Wheel-reinvention with Python

Mike Meyer mwm at mired.org
Sat Aug 6 03:59:28 CEST 2005

Torsten Bronger <bronger at physik.rwth-aachen.de> writes:
> Hallöchen!
> Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> writes:
>> Torsten Bronger <bronger at physik.rwth-aachen.de> writes:
>>> Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> writes:
>>>> Torsten Bronger <bronger at physik.rwth-aachen.de> writes:
>>>>> Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org> writes:
>>>>>> Torsten Bronger <bronger at physik.rwth-aachen.de> writes:
>>>>>> [...]  You didn't answer the question about how you define
>>>>>> agile project. Please do so if you expect a comment on this.
>>>>> Projects with a high Sourceforge activity index.
>>>> That doesn't seem to match the common defintion of "agile" when
>>>> it comes to programming. Then again, you have a habit of using
>>>> words to mean whatever you want, without much reference to how
>>>> they're used by the rest of the industry.
>>> I'm not part of the industry.
>> That's no excuse for not learning the terminology, or at least
>> avoiding using phrases which already have a common meaning.
> Granted, I didn't pay enough attention to the fact that for industry
> people "agile" has a much stronger connotation.  Nevertheless, it's
> an ordinary English word, too, so that's no excuse for not trying to
> understand what I *mean*.  Since nobody has any chance to see which
> programming strategy the projects uses, you must deliberatly
> misunderstand me for assuming that I meant "agile programming".

No, I didn't (mis)understand you to mean "agile programming." I didn't
understand what you said at all - which is why I asked how you define
an agile project.

>> [...] The difference is ther are a lot of other choices, so it
>> gets chosen less often.  But I note that at least one of the 155
>> projects on SourceForge that list FORTRAN as a language is a GUI
>> application for Windows.
> I see no difference to special-purpose language then.

Difference to what?

I notice that the Wikipedia doesn't have a definition for "special
purpose language", instead preferring the phrase "Domain Specific
Langauge". That matches the definition that agrees with what I think
is common usage, which is:

    Trade some of the flexibility of a general purpose language for
    capabilities that are more tailored to a specific task

Fortran certainly meets the requirements the wikipedia has for being a
general purpose language.

>> [...] Just like some C/C++ applications are legacy code, and some
>> aren't. Which contradicts your earlier assertion that C/C++
>> applications were all legacy code.
> Reference?

See <URL:
>, where you dismiss all C applications a legacy code.

>> Earlier, you said you wanted a popular language because they get
>> cool features faster. You hold up two proprietary VC++ (which is
>> just an development environment) and VB as "popular" languages. If
>> you've been watching software development long enough, you'd
>> realize that "cool things" usually come from open source projects
>> first.
> That's right (or rather, I believe you).  I just want to use a
> popular langauge amongst the ones that have free success ("free" in
> the sense of Free Software).

These leaves me with three questions for you:

Is there a free language you consider successful? I can't think of any
that are a lot more (i.e. - an order of magnitude) successful than
Python that aren't derived from C.

Are there any free language that have the GUI/IDE toolkit you want?

Have you noticed that languages with really cool features aren't very
popular? Unification, prototypes, real macros, and dataflow variables
all come to mind. Some of the languages that sport these features even
come with an integrated GUI/IDE, but they have at most 99 projects
mentioning them on sourceforge - assuming they are listed at all.

Mike Meyer <mwm at mired.org>			http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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