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digitalmars.D - standardization of D

reply "Ameer Armaly" <ameer_armaly hotmail.com> writes:
Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of late, and 
I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm jumping at shadows. 
For starters, we all have a common goal of making D as widely used as 
possible since we all love the language, otherwise we probably wouldn't be 
here. At the same time, there are a few factors which as I see it make the 
adoption of D much more difficult and need to be addressed if we intend to 
succeed:
1. 1.0 doesn't appear to be any special sort of marker with regard to the 
standard; we have not only CTFE but mixins added post-1.0, along with 
numerous changes to the _standard_library. I understand the compiler can be 
made to strictly conform to the 1.0 spec, but the fact still remains it 
seems very ad hoc. What ought to happen IMO is that we first call a review 
of the language spec where everyone sends in any complaints they have and 
they must be clearly addressed to everyone's satisfaction, or at least to 
the degree that's possible. Then, the spec ought to be frozen for a while, 
and we work strictly on the standard library, which I'll address later. 
Then, the whole D language, including standard library, ought to be frozen 
for several years to let it proliferate throughout the technical community; 
an experimental compiler can of course undergo development, but clearly 
marked as such and _separate_ from the stable compiler.
2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good. 
Phobos is basically built on C wherever possible and sort of thrown 
together, and Tango reminds me of Java with a class for everything and then 
some. For the standard's sake (and consequent adoption), D needs one 
accepted standard library. The current state makes that difficult because 
Walter is forced to hand-manage both the compiler and library. What ought to 
happen IMO is that Walter should delegate day to day library management to a 
trusted associate who will occasionally inform Walter of the latest 
developments; Walter makes the final call, and life goes on.
So to conclude, these are issues that have been sort of addressed at various 
times in other issues, but never to a point that accomplished the intended 
goal. The D community is growing; there are going to be a lot of new people 
that look at it now and say "Huh? Say again?" Maybe we ought to step back 
and forget the years we've had to become comfortable with D and analyze it 
from a potential user's point of view in order to make adoption easier.
Thoughts? 
Apr 04 2007
next sibling parent reply Dan <murpsoft hotmail.com> writes:
Ameer Armaly Wrote:

 1. 1.0 doesn't appear to be any special sort of marker with regard to the 
 standard; we have not only CTFE but mixins added post-1.0, along with 
 numerous changes to the _standard_library. I understand the compiler can be 
 made to strictly conform to the 1.0 spec, 

Exactly, so you can continue to develop for the 1.0 spec, and that code will work, to my understanding, as advertised.
but the fact still remains it 
 seems very ad hoc. 

 Then, the whole D language, including standard library, ought to be frozen 
 for several years to let it proliferate throughout the technical community; 

I totally disagree with this statement. We have a frozen implementation of D 1.0, and a frozen spec for the language of D 1.0. That can proliferate as much as people like. I feel that as long as future 1.x compilers support 1.0 code, people can write 1.0 code and it will work universally on people's compilers.
 an experimental compiler can of course undergo development, but clearly 
 marked as such and _separate_ from the stable compiler.
 2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good. 

I feel that this is perfectly fine. People can develop a program using either library and I can compile it on my system. 10 libraries would be retarded, and very bad. 2 really isn't.
 Phobos is basically built on C wherever possible and sort of thrown 
 together, and Tango reminds me of Java with a class for everything and then 
 some. For the standard's sake (and consequent adoption), D needs one 
 accepted standard library. 

I disagree, in fact being able to plug in a library according to your programming philosophy will probably allow us to develop superior programs.
 The current state makes that difficult because 
 Walter is forced to hand-manage both the compiler and library. What ought to 
 happen IMO is that Walter should delegate day to day library management to a 
 trusted associate who will occasionally inform Walter of the latest 
 developments; Walter makes the final call, and life goes on.

My understanding is that Walter develops and maintains D and D language spec; and that he wrote the original Phobos. I think someone else is maintaining Phobos under that system, while yet someone else is maintaining Tango and releasing without constant verification from Walter - and with Walter's occasional contributions.
 So to conclude, these are issues that have been sort of addressed at various 
 times in other issues, but never to a point that accomplished the intended 
 goal. The D community is growing; there are going to be a lot of new people 
 that look at it now and say "Huh? Say again?" Maybe we ought to step back 
 and forget the years we've had to become comfortable with D and analyze it 
 from a potential user's point of view in order to make adoption easier.

D is constantly being nitpicked on this forum - and the fact that it hasn't been feature frozen has allowed it to continue to be nitpicked and evolve into a better language. I feel that the current process Walter is employing is almost even more important than the language itself; as clearly C++ and C stagnated leading for a need to replace those languages. Sincerely, Dan
Apr 04 2007
parent "Ameer Armaly" <ameer_armaly hotmail.com> writes:
"Dan" <murpsoft hotmail.com> wrote in message 
news:ev1ch5$t6u$1 digitalmars.com...
 Ameer Armaly Wrote:

 1. 1.0 doesn't appear to be any special sort of marker with regard to the
 standard; we have not only CTFE but mixins added post-1.0, along with
 numerous changes to the _standard_library. I understand the compiler can 
 be
 made to strictly conform to the 1.0 spec,

Exactly, so you can continue to develop for the 1.0 spec, and that code will work, to my understanding, as advertised.
but the fact still remains it
 seems very ad hoc.

