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Re: Your decision to implement in Python

From: Derek Neighbors
Subject: Re: Your decision to implement in Python
Date: 05 Apr 2003 11:15:49 -0700

On Sat, 2003-04-05 at 04:09, Gueven Bay wrote:
> Dear GNUe developers,
> Why did you decide to program in Python?
> Did you ever think about to implement GNUe in Java2 (Enterprise
> Edition)?

From our FAQ:

2.12 -  Why Python? Why not Java or Perl? 

If you want Java, LinuxKontor is probably a better choice for you.
Because of Java's popularity, some of the GNUe team is working on a Java
forms client (although it is not a priority and, therefore, is not
actively maintained). We do know that Java applications can connect to a
AppServer backend via Java's CORBA support. However, Java is NOT the
preferred language for our clients as it has issues with its ownership.
Because this is a free software project we will provide all
functionality using free software. Also, at the time, Java did not have
any usable widget sets -- swing was/is too slow to be used in an
application setting. 

Perl is another widely used, free high-level scripting language with
many similarities to Python. The early developers chose Python over Perl
because of Python's maintainability (clean code) and object-oriented
nature. Perl does not scale well in a large project with multiple active
developers. It is quite common for a developer to write a perl script
and, 6 months later, not have a clue what the script was designed to do.
It is commonly said that perl is better suited for smaller, one-time

Other free scripting languages could have been used. However, the same
arguments against Perl usually hold for these as well. Perhaps other
languages would have worked just as well. The bottom line, however, is
that Python was chosen early on, has a tremendous standard library, has
proven itself with respect to clean code, and is well-liked by the GNUe
developers, so we see no reason to change. 

I could expound on this 10 times over, but simply Java2 is not suitably
free from licensing baggage and frankly the GNUe development team thinks
its a pile of steaming cow dung.
> There are free XML-Parsers, XML-Libraries, Application Servers,
> Databases and so on...
> Enough to develop an enterprise solution for free with J2EE.
> I think about a development (and deployment) environment with Linux +
> gcj + MySQL + JBoss + Apache + other modules. This could be a free
> development and deployment environment !?!?

Certainly if you feel Java2 is great to do these things, we encourage
you to do so.  GNUe has no interest in Java.  I suggest you look at
Compiere instead.

> And big corporations, organisations and other commercial and
> not-commercial groups would trust GNUe more if you take the marketing
> power behind Java2 and put it in GNUe.

We dont care what big organizations or marketing teams think.  We care
what users of Free Software think, specifically we are scratching our
own itches.

> Am i thinking in the wrong direction here?
Not necessarily, just not the same direction as the GNUe Core Team.  It
doesn't make it wrong, just different.

Derek Neighbors
GNU Enterprise

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