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Re: wxPerl past, wxPerl present and wxPerl future.

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Jim Clark
January 7, 2013 00:15
Re: wxPerl past, wxPerl present and wxPerl future.
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First time post to this list (I think). I have been a big user at my company where I have developed several in house applications with wxPerl.  I originally began using perlQt, but due to the serious bugs with the table widget, and the fact that Ashley Winters seems to have dropped off the face of the planet, I switched to WxPerl. But… due to internal foot-dragging in our IT dept, I am stuck with WxWidgets 2.8.10.  It makes me sad to hear you say that WxPerl is dying, but for me and my department, it will likely have many more years left. 

Jim Clark <><

prepare yourselves...

On Jan 3, 2013, at 2:59 AM, Johan Vromans wrote:

> Steve Cookson <> writes:
>> ... an appeal on the community to keep wxPerl alive ...
> Every once in a while an appeal like this is made. Mark did it some time
> ago, I personally felt the need to write one 'one of these days' but
> Steve was faster this time.
> I was delighted to see 16 responses in a short term, however, most
> responses were about the wiki problems. Although this is a real pain
> (and we have a decent working wiki by now -- thanks to Huub) it
> distracts from the main issue: wxPerl is dying.
> wxPerl = GUI desktop programs
> wxPerl = wxWidgets + Perl
> wxWidgets is dying.
> Perl is dying.
> Now, don't start yelling that much effort is being put right now in
> wxWidgets and Perl. I know that. But we must ask ourselves: to what
> purpose?
> Perl seems to be moving to a framework for Web applications. When you
> carefully watch the current activities in the Perl community, it is all
> Catalyst, Mojolicious, Dancer. The only other significant activity is
> MetaCPAN, yet another attempt to bring order in CPAN where the C seems
> to stand for Chaotic. (I exclude perl6 activities since I consider perl6
> too immature to be useful for anything.) There's little to no interest
> in creating decent Perl programs. Have you ever wondered why there is
> only support for modules on CPAN, and no support for programs?
> wxWidgets seems to be moving, as Steve correctly metions, towards a
> desktop development system. 
> So we see different directions for wxWidgets and Perl.
> We can ask ourselves: what do we want?
> For me, wxPerl is the means to develop mature, usefull, user friendly,
> cross-platform desktop applications in my favourite programming
> language.
> 25 years ago, when Perl was born, only a selective group of people,
> commonly called 'nerds', could use computers. Nowadays everybody uses
> computers. And due to the influence of Windows and Mac, almost everybody
> is used to serious, mature, usefull, user friendly desktop applications
> like Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Firefox, Photoshop and so on.
> With wxPerl we can write applications like these. Moreover, due to the
> cross-platform features, these applications can be deployed on the most
> popular desktop platforms: Windows, MacOSX and Linux.
> It is at this point that I want to give tons of kudo's to Mark Dootson
> for creating and maintaining CitrusPerl and CavaPackager.
> But why do I say "wxPerl is dying"?
> Writing mature, usefull, user friendly, cross-platform desktop
> applications if a complicated task. Photoshop wasn't developed
> overnight, in fact, most of the examples I mentioned took 10 years or
> more to become what they are today. So it is not surprising that there
> are few wxPerl applications in this collection. See e.g. 
> But times are changing. We now have iDevices and Android phones and
> tablets, and millions and millions of users of apps, small applications
> that are usually up to a single task, and try to do that in a clever and
> intuitive way. These are the applications of the future. Since they're
> small and clever, wxPerl would be an excellent tool to develop
> applications like these -- Perl has always had a good reputation for
> small and nifty programs. For every team of Perl developers working on
> desktop applications there are thousands of Perl developers wanting to
> develop apps.
> Except they can't.
> There's no Perl on iOS. There's no Perl on Android. Not visibly. There's
> no wxWidgets on iOS nor Android. And although these platforms have been
> around for several years, there are no concrete plans to provide
> wxWidgets on these platforms. (Note that I use the word "provide", not
> "port".) Considering the traditional cross-platform nature of wxWidgets,
> it could be the first development tool to produce apps for both iOS and
> Android. It would be a real killer.
> But, as it stands now, despite of all the effort put in the current
> wxWidgets development, I think wxWidgets is a dead end. And so is
> wxPerl.
> Oh yes, there will be people developing using wxWidgets and Perl, but
> there'll be only few. The threshold is way too high.
> What can *you* do?
> Just prove that I'm wrong.
> We can at least lower the threshold by making it attractive to develop
> small desktop programs that do something sensible and look nice. I still
> consider wxGlade --yet another dead end-- a good tool to start wxPerl
> development. The wiki is functional again. Let's create examples.
> Tutorials.
> Happy hacking!
> -- Johan

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