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Author Topic: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal  (Read 389779 times)

rik_rs

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #150 on: July 16, 2011, 07:24:38 pm »
Quote
We need more ideas on the marketing side.....
I think the problems of every product are basically 2:

1) Set everything ready for an easy try.
Have you ever try to install and make a visual hello world with code:blocks, anjuta, Eclipse for Java, or even a "simple" Python that is a simple language? In the meantime you can learn Pascal and make 2000 software! :D
So, on this subject Lazarus is great and ready.

2) Spread to the world.
On this subject Lazarus is almost underground stuff. I think is at the same level of secret masonry and biblical codes! :D
Seriously from 1 to 100, Lazarus is 5 on this point.

Points 1 and 2 are the first point: they gather people interest and introduce them to this unknow and beutiful product.
But after 1 and 2, you have to cope with the help this people will need (I am one of them because I'm using Pascal for the first time: the more similar product I used in the past was C++ Builder).

So after point 1 and 2, newbies need point 3:
3) documentation
Could be better. It breaks the magic.
While developing with Lazarus, the first times, instead of Lazarus/Freepascal docs I found more useful this site: http://www.delphibasics.co.uk/index.html

In other words: you must invest in the presentation layer :)
If you bring a developer here, let him have a try with no problem, and give him a TUTORIAL, a course like "Learn Lazarus step by step", you must be SURE 100% that nobody turn away!
Every year, I reserve a week or two, googling around to see what going on the desktop IDE world, trying EVERYTHING. I know, Mono, Netbeans and Eclipse with various languages, code:blocks, CodeLite, Qt Creator, Boa constructor (python), Gambas, Real Basic, Jabaco (like VB6 but generates java bytecode for the standard jre), and many other: THE WINNER, for ease of use, power, RAD,  IS LAZARUS. A couple of year ago a have 2 winners: Lazarus and Netbeas+Matisse. Now Netbeas+Matisse is dead and Java alone + designers, is not so RAD as Lazarus. Before I could have argued: java+netbeans+Matisse could last more, instead this bundle is already dead and Lazarus is still here! In the meantime Sun is dead too! :)

So, go ahead! You need a few effort to double your user (or more).
Rik.

JD

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #151 on: July 16, 2011, 07:37:52 pm »
The Lazarus community is simply  fragmented, communication and evangelization is inadequate. I think it applies to Delphi as well.
For example the main Lazarus developer blog is http://lazarus-dev.blogspot.com/. It is July now and so far there has only been 1 post for the whole of 2011, 2010 saw 7 posts and 2009 saw the grand total of 5. You would hardly suspect that anything was happening in Lazarus.
Very true. For example, there's a lot going on on the Brazilian side that most people don't know about. That was where I found very good examples of using Lazarus for web development. I'm refering to the blogs of people like LuizAmerico, Silvio Clécio etc. Some of these blogs are in portuguese though. The blogs & sites of French Lazarus users (written in French) are also a gold mine of information. I found some wonderful writeups on using Lazarus with JSON & XML on one of those french sites. I've also found some great tips on German sites!!!!

PowerPDF usage I found on a Japanese user's site! I had to google like crazy to get information.
There is hardly a one stop shop where you can go to have all your problems fixed. There is no equivalent of PHP's PECL, Perl's CPAN, Ruby's gems etc for Lazarus.
I would welcome a code repository.

The newer languages seem to have developed quickly because the users shared the same (web-related) problems. When lots of time and effort are thrown at the same problems they get fixed quickly.

What is the Lazarus/FPC killer app? Django, Drupal, Rails, Cake, quoi?
Pour l'instant c'est pas evident

The community simply needs more centralized communications and development systems, but that requires donations of time and money, time more than money because servers and webhosting are quite cheap these days. My impression about Lazarus is that most of the leading developers have to split their time between their paying jobs and Lazarus and FPC development

@ssamayoa Using Lazarus for client/server, online apps is more common than you think. The links to the information is just not centralized.

