Sectar Wars II : Revenge Of The Lingo

Every so often, you get a tremor of a starting troll whenever you express either congratulations or displeasure at a specific SDK, language, or platform.

Back in the days where people developing for Apple’s platforms were very very few (yea, I know, it was all a misunderstanding), I would get scorned at for not having the wondrous MFC classes and Visual Basic and the other “better” and “easier” ways of having an application made.  You simply couldn’t do anything remotely as good as the Windows equivalent, because, face it, Mac OS was a “closed system”, with a very poor toolbox, and so few potential users. But hey, I was working in print and video, and MacOS had the best users in both fields at the time. And the wonders of QuickTime… sigh

Then it would be a ProjectBuilder versus Codewarrior (I still miss that IDE every now and then…). Choosing the latter was stupid: it was expensive, with minimal support for NIBs, was sooooooo Carbon,… But it also had a great debugger, a vastly superior compiler, and could deal with humongous files just fine on my puny iBook clamshell…

Once everyone started jumping on the iOS bandwagon, it was stupid to continue developing for Mac.

Every few months, it’s ridiculous to develop in Java.

There seems to be something missing for the arguments of every single one of these trolls: experience.

Choosing a set of tools for a task is a delicate thing. Get the wrong language, IDE, library, for a project and you will end up working 20 times as more for the same result. Granted, you can always find a ton of good examples why this particular choice of yours at that moment in time is not ideal. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good in general.

“QuickTime is dead”, but it’s still everywhere in the Mac OS. “Java is slow” is the most recurrent one. Well for my last project I reimplemented the “Spaces” feature in Java. Completely. Cross platformly. And at a decent speed. I’d say that’s proof enough that, when someone puts some care and craft in his/her work, any tool will do.

It all boils down to experience: with your skillset, can you make something good with the tools at your disposal? If the answer is yes, does it matter which tools you use? Let the trolls rant. The fact that they can’t do something good with this or that platform/tool doesn’t mean no one can.


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