April 26, 2005
I've read a couple of things recently that've indicated that D's not taken seriously by the C++ world. I am wondering whether this is true, since it's certainly not the impression that I've had from the people I've spoken with about it, most of whom are not using it now, but are definitely interested in doing so in the future; the D-curious, if you like?

I'm interested to hear from people what their friends/colleagues/etc. think about D, especially in terms of whether they would be willing to use it come 1.0.

I'm also interested to hear of any specific must-haves that such people have expressed.

Please, everyone, don't turn this thread into what _you_ think about D, or what _you_ think should be in 1.0. We have a pretty good feel for what D-philes think already.

Cheers

Matthew


April 27, 2005
In article <d4mioc$2lgm$1@digitaldaemon.com>, Matthew says...
>
>I'm interested to hear from people what their friends/colleagues/etc. think about D, especially in terms of whether they would be willing to use it come 1.0.

I've gotten the usual chicken-and-egg problem response:

"It's not proven yet."

.. and the current status of the language:

"It's not done yet."

.. are the only significant barriers to adoption I've run across.  Everything else seems to take a back seat to those two, no matter how profound.

Now personally, I'm happy to swim around in the morass of compiler bugs, not-quite-done-yet language semantics and a library that's "almost there"; but that's because I see D going someplace and want to help make it happen.  Each time I bring up D to a new programmer, I'm reminded of how unusual that viewpoint really is.

If you ask me, D needs a far more professional web presence if its going to be taken more seriously by the curious and answer-seekers online.  Its about instilling confidence in a quality product as well as delivering on that promise.

Take a page from Sun's book and look at java.sun.com, then dig through the internet archive for the same pages circa 1997.  They've always had a slick (if at times simple) presence, and a well-presented showcase for their technology. The D site has enough *information* about the language, but fails to grab the eye and invite users to spend their coffee break at digitalmars.com.

- EricAnderton at yahoo
April 27, 2005
pragma wrote:
> In article <d4mioc$2lgm$1@digitaldaemon.com>, Matthew says...
> 
>>I'm interested to hear from people what their friends/colleagues/etc. think about D, especially in terms of whether they would be willing to use it come 1.0.
> 
> 
> I've gotten the usual chicken-and-egg problem response:
> 
> "It's not proven yet."
> 
> .. and the current status of the language:
> 
> "It's not done yet."
> 
> .. are the only significant barriers to adoption I've run across.  Everything
> else seems to take a back seat to those two, no matter how profound.
> 
> Now personally, I'm happy to swim around in the morass of compiler bugs,
> not-quite-done-yet language semantics and a library that's "almost there"; but
> that's because I see D going someplace and want to help make it happen.  Each
> time I bring up D to a new programmer, I'm reminded of how unusual that
> viewpoint really is.
> 
> If you ask me, D needs a far more professional web presence if its going to be
> taken more seriously by the curious and answer-seekers online.  Its about
> instilling confidence in a quality product as well as delivering on that
> promise.  
> 
> Take a page from Sun's book and look at java.sun.com, then dig through the
> internet archive for the same pages circa 1997.  They've always had a slick (if
> at times simple) presence, and a well-presented showcase for their technology.
> The D site has enough *information* about the language, but fails to grab the
> eye and invite users to spend their coffee break at digitalmars.com.
> 
> - EricAnderton at yahoo

Eric has a good point about a web presence, marketing has a huge effect, but I think that something like that would have to grow out of an organized group effort. The issues surrounding the "opening" of the work effort need to be resolved first. (So that there is an organization to manage all efforts, such as a web presence for D)
April 27, 2005
I've told two of my friends about D when i first learned of it... the response is something like this

friend #1) i'll use it when it comes installed with linux (gdc)

friend #2) garbage collection, higher level, easier to use? sounds too much like java. i think i'll stick with c++.

i recently told my prof. about D and he said, "hmm, I might use this in 256 next year. :)" , 256 being the programming languages course.


Matthew wrote:
> I've read a couple of things recently that've indicated that D's not taken seriously by the C++ world. I am wondering whether this is true, since it's certainly not the impression that I've had from the people I've spoken with about it, most of whom are not using it now, but are definitely interested in doing so in the future; the D-curious, if you like?
> 
> I'm interested to hear from people what their friends/colleagues/etc. think about D, especially in terms of whether they would be willing to use it come 1.0.
> 
> I'm also interested to hear of any specific must-haves that such people have expressed.
> 
> Please, everyone, don't turn this thread into what _you_ think about D, or what _you_ think should be in 1.0. We have a pretty good feel for what D-philes think already.
> 
> Cheers
> 
> Matthew
> 
> 
April 27, 2005
Matthew wrote:
> I've read a couple of things recently that've indicated that D's not taken seriously by the C++ world. I am wondering whether this is true, since it's certainly not the impression that I've had from the people I've spoken with about it, most of whom are not using it now, but are definitely interested in doing so in the future; the D-curious, if you like?
> 
> I'm interested to hear from people what their friends/colleagues/etc. think about D, especially in terms of whether they would be willing to use it come 1.0.
> 
> I'm also interested to hear of any specific must-haves that such people have expressed.
> 
> Please, everyone, don't turn this thread into what _you_ think about D, or what _you_ think should be in 1.0. We have a pretty good feel for what D-philes think already.

What I've heard most often are:

* no STL equivalent
* lack of tools (IDEs, Debuggers)
* not production-ready/stable

What I've heard less often are concerns about support and the future direction of the language in light of it being developed by one person rather than a corporation.
April 27, 2005
pragma wrote:
> In article <d4mioc$2lgm$1@digitaldaemon.com>, Matthew says...
...