Anyway I have an idea for improving communications for Lazarus I plan to implement in a week or two. Keep your fingers crossed.
Waiting with bated breath....
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 07:47:46 pm by JD »
Windows (10, 7) - Lazarus 2.0.6/FPC 3.2, Delphi

Indy 10.6 series; mORMot; Zeos 7.3; SQLite, Firebird, PostgreSQL & MariaDB; VirtualTreeView 5.5.3 R1

rik_rs

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #152 on: July 16, 2011, 07:44:38 pm »
Quote
My impression about Lazarus is that most of the leading developers have to split their time between their paying jobs and Lazarus and FPC development
I'm quite sure is it... isn't it? How could they live with Lazarus?
Just think that even mono project developers have been fired and now it's all on their shoulders (after work).
Unless Lazarus gets 10000 developer and a major start sponsoring the project I guess every project must be done as an after work hobby (I DON'T KNOW by I suppose that also Lazarus team use only their free time...).

PS: The world economy is getting VERY bad. BE READY! Often, in these circumstances, the small grows big and the big falls down. The elephants are more vulnerable to the lack of food than ants.
Beside Lazarus, this also apply to app market: desktop apps with Lazarus can be sold as cheap as you want. The same is not true with online web apps where one have to pay at least a server and all the needed stuff around (think: dedicated server + traffic + backups service + redundant system to give 100% uptime). This is not a problem in good times, but it does is a problem in crisis times. So: BE READY!

« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 07:51:00 pm by rik_rs »
Rik.

eny

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #153 on: July 16, 2011, 11:20:15 pm »
That wiki must go :). Something more dynamic is needed.
Nonsense  >:(
All posts based on: Win10 (Win64); Lazarus 1.8.0 'stable' (#56594 win64) unless specified otherwise...

JD

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #154 on: July 16, 2011, 11:30:08 pm »
That wiki must go :). Something more dynamic is needed.
Nonsense  >:(
@eny. I was wondering when you'd show up here.  :D
Windows (10, 7) - Lazarus 2.0.6/FPC 3.2, Delphi

Indy 10.6 series; mORMot; Zeos 7.3; SQLite, Firebird, PostgreSQL & MariaDB; VirtualTreeView 5.5.3 R1

IPguy

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #155 on: July 17, 2011, 01:33:14 am »
re: the Lazarus wiki

As a source of information, the wiki is very useful.
However, finding information on the wiki has consistently been a problem for me.

I use the search feature and I generally get responses, but
- 70-90% of the pages are repeats in different languages, which means I have to flip through a lot of pages to see if I can find anything useful
- a lot of the times I do not find what I'm looking for, post a message and someone provides a link to an article on the wiki that did not come up in my search.

Question:
1) would it be possible to add a language clause to the search feature?
2) are all of the wiki pages that folks add indexed or linked in some way?
3) The search results provide hits where the word is present, not when the article is about the search word.  Both sets can be useful.  Is there a way to restrict the search to just find articles on the requested topic?

Update: I just searched for something else and realized the search does provide this with the "Page Title" results and the "page text" results.

There are no page titles containing tMemo?
It might be nice to have a search for tMemo (for example) provide a link to http://lazarus-ccr.sourceforge.net/docs/lcl/stdctrls/tmemo.html
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 01:40:34 am by IPguy »

CaptBill

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #156 on: July 17, 2011, 03:40:38 am »
Concerning documentation, the Wiki is great and a definite must have.  It is a good Wiki, as far as Wiki's go. It's the same argument we have been making that, there is nothing here to debate.

We should just watch how we say things because it's not a 'this way is better than that'. Truth is that the Wiki is the 'cloud' version which is valuable and necessary. Here is one example where the 'cloud' concept is suited.

The question is not what do you replace the Wiki with but how do you pull up the Wiki info when you hover your mouse over a component in the object inspector, for instance. Or how about how do I define a hotkey to pull up all the info from the Wiki from within the source editor? How can you have all the info, now that you KNOW that Lazarus is for you, localized and at the ready without having to leave the development environment.

The answer is very simple too. Simply build a one table look-up database in, say ,Firebird. Build an interface to this lookup table using whatever method you please. You can call it by passing highlighted selections from the source editor with sql statements. You could also have a menu item which pulls up this NATIVELY compiled Lazarus app as a plug-in from the IDE.

