Archive for Setembro 30th, 2010

I’ve always been a Rebol, anyway

Quinta-feira, Setembro 30th, 2010

Some years ago, when I went to University, I preached to anyone that would listen about Java’s greatest virtues. I was a true Java evangelist, but people mocked me and said I was nuts. I can still hear myself back then:

“But it’s an object oriented language, WORA! The platform is one of it’s strenghs, too! Threads and stuff! Imagine the possibilities!”

“You can develop and test in any operating system! Development is free, you don’t have to splash on an SDK/IDE/whatever!”

“It’s the knees bees, I’m telling you! Look!”

And people would laugh. Out loud.

A few years later I’ve finished my degree, and Java is all the rage, the Electronics and Telecommunications department improves my degree with Java as a discipline, everyone is on it. By then, I was happily developing my multithreaded, client-server, MVC, near-real-time, graphics-intensive, dedicated industrial applications in Java. Now that “Java is everywhere”, I’m looking for alternatives.

Why? I can’t really tell. On one hand, Java has been very kind to me, giving me a powerfull common platform on the Mac, Windows and Linux. And yes, I’ve had to deploy on all of them. Java gives me the simplicity I crave for in application deployment. There are lots and lots of good libraries around for you to leverage. And I must confess that the object orientation and the garbage collection really spoiled me.

But on the other hand, I’ve got a couple of issues I still can’t identify. Nothing even remotely serious, but the JVM has failed on me in native code twice, and there are some problems drawing graphics (glitches) on certain machines. Graphical performance is also a bit unpredictable from machine to machine (I’m talking Windows here, on the Mac it’s quite good and predictable and on Linux it’s, well, always slow-ish). Also, some really simple tasks take waaaaay too much code, care and study in Java, because it really is a general-purpose platform.

While not letting go of Java (I still love the platform nonetheless), I’m in the process of learning new stuff. Objective-C is way cool, I like it a lot, but as a platform it’s confined to the Mac/iPhone. So I’m getting to grips with what I think is the next big thing: Rebol. I took a quick 15min look, and it seems great!

The other platform, although not as revolutionary, is great for graphics stuff: BlitzMax.

I always was a fan of Mr. Carl Sassenrath and Mr. Mark Sibly ever since I was a kid in my Amiga times. Their evolution and art is an inspiration!

Treading new ground here, and it’s FUN!