Dan Shafer : Wired HC Article - rev too complicated?
dan at danshafer.com
Sat Aug 17 12:20:01 EDT 2002
Richard Gaskin wrote:
>Depends on what you want to build. Director is fairly unbeatable for some
>multimedia tasks, but I wouldn't build an application with it.
Tool (and language) appropriateness are difficult things to get
across sometimes. I could (but won't here) make an argument that any
professional programmer who knows only one language is not doing
himself or his employer/clients any good at all in the long run.
RR is wonderful for what it allows me to do: build small to
medium-sized interactive applications for cross-platform deployment.
It is far and away the best tool I've found *for my tastes* to
accomplish such tasks.
But if I want to build a multimedia application (complex slide show,
animation display driven by a database, or pure entertainment/showoff
stuff), right now I'm inclined *not* to rely on RR, not because it
can't do that job but because I don't know how to do that job with
RR. Since I have Director and know Lingo (which is an elegant OO
nicely but not as well as I'd like), I'll choose that tool for that
kind of task. (BTW and FWIW, I downloaded the beta of Norpath
Elements based on a comment on this list and it is freaking awesome
for lots of app types. If it didn't require a 1MB+ proprietary
plug-in for Web deployment of its applets, it would become a serious
contender for me. It may anyway. Also, I strongly disagree with the
notion someone expressed that one could build Norpath Elements in RR;
it has too much good support for stuff that's missing in action in RR
So for me it is as it always has been. When we ask "What's the best
development environment?" we are asking not only the wrong question
but an unanswerable one. Until you know with *some* degree of
precision what you want to accomplish, looking for One Holy Grail
application development tool that will meet your needs is silly.
I still remember how laughable I found it when people built sort of
mini word processors in HyperCard. Why? There were already good apps
like that out there and there were tools better suited to creating
such products if you wanted them.
I remember hearing the two Dartmouth (I think) profs who originally
developed BASIC speaking at a round table of some sort very early in
my career. One of them became incensed and red-faced as he screamed,
"People are using BASIC to build f***ing General Ledgers! That's not
what it's for!" Wrong. If you're a toolmaker, you don't to decide
that people can't use your hammer to crack walnuts...or skulls. You
just put the tool out there.
It's up to the creators to pick the right tool for each kind of job.
If they want to insist on a one-tool solution for everything, they
will pay a price in efficiency and will gripe along the way about how
your tool isn't quite as well suited to their task as they'd like.
But it's not your fault; you just made a tool.
Anyway, that's how I see it.
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