defined statements
    and operators, abstract data types, templates without special
    syntax, OO with interfaces and multiple dispatch, statically typed,
    interpreted or compiled, portable, runs under linux/unix/windows.
     
    tm, Jun 23, 2010
    #8
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