[Openmcl-devel] The Objective-C Bridge and Clozure CL IDE with Linux and GNUstep

Terry Lassiter lassiter at christianfellowships.info
Thu Jun 18 02:09:36 UTC 2015


About six months ago I move from OS X development to linux. I am retired 
and on a limited income. I had intended to upgrade my mac mini, but 
(like most of the world) am very unhappy with the current generation of 
minis. My other reasonably fast machine was set up as as hackintosh, but 
was never quite stable enough. Hence my move to linux Mint on that 
machine. I like Mint.

Here is the tl;dr version: I am going with qtools even though I hate C++.

Moving to linux, I faced the problem of finding a workable gui solution. 
When I inquired at my local Lisp users group, practically all the young 
guys said "do a web interface". For various reasons I really, really 
hate the idea that everything in the modern world should be a web app.

After some not very "scientific" investigation, I have committed to 
attempting to use qtools (here: http://shinmera.github.io/qtools).

I spent quite a lot of time investigating Ltk, and various gtk bindings. 
Actually Ltk is pretty good in some ways (easy to get started, fair 
documentation). But I don't like the look of it, and I also don't really 
care for the architecture.

I would have preferred gtk (because C), but there is a lot of criticism 
of the way gtk has evolved at the hands of its development team. (See 
this, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ON0A1dsQOV0). Also 
there appears to be a reasonable chance that my apps will run on all 
three of linux, windows, and OS X with qt, although I don't really know 
about ccl on windows.

I have the same problem with qtools, commonqt etc. as I had with the 
cocoa bindings in ccl. (This may just be my idiosyncracy, whatever.) 
That is, I don't feel comfortable using either one without a fairly good 
knowledge of the "natural ecosystems" these things live in, i.e. Obj-C 
and C++. I spent quite a long time getting a kind of minimal knowledge 
of Obj-C, and didn't mind it too much. I have spent the best part of the 
past month learning C++ and Qt in the C++ environment. I just /hate/ 
C++, so it is a struggle. But Qt itself is pretty good. I have even 
found myself using the qt IDE (qt creator) in preference to emacs for 
C++ and C work. This is a kind of milestone for me; I was ok with xcode 
but am really most comfortable with emacs.)

The problem with all of these things in the CL world (and also in, e.g. 
Haskell, which I like) is that despite the best intentions of the 
developers (often one guy), they/he/shee inevitably move on to other 
things. To me that means that one must pretty much face up to debugging 
and maintaining the software largely on one's own. (Maybe not so much 
the case with cocoa + ccl, which seems to have a somewhat better life 
expectancy.) Hence my dive into C++.

This is a problem for anyone (like me) whose primary interest is /not/ 
development tools. However, I have for the time being decided that I 
simply cannot give up either CL or non-web gui, and so I will bite the 
bullet.

As for hating C++, I am not the least doctrinaire about programming 
languages. I generally accept that a language is a good one if people 
manage to produce stuff I like or find useful in that language. However, 
i have returned to C++ for the first time since I bought the first 
edition of Soustrup's book in 1985. I was repelled by the language then, 
and still think it is just an unholy mess. When I give myself a break 
from qt and C++ to do some lisp, it feels marvellous. So it remains to 
be seen whether my /resolve/ will /dissolve/, LOL.
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