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

Terry Lassiter lassiter at christianfellowships.info
Thu Jun 18 15:24:55 UTC 2015



On 15-06-18 02:12 AM, Ron Garret wrote
>> For various reasons I really, really hate the idea that everything in the modern world should be a web app.
> Can you elaborate on these “various reasons”?

Yes, I can. This will be a semi-rant, but of course nobody has to read it!

First some context:

My views are very subjective. I admit that I may sometimes be 
misinformed about what is going on "under the hood" with web 
applications. Moreover, since I am retired and have no commercial 
constraints related to interoperability or delivering software updates, 
my view is skewed by that.

I spent over a year doing an application in CL as a web application. 
This particular software /should/ have been done as a web application 
(by my criteria). I used ccl, hunchentoot, cl-who, xuriella, clsql, and 
other CL stuff, and of course javascript (mostly jquery) and css. This 
"stack" was great for that particular application. There are times when 
it seems perfectly right to have part of my software running on a server 
across a network, and part on a local device (even when both are the 
/same/ device, of course). But not /all the time/.

So in other contexts I don't want to go that way. I have an aversion 
being forced into thinking of /everything/ as having an in-your-face 
client-server architecture. (Yeah, I know X works that way too, more or 
less.)

I have a deep aversion to what appears to me to be an "inner platform" 
anti-pattern. I cannot abide the idea that the web browser is now my 
operating system /all the time/. I hate the endless layers upon layers 
upon layers that exist, as I see it, not because these abstractions help 
me but because there is some element of "worse is better" and 
reinventing the wheel to this evolution.

I do not like javascript. I am not comforted by the fact that 
"javascript now compiles to native code". I don't like layers of 
abstraction /on top/ of javascript (parenscript or things that compile 
to javascript.) I do not like CSS. I do not like SVG or MathML (despite 
spending nearly a decade before retirement doing an all-XML project.) 
Why? I feel no need to justify my aversion, anymore than I feel obliged 
to explain why I don't like red licorice twizzlers. These tools have 
their uses, but I doubt they are always the best choice. And, I don't 
like them.

I grate my teeth whenever I read some idiot tech writer proclaiming for 
the umpteenth time that "the desktop is dead". Of course there is some 
truth to that, in the sense that people quite rationally use mobile 
devices when it makes sense. But mostly it's kind of "ewwwww you old 
guys; NOBODY uses Facebook/wears white socks/drives a Buick anymore". 
Whatever. Fuck off and take some pictures of your lunch.

A year ago I tried Google's suite of "desktop applications" and just 
absolutely loathed them. But then, I also spent nearly ten years forced 
to use MS Word at work, became fairly proficient at it, /and totally 
hate desktop publishing stuff./ To this day I use emacs and tex for 
writing documents. So no wonder I don't want to compose a document on a 
web application. Even when I blog I use emacs and org mode to compose. 
Not the half-baked editors that wordpress provides.

I spend quite a lot of time doing OpenCL, and am learning OpenGL. I am 
at long last actually working my way through /The Art of Computer 
Programming/, and yes - I have learned MMIX to do it. So I have some 
preference for being "close to the metal", although I admit that there 
are plenty of layers there that I am happily ignore or don't even 
realize exist.

So maybe I am just psychologically wired to go against the grain. After 
all, I prefer Common Lisp to any of the languages I have ever used, even 
though I only started with CL about five years ago.

Best,

- TL -


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