language choice of alfs

Roger Merchberger zmerch at
Sun Dec 19 14:32:26 PST 2004

Rumor has it that Boris Buegling may have mentioned these words:

>I don't want to sound rude...

Not at all. As I'd mentioned, as I'm not currently a developer, so I know 
my opinion means little.

>but as far as I know, we have two coders right now, Jamie Bennett and 
>myself, and we both agreed on using C, so did you. If the other people 
>making suggestions do not actually want to take part in development, they 
>shouldn't have a say on what language it will be written in.

I fully agree.

>  It is important that the actual coders feel comfortable with the 
> language that is used, not the users. If the decision will be against C, 
> I will not be able to participate in coding the new tool.

_Many_ people know Python now - and Python is spreading farther, faster 
than Perl ever did. That's why it's now the scripting language of 
OpenOffice, Paint Shop Pro 9, and others. If all the developers were 
comfortable with Python as well as C, it would make sense to consider a 
switch, as it could easily allow other developers in, and possibly offload 
some of the burden on the existing coders.

In my (minimal) opinion, forcing a developer to learn a new language or bow 
out is not an option. However, as my C coding is only slightly better than 
my German (which is poor!) I cannot add anything of use to the current 
developer pool.

It certainly wasn't my intention to offend you, either; if you were, my 
deepest apologies.

... and Jeremy Huntwork may have mentioned these words:

>This is as much for the sake of documentation as it is for anything else.

Yes. 6 months from now, if there's a lot of people wondering why it's coded 
in C and why it won't be changed, this thread will tell it all.

>   I can even get you started... Unless I'm wrong, by using C, there's one 
> less package to install (as opposed to python or ruby) just to be able to 
> run the thing.

Assuming the C libraries used are already part of the bare LFS book, that 
would be true.[1] However, if extra C libraries are needed, they will have 
to be compiled - and compiling an extra library package compared to 
compiling the (python|ruby) package would make little difference, at least 
to me.

Anyway, again, if I offended anyone, I apologize but in the end I do feel 
this discussion is useful, even if just for the archives...

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

[1] Again, I know *nothing* of the current nALFS internals; other than 
./configure; make; make install; it might as well be in APL for all I know. 
(Although APL *could* be fun... ;^> )

Roger "Merch" Merchberger   | A new truth in advertising slogan
sysadmin, Iceberg Computers | for MicroSoft: "We're not the oxy...
zmerch at          |                oxymoron!"

More information about the alfs-discuss mailing list