 Then, the whole D language, including standard library, ought to be 
 frozen
 for several years to let it proliferate throughout the technical 
 community;

I totally disagree with this statement. We have a frozen implementation of D 1.0, and a frozen spec for the language of D 1.0. That can proliferate as much as people like. I feel that as long as future 1.x compilers support 1.0 code, people can write 1.0 code and it will work universally on people's compilers.

less intuitive to someone who takes a glance at the language for the first time.
 an experimental compiler can of course undergo development, but clearly
 marked as such and _separate_ from the stable compiler.
 2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good.

I feel that this is perfectly fine. People can develop a program using either library and I can compile it on my system. 10 libraries would be retarded, and very bad. 2 really isn't.
 Phobos is basically built on C wherever possible and sort of thrown
 together, and Tango reminds me of Java with a class for everything and 
 then
 some. For the standard's sake (and consequent adoption), D needs one
 accepted standard library.

I disagree, in fact being able to plug in a library according to your programming philosophy will probably allow us to develop superior programs.

any one library; it's not quite as easy as all that. Besides, look at C; it has one standard library but you could build anything you want on top of it. The idea is not so much that one implimentation be better, but that one be constant; many programs have to write standard C or posix functions because they aren't present on certain operating systems. Besides, if one program had to be compiled with one lib but everything else with another, you have to go through that whole process unnecessarily.
 The current state makes that difficult because
 Walter is forced to hand-manage both the compiler and library. What ought 
 to
 happen IMO is that Walter should delegate day to day library management 
 to a
 trusted associate who will occasionally inform Walter of the latest
 developments; Walter makes the final call, and life goes on.

My understanding is that Walter develops and maintains D and D language spec; and that he wrote the original Phobos. I think someone else is maintaining Phobos under that system, while yet someone else is maintaining Tango and releasing without constant verification from Walter - and with Walter's occasional contributions.
 So to conclude, these are issues that have been sort of addressed at 
 various
 times in other issues, but never to a point that accomplished the 
 intended
 goal. The D community is growing; there are going to be a lot of new 
 people
 that look at it now and say "Huh? Say again?" Maybe we ought to step back
 and forget the years we've had to become comfortable with D and analyze 
 it
 from a potential user's point of view in order to make adoption easier.

D is constantly being nitpicked on this forum - and the fact that it hasn't been feature frozen has allowed it to continue to be nitpicked and evolve into a better language. I feel that the current process Walter is employing is almost even more important than the language itself; as clearly C++ and C stagnated leading for a need to replace those languages. Sincerely, Dan

Apr 04 2007
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Sean Kelly <sean f4.ca> writes:
Ameer Armaly wrote:
 Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of late, and 
 I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm jumping at shadows. 
 For starters, we all have a common goal of making D as widely used as 
 possible since we all love the language, otherwise we probably wouldn't be 
 here. At the same time, there are a few factors which as I see it make the 
 adoption of D much more difficult and need to be addressed if we intend to 
 succeed:
 1. 1.0 doesn't appear to be any special sort of marker with regard to the 
 standard; we have not only CTFE but mixins added post-1.0, along with 
 numerous changes to the _standard_library. I understand the compiler can be 
 made to strictly conform to the 1.0 spec, but the fact still remains it 
 seems very ad hoc. What ought to happen IMO is that we first call a review 
 of the language spec where everyone sends in any complaints they have and 
 they must be clearly addressed to everyone's satisfaction, or at least to 
 the degree that's possible. Then, the spec ought to be frozen for a while, 
 and we work strictly on the standard library, which I'll address later. 
 Then, the whole D language, including standard library, ought to be frozen 
 for several years to let it proliferate throughout the technical community; 
 an experimental compiler can of course undergo development, but clearly 
 marked as such and _separate_ from the stable compiler.

The idea of a separate compiler for experimental features has come up in the past and I think it's a good one. But if it's easier for Walter to maintain a single compiler and provide a feature switch then that seems fine as well. Also, other review models have been suggested, with the Python approach suggested as one alternative IIRC. This is ultimately up to Walter however, and the method he feels would be most productive or beneficial to language development. I can't claim to have any strong feelings here one way or the other.
 2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good. 
 Phobos is basically built on C wherever possible and sort of thrown 
 together, and Tango reminds me of Java with a class for everything and then 
 some. For the standard's sake (and consequent adoption), D needs one 
 accepted standard library.

For what it's worth, Tango is only positioned as a "standard library" because it includes compiler runtime features (out of necessity), and because of its scope. It was never intended to compete directly with Phobos. To some, this distinction may be simply a matter of semantics, but I do feel it's important to point this out since it was never our intention to confuse things. That said, if a choice truly had to be made between Phobos, Tango, etc, for a "D standard library" then that choice will be made by the community simply by virtue of whatever library each individual decides to use. I don't know that an arbitrary decision would carry much weight here.
 The current state makes that difficult because
 Walter is forced to hand-manage both the compiler and library.

I think there is some benefit to Walter maintaining Phobos, as it allows new compiler releases to include library code demonstrating or supporting the use of new language features. This is something that would be more difficult to achieve if the library work were handled by someone else. That isn't to say that there are no alternatives to this, but it bears mentioning.
 What ought to
 happen IMO is that Walter should delegate day to day library management to a 
 trusted associate who will occasionally inform Walter of the latest 
 developments; Walter makes the final call, and life goes on.

There is also the issue of maintaining the compiler runtime code vs. the remainder of the library code. Whatever happens at the user level, the compiler writer will want to maintain any runtime code that compiler requires.
 So to conclude, these are issues that have been sort of addressed at various 
 times in other issues, but never to a point that accomplished the intended 
 goal. The D community is growing; there are going to be a lot of new people 
 that look at it now and say "Huh? Say again?" Maybe we ought to step back 
 and forget the years we've had to become comfortable with D and analyze it 
 from a potential user's point of view in order to make adoption easier.
 Thoughts? 

