[plt-scheme] Re: An Editors Tale

From: Guenther Schmidt (gue.schmidt at web.de)
Date: Thu Jan 29 07:20:18 EST 2004

Dear Michael,

Michael Sperber wrote:
>   For list-related administrative tasks:
>   http://list.cs.brown.edu/mailman/listinfo/plt-scheme
>>>>>>"Guenther" == Guenther Schmidt <gue.schmidt at web.de> writes:
> Guenther> But there is far more to writing an application than
> Guenther> algorythms.  The difficulty with this newsgroup here is that
> Guenther> most of its subscribers are skilled, highly skilled.
> You've said that, but I'm not sure what exactly you mean.  Earlier,
> you mentioned three points:

The thing with the skills is this:
Most people here are so far advanced and already so deeply inside PLT they can no longer fathom the problems a beginner faces or gets stuck with. There is no doubt that DrScheme is very powerful and a skilled programmer can take it to "where no man has gone before".
I for one fail even with writing most trivial apps. As a beginner at least the "gadgets" mentioned below.

I previously posted an excert from Miguel de Icazas Lessons from the PLC (http://primates.ximian.com/~miguel//texts/pdc.html):

"And the reason is simple, XML might be a nice replacement for a few lines of code, but doing GUI layout in code is always a boring, error-prone, and most of the time the results are of low quality."

I know even fancy GUIs can be done in DrScheme, but *I* won't have acquired the skills for that in a long time, not in DrScheme. And since I'm not realy all that special I suppose that there are other people out there with the same problem.

I have *views* for instance on Java, but then again Java was designed with mediocre programmers in mind, or so I understand. And that is legitimate, because most people are. So there *are* far more people which Java does enable to write apps, regardless of wether Java is rotten at the core or not.

With all this said, bottom line:

	a) is great for getting alomost everyone started with Scheme
	b) but only taking realy skilled people further.

The others drop out or give up after a).

Best regards


> - the interactive development environment
> - the debugger
> - the GUI builder
> Now, I can easily see that VS's development environment does things
> DrScheme can't do.  However, the opposite is just as true.  It also
> seems that, in general, DrScheme's facility are a lot more easier to
> use than VS.  (In fact, a place I work at routinely asks for specific
> VS skills because people assume they difficult to acquire.)
> I agree with you that a stepping debugger would be useful---and I
> believe John Clements is working on one.  On the other hand,
> DrScheme's clickable "stack inspector" also does a lot of what I
> usually want from a debugger.
> I also agree that VS's interactive GUI builder is helpful at building
> simple, static GUIs.  I've found that it quickly reaches its limits as
> you try to build flexible, geometry-managing, cross-platform GUIs.
> This issue is maybe the most pertinent for beginners.
> So it'd be very helpful to the PLT folks if you listed where
> specifically DrScheme is giving you trouble where VS isn't.  From what
> you wrote, I've so far only gotten a hazy idea.

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