This would make a great showcase of Lazarus's power and should be put together as a TUTORIAL. You learn to build a single table client/server front end helpdesk with all the Wiki information, but localized with optimized indexes.

This would be an excellent learning experience for a beginner to get a GRASP of what is possible. That is key too. We enjoy particular advantages in Lazarus that are way under-utilized it seems.

The work for this is simply LOADING all the info into a system like this. That is quite a task in itself. But hey, build a data entry form and let the community go to it. I personally would be glad as well as many here to chip in. Consolidate all the info available in one simple database.
It should be treated just like Delphi's 'Mast App' (is that what I remember it as?). You know the Fish App demo from way back. But this could be better suited for a 'flagship demo' beacause it is USEFULL now and in your future. You keep and use you original learning exercises.

The Mast_App was used in all the marketing literature and showed off the GUI with all the fancy graphical abilities of Delphi. The 'HelpDesk_App' could serve the same purpose by integrating graphics  stored in blob fields of the db. Except the cool thing you realize is you are literally adding features to the IDE! This is how to impress a newcomer (try that in C+ GUI)

What the heck do I need a fish app for anyway?  ;D

vfclists

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #157 on: July 17, 2011, 11:25:40 am »
The problem with the wiki is not its content, but its organization, and how battle tested and organized the content is.

Take at look at http://www.grails.org/Documentation. See how well organized and attractive it looks. Sure we may not have their tools, but at least plain old MediaWiki can be made to look better. The CSS is awful. The important thing is the structure of the documentation is laid out up front. That is how the Lazarus docs should be even if it all points to empty stubs which can be filled out later.

Isn't there some way the wiki can be downloaded so that it can be installed and checked locally?

Online docs are not easily accessible. It requires you to be in front of the computer, when it would be much easier to download it and carry it around you. Is there a PDF version of the instlallation guides etc. Is there a tool to convert the Wiki info into a PDF form?

Take the new reference manual for instance. I would like to buy it, but I know that I wouldn't read it that much because it is not on kindle or ebook form.

Click on the Home link in http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org. It leads to the forum? Shouldn't lead to the Wiki's home page?

Click on the Documentation link in http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org. It leads http://lazarus-ccr.sourceforge.net/docs/lcl/index.html which is the LCL documenation. Shouldn't it link to to a wiki page describing the overall structure of the documentation, with a link to the LCL if you want that? I know that the Lazarus websites are being reorganized, but how would a newcomer to Lazarus know that?

Just as I was posting this reply I some how wound up at http://www.freepascal.org/ which has well structured pdf docs. The pages look so much a like that I didn't realize that I was on a different website. After returning to wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org there was no obvious way to return to that page. You can tell they were not written with casual hobbyists in mind. Lazarus could do with the same kind of treatment.

In summary I am just iterating the points I made in my blog post, http://devblog.brahmancreations.com/content/observations-on-freepascal-and-lazarus-development. Given the right tools and structure, a lot of progress can be made with help of experts and not so expert people.

That wiki must go :). Something more dynamic is needed.
Nonsense  >:(
Windows - Lazarus 1.0.8/FPC 2.6.0
Linux - Lazarus 1.4.4 /FPC 2.6.4

BlueIcaro

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #158 on: July 17, 2011, 01:37:08 pm »
Hi, many times I read that we should have a site like Delphi About, I think it will be a good think to Lazarus.
But I think this thing have two problems. The first is that  we need a server, and this is money. The second is that the delevolpers are too busy.
I Think this must be do for a "customer", not for the developers.

But "the customers" we van help to Lazarus, for example, making blogs, tutorials, etc.

Other way is putting links to lazarus's wiki, when you answer a issue on the forum.

The future of Lazarus it's on customer's hands, in our hands, as I said making blogs, and if you have more skill, you can make components, or improve lazarus.

/Blueicaro
Remenber, the lazarus wiki is your friend: http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/Main_Page
General questions (several lenguages) http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/

vfclists

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #159 on: July 17, 2011, 01:45:32 pm »
The server is less important than how the site is to be structured and the quality of the collaborative software used.