Only that D is still a young language and that I feel things will sort themselves out in time. Until then, we can simply do our best to clearly answer any questions posed by new users and to avoid overt conflict in public discussions. After all, the way we interact with one another reflects upon D as a whole, and if we can't make sense of what's going on then how is a new user supposed to? :-) Sean
Apr 04 2007
parent BCS <BCS pathlink.com> writes:
Sean Kelly wrote:

 The idea of a separate compiler for experimental features has come up in 
 the past and I think it's a good one.  But if it's easier for Walter to 
 maintain a single compiler and provide a feature switch then that seems 
 fine as well.  Also, other review models have been suggested, with the 
 Python approach suggested as one alternative IIRC.  This is ultimately 
 up to Walter however, and the method he feels would be most productive 
 or beneficial to language development.  I can't claim to have any strong 
 feelings here one way or the other.

This could be rolled into the "there is really only one compiler" problem and start up a totally new compiler development project. I actually am working on this (slowly, vary vary slowly, the lexer works but I'm having some UTF-16 convention problems). However my project only addresses the experimental compiler issue because I'm not intending mine to be used outside of experimental testing.
Apr 05 2007
prev sibling next sibling parent reply janderson <askme me.com> writes:
Although you raise some good points I can't agree here.  I think D still 
has a few more years development until we get to that stage.  People are 
only just starting to use it for real.  We should have the flexibility 
to fix their issues as they arise rather then setting it in stone at the 
moment.  I see 1.0 as kinda like a speedbump to stability.  The more we 
go over the more set in stone it'll get.  I think this will be a much 
more valid argument at 2.0 and even more so at 3.0.

-Joel

Ameer Armaly wrote:
 Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of late, and 
 I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm jumping at shadows. 
 For starters, we all have a common goal of making D as widely used as 
 possible since we all love the language, otherwise we probably wouldn't be 
 here. At the same time, there are a few factors which as I see it make the 
 adoption of D much more difficult and need to be addressed if we intend to 
 succeed:
 1. 1.0 doesn't appear to be any special sort of marker with regard to the 
 standard; we have not only CTFE but mixins added post-1.0, along with 
 numerous changes to the _standard_library. I understand the compiler can be 
 made to strictly conform to the 1.0 spec, but the fact still remains it 
 seems very ad hoc. What ought to happen IMO is that we first call a review 
 of the language spec where everyone sends in any complaints they have and 
 they must be clearly addressed to everyone's satisfaction, or at least to 
 the degree that's possible. Then, the spec ought to be frozen for a while, 
 and we work strictly on the standard library, which I'll address later. 
 Then, the whole D language, including standard library, ought to be frozen 
 for several years to let it proliferate throughout the technical community; 
 an experimental compiler can of course undergo development, but clearly 
 marked as such and _separate_ from the stable compiler.
 2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good. 
 Phobos is basically built on C wherever possible and sort of thrown 
 together, and Tango reminds me of Java with a class for everything and then 
 some. For the standard's sake (and consequent adoption), D needs one 
 accepted standard library. The current state makes that difficult because 
 Walter is forced to hand-manage both the compiler and library. What ought to 
 happen IMO is that Walter should delegate day to day library management to a 
 trusted associate who will occasionally inform Walter of the latest 
 developments; Walter makes the final call, and life goes on.
 So to conclude, these are issues that have been sort of addressed at various 
 times in other issues, but never to a point that accomplished the intended 
 goal. The D community is growing; there are going to be a lot of new people 
 that look at it now and say "Huh? Say again?" Maybe we ought to step back 
 and forget the years we've had to become comfortable with D and analyze it 
 from a potential user's point of view in order to make adoption easier.
 Thoughts? 
 
 

Apr 04 2007
parent reply "Ameer Armaly" <ameer_armaly hotmail.com> writes:
"janderson" <askme me.com> wrote in message 
news:ev1u1d$1q81$1 digitalmars.com...
 Although you raise some good points I can't agree here.  I think D still 
 has a few more years development until we get to that stage.  People are 
 only just starting to use it for real.  We should have the flexibility to 
 fix their issues as they arise rather then setting it in stone at the 
 moment.  I see 1.0 as kinda like a speedbump to stability.  The more we go 
 over the more set in stone it'll get.  I think this will be a much more 
 valid argument at 2.0 and even more so at 3.0.

that it was going to be a setup (language, compiler, libs) that people could just pick up and run with. But apparently not...
 -Joel

