[ng-dhtml] putting the build tool thing to bed

Tom Trenka ng-dhtml at dept-z.com
Mon Sep 27 23:54:33 CDT 2004


> Martin Cooper wrote:
> |> Whoa. I can see the docs now: "To build Dojo yourself from source, 
> |> first install Subversion, Java, Ant, Python, Docutils and Rhino. 
> |> Then, on the following week, ...". ;-)
> 
> Well, there's a difference between different user types:
> 
> - - maintainers of the project
> - - contributers to the project
> - - people who want to hack on the code, but don't care about 
> the docs and build system
> - - users who grab a copy of the built code and markup 
> widgets using xml.
> 
> So most of these tools are to make our lives (maintainers and
> contributors) easier, and are unnecessary for most "users".

Forgive me for sounding stupid here, but I think Martin has a point.  
*We're talking about Javascript here*.  Personally, I'm not really
convinced that we're not getting extremely "tool-happy", and I'm 
also not convinced about the need for server-side development
in conjunction with the kit.  My feeling on this discussion (to date)
has been to keep my mouth shut, since most of the devs here seem to
be a lot more familiar with these development tools than me...but
I have to say, I haven't had many problems doing high-powered dev
using 2 tools: VI and a browser.  (I'm not just talking about JS
here, but also ASP, ASP.NET (although the debugger in VS.NET is
pretty handy), PHP, Cold Fusion, Windows Forms (same thing about
the VS debugger applies here), etc. etc. etc.

Source control, yes.  A test framework; ok, although I'm still of
the opinion that it's more work than necessary. But to force a 
typical user/dev to learn *all* of the same tools that we are 
talking about using seems to be a bit much.

Especially for an SDK that is completely interpreted, and not
compiled.

Does this seem unreasonable?  Frankly, if I were someone looking
for a robust JS SDK, and I took one look at what I'd need to even
begin using it, I'd hit Google again and look for something else.
Having to learn all of these tools (even in part, to be a contributor)
seems like a very high learning curve.  I feel embarrassed even now
that I have to keep bugging Alex for "after school classes" just to
get up to speed on the Source Control system; that I have to have
head-butting arguments with Joyce because I can't quickly follow
something like s9y well enough to know that it's extremely flexible...
etc. etc. etc.

Now translate that to those who might want to actually dev with this.

I'm sorry guys, but SDKs don't get adopted because they are powerful.
They get adopted because someone with relatively little experience
can pick it up quickly.  I've made a career so far on picking things
up quickly; if I'm struggling (and we haven't even written any code
yet!), what does that say about, say, a Flash guy with no formal training
needing to move his/her work to the next level?

...I'm not sure how I got back on hammering on this topic again...probably
because I have neopyhte-ease-of-use-UI-design on the brain (Alex knows
what I'm referring to here)...sorry for the rant.  But I would seriously
prefer to keep the use of tools to the absolute minimum.

Exactly why is it we need a build tool for an interpreted API again?

TRT




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