I'm a little confused...
2010-10-05 07:23:16 GMT
Please, bear with me here -- this may come across as a little ranty. I'm just very confused about something.
Tomboy Notes is a great piece of software. It's convenient, it's smart, it doesn't get in the way. Best of all, it's cross-platform. At least, it's /supposed to be/.
As far as I can tell, one of the greatest motivators for chosing .NET/Mono would be the platform agnosticism. Actually, being a little facetious here, I can't come up with another good reason to go that route, especially with a project that has its roots in a *nix world. Not that I'm advocating using a different language/library/platform/whatever. A tool for a task, I say, and if you can accomplish your task neatly with tool X, then why should I care that you're not using tool Y? The answer is that I don't. Even though .NET provides performance penalties (I could elaborate, but I'm trying to remain less ranty).
I'm not another Stallman who thinks that Mono must be evil because of its ties to .NET and That Other Operating System. Nay, I choose to run Ubuntu at home (for many reasons) and have to run Windows 7 at work. Again, a tool for a task. Our client software is Windows-based, so it kinda makes sense that a lot of dev happens in Windows. What really made my propeller-beanie spin was that I could finally stop emailing myself with bright ideas that I had at home or notes for home-time from work. I could just put it in a note and use Ubuntu One to sync my notes. Masterful!
A day or two ago, I had a bug, which, as a good user, I reported and which has been fixed, apparently (https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=624885)
What bothers me about the .NET/Mono choice is simply this: despite the fact that choosing .NET/Mono as a platform would seem to make x-platform releases part of the cycle, despite the fact that there is a win32 installer (1.3.2, quite far behind the curve: some digging shows that there are a 1.4 releases and a new 1.5 release out). At least, these releases are available as source, which is great and all, but bear in mind that most win32 users don't have a *nix build environment. In fact, most win32 users are starved of *any* kind of dev tools, though I suppose they could download Monodevelop and friends (or VS2008 and the gtk-sharp stuff, I suppose) and work with that. A tad of an overkill for a 2.5mb install-size app to have to go get all of that, but it's possible. What would make it more difficult though is that the project is set up in good old Makefiles and a configure script. Easy on *nix, NOT HAPPENING on win32. I tried. For one thing, my win32 build of sh can't fork(), though I'm sure that's the least of my problems. Again, perhaps I could work around this with Cygwin, but that's also quite an overkill for getting a binary from a project which purports cross-platform targets.
I see this quite often: in the *nix world, we tend to forget that our lowly win32 brothers generally don't have build systems on their machines -- and if they do, they are probably Visual Studio build systems. As cross-platform devs, we (and I include myself here, because I've had to do the same) need to learn that some target platforms are just not candidates for source releases.
I guess what I'm drilling on about in such length is that Tomboy is a great app with great x-platform usage. Pity that it's really only available for *nix users, since the win32 build is well outdated and buggy. I don't see the point in choosing a heavier platform with known overheads beyond that of native C/C++ if no-one takes advantage of the greatest benefit of the platform: releases for all OSs where the platform is supported.
So I guess what I'm saying is that if the Tomboy devs can't be bothered to make win32 binary releases on a regular basis (and will rather tell people to compile it themselves: https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=631286#c6), then perhaps the devs need to re-evaluate their end-goals. Is this to be a x-platform note-taker with sync abilities or not? I *truly* hope it is because there's no project that I've tried out there which comes even close.
The competent programmer is fully aware of the limited size of his own skull. He therefore approaches his task with full humility, and avoids clever tricks like the plague.
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