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Author Topic: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....  (Read 7967 times)

Akira1364

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I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« on: January 17, 2016, 01:56:02 am »
Wouldn't FPC be significantly "farther-along" development wise if the dev team spent more time improving the RTL and FCL, and less time making the compiler work on ludicrously obscure architectures that no one uses? I mean, for example, I challenge anyone to tell me with a straight face that targeting OS/2 (which has been ENTIRELY deprecated since at least 2001) is a worthwhile endeavor in the year 2016. Why go through all that trouble to cater to a demographic that literally does not exist? Why not just target Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android, maybe Raspberry Pi, and be done with it? I mean no offense by any of this... I just want to understand the reasoning behind it!  :)

Cyrax

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2016, 02:03:37 am »
For fun and experience? Mind you, this is open source project and you can improve it too. Or pay somebody to do work for you.

lazjump

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2016, 03:02:07 am »
Wouldn't FPC be significantly "farther-along" development wise if the dev team spent more time improving the RTL and FCL, and less time making the compiler work on ludicrously obscure architectures that no one uses? I mean, for example, I challenge anyone to tell me with a straight face that targeting OS/2 (which has been ENTIRELY deprecated since at least 2001) is a worthwhile endeavor in the year 2016. Why go through all that trouble to cater to a demographic that literally does not exist? Why not just target Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android, maybe Raspberry Pi, and be done with it? I mean no offense by any of this... I just want to understand the reasoning behind it!  :)

+1
I thought Delphi was expensive until I learned the price of ExtJS

aidv

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2016, 03:21:33 am »
Although I agree on that FPC dev team is wasting time on supporting systems and platforms that are useless, I at the same time agree that it's an open source project and anybody can contribute on whatever they feel is necessary for the future.

But I would love to see the project take a more commercial route to make it more attractive.

Implementing HTML5 and Java compilation such as what Smart Mobile Studio is doing would be very nice.

ArtLogi

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2016, 03:44:17 am »
What I think about "browsers as next OS" https://youtu.be/xYONRn3EbYY?t=18m27s

All respesct to Mr. Wolfram, but that sums it up. "please don't use your phones for a while so we get enough bandwitch". and after world will realise how much it eats power to just turn a google page..
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 03:48:52 am by ArtLogi »

skalogryz

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2016, 04:31:00 am »
Why not just target Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android, maybe Raspberry Pi, and be done with it? I mean no offense by any of this... I just want to understand the reasoning behind it!  :)
Odd to hear that.
FPC supports Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android and Raspberry PI already (and have been supported it for quite awhile).
RTL works fine on each of these platforms.
some FCL packages work on certain platforms as well. (i.e. please don't expect OpenGL to work on iOS target, OpenGLES should be used instead!)

Please note, that FPC team is "compiler development team" in the first place.
Improving FPC library-set is really out of the team scope.
Actual FPC users (non developers) should do that, and they really do.

Slowly, without dramatic advertising campaigns (i.e. like Delphi does), but still, it's work in progress.
Just find a library for a desired subject (99% it has already been started, if not you're the one) and start contributing to it.
Specifically, by writing docs and telling everyone about it.

Let FPC-team do what they're best at: FP Compiler.
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Akira1364

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2016, 05:35:47 am »
Why not just target Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android, maybe Raspberry Pi, and be done with it? I mean no offense by any of this... I just want to understand the reasoning behind it!  :)
Odd to hear that.
FPC supports Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android and Raspberry PI already (and have been supported it for quite awhile).
RTL works fine on each of these platforms.
some FCL packages work on certain platforms as well. (i.e. please don't expect OpenGL to work on iOS target, OpenGLES should be used instead!)

Please note, that FPC team is "compiler development team" in the first place.
Improving FPC library-set is really out of the team scope.
Actual FPC users (non developers) should do that, and they really do.

Slowly, without dramatic advertising campaigns (i.e. like Delphi does), but still, it's work in progress.
Just find a library for a desired subject (99% it has already been started, if not you're the one) and start contributing to it.
Specifically, by writing docs and telling everyone about it.

Let FPC-team do what they're best at: FP Compiler.

I know they support those platforms already. The point I was trying to make is that those are what most people would consider to be "relevant" platforms that are actually WORTH supporting in the year 2016.

ykot

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2016, 05:37:02 am »
I don't know how FPC team works internally, but it is my understanding that some of supported platforms are developed by specific people who in one way or another do work on such platform, so it wouldn't make any sense for them to work on areas outside of their interest, need or expertise.

...Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android, maybe Raspberry Pi...
How did you come up with this list? What criteria was used for it? You do realize that there are other platforms than what you mentioned *and* are not deprecated? For one, you did not mention any of embedded platforms, supporting which, in my opinion, is extremely valuable - including both ARM and AVR (Arduino).

Supporting platforms such as OS/2 these days can be considered exotic, but under specific circumstances, I could understand the need for it - for instance, there could be specific piece of hardware and/or software that you need to interact with on an exotic platform, even if it is deprecated. In some cases, it could be extremely expensive to upgrade hardware/software instead of simply developing some kind of interface for it.

Why go through all that trouble to cater to a demographic that literally does not exist? ...[cut]... I just want to understand the reasoning behind it!
One illustration I can come up with: what is more worthwhile, to support a platform, where a thousand "lazy loosers" can write a "hello world" app to get rid of their class homework and never get to use these development tools again, or supporting a platform, where a couple, maybe two or three, scientific groups work on fine-tuning/upgrading satellite telemetry system? This is just an example.

My point is, FPC's quantitative demographic may or may not represent the actual "worthiness" of one specific platform. In fact, I think, it is a combination of quantitative + qualitative factors that may determine importance of some platforms, which does require a significant research into that topic before it can be discussed like that.

skalogryz

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2016, 06:09:15 am »
I know they support those platforms already. The point I was trying to make is that those are what most people would consider to be "relevant" platforms that are actually WORTH supporting in the year 2016.
The support is coming from an interested party, a certain contributor (a person or an organization).
I.e. MSDOS support (yep, in 2016) is provided by a single developer. 
The "core" team only verifies and guides the development.

So the fact, that in the next release there's a support for some non-mainstream system, is due to someone doing very very good job, rather than "core" team wish.

Btw, anyone else is welcome to do the contribution that they find fit.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 06:20:16 am by skalogryz »
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Thaddy

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2016, 09:28:16 am »
btw msdos and derivatives are still used on embedded systems. Yes even on new systems... It is just not mainstream anymore for desktops.
also related to equus asinus.

JanRoza

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2016, 01:46:50 pm »
Quote
improving the RTL and FCL

Why, what's wrong with them?
I use Lazarus/FPC now for all development instead of Delphi 2007 and have no problems with them.
The only problem I have every now and then is that some components are not available or not working properly as in Delphi when using Lazarus/FPC but most of the time there's always a workaround.
So no complaints from me for the Lazarus/FPC developers.
OS: Windows 10 (64 bit) / Ubuntu 19.04 (64 bit)
Laz: Lazarus 2.0.4 FPC 3.0.4 i386-win32-win32/win64

BeniBela

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2016, 03:02:07 pm »
I have one project, and every time I have made a new release in the last 5 years, one user comes, builds it for OS/2 and sends me the binary.  %)

It still seems to be a quite popular platform

(althought it is a c++ project, so it does not matter for fpc's OS/2 support )

marcov

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2016, 04:13:34 pm »
Why go through all that trouble to cater to a demographic that literally does not exist? Why not just target Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android, maybe Raspberry Pi, and be done with it? I mean no offense by any of this... I just want to understand the reasoning behind it!  :)

The reality is that demographic of people wanting to work on the odd ball targets is larger than on e.g. Android.  Manpower is not allocated but volunteered, and thus can't be steered.

That might (also) have something to do with the fact that those old targets are fairly static, and thus simpler to keep up with parttime.  The more modern the target, the more volatile effort put into it seems to be.



« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 04:15:05 pm by marcov »

Leledumbo

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2016, 06:45:04 pm »
Wouldn't FPC be significantly "farther-along" development wise if the dev team spent more time improving the RTL and FCL, and less time making the compiler work on ludicrously obscure architectures that no one uses? I mean, for example, I challenge anyone to tell me with a straight face that targeting OS/2 (which has been ENTIRELY deprecated since at least 2001) is a worthwhile endeavor in the year 2016. Why go through all that trouble to cater to a demographic that literally does not exist? Why not just target Windows, Linux, Mac, iPhone, Android, maybe Raspberry Pi, and be done with it? I mean no offense by any of this... I just want to understand the reasoning behind it!  :)
As skalogryz says, if support for a platform you might never hear appears, that means someone is contributing on that. The core compiler team improves the compiler. More language features, more optimizations, etc. Feel free to diff 2.6.4 and 3.0.0. FCL does improve as well, we now have a lot of google API wrappers ready to use. No other language implementations ship with this.

marcov

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Re: I hate to play the "Devils Advocate", but.....
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2016, 08:52:45 pm »
Usually fcl-db alone is good for 100 mutations per year.