DylanWorks from Harlequin 
Author Message
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

Does anyone else think Harlequin is handling the relase of DylanWorks in
an inefficient way?

It seems to me the longer they wait to release it and the harder they
make it for beta-tester-candidates to get it the more mind share Dylan
as a language loses.

-ralph



Mon, 28 Jun 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin


Quote:
> Does anyone else think Harlequin is handling the relase of DylanWorks in
> an inefficient way?

Are you feeling impatient?

Quote:
> It seems to me the longer they wait to release it and the harder they
> make it for beta-tester-candidates to get it the more mind share Dylan
> as a language loses.

I know of at least one vocal person in comp.lang.lisp who insists
that Dylan is dead. I doubt that the release of DylanWorks will
change his opinion, but it may cause a few more people to wonder
if this myth can be true.

On the other hand, if Dylan _is_ dead, then this is a beautiful
fantasy! I'm also eager to use DylanWorks, and more than a little
frustrated at the (current) lack of alternatives to C++. Of course,
YMMV. Not everyone needs the same things from a development tool.

The big question is: How long can you wait?
--
<URL:http://www.enrapture.com/cybes/> You can never browse enough
Please remove the "nospam" if you want to email me. <sigh>



Wed, 30 Jun 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

I really wish they would let us know whats going on with it. Why should I
care about DylanWorks if I have no indication of when it will be an actual
product ?
- Russ



Quote:
> Does anyone else think Harlequin is handling the relase of DylanWorks in
> an inefficient way?

> It seems to me the longer they wait to release it and the harder they
> make it for beta-tester-candidates to get it the more mind share Dylan
> as a language loses.

> -ralph



Wed, 30 Jun 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

Quote:

> Does anyone else think Harlequin is handling the relase of DylanWorks in
> an inefficient way?

        This topic, the delay in getting usable Dylan implementations
released, has been thrashed much in this NG. A long time ago, more than a
year go I think, Scott Fahlman, who heads the Gwydion team at CMU, said
that we'd know within a year if Dylan would succeed or fail. I am
disappointed, but at least I'm not suffering with C++ all that much
anymore ;-).

Quote:
> > It seems to me the longer they wait to release it and the harder they
> make it for beta-tester-candidates to get it the more mind share Dylan
> as a language loses.

        A {*filter*}head tune singer once wrote something like

        "When you got nothing, you ain't got nothing to lose."

-- Brian

Quote:

> -ralph



Wed, 30 Jun 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

Quote:

>    This topic, the delay in getting usable Dylan implementations
> released, has been thrashed much in this NG. A long time ago, more than a
> year go I think, Scott Fahlman, who heads the Gwydion team at CMU, said
> that we'd know within a year if Dylan would succeed or fail. I am
> disappointed, but at least I'm not suffering with C++ all that much
> anymore ;-).

I can't and won't comment on the delays in getting DylanWorks out.  We
(CMU) are in no position to cast stones, though I think much of the
blame for Dylan's slow gestation goes to Apple management (if that
phrase is not an oxymoron).

I think it's clear that Dylan has missed the boat it could and shold
have caught.  We now have to stand by and watch Java, a much worse
language in many respects, takes over the niche that could have been
Dylan's.  But there still should be a place in the world for a
well-designed and more capable (better than Java) language of this
general type and, if we can fix up a few warts, Dylan is the best
candidate to fill this role.

So we continue to work on Dylan, now with emphasis on trying to get it
right rather than racing for market share.  Whether, in the end, what
we produce will be called "Dylan" is an open question right now.
There have always been trademark questions, and these have never been
cleanly resolved.

-- Scott

===========================================================================

Principal Research Scientist            Phone:     412 268-2575
Department of Computer Science          Fax:       412 268-5576
Carnegie Mellon University              Latitude:  40:26:46 N
5000 Forbes Avenue                      Longitude: 79:56:55 W
Pittsburgh, PA 15213                    Mood:      :-)
===========================================================================



Thu, 01 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin


Quote:

> >       This topic, the delay in getting usable Dylan implementations
> > released, has been thrashed much in this NG. A long time ago, more than a
> > year go I think, Scott Fahlman, who heads the Gwydion team at CMU, said
> > that we'd know within a year if Dylan would succeed or fail. I am
> > disappointed, but at least I'm not suffering with C++ all that much
> > anymore ;-).

> I can't and won't comment on the delays in getting DylanWorks out.  We
> (CMU) are in no position to cast stones, though I think much of the
> blame for Dylan's slow gestation goes to Apple management (if that
> phrase is not an oxymoron).

        I am not in a position to know. I have commented before that I
thought that releasing a fairly usable compiler sans sophisticated
development environment might have been wiser. Consider Java, C++, Perl,
and other such tools.

