Using scripting languages for KDE4 main modules

Boudewijn Rempt boud at
Sun Oct 1 14:05:17 BST 2006

On Sunday 01 October 2006 14:40, Guillaume Laurent wrote:

> I've also never met a programmer worth its salt who wouldn't write a
> useful app just because he wouldn't like a given language.

If you pay him for it. I would never have started hacking on Krita for fun if 
it had been writting in C, for instance. And I have never tried fixing some 
of the problems I have with KMail because it was written in C++. I find C++ 
acceptable for an image editor, but not for a database front-end. I only code 
Java and Javascript because I'm getting paid for it, and even then Javascript 
is enough to make me look out for another job.

But I'm not interested in a language war; I think that there are no real 
problems with allowing applications written in scripting languages that have 
complete and stable bindings to Qt and KDE (ruling out ocaml, haskell and so 
on). Those languages will by definition not be exotic.

> Did enforcing C++ as a single programming language hindered KDE ? No.

How do you know? There's no reason to assume KDE wouldn't have progressed 
further if python apps could have gone into kdebase. Of course, there's no 
reason to assume it would have: we simply don't know. One thing that is known 
is that an average programmer (as opposted to a crack programmer) is more 
productive in a scripting language than in C++. Another thing that I know 
from experience is the gulf that separates the PyQt/PyKDE community and 
KDE-as-a-project. My guess is that KDE would have come with PyKDE from the 
beginning (of PyKDE), we would have more developers and more fun.

> Did  
> trying to have dozens of languages helped Gnome ? No. So why would it be 
> different if we choose a standard scripting language ?

I prefer to have a list of requirements a language & bindings should conform 
to and then giving applications written in those languages into kdebase and 
the other modules. Like:

* supports unicode
* supports OO
* works on all platforms
* Full and stable Qt bindings
* Full and stable kdelibs bindings
* kpart support
* dbus support
* ...

I suspect that not many scripting languages would survive those criteria, 
solving the problem where we're essentially saying "code in Qwerty, whether 
you like it or not, and if you don't you're not professional enough for us".

Boudewijn Rempt
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