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Gnome Goes JavaScript

timothy posted about a year ago | from the hola-world dept.

GNOME 387

mikejuk writes "Much to most programmers' shock and dismay Gnome has made JavaScript its main language for apps. It will still support other languages and it still supports C for libraries, but for apps it is JavaScript that rules. JavaScript seems to be a good choice for Gnome 3, as the shell UI is written in the language. It is also consistent with the use of JavaScript in WinRT, Chrome Apps, and FirefoxOS apps, and generally the rise of web apps. As you might expect, the initial reactions are of horror at the idea that JavaScript has been selected rather than the favorite language of the commenter. There is a great deal of ignorance about (and prejudice against) JavaScript, which is often regarded as an incomplete toy language rather than the elegant and sparse language that it actually is."

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387 comments

Aprils Fools? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787311)

Some body misplaced a calendar?
Aprils Fools is in two months time.

Re:Aprils Fools? (0, Flamebait)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42787825)

it's gnome.

you know, their main competition as they perceive it is mozilla os, chromeos and tizen - of course they go javascript, since that's what their competition is using!

they really have some dumb fucks running the show.. the stuff they do makes total sense if you forget totally who gnomes main user base is and who is likely to use it in future and for what purpose - and if you subscribe to the "industry hype newz for dorks" magazine (iDesHyp-ezine). or more aptly put, perhaps they're some dumb fucks who want a job in said projects since there's actual money floating around them?

Re:Aprils Fools? (0, Flamebait)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42788007)

Javascript. I kinda like javascript. My Linux box doesn't enjoy much attention from exploit writers. But, the javascript people did manage to hijack my browser a couple of times. Javascript. Yeah - make my entire desktop run on javascript, so that malware writers can more easily support Linux. Sweet. What more could a guy ask for? Instead of merely hijacking my browser for something relatively benign like a Rick Roll, they can hijack my desktop. What sort of fun can we have then?

Read more facts here (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787313)

Read more about the reasoning and decisionprocess here:

http://treitter.livejournal.com/14871.html

Re:Read more facts here (5, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#42787389)

What the summary seems to be leaving out is this: Javascript will be the language they suggest n00bs who want to learn Gnome programming start with.

That's really the only change being made here. They're not re-writing apps in Javascript, they're not removing existing language support. This is purely an advisory statement for first-time Gnome programmers.

Re:Read more facts here (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#42787433)

Damn, and I am out of mod points.

Though thinking back to 'what first language should I learn in order to XYZ', people get just as religious about that type of question as they do about single language support.

Re:Read more facts here (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787459)

Its clear that x86 asm is the predfered language for noobs to write proper Gnome Apps.

Re:Read more facts here (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787741)

This kind of false reporting seems to be occurring more frequently around here. Either the editors really are as incompetent as their grammar typically suggests, or they are deliberately misleading us in order to generate traffic.

I say we have a slashdot poll on it.

Re:Read more facts here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787791)

Which /. editor should be fired 'stande pede'?
* samzenpus
* timothy
[No other options]

Re:Read more facts here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787865)

Missing option:

Is Jon Katz sill alive, or has his new career as head demon in charge of trolling started already?

Re:Read more facts here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787897)

So basically Gnome tries to be the DIY-UI. Zero functionality out of the box, but JS to add all the features you expect from a modern Desktop... At least they're not trying to infect my Computer with Mono anymore; or do they?

Enough rope (3, Interesting)

Anathem (1983388) | about a year ago | (#42787317)

Javascript is fine, it just give you enough rope to hang yourself. (and a little extra, as it turns out) The language itself has some patterns that allow for terrible patterns, and ambiguity, but all in all, I don't think it's bad. Waiting for someone to disagree...

Re:Enough rope (5, Insightful)

SQLGuru (980662) | about a year ago | (#42787373)

TypeScript (http://www.typescriptlang.org/) adds some rigor on top of JavaScript that helps keep you from shooting your foot as often. It "compiles" down to JavaScript, so it shouldn't limit what you can do, but it makes it feel a little more like a real language.