Quote:

> I think it's clear that Dylan has missed the boat it could and shold
> have caught.  We now have to stand by and watch Java, a much worse
> language in many respects, takes over the niche that could have been
> Dylan's.

        Yeah, that really sucks. "Time to market" and all that.

Quote:
> But there still should be a place in the world for a
> well-designed and more capable (better than Java) language of this
> general type and, if we can fix up a few warts, Dylan is the best
> candidate to fill this role.

        Question time :-)

        What is the role you see for Dylan? Has it changed much from the
white paper at the Gwydion home page? What are the most important perceived
"warts"? Do you really see Java and Dylan as being the same general type of
language? I don't, mainly because I see Java as being a language with a
mostly static type system. I expect that future versions of Java will add
some form of parametric polymorphism (see http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~pizza/)
and diverge even further from Dylan and kin.

        I agree that Dylan seems to be a "better" language than Java,
but how will you know you've gotten it "right", when so few people
are using it? I favor an empiricist approach (in addition to good up front
design) in which feedback from a user community can shape the language.
I imagine (correct me if I'm wrong) that most of the serious users of
Dylan right now are using it to write Dylan compilers and tools, a sort of
{*filter*}uous situation. A larger user community with more diverse programming
interests may reveal flaws you hadn't considered.

        Mindy is an excellent starting point for learning, and I appreciate
the work that has gone into it, but it is obviously incomplete. In
particular, I would like to hack around with the new macro system to get a
feel for it (unfortunately I am one of those dumb people who doesn't grok
right away after reading the spec...) but that isn't possible now.

Quote:

> So we continue to work on Dylan, now with emphasis on trying to get it
> right rather than racing for market share.  Whether, in the end, what
> we produce will be called "Dylan" is an open question right now.
> There have always been trademark questions, and these have never been
> cleanly resolved.

        What it is called is relatively unimportant. Decent implementations
are more important. All IMO, of course.

-- Brian

Quote:
> Scott

> ===========================================================================

> Principal Research Scientist            Phone:     412 268-2575
> Department of Computer Science          Fax:       412 268-5576
> Carnegie Mellon University              Latitude:  40:26:46 N
> 5000 Forbes Avenue                      Longitude: 79:56:55 W
> Pittsburgh, PA 15213                    Mood:      :-)
> ===========================================================================



Thu, 01 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

    Brian>   I am not in a position to know. I have commented
    Brian> before that I thought that releasing a fairly usable
    Brian> compiler sans sophisticated development environment might
    Brian> have been wiser. Consider Java, C++, Perl, and other such
    Brian> tools.

Hear, hear! If I had a bare bones Dylan compiler right now I wouldn't
been wasting my valuable time on a C++ program. Heck, I'm using mindy
right now for actual production work, just because production time is
more valuable than execution time for parts of the problem.

If anybody out there has a decent compiler without dev environment,
release it! Please! Yes, I realize the importance of a nice dev
environment, yes I know that source files are obsolete and scheduled
to be replaced by source records. But I do mind using C++ until they
are finished.

Andreas

--
BeBox - the psychedelic trance computer.



Fri, 02 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin



Quote:
>         I am not in a position to know. I have commented before that I
> thought that releasing a fairly usable compiler sans sophisticated
> development environment might have been wiser. Consider Java, C++, Perl,
> and other such tools.

If Dylan is indeed competing with these tools, then it could be
sensible to play by the same rules. Dylan appears to be suffering,
with these delays, because the implementations offer a whole lot
_more_. If I may be permitted to paraphrase Alan Perlis, "C++
programmers know the cost of everything and the value of nothing."

Dylan may be seen as having disadavantage by some people, simply
because it's not C++. We probably won't be able to convince those
hardware C++ users, but I hope there'll be enough programmers with
a more flexible outlook. These are the people we might offer a
minimal Dylan environment to.

Alternately, we could trust that there'll be enough existing Dylan
people. It looks like this is the approach currently being taken,
and it may well be _ideal_ way to do it. I certainly won't complain,
as I'd love a good environment, good support for the native OS,
and an excellent compiler. It looks like we'll get all of these
things, eventually.

You've asked some good questions. None of us know what the answers
may be! Let's hope that somebody gets it right, i.e. that Dylan
doesn't suffer too badly from the effects of Java. Looking at
it more positively, perhaps Java will actually _help_ Dylan, by
showing large numbers of people what's possible if you don't limit
yourself to what C++ can do.
--
<URL:http://www.enrapture.com/cybes/> You can never browse enough
Please remove the "nospam" if you want to email me. <sigh>



Sat, 03 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin



Quote:
> I can't and won't comment on the delays in getting DylanWorks out.  We
> (CMU) are in no position to cast stones, though I think much of the
> blame for Dylan's slow gestation goes to Apple management (if that
> phrase is not an oxymoron).