 Ameer Armaly wrote:
 Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of late, 
 and I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm jumping at 
 shadows. For starters, we all have a common goal of making D as widely 
 used as possible since we all love the language, otherwise we probably 
 wouldn't be here. At the same time, there are a few factors which as I 
 see it make the adoption of D much more difficult and need to be 
 addressed if we intend to succeed:
 1. 1.0 doesn't appear to be any special sort of marker with regard to the 
 standard; we have not only CTFE but mixins added post-1.0, along with 
 numerous changes to the _standard_library. I understand the compiler can 
 be made to strictly conform to the 1.0 spec, but the fact still remains 
 it seems very ad hoc. What ought to happen IMO is that we first call a 
 review of the language spec where everyone sends in any complaints they 
 have and they must be clearly addressed to everyone's satisfaction, or at 
 least to the degree that's possible. Then, the spec ought to be frozen 
 for a while, and we work strictly on the standard library, which I'll 
 address later. Then, the whole D language, including standard library, 
 ought to be frozen for several years to let it proliferate throughout the 
 technical community; an experimental compiler can of course undergo 
 development, but clearly marked as such and _separate_ from the stable 
 compiler.
 2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good. 
 Phobos is basically built on C wherever possible and sort of thrown 
 together, and Tango reminds me of Java with a class for everything and 
 then some. For the standard's sake (and consequent adoption), D needs one 
 accepted standard library. The current state makes that difficult because 
 Walter is forced to hand-manage both the compiler and library. What ought 
 to happen IMO is that Walter should delegate day to day library 
 management to a trusted associate who will occasionally inform Walter of 
 the latest developments; Walter makes the final call, and life goes on.
 So to conclude, these are issues that have been sort of addressed at 
 various times in other issues, but never to a point that accomplished the 
 intended goal. The D community is growing; there are going to be a lot of 
 new people that look at it now and say "Huh? Say again?" Maybe we ought 
 to step back and forget the years we've had to become comfortable with D 
 and analyze it from a potential user's point of view in order to make 
 adoption easier.
 Thoughts? 


Apr 05 2007
next sibling parent Lars Ivar Igesund <larsivar igesund.net> writes:
Ameer Armaly wrote:

 
 "janderson" <askme me.com> wrote in message
 news:ev1u1d$1q81$1 digitalmars.com...
 Although you raise some good points I can't agree here.  I think D still
 has a few more years development until we get to that stage.  People are
 only just starting to use it for real.  We should have the flexibility to
 fix their issues as they arise rather then setting it in stone at the
 moment.  I see 1.0 as kinda like a speedbump to stability.  The more we
 go
 over the more set in stone it'll get.  I think this will be a much more
 valid argument at 2.0 and even more so at 3.0.

was that it was going to be a setup (language, compiler, libs) that people could just pick up and run with. But apparently not...

That would have been ideal, but if that really was the case, 1.0 was rushed out way too early :) -- Lars Ivar Igesund blog at http://larsivi.net DSource, #d.tango & #D: larsivi Dancing the Tango
Apr 05 2007
prev sibling parent janderson <askme me.com> writes:
Ameer Armaly wrote:
 "janderson" <askme me.com> wrote in message 
 news:ev1u1d$1q81$1 digitalmars.com...
 Although you raise some good points I can't agree here.  I think D still 
 has a few more years development until we get to that stage.  People are 
 only just starting to use it for real.  We should have the flexibility to 
 fix their issues as they arise rather then setting it in stone at the 
 moment.  I see 1.0 as kinda like a speedbump to stability.  The more we go 
 over the more set in stone it'll get.  I think this will be a much more 
 valid argument at 2.0 and even more so at 3.0.

that it was going to be a setup (language, compiler, libs) that people could just pick up and run with. But apparently not...
 -Joel


My view is that this is our first trial at having a stabilized version. Kinda like a trial run. 1.0 spec is set in stone, bugs are being fixed. 2.0 will be more rigid and so on. -Joel
Apr 05 2007
prev sibling next sibling parent reply =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Anders_F_Bj=F6rklund?= <afb algonet.se> writes:
Ameer Armaly wrote:

 2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good. 

Yeah, I find that it's kinda funny that we have gone from: int main(char[][] args) { printf("hello world\n"); return 0; } in the original D introduction and samples to the current: version (Tango) import tango.io.Console; else // Phobos import std.stdio; void main() { version (Tango) Cout ("Hello, World!").newline; else // Phobos writefln("Hello, World!"); } And then there are all these new "D++" additions in progress that I haven't quite understood yet. Like 4 languages in one :-) --anders
Apr 05 2007
parent "Ameer Armaly" <ameer_armaly hotmail.com> writes:
"Anders F Björklund" <afb algonet.se> wrote in message 
news:ev2ang$2i85$1 digitalmars.com...
 Ameer Armaly wrote:

 2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good.

Yeah, I find that it's kinda funny that we have gone from: int main(char[][] args) { printf("hello world\n"); return 0; } in the original D introduction and samples to the current: version (Tango) import tango.io.Console; else // Phobos import std.stdio; void main() { version (Tango) Cout ("Hello, World!").newline; else // Phobos writefln("Hello, World!"); } And then there are all these new "D++" additions in progress that I haven't quite understood yet. Like 4 languages in one :-)

falls in love with the language itself, then takes a look at the library situation I doubt they would be impressed.
 --anders 

Apr 05 2007
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "David B. Held" <dheld codelogicconsulting.com> writes:
Ameer Armaly wrote:
 Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of late, and 
 I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm jumping at shadows. 
 For starters, we all have a common goal of making D as widely used as 
 possible since we all love the language, otherwise we probably wouldn't be 
 here. At the same time, there are a few factors which as I see it make the 
 adoption of D much more difficult and need to be addressed if we intend to 
 succeed:
 [...]