But I'm fine with JavaScript. I think that it's a decent first language since the bare minimum tools you need are on all of the devices you can buy today (you just need a text editor and a browser to get started).

Re:Enough rope (5, Interesting)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year ago | (#42787387)

You could argue C gives you all the rope you need as well.

I keep asking myself "what language should I learn that's accepted everywhere, doesn't have to be compiled for a particular processor, and has a truly cross platform UI". Javascript is it, with C coming in a heavily qualified second, Java most 3rd except for that fruit company (and I know Java, but hate it passionately).

Re:Enough rope (4, Informative)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#42787451)

Python has also made some good advances for those criteria, esp if you couple it with something like wxPython.

Re:Enough rope (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year ago | (#42787799)

wxPython is unfortunately a bit of a mess. Platform specific bugs make it unusable as a cross platform toolkit, imo.

Re:Enough rope (4, Informative)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42787809)

Python has also made some good advances for those criteria, esp if you couple it with something like wxPython.

The developers talked about python quite a bit, but what caused them to go javascript as the recommendation for n00b gnome developers is that is (javascript) is so pervasive in other systems that it is likely they will already be exposed to it and can build upon that. If you are doing web, iOS or Android programming, chances are you are or have used javascript. That plus all of the gnome-shell stuff being done in it makes it kind of a no-brainer as that is what a lot of new developers are interested in extending.

The gnome developers went out of their way to explain that python, c and are all still fully supported and that javascript is just what they are steering new developers to when asked the question about what language.

Re:Enough rope (0)

knarf (34928) | about a year ago | (#42787893)

Python might be a pleasant language to work with, but where it still lacks is performance and memory management. In more mundane language it is a memory hog (not that JavaScript is much better in that respect).

Re:Enough rope (5, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#42787519)

You could argue C gives you all the rope you need as well.

C gives you all the rope you could ever want, wraps it wround your neck and encourages you to run very fast across a long, wobbly plank.

Oh, and don't forget to free() the rope when you're done with it.

Re:Enough rope (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#42787623)

C gives you all the rope you could ever want, wraps it wround your neck and encourages you to run very fast across a long, wobbly plank.

I always like to think of it as being more that C leaves ropes, cliffs, pointy objects, and a few angry bears wandering around -- and it's up to the user to to look out for themselves.

If you know how to navigate it, and keep your wits about you, you'll mostly be fine. But if you're running around with your eyes closed or don't have adult supervision, you could really get hurt.

It doesn't actively come after you, but there's no safety nets either.

Re:Enough rope (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787675)

C gives you all the rope you could ever want, wraps it wround your neck and encourages you to run very fast across a long, wobbly plank.

I'd rather take the OP's version.

You could argue C gives you all the rope you need as well.

with the qualifier that far too many people do not know how to handle that much rope, so in the process they get it knotted and accidentally wrapped around various things, neck included. But otherwise C does not actively wrap rope around necks, it just doesn't have anti-neck-wrapping safeties for ropes.

Re:Enough rope (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#42787587)

While I really like C, I think it doesn't remotely qualify as "doesn't have to be compiled for a particular processor".

Re:Enough rope (2)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#42787593)

You could argue C gives you all the rope you need as well.

I keep asking myself "what language should I learn that's accepted everywhere, doesn't have to be compiled for a particular processor, and has a truly cross platform UI". Javascript is it, with C coming in a heavily qualified second, Java most 3rd except for that fruit company (and I know Java, but hate it passionately).

Python is a better language than Javascript. Why did they choose Javascript over Python?

Re:Enough rope (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787649)

Because then people would be bitching endlessly about The Whitespace Thing, whereas JS has the curly braces that God and Dennis Ritchie intended.