Possible flamebait, I think. ;-) I agree with you, of course.
Apple have not come out of this smelling of roses.

Quote:
> I think it's clear that Dylan has missed the boat it could and shold
> have caught.  We now have to stand by and watch Java, a much worse
> language in many respects, takes over the niche that could have been
> Dylan's.  But there still should be a place in the world for a
> well-designed and more capable (better than Java) language of this
> general type and, if we can fix up a few warts, Dylan is the best
> candidate to fill this role.

I'm considering a lot of options, e.g. Smalltalk MT. DylanWorks
should be able to do much more, tho if the choice is between
C++ and Smalltalk, I'll take the latter. Note that Smalltalk MT
is priced very competetively with C++, offers multi-threading,
and many other features normally associated only with C/C++.
Even Java looks pale by comparison, so there's hope yet.

Some programmers may be converted to Smalltalk or Java, and later
discover Dylan. It may depend on how many programmers are patient
enough to learn it and use it properly before judging it. There
are no short cuts in learning. It takes time and effort, plus
the _will_ to learn. Sadly, some people have a very shallow way
of looking at such things, which may help explain the success
of Java - a language with superficial similarities to C++.

Perhaps a "Dylan for C++ Programmers" book could help? I dunno,
but it sometimes seems like it. Talk their language, and they
may hear your words. Whenever I see "X for C++ Programmers" type
books, I think of memetics.

Quote:
> So we continue to work on Dylan, now with emphasis on trying to get it
> right rather than racing for market share.  Whether, in the end, what
> we produce will be called "Dylan" is an open question right now.
> There have always been trademark questions, and these have never been
> cleanly resolved.

Good luck.
--
<URL:http://www.enrapture.com/cybes/> You can never browse enough
Please remove the "nospam" if you want to email me. <sigh>


Sat, 03 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

There is not a  problem at all. Dylan is, with my best knowledge, better
than C++ and especially better than Smalltalk and Java, which have completely
wrong philosophy of messages, from my point of wiew. There is
no doubt that features which are good in Dylan
will before or later come to regular, although maybe not wide use. Other
question is, which the name of language with this features will be. It may
have influence on glory of programmers of Dylan.
For example, Algol is not alive, but garbage collection is.
Of cours, we want better than C++ now, and it is not Java.

_______________________________________________
Author: Kazimir Majorinc, Zagreb, Croatia


http:   //public.srce.hr/~kmajor (~7min to USA)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One who knows the secret of the 7th stair


: Does anyone else think Harlequin is handling the relase of DylanWorks in
: an inefficient way?

: It seems to me the longer they wait to release it and the harder they
: make it for beta-tester-candidates to get it the more mind share Dylan
: as a language loses.

: -ralph



Sat, 03 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin


Quote:

> I think it's clear that Dylan has missed the boat it could and shold
> have caught.  We now have to stand by and watch Java, a much worse
> language in many respects, takes over the niche that could have been
> Dylan's.  But there still should be a place in the world for a
> well-designed and more capable (better than Java) language of this
> general type and, if we can fix up a few warts, Dylan is the best
> candidate to fill this role.

On the other hand, Java is not a total loss for the Dylan community. As one
LISP hacker pointed out to me, Java has incited USENET flamewars among
former C++ programmers about the desirability of weak references in a
garbage collected language. In the big scheme of things, this can't be bad.
Think of Java as an educational project.

(Of course, Java's real claims to fame are platform-independent byte codes
with transparent compilation to native code, and the alleged ability to
verify the security of byte codes loaded from an untrusted source. The
later of these claims I don't believe at all, at least not given the code
quality of current virtual machines.)

When I can buy a moderately mature $200 Dylan compiler on the platform of
my choice, you can bet I'll do a lot more development in Dylan. Even if the
compiler is a little slow and only runs in batch mode, I'm still
interested. The generated code has to be reasonably efficient, though.

An aside to comp.lang.dylan: How much work would it be to build a primitive
Dylan front-end to gcc's code generator? If the implementation supported
real macros and closures, most of the standard Dylan libraries could be
implemented in Dylan, as they were for Mindy. Performance would suck, but
there's a lot more motivation to improve a shipping compiler than an
unreleased one.

Cheers,
Eric

http://www.pobox.com/~emk/



Sat, 03 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

Quote:

 ...

>         I agree that Dylan seems to be a "better" language than Java,
> but how will you know you've gotten it "right", when so few people
> are using it? I favor an empiricist approach (in addition to good up front
> design) in which feedback from a user community can shape the language.
> I imagine (correct me if I'm wrong) that most of the serious users of
> Dylan right now are using it to write Dylan compilers and tools, a sort of
> {*filter*}uous situation. A larger user community with more diverse programming
> interests may reveal flaws you hadn't considered.