I think one thing to keep in mind is that the 1.0 release was basically a gift to the user community to lend D that air of authenticity that business folks need to let their people use a new toy. In reality, there are so many radical features being considered for D that it's really comparable to C++ in its CFront stage rather than the ARM, let alone, ANSI stage. On the one hand, D needs users to push the language to expose its weaknesses. On the other hand, D needs the flexibility to break some stuff to add compelling new features. It's a tricky business bootstrapping a new language, and only people who can tolerate life on the bleeding edge survive in this kind of space. D does indeed need a fair bit of time before it becomes sufficiently stable to consider something like standardization. Even choosing a standard library would be premature, given that D has nothing like the STL yet, though something is planned. And having a wealth of choices isn't a bad thing. If functionality grossly overlapped, that would be one thing. But by providing libraries with different design philosophies to appeal to different user segments, D can ease the transition for more programmers. If anything, now is the time to think hard about what you think a language should have, and make a strong case for your favorite features. There's no guarantee your feature will get implemented, but look how hard it is to get something added to a language as big and mature as C++... Dave
Apr 05 2007
next sibling parent reply janderson <askme me.com> writes:
David B. Held wrote:
 Ameer Armaly wrote:
 Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of 
 late, and I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm 
 jumping at shadows. For starters, we all have a common goal of making 
 D as widely used as possible since we all love the language, otherwise 
 we probably wouldn't be here. At the same time, there are a few 
 factors which as I see it make the adoption of D much more difficult 
 and need to be addressed if we intend to succeed:
 [...]

I think one thing to keep in mind is that the 1.0 release was basically a gift to the user community to lend D that air of authenticity that business folks need to let their people use a new toy. In reality, there are so many radical features being considered for D that it's really comparable to C++ in its CFront stage rather than the ARM, let alone, ANSI stage. On the one hand, D needs users to push the language to expose its weaknesses. On the other hand, D needs the flexibility to break some stuff to add compelling new features. It's a tricky business bootstrapping a new language, and only people who can tolerate life on the bleeding edge survive in this kind of space. D does indeed need a fair bit of time before it becomes sufficiently stable to consider something like standardization. Even choosing a standard library would be premature, given that D has nothing like the STL yet, though something is planned. And having a wealth of choices isn't a bad thing. If functionality grossly overlapped, that would be one thing. But by providing libraries with different design philosophies to appeal to different user segments, D can ease the transition for more programmers. If anything, now is the time to think hard about what you think a language should have, and make a strong case for your favorite features. There's no guarantee your feature will get implemented, but look how hard it is to get something added to a language as big and mature as C++... Dave

I couldn't have put it better!
Apr 05 2007
parent janderson <askme me.com> writes:
janderson wrote:
 David B. Held wrote:
 Ameer Armaly wrote:
 Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of 
 late, and I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm 
 jumping at shadows. For starters, we all have a common goal of making 
 D as widely used as possible since we all love the language, 
 otherwise we probably wouldn't be here. At the same time, there are a 
 few factors which as I see it make the adoption of D much more 
 difficult and need to be addressed if we intend to succeed:
 [...]

I think one thing to keep in mind is that the 1.0 release was basically a gift to the user community to lend D that air of authenticity that business folks need to let their people use a new toy. In reality, there are so many radical features being considered for D that it's really comparable to C++ in its CFront stage rather than the ARM, let alone, ANSI stage. On the one hand, D needs users to push the language to expose its weaknesses. On the other hand, D needs the flexibility to break some stuff to add compelling new features. It's a tricky business bootstrapping a new language, and only people who can tolerate life on the bleeding edge survive in this kind of space. D does indeed need a fair bit of time before it becomes sufficiently stable to consider something like standardization. Even choosing a standard library would be premature, given that D has nothing like the STL yet, though something is planned. And having a wealth of choices isn't a bad thing. If functionality grossly overlapped, that would be one thing. But by providing libraries with different design philosophies to appeal to different user segments, D can ease the transition for more programmers. If anything, now is the time to think hard about what you think a language should have, and make a strong case for your favorite features. There's no guarantee your feature will get implemented, but look how hard it is to get something added to a language as big and mature as C++... Dave

I couldn't have put it better!

Academic wise 1.0 is a good thing because you want people to be able to compile and run your algorithms. For instance, my pre 1v thesis source code will no-longer compile because a couple of the D libraries I was using broke. Luckily I have a version of the compiler that did work however foolishly I forgot to mention which version. -Joel
Apr 08 2007
prev sibling parent reply Bruno Medeiros <brunodomedeiros+spam com.gmail> writes:
David B. Held wrote:
 Ameer Armaly wrote:
 Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of 
 late, and I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm 
 jumping at shadows. For starters, we all have a common goal of making 
 D as widely used as possible since we all love the language, otherwise 
 we probably wouldn't be here. At the same time, there are a few 
 factors which as I see it make the adoption of D much more difficult 
 and need to be addressed if we intend to succeed:
 [...]

I think one thing to keep in mind is that the 1.0 release was basically a gift to the user community to lend D that air of authenticity that business folks need to let their people use a new toy. In reality, there are so many radical features being considered for D that it's really comparable to C++ in its CFront stage rather than the ARM, let alone, ANSI stage. On the one hand, D needs users to push the language to expose its weaknesses. On the other hand, D needs the flexibility to break some stuff to add compelling new features. It's a tricky business bootstrapping a new language, and only people who can tolerate life on the bleeding edge survive in this kind of space.

Indeed. Aside publicity/marketing, does D 1.0 even matter at all? By "matter", I mean, who of the D developers (even if just hobbying around) use, work with, or generally care about D 1.0 instead of the current D? Likely few or none, especially with the amazing new features added, and even more are planned to come. -- Bruno Medeiros - MSc in CS/E student http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?BrunoMedeiros#D
Apr 07 2007
parent reply Clay Smith <clayasaurus gmail.com> writes:
I'm just a hobbyer, but I care about the D v1.0 version switch. 

This switch makes it so any compiler after version 1.0 can compile my programs,
and anyone who writes a D 1.0 compatible compiler can also compile my programs.
D 1.0 is a nice 'target' that doesn't move. To be able to ever stabilize, a
language needs such a target or it will forever be left for the bleeding edgers.

