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Comment Apple today (Score 3, Interesting) 126

Your comments in The Art of Unix Programming about Apple/Mac developers being diametrically opposed to Unix developers in development style and emphases (designing simple, user-friendly interfaces from the outside in) were quite interesting. I am wondering about your perspective on Apple now. My interest is specifically in Apple's contributions to open-source (WebKit and LLVM, chiefly) and your take on those. It seems to me that Apple has done quite a bit to foster an alternative ecosystem to the GNU environment, for instance in FreeBSD's adoption of clang as their default compiler; and also it seems to to me that WebKit has supplanted Gecko as the most widely used browser framework. Curious about your viewpoint here.

Comment If you're on a Mac, NeoOffice is better... (Score 1) 238

...than either AOO and LO. Much more optimized for OS X. And its engineering team of two is supported by their user base, not by IBM or Oracle or whosever, so that they can work full-time on improvements. Still open source, of course (GPL). It's a real success story. See http://www.neooffice.org./

Comment Re:Extract money from the lazy? (Score 1) 270

I see no problem with requiring payment from users even if the product is open-source. How do you fund development? I happily paid the $10 to the NeoOffice developers to download the latest binary of NeoOffice. And I paid the two bucks for Growl. In the case of NeoOffice, the $10 is worth it to save myself the 24 hours or so it takes to build the entire behemoth. As for Growl, it would have been better had the source been available from the get-go, but it's a small developer team that's overwhelmed with support requests because 1.3 is actually a huge update. I think they're prioritized correctly. If paying for an OSS product offends you, consider it a service charge for the convenience of a pre-compiled binary. "Support services" are one of the few Slashdot-approved ways of actually getting paid for your OSS work, aren't they?

Submission + - Qt moves to LGPL

wordtech writes: "Nokia today announced that its Qt cross-platform user interface (UI) and application framework for desktop and embedded platforms will be available under the open source LGPL version 2.1 license from the release of Qt 4.5, scheduled for March 2009. In addition: * Qt source code repositories will be made publicly available and will encourage contributions from desktop and embedded developer communities. * Service offerings for Qt will be expanded to ensure that all Qt development projects can have access to the same levels of support, * independent of the selected license. More information at http://www.qtsoftware.com/about/licensing/."

Submission + - Tcl/Tk 8.5 released (www.tcl.tk) 2

wordtech writes: "The Tcl Core Team is pleased to announce the 8.5.0 releases of the Tcl dynamic language and the Tk GUI toolkit. This is the first stable release of Tcl/Tk 8.5, following more than four years of development, and represents a major advance over previous versions of Tcl/Tk.

Highlights of Tcl 8.5: * Speed: 8.5 now runs 10% faster than 8.4 with bytecode improvements, object caching and reduced memory usage. * Bignums: Tcl now supports arbitrary-precision integers, which improves math operations on large integers. * Safer interps: Tcl's powerful safe interpreter mechanism now has improved control of time and command limits in slave interpreters. * clock command: More robust implementation of command for specifying time, with significant l10n and i18n improvements. * dict command: New data structure that allows access to data by value rather than a variable name, which is substantially faster. * Additional improvements: Faster list search, new and improved mathematics procedures, anonymous procedures, new ways to package Tcl extensions, Tcl-level custom channel types, file and line location information for each command, and more.

Highlights of Tk 8.5: * New modern theming engine: New and additional widgets that make use of platform-specific theming on Mac OS X and Windows to better fit in with those environments, and feature an improved look and feel under X11. (For screenshots, see http://wiki.tcl.tk/13636.) * Font rendering: Now uses anti-aliased text under X11, and a more modern text engine (ATSUI) on Mac OS X. * Text widget: Smooth scrolling, widget peering, and improved procedures for counting and replacing text. * Additional improvements: Window transparency, new fullscreen option for windows, enhancements to specific widgets and window layout, and more.

For more information on Tcl/Tk 8.5, see http://www.tcl.tk/software/tcltk/8.5.html."

Comment So what kinds of applications can one create? (Score 2, Interesting) 122

This sounds very promising and interesting--a robust cross-platform GUI-development platform. However, I've always been a bit baffled by the idea of Mozilla/XUL as a "development platform." It is so unlike the environments I'm used to (Tcl/Tk, AppleScript/Cocoa, Python/wxPython) that I'm not clear what one does with it. So here are some questions:

1. Can one do general-purpose GUI application development with Mozilla/XULrunner--using JavaScript instead of Python or Tcl as the programming language? (i.e. is there finally a good reason for a non-web-dev to learn JavaScript?)

2. Does developing with this environment require one to do hacking in C++? (I'm not interested in hacking with C++.)

3. Can anyone point me to applications that already exist that make use of Mozilla as a development deployment platform? I'm already familiar with Firefox, Thunderbird, and Komodo. Are there any others? (i.e. that are standalone apps and don't run as Firefox extensions, say?)

4. What kinds of applications are *not* feasible with this development platform?

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