Hi, many times I read that we should have a site like Delphi About, I think it will be a good think to Lazarus.
But I think this thing have two problems. The first is that  we need a server, and this is money. The second is that the delevolpers are too busy.
I Think this must be do for a "customer", not for the developers.

But "the customers" we van help to Lazarus, for example, making blogs, tutorials, etc.

Other way is putting links to lazarus's wiki, when you answer a issue on the forum.

The future of Lazarus it's on customer's hands, in our hands, as I said making blogs, and if you have more skill, you can make components, or improve lazarus.

/Blueicaro
Windows - Lazarus 1.0.8/FPC 2.6.0
Linux - Lazarus 1.4.4 /FPC 2.6.4

touchring

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #160 on: July 17, 2011, 02:39:08 pm »
Yep.
In ExtDesigner you only design the UI and you must edit to add events in one of the generated filed.

BTW, the designer itself is writen in ExtJS (JavaScript) running inside webkit provided by QT and packaged as native application for Windows, LInux and OSX.

Regards.


Thanks for suggesting that.  I'm also relooking at Morfik.

rik_rs

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #161 on: July 17, 2011, 02:43:46 pm »
Quote
The question is not what do you replace the Wiki with but how do you pull up the Wiki info when you hover your mouse over a component in the object inspector, for instance.
Eclipse PDT accomplish that task in a very simple manner, thanks to the well structured PHP site dir (and mirrors).
E.g. the functions are under http://it.php.net/manual/en/function.<name>
so if I want to know about srtlen() func on italian mirror I know I can find it for sure on
http://it.php.net/manual/en/function.strlen.php
(the Ide let you set the preferred mirror).

Into the Eclipse PDT editor, I only have to highlight the function and press Shift-F2: Eclipse open directly the URL (because the rule is known+simple) and I have the official help page in 1 second. (The url is also present into the code assist pop up).
Rik.

eny

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #162 on: July 17, 2011, 05:28:40 pm »
@eny. I was wondering when you'd show up here.  :D
;)
I try to ignore the silly comments, that seem to flood the forum nowadays, as much as possible.
But the one about the Wiki was too stupid to ignore.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 05:39:56 pm by eny »
All posts based on: Win10 (Win64); Lazarus 1.8.0 'stable' (#56594 win64) unless specified otherwise...

JD

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #163 on: July 17, 2011, 06:48:15 pm »
@eny. I was wondering when you'd show up here.  :D
;)
I try to ignore the silly comments, that seem to flood the forum nowadays, as much as possible.
But the one about the Wiki was too stupid to ignore.

 :D   :D OK. So what do you think (again) of this oft-debated subject - "The future of Lazarus/FPC"
Windows (10, 7) - Lazarus 2.0.6/FPC 3.2, Delphi

Indy 10.6 series; mORMot; Zeos 7.3; SQLite, Firebird, PostgreSQL & MariaDB; VirtualTreeView 5.5.3 R1

touchring

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Re: Future of Lazarus / FreePascal
« Reply #164 on: July 17, 2011, 06:52:55 pm »
Yep.
In ExtDesigner you only design the UI and you must edit to add events in one of the generated filed.

BTW, the designer itself is writen in ExtJS (JavaScript) running inside webkit provided by QT and packaged as native application for Windows, LInux and OSX.

Regards.


Thanks for suggesting that.  I'm also relooking at Morfik.


I've downloaded Morfik 3 - which is suppose to be free, and created a test exe that i deployed with Apache 2.2 as an apache module - this works similarly as Extpascal.

The app is just a button pasted onto the 'form' with button click event.  Works the same as Delphi.  No confusing JSON.  No need even to deal with HTML.  Even a grade 4 school kid can code that!

From my understanding, Morfik actually uses FPC.

I'm going to try Debian next!   :D

Code: [Select]
Unit Form1;

Interface

Type
Form1 = Class(Form)
    Button1 : Button;
    Procedure Button1Click(Event: TDOMEvent); Message;
  Private
    { Private declarations }
  Public
    { Public declarations }
End;

Implementation

Procedure Form1.Button1Click(Event: TDOMEvent);
Begin
    showmessagE('oh!');
End;

End.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 06:57:07 pm by touchring »