~ Clay

Bruno Medeiros Wrote:
 
 Indeed. Aside publicity/marketing, does D 1.0 even matter at all? By 
 "matter", I mean, who of the D developers (even if just hobbying around) 
 use, work with, or generally care about D 1.0 instead of the current D? 
 Likely few or none, especially with the amazing new features added, and 
 even more are planned to come.
 
 
 -- 
 Bruno Medeiros - MSc in CS/E student
 http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?BrunoMedeiros#D

Apr 07 2007
next sibling parent reply "Peter C. Chapin" <pchapin sover.net> writes:
Clay Smith <clayasaurus gmail.com> wrote in
news:ev9lsv$tn3$1 digitalmars.com: 

 I'm just a hobbyer, but I care about the D v1.0 version switch. 
 
 This switch makes it so any compiler after version 1.0 can compile my
 programs, and anyone who writes a D 1.0 compatible compiler can also
 compile my programs. D 1.0 is a nice 'target' that doesn't move. To be
 able to ever stabilize, a language needs such a target or it will
 forever be left for the bleeding edgers. 

I agree with this. The existence of v1.0 means that one can write software that compiles with the 1.0 version of the language and publish it as such knowing that everyone else should understand what that means. Of course such software won't be able to use any new features added to the language later; that is understood. But in some cases the new features are unnecessary to get the job done well so they don't really matter. Of course this would be a bigger deal if there were a variety of competing D implementations. Otherwise writing "D v1.0 conformant software" is mostly just a formality. I'm also a hobbiest when it comes to D, but I basically just watched the language until 1.0 was released. Now I'm playing with 1.0 and I probably won't upgrade myself for a while. If I tried to upgrade all the software I use whenever a new version was released I'd spend all of my time upgrading software and very little time actually doing anything. Consequently I appreciate the stability implied by the 1.0 release. Ideally once 1.0 was released there should have been a fork in the release schedule for D. Bug fixes to 1.0 could be provided separately from language enhancements leading toward 2.0 (or whatever). That way people interested in coding to the 1.0 "standard" could get a fixed compiler without the "clutter" of new features. Do the latest compilers have a v1.0 compatibility switch? That would also be a reasonable solution. Peter P.S. Is there some way to find out the current version of DMD from the DigitalMars web page, short of downloading and unpacking the thing? I would have expected to find the latest release version number easily visible, say on the download page, but there is nothing (unless I'm being very dense and just missing it).
Apr 08 2007
next sibling parent Mike Parker <aldacron71 yahoo.com> writes:
Peter C. Chapin wrote:

 compiler without the "clutter" of new features. Do the latest compilers 
 have a v1.0 compatibility switch? That would also be a reasonable 
 solution.

-v1
 
 Peter
 
 P.S. Is there some way to find out the current version of DMD from the 
 DigitalMars web page, short of downloading and unpacking the thing? I 
 would have expected to find the latest release version number easily 
 visible, say on the download page, but there is nothing (unless I'm 
 being very dense and just missing it).

http://www.digitalmars.com/d/changelog.html Current version is always at the top.
Apr 08 2007
prev sibling parent reply "David B. Held" <dheld codelogicconsulting.com> writes:
Peter C. Chapin wrote:
 [...]
 Ideally once 1.0 was released there should have been a fork in the 
 release schedule for D. Bug fixes to 1.0 could be provided separately 
 from language enhancements leading toward 2.0 (or whatever). That way 
 people interested in coding to the 1.0 "standard" could get a fixed 
 compiler without the "clutter" of new features.
 [...]

This is a pretty important point, and more people should complain about this. It does dilute the utility of having a 1.0 release. Dave
Apr 08 2007
next sibling parent reply "Peter C. Chapin" <pchapin sover.net> writes:
"David B. Held" <dheld codelogicconsulting.com> wrote in
news:evbaso$2jlr$1 digitalmars.com: 

 Ideally once 1.0 was released there should have been a fork in the 
 release schedule for D. Bug fixes to 1.0 could be provided separately
 from language enhancements leading toward 2.0 (or whatever). That way
 people interested in coding to the 1.0 "standard" could get a fixed 
 compiler without the "clutter" of new features.

This is a pretty important point, and more people should complain about this. It does dilute the utility of having a 1.0 release.

Perhaps the v1 switch mentioned in another post addresses this. I imagine that v1 does not turn on old bugs. Is the latest documentation clear about what features are in version one and what features have been added or changed since? Perhaps it's time for me to upgrade. :-) It looks like there have been quite a few bug fixes. Peter
Apr 09 2007
parent reply Daniel Keep <daniel.keep.lists gmail.com> writes:
Peter C. Chapin wrote:
 "David B. Held" <dheld codelogicconsulting.com> wrote in
 news:evbaso$2jlr$1 digitalmars.com: 
 
 Ideally once 1.0 was released there should have been a fork in the 
 release schedule for D. Bug fixes to 1.0 could be provided separately
 from language enhancements leading toward 2.0 (or whatever). That way
 people interested in coding to the 1.0 "standard" could get a fixed 
 compiler without the "clutter" of new features.

about this. It does dilute the utility of having a 1.0 release.

