My struggle.

I am a traditional programmer, from the DOS era and even before that. In those years, I programmed text applications, but also graphical items and even very low level drivers (partly for CP/M on the Amstrad CPC 6128 computer).
In the old days, it was eay. In a single user, single tasking system, you just dump the pixels in the screen memory and that's it. In Unix things are a bit more complicated. So you must do things by the book.

I've tried doing things by many books now. I've been into the following GUI development systems:

Java might not be a true GUI developing language, but it comes close. I have made separate HTML pages for each language. Each page contains source code examples and some biased opinions.

Murus is good. It is Qt ported to Mocka. It's drawback is that it was written in german and there is no real documentation for it. A far better choice is Tcl/Tk. Tcl is the actual language. It resembles C, but it's better. Tk is the GUI toolkit for Tcl. It is awesome. Within two hours you make your own GUI programs! With working buttons!

If you're interested in my experiences with any of these languages, load the concerned webpage via the navigator frame on the right.

What happened between 2005 and 2008

A lot happened. In August 2008 I started to think about Murus again. In the mean time we got a new Mocka compiler (0608m) and I thought Murus was the way to go. If you want to find out what happened, read it in the Murus section elsewhere on my site.

To spoil your fun: I rediscovered the basis of Murus: XModula. Murus was abandoned for the reasons explained in that section in favor of Xmodula.

My struggle has come to an end

After having spent an afternoon with Qt Designer and K Developer I saw what is troubling me with these fancy candycane compilers: they are the worst of all worlds! In the old days, we used to program in assembler or in BASIC. Sometimes in Pascal or (later) C. But we did program. I.e. we put words in sequence such that a small auxilliary program could make series of bits out of them that could be interpreted by a CPU at lightning speeds.
But then came Windows and the internet and then all the world was using computers. And none of these new users liked to issue commands so the graphical environments were born. And the text consoles died.

At this moment, compilers have reached the same level of automation as what happened to word processors in the mid 90's: the newer versions required the user (in our case: the programmer) to deal with layout and design while making the programs. The looks are more important than the function. So the expensive programmer is doing a lot of design and make-up work. Instead of making his program perform well, (s)he spends must of the time sub-optimising the look and feel of the software.

Qt, GTK, Java, the lot, are just WYSIWYG compilers.... WYSIWYG word processors have succeeded over true word processors. The people preferred to be bothered with how things looked, instead of the content of the message. Same with compilers and programs: the looks are superior to the function.

Page created March 2005,

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