Rather than add my "me, too", I'll simply recommend reading Richard Gabriel's
"Money Through Innovation Reconsidered", in his recent book: Patterns of
Software (Oxford University Press, 1996).  Of course if you read / heard his
1990 keynote address, "Lisp: Good News, Bad News, How to Win Big" you've
already seen it.  As much as I hate to admit it, he's pretty close to right.

joe



Sat, 03 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

Quote:

> [...]  I think it's clear that Dylan has missed the boat it
> could and shold have caught.  We now have to stand by and watch
> Java, a much worse language in many respects, takes over the
> niche that could have been Dylan's.  [...]

Dylan is a great language, but there are other boats (unless
you're the kind of person that goes glassy-eyed and starts
drooling whenever anyone says "object-oriented").  Scheme
could have and should have been a better Java, and Standard
ML looks like a great replacement for C++.  Dylan's coolness
is that it could have been both.

I'm not claiming that Dylan is dead--I still have hope that it
will become a successful language--I'm pointing out that the
world is not as bleak a place without Dylan as folks are making
it out to be.

-thant

--
"I'm someone who has a deep emotional attachment
to 'Starsky and Hutch.' " -- Bill Clinton, 1996



Sat, 03 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 DylanWorks from Harlequin

Quote:

>I think it's clear that Dylan has missed the boat it could and shold
>have caught.  We now have to stand by and watch Java, a much worse
>language in many respects, takes over the niche that could have been
>Dylan's.  But there still should be a place in the world for a
>well-designed and more capable (better than Java) language of this
>general type and, if we can fix up a few warts, Dylan is the best
>candidate to fill this role.

Hm, I don't think Dylan could have taken the niche Java is in
now.

The bytecode hype is just what Dylan avoids: having bad performance
from start. A few hours reading the JVM specification will lead to the
impression that JITs will *not* speed Java up to native-compiling
languages. Not to speak of general optimization problems. The process
of choosing the highest optimization level that runs the application
in question will be handed from the programmer to the user. How long
will it take when JVMs come up with a switch to set optimization
level? Then, what will users do: Always set to some low level (look at
what Macintosh users did with memory option in the usual case).

The integration-into-webbrowsers is something that wouldn't make sense
for a non-bytecode language. Additionally, although Dylan is designed
to seperate major parts from the development system, I doubt that this
fine-graded incremental transfer of individual class files used for
Java Web Applets is possible with Dylan (maybe someone can comment).

Dylan is a more complex language and I doubt it could have made it to
a "hype" language at all.

Then, the proposed implementations. I don't know what the CMU project
will do about marketing their product. But Harlequin is definitvly not
a vendor interestedt in $199 priced development environments.

Besides these technical issues, I think the Java (and Web) hype did
more good than bad for other languages. Java forced people into
realizing that more than one language is needed to do computing. The
Web in all its glory lead to applications with much less proposed
livetime, but with even stronger requirements for developement
speed. IMO, People realize that its better to let some individual
implement a project fast and care less for maintainance in ten years
from now.

If I were to decide whether to let someone implement a Web service in
some unusual language, the strongest requirement would be a
development environment that has the best possible browsing
mechannisms and is prepared to show a new user how his/her code
runs. That way, I could make sure that I could find people to at least
modify the application after my wizard left. This environment question
is where java and Dylan are different. Java is bad bejond recognition
in this area, CMU announced very decent support for these tasks and
Harlequin will probably through in at least what they have in
Lispworks.

Then, the Web and Java hype led to better acceptance of less
platform-native look of applications. This is definitvly a plus for
everyone not using the "home" language of a platform and interestedt
in multi-platform development.

People are much more likely to accept other languages than C++ and C
now. At least that is what my impression is. Even FreeBSD, normally
locked into pure C (with a few bits perl for non-important things) now
has an important network service implemented in Modula-3. My customers
for Web application don't longer care at all for the language I
choose.

Last but not least it is now much important to feed ugly platforms
over the network, thus freeing the provider to choose whatever
platform and language implement the needed protocols.

So, it seems to be the market for advanced languages is bigger now
than a few years ago. Althoug a lot of people jumped on Java, my
impression is that the number of people floating around waiting to get
captured into the orbit of some language they like is as big as never
before (counted number of people, not market share).

Sorry for the long post.

Martin
--
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

"As far as I'm concerned,  if something is so complicated that you can't ex-
 plain it in 10 seconds, then it's probably not worth knowing anyway"- Calvin



Sat, 03 Jul 1999 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 14 post ] 

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