Perhaps the v1 switch mentioned in another post addresses this. I imagine that v1 does not turn on old bugs. Is the latest documentation clear about what features are in version one and what features have been added or changed since? Perhaps it's time for me to upgrade. :-) It looks like there have been quite a few bug fixes. Peter

As far as I understand it, throwing -v1 disables any features that would change the meaning of your code, and changes the GC back to its v1.0 behaviour. However, the caveat here is that it does *not* disable features that don't change the meaning of your code. For instance, compile-time function evaluation was added post-1.0, but is not affected by -v1. The reasoning behind this is that CTFE allows you to use non-constant expressions where you previously couldn't. Ergo, if your code was written for v1.0, then it couldn't have had any of these expressions, thus it doesn't change anything. Or something like that :) However, I do think that the D docs should explicitly mark things that have changed since 1.0, possibly even adding a strict version of -v1 that completely disallows new features so that people can use the latest compilers to write v1.0-compatible code (and actually make sure that it will work!). -- Daniel -- int getRandomNumber() { return 4; // chosen by fair dice roll. // guaranteed to be random. } http://xkcd.com/ v2sw5+8Yhw5ln4+5pr6OFPma8u6+7Lw4Tm6+7l6+7D i28a2Xs3MSr2e4/6+7t4TNSMb6HTOp5en5g6RAHCP http://hackerkey.com/
Apr 09 2007
parent "Peter C. Chapin" <pchapin sover.net> writes:
Daniel Keep <daniel.keep.lists gmail.com> wrote in news:evd7k4$1759$1
 digitalmars.com:

 However, the caveat here is that it does *not* disable features that
 don't change the meaning of your code.  For instance, compile-time
 function evaluation was added post-1.0, but is not affected by -v1.  The
 reasoning behind this is that CTFE allows you to use non-constant
 expressions where you previously couldn't.  Ergo, if your code was
 written for v1.0, then it couldn't have had any of these expressions,
 thus it doesn't change anything.

Hmm. That's great for existing 1.0 code that is compiled with the newer compiler but, as you point out, not so good for people developing new code and who wish to conform to the 1.0 definition of the language. I wouldn't want the compiler to accept a feature that was post-1.0 that I accidently used. Peter
Apr 09 2007
prev sibling parent Georg Wrede <georg nospam.org> writes:
David B. Held wrote:
 Peter C. Chapin wrote:
 
 [...]
 Ideally once 1.0 was released there should have been a fork in the 
 release schedule for D. Bug fixes to 1.0 could be provided separately 
 from language enhancements leading toward 2.0 (or whatever). That way 
 people interested in coding to the 1.0 "standard" could get a fixed 
 compiler without the "clutter" of new features.

This is a pretty important point, and more people should complain about this. It does dilute the utility of having a 1.0 release.

There should also be a clear separation in the documentation!! The D documentation doesn't seem to care what things are 1.0 and what "post-1.0". Imagine a programming team trying to conform to 1.0. While the compiler can of course barf on too-new things, the programmers have a hard time learning what is and what isn't 1.0. Of course, we could deliver two separate html trees with DMD, but obviously the bloat is unacceptable. Therefore, IMHO, the second-best would be to have the 1.0 html as a separate zip, downloadable from DM, -- and adequately advertise it on the site. To help the programming teams in not reading the wrong version (1.0 vs. the current), the downloadable 1.0 should have a pale yellow background color, as in old paper. Then, e.g. somebody just quickly glancing at a colleagues screen (say, to help him understand something), it would stand clearly out whether we are looking at 1.0 or the current doc. All it takes is to change dmd/html/d/style.css on the third line from background: white; to background: #ffffc0; and zip the 1.0 html to the server. Oh, and of course the *current* doc shoud mention the 1.0 docs being available. --- I wanted to keep this *simple enough to actually become reality now*, given Walter's limited time. Obviously a better solution (and one that we'll eventually need) would be to have the background with a pale yellow D-1.0 watermark-like text, but first things first!
Apr 09 2007
prev sibling parent reply Bruno Medeiros <brunodomedeiros+spam com.gmail> writes:
Clay Smith wrote:
 I'm just a hobbyer, but I care about the D v1.0 version switch. 
 
 This switch makes it so any compiler after version 1.0 can compile my
programs, and anyone who writes a D 1.0 compatible compiler can also compile my
programs. D 1.0 is a nice 'target' that doesn't move. To be able to ever
stabilize, a language needs such a target or it will forever be left for the
bleeding edgers.
 
 ~ Clay
 
 Bruno Medeiros Wrote:
 Indeed. Aside publicity/marketing, does D 1.0 even matter at all? By 
 "matter", I mean, who of the D developers (even if just hobbying around) 
 use, work with, or generally care about D 1.0 instead of the current D? 
 Likely few or none, especially with the amazing new features added, and 
 even more are planned to come.


 -- 
 Bruno Medeiros - MSc in CS/E student
 http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?BrunoMedeiros#D


Yes, I know what the switch allows, but I'm wondering who is actually using it. -- Bruno Medeiros - MSc in CS/E student http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?BrunoMedeiros#D
Apr 09 2007
parent torhu <fake address.dude> writes:
Bruno Medeiros wrote:
<snip>
 Bruno Medeiros Wrote:
 Indeed. Aside publicity/marketing, does D 1.0 even matter at all? By 
 "matter", I mean, who of the D developers (even if just hobbying around) 
 use, work with, or generally care about D 1.0 instead of the current D? 
 Likely few or none, especially with the amazing new features added, and 
 even more are planned to come.



 Yes, I know what the switch allows, but I'm wondering who is actually 
 using it.
 