Re:Enough rope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787941)

Accepted everywhere? Compiled at runtime? Cross platfrorm UI? That'd be LISP, not Javascript

Re:Enough rope (0)

Fallingcow (213461) | about a year ago | (#42787661)

I've yet to see a feature it has that other scripting languages don't, that doesn't qualify as "cool for a 'gee, look what I can do' demo, but for the love of god never do that in production code that someone else will one day have to read". Worse, the culture seems to be all about these unreadable-and-dangerous-garbage-producing "features"—adding shit to instances so you have no idea what any given object might actually have on it at any given time, modifying prototypes of built-in objects (!!!!), anonymous functions everywhere all the time because fuck code organization, reuse, and sensible levels of indentation, etc.

So its benefits are, IMO, dubious, and in exchange for those features you have to put up with a pile of fundamental flaws (hoisting, the worst scope model ever, broken type detection, etc.) so bad that if you turned Javascript in for an undergraduate assignment in language design you'd get an F. The whole fucking language is one giant gotcha, but oooh prototypal objects!

Re:Enough rope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787815)

What would that make PHP?

If JS was a rope, PHP would have to be a dirty bomb.

Let me be the first to say (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787325)

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

You've got to be kidding. Miguel de Icagaza de matanegros los alamos observatory el grande brean burrito has lost his damn mind...

I like writing JavaScript (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787331)

I suspect most people are too lazy to write a scripting language that doesn't typically come with intellisense.

Re:I like writing JavaScript (1)

bazmail (764941) | about a year ago | (#42787543)

Gnome devs have been writing apps for Gnome without "Intellisense" since day 1.

LuaJIT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787335)

...would have been better.
But if they offer the right tools to make JS sufferable... Why not?

And you thought they already jumped the shark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787343)

At least it's not VB

Before someone starts pulling out hair (3, Informative)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#42787361)

This bit is kinda important :

For system libraries the language of choice is still C.

The Gnome folks don't have a deaf ear, it seems, since they proactively acknowledge JS isn't a lot of developers' cup of tea... And the anti-JS vitriol is something that doesn't make sense to me, but whatever (note: I don't use it in app work, but that's only because I found another language I know).

As you might expect, the initial reactions are of horror at the idea that JavaScript has been selected rather than the favorite language of the commenter.

Perl? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787365)

Things created with JS are just as messy as with Perl so they might have used Perl as well..

Are apps in WinRT, ChromeOS, and "FirefoxOS" good? (1, Insightful)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#42787367)

Are apps in WinRT, ChromeOS, and "FirefoxOS" good? Anything people want so far?

Generally the "apps" which seem to be good quality are written in Objective-C on Mac and iOS. Of course much of this relates to libraries, but are we entirely sure there's no relation?

They should have gone with Python (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#42787555)

Python is a language which makes app writing very easy. It's very easy to write, read, debug. It's also very fast when used right or modified.

This decision in my opinion is one of the boneheaded decisions which will be Gnomes final nail on the coffin. They had a chance to rule the Linux desktop with Ubuntu and since Gnome 3.0 have threw it all away. Everything that made Gnome great with the 2x series seems to have been lost at 3x and their release schedule is so slow that we are probably going to be stuck on 3x for 10 years. Goodbye Gnome and welcome back KDE.

Re:They should have gone with Python (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#42787763)

If only they'd picked ${my favorite language} instead of ${language I don't like} - all of Slashdot.

Re:They should have gone with Python (5, Informative)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42787895)

Python is a language which makes app writing very easy. It's very easy to write, read, debug. It's also very fast when used right or modified.

This decision in my opinion is one of the boneheaded decisions which will be Gnomes final nail on the coffin. They had a chance to rule the Linux desktop with Ubuntu and since Gnome 3.0 have threw it all away. Everything that made Gnome great with the 2x series seems to have been lost at 3x and their release schedule is so slow that we are probably going to be stuck on 3x for 10 years. Goodbye Gnome and welcome back KDE.

You are welcome to your opinion, but since gnome-shell is written in JS and most new developers want to work on things that tie into gnome-shell, it seems to make a lot of sense to steer them to JS. If you took the time to actually read what the gnome developers are putting forward, you would find that they are officially recommending JS for new developers who are looking how to quickly become productive in developing for gnome. They are still fully supporting c (libraries still are in c) python, vala and any other language that has bindings to the gnome libraries.

