blocking gui process

Eirik Byrkjeflot Anonsen eirik at
Sun Jun 6 23:44:39 PDT 2010

John Tapsell <johnflux at> writes:

> On 5 June 2010 12:07, Russell Shaw <rjshaw at> wrote:
>> Constructing GUIs with a declarative language is all well and good
>> for non-programmers and artistic types, but as soon as you want to
>> create a custom action or widget such as eg a dynamically created
>> tear-off menu, it's a total pain to dig into all kinds of parser/interpreter
>> machinery, reverse engineer everything because it's rarely documented,
>> and then actually do the task that should've taken 2 hours instead
>> of 2 weeks or months. Forget UML XML CSS JAVA(SCRIPT) PYTHON C++ and
>> all kinds of OOP crap and just write the fundamentals in non-OOP C.
>> This is no easy task for someone starting out, but is a doable solution.
>> You'll end up with a fraction of the code and infinite flexibility.
> Must we let Russell troll every user thread? :-/

I think his basic criticism of toolkits in general is quite valid.
There is no doubt that "simplifying" abstractions can make it very hard
to actually do anything the abstraction isn't specifically designed to
handle.  Which is particularly frustrating when you know exactly what
you want to do on a low level.

But (as has been pointed out before) his suggestion to write your own
toolkit is horribly misguided (unless you have extremely limited
requirements, such as "only has to work for me").  And his dismissal of
a random set of more or less unrelated technologies seems borderline
nonsensical.  (He would rather use C than UML to explain abstract
concepts to other people?  He would rather write his user documentation
in C than in XML+CSS?  And what's that conflation of Java and JavaScript
doing there anyway?)

(And yes, I think declarative UI design is a good idea.  But I don't
know how to design such a system to provide both the simplicity and the
flexibility you would want.)


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