I have a dwt app that uses it, and the dallegro project uses it too. It's mostly a C binding. I guess one problem is that it makes it more complicated for users of dallegro to use backwards compatibility breaking features. They would have to compile the dallegro files separately from files that use post-1.0-only features. So I guess a 'D_1_0' version ID would be useful. Or some other system that allows libraries to adjust to being built both with and without -v1. Then the compatibility issue could be handled in a way that's transparent to the user. I haven't looked into both DMD and GDC's versions of std.compiler, so I don't know how far that would take you. And then there's Tango. But this should really be part of the compiler, not of the library.
Apr 09 2007
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Clay Smith <clayasaurus gmail.com> writes:
Here are my thoughts:

1) Have two separate compilers, once based on D 1.0 that will 
concentrate on stability, and another one post D 1.0 based on the 
'kitchen sink' of endless features that D seems to accumulate :-P I'm 
actually hoping that somewhere along the line, keywords and features 
will stop being added, once the language is 'good' enough. If we keep on 
adding features forever, we'll get to the same 'different islands of 
programming' problem that C++ has, where only some programmers can use 
some features while other programmers use other features, in fact I'd 
say we have this with templates/mixins now (some folks think it adds to 
much complexity for what its worth), and then you have the difficulty of 
writing a D compiler from scratch.

2) Library issue: Two separate libraries are a pain for users. Maybe the 
D compiler can be bundled with both, with batch/shell script of compiler 
option to switch in between these libraries.

3) Misuse of manpower:

In theory, it would be _nice_ if all the GUI dudes worked on the same 
GUI, and all the standard library dudes worked on the same library. 
Maybe there can be some way to encourage this.


Ameer Armaly wrote:
 Hi all. There are a few things which have been bothering me as of late, and 
 I want your opinions on them to know whether or not I'm jumping at shadows. 
 For starters, we all have a common goal of making D as widely used as 
 possible since we all love the language, otherwise we probably wouldn't be 
 here. At the same time, there are a few factors which as I see it make the 
 adoption of D much more difficult and need to be addressed if we intend to 
 succeed:
 1. 1.0 doesn't appear to be any special sort of marker with regard to the 
 standard; we have not only CTFE but mixins added post-1.0, along with 
 numerous changes to the _standard_library. I understand the compiler can be 
 made to strictly conform to the 1.0 spec, but the fact still remains it 
 seems very ad hoc. What ought to happen IMO is that we first call a review 
 of the language spec where everyone sends in any complaints they have and 
 they must be clearly addressed to everyone's satisfaction, or at least to 
 the degree that's possible. Then, the spec ought to be frozen for a while, 
 and we work strictly on the standard library, which I'll address later. 
 Then, the whole D language, including standard library, ought to be frozen 
 for several years to let it proliferate throughout the technical community; 
 an experimental compiler can of course undergo development, but clearly 
 marked as such and _separate_ from the stable compiler.
 2. We have two competing standard libraries; this is nowhere near good. 
 Phobos is basically built on C wherever possible and sort of thrown 
 together, and Tango reminds me of Java with a class for everything and then 
 some. For the standard's sake (and consequent adoption), D needs one 
 accepted standard library. The current state makes that difficult because 
 Walter is forced to hand-manage both the compiler and library. What ought to 
 happen IMO is that Walter should delegate day to day library management to a 
 trusted associate who will occasionally inform Walter of the latest 
 developments; Walter makes the final call, and life goes on.
 So to conclude, these are issues that have been sort of addressed at various 
 times in other issues, but never to a point that accomplished the intended 
 goal. The D community is growing; there are going to be a lot of new people 
 that look at it now and say "Huh? Say again?" Maybe we ought to step back 
 and forget the years we've had to become comfortable with D and analyze it 
 from a potential user's point of view in order to make adoption easier.
 Thoughts? 
 
 

Apr 05 2007
parent Pragma <ericanderton yahoo.removeme.com> writes:
Clay Smith wrote:
 Here are my thoughts:

 3) Misuse of manpower:
 
 In theory, it would be _nice_ if all the GUI dudes worked on the same 
 GUI, and all the standard library dudes worked on the same library. 
 Maybe there can be some way to encourage this.

Agreed. We need a collaborative effort on the same scale as (or larger than) Tango for a good GUI lib for D. If you look at the GUI matrix on the Wiki, the situation is pretty gruesome. Each lib has some of the picture: native widget support, cross-platform, release status, wraps a well-known library, etc. But none have the complete picture. http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?AvailableGuiLibraries In a perfect world, we'd have a complete GL-based library (for portability and performance) that has common widgets that look good, has easy to use layout engines, meshes perfectly with the host desktop (clipboard, D&D, etc), and provides an API that is ideal for hacking together new controls. - EricAnderton at yahoo
Apr 05 2007
prev sibling parent Derek Parnell <derek psych.ward> writes:
On Wed, 4 Apr 2007 18:24:51 -0400, Ameer Armaly wrote:

 2. We have two competing standard libraries; ...

Do we? I agree we have two competing libraries in as much as they nominally try to cover the same problem space (with overlapping areas), but is Tango really the "standard"? That is to say, are the Tango developers attempting to have it shipped with *every* D compiler? I'm sure that they would like it to be, but I don't think that they are trying for that. To me, Phobos is the standard library because it is shipped as a matter of course (plus is hardcoded into DMD). This is not to say that it is a good library; I think it really needs *lots* of improvement, but it is the one that you get when you get a D compiler. Now maybe if Walter endorsed Tango and also packaged it with DMD we could say we had competing standards, but ... -- Derek Parnell Melbourne, Australia "Justice for David Hicks!" skype: derek.j.parnell
Apr 05 2007