Obviously, if you are a C programmer, you will probably continue to program in C, even in gnome. That is, unless you want to write extensions for gnome-shell, in which case, you will program in JS as that is the language gnome-shell is written in. The same is true for C++, python or any other language.

Once people get past the knee-jerk reaction to the work "javascript" and look at what gnome developers are proposing, it makes a lot of sense. Basically, they realize the entry bar to developing in gnome is quite high, so since so much of gnome already uses JS they are going to make tutorials for beginning developers on how to use JS to develop for gnome and recommend new developers use JS to develop for gnome. Experienced developers, or any developer for that matter, are still free to use any language they want.

Re:They should have gone with Python (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42787971)

> Obviously, if you are a C programmer, you will probably continue to program in C

Sure. That certainly explains why he's advocating for PYTHON.

Python would not be my first choice but I can at least understand why it might be chosen. Javascript is just another big fat WTF like everything else associated with Gnome3.

Re:Are apps in WinRT, ChromeOS, and "FirefoxOS" go (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787717)

gmail and google docs seem to have a bit of a following...

Sign of the Times (3, Insightful)

halfkoreanamerican (2566687) | about a year ago | (#42787371)

It's not another sign that javascript is taking over the world, but rather a sign that gnome is making bad decisions.

Re:Sign of the Times (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787427)

I agree. Please vote parent up.

Who cares? (-1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#42787395)

Anyone with any common sense would have jumped ship and is probably using a different desktop environment by now. JavaScript runs like shit in my browser, I don't see why so many projects and operating systems want to make it the standard programming language. If the GNOME Shell is written in JavaScript, then that explains why it too looks and runs like shit. Go GNOME--keep digging your grave.

What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787397)

It's a good choice apart from situations where performance matters. These users aren't running Gnome or KDE anyway.

Re:What's the problem? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#42787845)

It's also a language that while powerful, seems to encourage people to write poorly maintanable code.

Still doesn't answer "Why" (1, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about a year ago | (#42787399)

Saying JS is an awesome language isn't a good enough reason to switch. Next year are they going to switch to Python coz like thats awesome too? Or Dart?

Re:Still doesn't answer "Why" (1)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#42787511)

A switch to python at least would make sense. Python is the best language for apps. Who uses javascripts to write apps?

Re:Still doesn't answer "Why" (1, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | about a year ago | (#42788001)

It's very popular on the mobile side, and it's a tribute to Javascript's power, ease of use, and flexibility that people use it despite usually being required to use it in a sandbox where all user interaction has to be written in HTML and accessed via the DOM, two of the most ugly technologies ever designed.

Python... heh. COBOL meets perl, they have a baby, BOOM, Python. Awesome. You were joking right? Isn't the selling point of Python that it has so many libraries and so much stuff in them you don't even need to do any programming?

Re:Still doesn't answer "Why" (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42788015)

A switch to python at least would make sense. Python is the best language for apps. Who uses javascripts to write apps?

Says you.

Re:Still doesn't answer "Why" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787535)

Switching to python was last year :)

Re:Still doesn't answer "Why" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787545)

Why? They have to make sure that Gnome is always worse than Windows.

Vista was a challenge, and Microsoft has upped the ante with Windows 8.

But it goes to show you should never underestimate the Gnome developers. Microsoft should be happy they don't have to bribe Miguel and gang to make sure Gnome always remains crappier ;).

Captcha=defects.

Re:Still doesn't answer "Why" (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year ago | (#42787999)

Saying JS is an awesome language isn't a good enough reason to switch. Next year are they going to switch to Python coz like thats awesome too? Or Dart?

They didn't say JS is an awesome language, exactly. They said a lot of new developers coming to gnome already know JS. In addition gnome-shell and a number of components are written in JS. Therefore it makes sense to write some tutorials and recommend to new developers to build on what they already know from their work with other operating systems, which is -- JS.

They are not telling existing developers to change to JS. They are not telling new developers not to develop in something else. They are only saying that if you are a new developer they will have tutorials and sample code written in JS.

