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[aprssig] Rant - Cross platform portability

Brian Riley brianbr at mac.com
Mon Sep 18 01:43:22 UTC 2006


Bravo, well said , and well done ... as a mainly Mac, but PC and  
Linux and lotsa little MCUs guy. I really appreciate it when I see  
these kind of efforts.


---
cheers ... 73 de brian  riley,  n1bq , underhill center, vermont
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On Sep 17, 2006, at 9:12 PM, Gregg Wonderly wrote:

> Jim Lux wrote:
>> Gregg makes some comments about the availability of software for a  
>> variety of environments, and that triggers some comments about  
>> software development, not necessarily directed at Gregg  
>> personally, but at a general misunderstanding of how and why  
>> software gets developed.
>
> Hi Jim, I guess I stirred up some emotions.  Without going after  
> every point that you enumerated in your response, let me just say  
> that I've been developing software in a number of environments over  
> the past 20+ years.  I have a masters degree in software  
> development focused in areas of operating systems and computer  
> language development.  I've developed windows software, unix  
> software extensively, and 10 years ago started using Java for all  
> of my core application development.  So, I have some experience to  
> draw on for my opinions.
>
> If you will search on the internet for "gregg wonderly java jini  
> software" you will find that I have about 10 open source projects  
> visible in the communities related to my interests.  These  
> projects, include a complete replacement for Echolink, written in  
> Java, which runs, without ANY porting needed on windows, linux and  
> mac os-x.  Because Java provides a nice abstraction to the sound  
> system, I don't have to know about how that works.  Because Java  
> provides a "look and feel" abstraction, the OSes native graphics  
> subsystem is abstracted for me and all the font sizing, spacing and  
> layout is taken care of for me.
>
> When I started openlink, I had some free moments.  When I got GUI  
> done after a couple of weeks of spare time work, I started looking  
> around for PSK-31 libraries to copy by translating to Java.  As I  
> said, unfortunately, these libraries are optimized with ASM code,  
> or are otherwise tied into a particular environment.
>
> On any of the existing OSes that are in consumer computers, you  
> will always have scheduling pauses related to timesharing of the  
> CPU.  Your comments about the speed of Java seem to be based on old  
> experience or some third party comments. I have large scale  
> production systems running on Java with massive throughput and not  
> problems with performance.  The Sun Just In Time (JIT) compiler can  
> typically equal or better many C and C++ compilers of the same  
> algorithms because of the depth of analysis and the fact that they  
> compile with runtime knowledge about the actual execution paths and  
> frequency of passes through the code.
>
> I stick by my comments that there is no reason that Amatuer radio  
> software should not be being developed as cross platform.
>
> We all had to study for and take a test to demonstrate our  
> knowledge.  Taking the time to learn more about software  
> development seems like a good idea to me.  I've spent my life  
> learning about software and contributing software for others to use  
> freely.
>
> Allowing everyone to take advantage of your efforts is one way to  
> let others spend their time being productive doing something  
> besides repeating your work so that they can have the benefits.  If  
> you can't spend the time to learn how to do something different  
> than what you are doing now, I accept that as a fact of your life.
>
> I still think it's a good idea for all Amatuer Radio software to be  
> portable across OSes.
>
>> While the sentiments expressed by Gregg are wonderful, there's a  
>> fairly big gap in the ability to do "write once, run everywhere"  
>> software, except for the most trivial of applications.  Web  
>> browsers are about the closest thing that you see, and you'll note  
>> that there are numerous incompatibilities, even with fairly simple  
>> HTML.  There are also "market realities" to consider, some of  
>> which I touched on initially.
>
> Jim, maybe you can tell me which Java application(s) you have  
> developed.  How many lines of code, type of application etc.  Which  
> versions of the Java specification has it ran on, and what problems  
> you encountered?  I'm always interested in hearing what other's  
> experiences have been using Java.  You seem to have some opinions  
> about Java and I'd like to learn what experience those are based on  
> so that I can better understand them.
>
> Thanks for sharing you thoughts and experiences.
>
> Gregg Wonderly
> W5GGW
>
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