[OT] Re: REALbasic vs. Revolution

Yennie at aol.com Yennie at aol.com
Sat Oct 12 11:16:01 EDT 2002

OK... I've been holding back until I had something specific to add here. 
These discussions tend to reach fanatical levels, so I hope we can discuss it 
all the way through in a reasonable manner.

A couple of things struck me as true. For starters, let me point out that I 
work in several languages. I choose the one most appropriate for the job. My 
current project is a mingling of PHP, C/C++, Java, and MetaCard (Rev). As far 
as total code size, it's about 85% MetaCard, 10% C/C++, 4% Java and 1% PHP 
(actually one medium sized script).

For me, the following things set MetaCard aside from REALBasic FOR MY WORK:

As Scott pointed out, many of "us" that write externals for MetaCard are too 
busy or otherwise motivated to release them to the community. Personally, 
I've found it easy to write several: on the short list I've worked on VXCMD 
(the Valentina external), a text stemming external, an AIAT external, an SSL 
external, a movie rotation external, and yes... an HTML rendering external. 
Throw in 3 or 4 I can't mention for one reason or another, several 
experiments, some GPL stuff...

Wanna go deeper? Scott even licenses embedded MetaCard libraries. If I ever 
decide I need a MetaCard Apache module, I'll buy a license and whip one up. 
I've practically got open source and I don't have to compile the source!

Anyway, my point is: externals are easy to write, they DO exist, they DO fit 
squarely into the ordinary scripting language... there just hasn't been a 
market for them because 
a) people like me write them for themselves
b) they aren't in high demand anyway
c) (as Scott pointed out), they aren't as useful unless they are compiled for 
several platforms.

One case in point: Rev's database support. External! But here's the kicker: 
the external is an equal citizen with other scripting commands. For me, this 
has a certain valuable consequence. I have a project based on VXCMD, which 
preceeded RevDB by many months. If I ever decide that I need to switch to 
MySQL, I wrote a script wrapper in 2 hours that does the trick of translating 
from Valentina() calls to RevDB(). How's that for flexibility?

I can't think of a solitary plugin in REALBasic which I am jealous of. Is 
their wide availability a good thing? Of course!!! Is REALBasic a good tool 
for the right project? Of course!!! If I couldn't write externals myself, 
would it make a difference? YES.

Still... what I keep thinking here is of a very familiar debate.
Windows has more applications.
I own a Mac.
Go figure.

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