[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Date Index][Thread Index]
if (c++ && x++)
- To: <heh>, <roger>, <tribble>
- Subject: if (c++ && x++)
- From: Bob Perez <bobp>
- Date: Mon, 27 Nov 89 16:15:04 PST
- Cc: <xtech>
Hugh & Roger -- I agree that there are lots of cool Developers
who will see the transition to X++ as a minor detour in a Journey
upon which they've already embarked. We will seek these folks
out and give them our X++ tools and they'll provide us with the
potential for some great applications.
But if we want Xanadu to become anything more than an interesting
niche technology being used and exercised by the programming
elite, I believe that we have to present the technology to the
widest possible audience as early as possible.
Note that we're in substantial agreement -- my issue has to do
with timing and emphasis. The Developer community will form its
initial impressions of our technology based on what we first
release, and any attempt to alter those first impressions will
meet with the same sort of resistance that's greeted MacApp over
the **YEARS** that Apple's been trying to promote it (sluggish,
NIH, requires learning Object Pascal, etc.). I believe it's critical
to our success that Developers think of the Xanadu development
environment *from the beginning* as one directly and easily accessible
from C, with wonderful and powerful extensions available for
C++ programmers (including Compositors, FM, etc.). This is my
main point, and I don't mind undertaking the work to support
both environments (this part of message will self-destruct after
you've read it and I'll deny ever having made that statement...:-).
I think it would be mistake to seal off the C libraries or to
cripple them in any obvious way. Over time we can achieve the
same effect by adding neat new stuff to the X++ libraries and
only selective portions available from C (which portions is another
problem). My general feeling is that we should let natural forces
dictate which directions we pursue, rather than force our particular
flavor of the future on the developer community.
Dean -- "Fearsome as that is, starting from scratch [to document
X++] is probably much easier than dealing with C flavored C++".
Yes, but easier for whom? I don't think we should make our decisions
about the level of support we provide for either environment
on the basis of how much work it is for us (although it's of
course important). It's equally important to consider the perception
Developers will have of how much work is required of THEM. And
this is the broader issue I'm concerned with -- how we position
this product (which is, after all, essentially a development
environment). In my opinion, we *don't* want Xanadu to be viewed
as primarily a C++ environment. It must be positioned as an environment
equally accessible from C or C++. Developers who choose to use
C++ will have X++ and other significant advantages but vanilla
C programmers should not feel that they are second class citizens
in the Xanadu community.
Again, it's mostly a question of shifting emphasis and timing.
Developers who call with their C questions shouldn't be told
"you should be using C++". And if I had to choose which materials
were available first (and I may have to), I'd choose the C materials
and let the C++/X++ materials follow. Both must be done and supported,
but in my view initial acceptance by the C community is much
more important to our eventual successes.
Roger -- As I said above, we're in substantial -- even violent
-- agreement. But I do disagree with your assertion that C programmers
choose C primarily because of their dependence on existing libraries.
There's also a significant number of C programmers who would
prefer to develop in C simply *because they already know C*.
That's a substantial advantage for busy people who have tools
that they know already serve them well.