Is JS the best solution? I don't know. Personally, I would have chosen python, but if you are coming from other operating systems, then python probably isn't as wide spread as JS. Besides, it is my understanding the they already had much of the tutorial work completed as it was a project somebody had done earlier, before this decision was made.

Face it, no matter what language gnome decided to standardize on for recommending to n00b gnome developers, people would be upset.

There shall be only one? (5, Informative)

mike.mondy (524326) | about a year ago | (#42787425)

From the TFA and the blog linked from the TFA:

During the GNOME Developer Experience Hackfest this week, one of the major goals we identified was the need to pick a *single* language to give a simple answer to "how do I write a GNOME app?". [emphasis added]

Why only one?

* It allows us to focus when we write developer documentation, fixing bugs in the development environment and the development of tools. This reduces our maintanence costs and enables us to be vastly more efficient.
* It enables code and knowledge sharing to occur, so that people can easily copy and paste code from existing applications, or find information about common problems and challenges.
* It provide a coherent and easy-to-follow path for new developers.
* It allows us to include the full GNOME framework within the language itself.

But also:

We will continue to write documentation for other languages, but we will also prioritize JavaScript when deciding what to work on.

I wonder how much harder it would be to support LUA, python, tcl, and some of the other common languages. Or whatever comes next...

Re:There shall be only one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787509)

So that's why it feels like my head is being chopped off with a sword?

Re:There shall be only one? (2)

mike.mondy (524326) | about a year ago | (#42787525)

I'm not sure that they're even saying JS is preferred. (Not sure that they aren't because I just skimmed the blog.) However, the whole context might be

"how do I write a GNOME app?".

Only using a single language in noob/intro examples isn't quite the same thing as deprecating other languages...

Isn't gnome slow enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787439)

Isn't gnome slow enough? Why go to an interpreted language and make it slower?

Javascript == annoying (5, Interesting)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about a year ago | (#42787445)

loosely typed language without declaration requirements for methods/variables makes it such a huge pain in the ass to debug/understand/update source that I want to have nothing to do with it.

Re:Javascript == annoying (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788027)

Gnome is build on GObject - The ugly result of introducing pseudo classes into a language that has no oncept of inheritance, from a typesafety (and readability) standpoint javascript makes things better (IIRC the C code is a mess of macros and void*).

Re:Javascript == annoying (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42788033)

I think you mean Javascript === annoying

Exit stage left. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787473)

KDE/Qt here I come.

Re:Exit stage left. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787823)

KDE/Qt here I come.

I don't give a shit about KDE, but Qt rocks.
If I had to code an app for Gnome, I'd use Qt. :)

JavaScript Is The Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787491)

To provide a true cross-OS portable app framework, the use of HTMl5, Javascript and CSS3 will become commonplace. This will make everyone's app completely portable and provide integration with cloud services.

The role of the OS will diminish, to be replaced with a mainly browser based UI as standard.

The only native apps in the future will be high performance applications such as databases. Other than that, everything will be delivered as Software as a Service.

Re:JavaScript Is The Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787945)

Or, OTOH, we could accomplish that same vision by allowing something other than a godawful hack of a language to run in browsers.

Makes sense, TBH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787493)

It's certainly better than pointing fledgling developers to the GObject or GTKmm sludge.

It's sad to say it, but Javascript is probably a sweet spot of performance, ease of development and mindshare ATM.

What happened to Vala, though? Wasn't that supposed to become the GNOME language?

Gnome is officially dead. KDE has won. (3, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#42787499)

I went from using KDE exclusively to using Gnome exclusively back to using KDE exclusively.

The latest Gnome 3x sucks and is worse than the 2x series. The KDE 4x series is far superior to the flawed 3x series. KDE is on the right track with 5x while Gnome continues to stay on the wrong track doing things it's userbase isn't wanting it to do, taking features away which users love, "improving" the interface by making it harder to use or reducing flexibility.

Whoever is designing the Gnome interface sucks and this decision to choose Javascript over a language like Python, Ruby, or C#? Wtf are they thinking?

