Participation in Improvement List

Ben Rubinstein benr at cogapp.com
Mon Jul 8 04:36:01 EDT 2002


on 7/7/02 4:30 pm, Dan Shafer at dan at danshafer.com wrote:

> Your observation that RR is "not as finished as could be" is
> worrisome for me, but only a little. I keep encountering runtime
> errors in the development environment that are pointing to code I
> didn't write. Strangely, most of the time these errors *appear* to be
> bogus, but the fact that they pop up is not only annoying, it
> concerns me that I'm missing some real bug and going blithely on my
> way and that they will jump up down the road and bite me where I sit!
> [snip]
> In fact, the executables seem even more stable than the apps in process inside
> RR on some levels. Still too early to pinpoint specifics, just a feeling.

Point of information: your feeling is correct, and the runtime errors
pointing to code you didn't write is not as spooky as you might think.

Explanation: Revolution IDE is entirely built in Transcript.  Hence there is
a huge amount of code that you didn't write that you are exercising when you
are working in the development environment.  The IDE is less than a year
old, and growing fast - hence has a reasonable number of bugs.  The
underlying engine is licensed from MetaCard, and has been ten years in the
refining - hence is very stable.   When you create an executable, you are
basically stripping out all of Revolution's code (apart from any libraries
you may choose to add in, eg database, geometry manager) and just sticking
your code directly onto the MetaCard engine.  Hence it is indeed generally
the case that standalones are more stable.

It's an important point of reassurance for anyone concerned about the
instability of Rev; this either is or isn't sufficient, in your particular
case, to counter the productivity advantages of this product (for me, I find
the pros massively outweigh the cons, hence I do as much as I can in Rev
versus alternatives such as Java, C++, RealBasic or even MetaCard all of
which may have more stable environments, but in which I am nonetheless less
productuve) - but one thing you don't have to worry about is that the
standalones you deliver to someone else will be as unstable.
    
  Ben Rubinstein               |  Email: benr_mc at cogapp.com
  Cognitive Applications Ltd   |  Phone: +44 (0)1273-821600
  http://www.cogapp.com        |  Fax  : +44 (0)1273-728866





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