proposal for full application scripting language in KDE 4

Richard Dale richard.j.dale at
Sat Oct 7 21:53:50 BST 2006

On Saturday 07 October 2006 21:02, Scott Wheeler wrote:
> I just wanted to turn this into something concrete and split it off of the
> other thread since what sorts of scripting is being debated there.
> I mentioned a poll on this list the other day that I kicked off on
>  The results are:
> Python:      46% (302 votes)
> Ruby:        38% (252 votes)
> JavaScript:   6% (40 votes)
> Perl          5% (30 votes)
> Z80 Assembly: 5% (35 votes)
> Total Votes: 659
> (Pasted here so that there's an accurate snapshot of the current state
> rather than people trying to win things for their favorite language after
> the fact. Voting has been extremely slow the last couple of days (around 10
> votes a day))
> It's not scientific, but I feel like the sample set of 659 votes from the
> KDE community is probably a better indicator than we'll get on this list
> and a margin that's large enough (8%) to show a reasonably clear "winner".
8% is 'large'.? A random bunch of people voting is 'scientific' (and
even you say it isn't)?

I would say the community is pretty evenly split between python and
ruby, and if you start arbitrarily specifying one over the other you
guaranteed to piss off nearly 50% of potential contributors of
applications written in dynamic languages. How active is the kde
python community relative to the ruby community? If 250 ruby voters
are going to produce more apps than the 300 python voters, then the
raw numbers are pretty meaningless.

> So:
> I propose that we allow applications written in PyKDE in the main modules
> of KDE in KDE 4.  Applications in scripting languages other than Python
> should be allowed (and encouraged) in Extragear.
On what grounds is this a good idea. You've gone straight from an
unscientific survey result, to dictating what people can do.

> There is the question of applications using those bindings.  We have
> Guidance already in extra gear and I assume it will be ported to KDE 4.  At
> around 24k lines (text, not code) that would seem to qualify as "real" even
> if it is somewhat distro specific.
> Just to clear the air a bit, I have no preference for Python vs. Ruby, so
> this isn't a personal crusade.  I do however think that having a single
> scripting language with first-class status in the project is a step
> forward.
Why? You just state this as though it's obvious. It is not. In your
previous post you said that you would prefer just one 'blessed'
language because you don't know either python or ruby well, and it
would make your choice for you. But maybe other people would prefer to
use either python, ruby (or both), according to their personal
preferences, and be allowed to put them as first class citizens in kde
modules like kde-edu.

> Usage in core components I think will have to be performance based.  I
> wouldn't be surprised if the Python community would be willing to help get
> things to the point that they might be acceptable, but only time will tell
> there.
> -Scott
> --
> We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time:
> premature optimization is the root of all evil.
> -Donald Knuth
Yeah, thanks Donald. Using the results of a survey to optimise the
performance of kde4 modules by eliminating language diversity, before
anyone has even written apps for them in any dynamic language, is a
perfect example of premature optimization in my opinion.

-- Richard

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