Re:Gnome is officially dead. KDE has won. (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year ago | (#42787627)

Unfortunately, as much as it sucks... there will remain a healthy supply of GNOME-based distributions, for whatever reason. And as long as people continue to put out shitty GNOME distributions, they will inevitably have users and GNOME will continue to have an audience. The environment is still garbage even now, yet there continue to be GNOME-based distributions released.

Do not forget about XFCE (4, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#42787979)

XFCE is the new Gnome. I hate both KDE and GNOME. Luckily there is XFCE (and LXDE).

Depends on how its implemented (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#42787501)

So, do we at least get to use jQuery to select UI elements? it would be cool to do a
$(".buttons").each{ //do something}
Libraries like that are as essential as collections are for Java.

Elegant? (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | about a year ago | (#42787505)

Javascript is about as elegant as an oil tanker. Considerable effort has gone into tools and libraries to make working in it suck less, but it's hard to wipe away the problems inherent in the design.

Re:Elegant? (0)

IICV (652597) | about a year ago | (#42787629)

You can say the exact same thing about C. If we sit around waiting for the perfect language, it's going to be a looooong wait.

I would argue, though, that Javascript is significantly better suited to UI work than C is, much like C is better suited to systems work.

It's flexible so you don't have to write a bunch of code to encapsulate a data structure that only exists in one place in the UI, and powerful enough that you can easily write behavior-driven components.

Re:Elegant? (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year ago | (#42787727)

There are plenty of 4th generation languages that are highly capable of the job, and do so in an elegant, and more importantly maintainable way. JavaScript is a monkey's language born from the intentions of enabling lay-users. A noble goal but detrimental to professional development work.

Re:Elegant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787833)

Javascript blows shit. Prototype based languages do in general. If they wanted to use something sane, they'd go with python. But this is GNOME we're talking about. They have to continually try to make it a shittier experience to use or people might not switch to KDE.

Oil tanker? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787797)

I think you meant "dinghy". COBOL is about as elegant as the oil tanker. Javascript is about as elegant as a dinghy.

Re:Oil tanker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787943)

And some would say that Python is the bastard child of COBOL and Javascript, so where does that leave Python?

What then of Vala? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787517)

What does this mean for the future of Vala? It does not sound like there is one...

For a specific platform, developers prefer native. (1)

goruka (1721094) | about a year ago | (#42787563)

You can write desktop and mobile in plenty of languages already, yet most people still uses whathever is native for the platform. Be it ObjC for iOS, Java for Android, or C/C++ for desktop.
The reason? Maybe JS is easier to write for unexperimenced developers (do you really want that anyway? are they that desperate for more developers?), but truth is, when you have a layer of abstraction there is always some functionality missing and the only way to access it is via bindings to native anyway. When you write native, you know you have everything you can possibly do on the device available to you. Simple as that.

Python or Ruby? (1, Insightful)

RedHackTea (2779623) | about a year ago | (#42787569)

I know choosing a language is usually subjective, but most Linux fanboys like Python (or even Ruby or PHP). Why not these? IMO, these are better languages and more suited for Apps and scripting. JavaScript's either original intention or main intention from history has been for client-side Web Browser scripting. Most tutorials, questions, and hacks will be for the Web Browser when searching for JavaScript in a search engine. I really don't get why people are pushing JS. Spend a day each coding in Ruby, Python, and then JavaScript for non-web Apps. I bet most people won't pick JS.

Use the Farce, Gnome... (4, Funny)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about a year ago | (#42787575)

JavaScript is the programming language of a Gnome programmer; an elegant language for a more civilized age.

But hokey nonstandard libraries and ancient browser syntaxes are no match for a good object class at your side, kid.

POINTBLANK !! JAVASCRIPT IS FOR PUSSYES !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787577)

Are you a pussy ?? No ??

Do you want to become a pussy ?? Yes ??

Well look no more because JavaScript is here to make you a PUSSY !!

So it can get worse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787595)

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

This restores my confidence in the GNOME project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787603)

Linus Torvalds posted that.

Oh it isn't April 1 yet? Damn.

Lead or Follow? Gnome chooses Follow. (1)

xanthos (73578) | about a year ago | (#42787615)

From the article: "Gnome, the graphical desktop environment for Linux, may not be as influential as it once was."
Add to it, "use of JavaScript in WinRT, Chrome Apps, and FirefoxOS apps" and you probably get a lot of the reason for the decision.

Pity they didn't use the Hackfest to design something innovative to energize their base and make working with Gnome cutting edge. Instead it appears that they settling into comfortable middle age.

Prejudice? Bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787681)

Javascript programmer of seven years here. It's an incomplete language.

FirefoxOS? (1)

HRbnjR (12398) | about a year ago | (#42787683)

Why bother with Gnome for your apps, when you can target what might become a broader standard? http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefoxos/ [mozilla.org]

Re:FirefoxOS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787739)

Yeah, a "broad standard" with less marketshare than RIM.

Re:FirefoxOS? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#42787813)

Why bother with Gnome for your apps,

Because Gnome exists, and has been/is used by lots and lots of people.

when you can target what might become a broader standard?

You just answered your own question.

JS will be what ASM is now? (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | about a year ago | (#42787709)

I can see there reasoning for selecting javascript. But I would never call JS elegant. It lacks so many basic language constructs, that you everyone has to be intimately familiar with a mess of boiler plate code to make it object oriented or make your code easily reusable.

It's somewhat like programming in ASM because that's what every processor requires, even though it is tedious and redundant.

Similarly, with the pervasiveness of javascript, we will probably so TypeScript or something similar become the defacto eventually, to hide a lot of the boiler plate code.

Untyped Languages Are Ill-Suited for This (3, Interesting)

Maltheus (248271) | about a year ago | (#42787729)

Javascript is fine, once you divorce it from all of the browser peculiarities, but it's an untyped language and untyped languages suck for refactoring. They should never be used for complex apps requiring maintainability. And yes, that goes for python too.

Yeah, I know they said "apps," but even most apps quickly grow beyond the comfort zone of a script.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787757)

IMO, Gnome's reliance on C as a primary language is the main reason why the applications have been very poor, even compared with KDE. Few people have patience to develop GUI apps in C. Javascript seems like another extreme, however.

Perhaps all this is irrelevant anyway. Majority of apps I use on Linux (Gnome) is written in Java and the rest is migrating to the Web. I could easily throw away Gnome and use something like Fvwm instead. So, who cares, it's just a window manager and a crappy file manager which I don't use anyway. A few horribly crashy applets on top of it (the result of having been written in C no doubt). Who cares.

Great for portability (1)

detain (687995) | about a year ago | (#42787787)

Even if there are some gnome specific JS bindings, your basic code logic and flow should be easily portable to other new platforms all supporting JS as well. There are a ton of applications out there now, and while JS may have been supported before; this announcement will hopefully get some existing developers for other platforms to port their JS apps to gnome. Also anxious to see how jQuery will tie itself into this.

why not guile? (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year ago | (#42787795)

GNOME is an official GNU project (damned if I know why... GNUStep was there first). Guile is an official GNU Project. So why not Guile?

Riddle me this -- what's the official GNU javascript interpreter? Bueller? Bueller?

Exactly.

Well it's better than mono (3, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | about a year ago | (#42787843)

I can't say I like Javascript as a language but at least its ubquitous and more modern, lightweight and flexible than some other candidates. It's also far better than something heavy like Java or god forbid Mono which bring a lot of baggage in terms of runtime size and potential lawsuits.

Gnome Shell huge memory leak *** warning *** (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42787937)

Type:

free -m -s 1

In gnome-terminal and then start clicking in the activities area of Gnome Shell (or simply open the menus of the disableds accessibilty icon, clock, language switcher, gnome menu etc. Do this wuickly and you see it eat 500mb and more in less than a minute.

Jeez, Louise... (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#42788041)

At this point, I can only envision somebody at the head of Gnome saying, "Dammit, people are still using Gnome! Well, what else can we do to kill this thing?"

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