> If you ask me, D needs a far more professional web presence if its going to be
> taken more seriously by the curious and answer-seekers online.  Its about
> instilling confidence in a quality product as well as delivering on that
> promise.  
> 
> Take a page from Sun's book and look at java.sun.com, then dig through the
> internet archive for the same pages circa 1997.  They've always had a slick (if
> at times simple) presence, and a well-presented showcase for their technology.
> The D site has enough *information* about the language, but fails to grab the
> eye and invite users to spend their coffee break at digitalmars.com.
> 
> - EricAnderton at yahoo

I think you're right. There's nothing necessarily /wrong/ the Digital Mars website, but a little CSS and a few simple graphical elements can go a long way. Obviously jazzy web design isn't Walter's favorite hobby, but there are many D programmers who are skilled at designing flashy web pages.

Since Walter doesn't seem to want to do it himself, he can have a contest to to see who can come up with the best design for the D pages at Digital Mars. Everyone who's interested can submit a couple pages showing there proposed design in action. The winner gets a free copy of the Walter's first D book and gets his (or her) name mentioned in the acknowledgements. That might do the trick.

-- 
jcc7
http://jcc_7.tripod.com/d/
April 27, 2005
> I'm also interested to hear of any specific must-haves that such people have expressed.
>
> Please, everyone, don't turn this thread into what _you_ think about D, or what _you_ think should be in 1.0. We have a pretty good feel for what D-philes think already.

Each language/technology has its own motivations....

Let's take a look:

Java
  1) has safe sandbox - practically ideal for commercial programming by big
and
   distributed development teams. 2) cross-platform (widely supported).
   3) used to have "compile-once-run-everywhere" motto and still
   gaining some political benefits from it.
   4) IDEs, heavvy, slow but with refactoring and all other bells and
wistles.
   5) Focused on server side programming these days

C++
   Multiple motivations on various platforms.
   Heritage of existing libraries (e.g. MFC,KDE, FLTK)
   creates critical mass. Multiple compilers of
   different vendors - this is an abstarct benefit but it is there.
   Universal.

C
   The most crossplatform and portable language so far.
   Hard to create something big but for relatively small
   components and libraries design is just perfect.

"Glue languages": Delphi and VB (C# and other .NET languages
   are here also)
   These are RAD tools - IDEs unbeatable. Perfect
   for creating in-house informational systems by
   their IT departments.

And finally about D:
  There are two big niches for fast GCable language environment:
  Client side:
      multiplatform (read: easy portable) GUI application development
      without Java/NET compromises on effectiveness and weight of runtime.
      To be an ideal GUI development system D must have
      a) unified GUI framework(s) and b) IDE comparable by feature set with
VB.
  Server side:
      Web services - pretty frequently changing and logically "shaggy"
systems.
      D's OOP features: templates, classes will help to build complex
systems here.
      To be an ideal here D must have strong DB interaction layer,
transaction
      and queuing framework (preferrably built-in - written in D and for D).
      Servlet framework with a ) builtin extendable http server/service
and/or b)
      Apache. D server pages framework. Is all this about Mango?

  If D would have IDE with builtin debugger working uniformely on supported
  platforms D will definitely have a chance to get developers from Delphi
  (up to 15-25% immediately after), VB6 (same number currently), good chunk
of
  .NET developers doing GUI stuff. And yes, GUI candy should be there too.
  Highly probable that C++ guys doing GUI now will also jump into the boat.
  C++ is just not good for GUI programming, too many reasons.

  I think that primary D IDE should be a commercial project.
  At least initially. D project should have strong motivational fuel to be
  understandable and respectable by commercial guys - those who make
  decisions. If anybody will start the project - I am in.

  What GUI framework(s) needed? ... ummm.. this is another story.

All above IMHO of course.
But I have a strong feeling that D place is on the client.
If D will offer crossplatform GUI solution it will win.
Nothing close on the market.

Andrew.


April 27, 2005
In article <d4mioc$2lgm$1@digitaldaemon.com>, Matthew says...
>
>I've read a couple of things recently that've indicated that D's not taken seriously by the C++ world. I am wondering whether this is true, since it's certainly not the impression that I've had from the people I've spoken with about it, most of whom are not using it now, but are definitely interested in doing so in the future; the D-curious, if you like?
>
>I'm interested to hear from people what their friends/colleagues/etc. think about D, especially in terms of whether they would be willing to use it come 1.0.
>
>I'm also interested to hear of any specific must-haves that such people have expressed.
>
>Please, everyone, don't turn this thread into what _you_ think about D, or what _you_ think should be in 1.0. We have a pretty good feel for what D-philes think already.
>
>Cheers
>
>Matthew

There is use, then there is proliferation.  To get users, the current status quo is probably good enough once 1.0 hits.  Somewhere around there, there will be more folks feeling out D for various single-author projects in fields like mathematics or CompSci experiments at universities.

I think proliferation needs something else.  The project team needs to be able to flip through the web site or "The D Programming Language" if such a book is written, and be able to answer two question:

- What can D provide that Java/C++ can't do as effectively?
- Can this language as it stands now, handle every part of the project?

The first can be answered, to a degree, with the promotional materials on the web site and by getting individual developers interested.  It really needs testimonials that only come once someone gets past the "chicken-egg" issue.

The second (less critical) question is really about GUIs, supporting libraries, containers.  The D website could endorse (or phobos could assimilate) one or more libraries for a given purpose.  Or libraries, independent of endorsement, could find widespread adoption and become semi-standard.

If I saw "Recommended graphics library: DUI" in an HTML table near the top of http://www.digitalmars.com/d/index.html, I would know that DUI is not going away because the "D community" or Walter or his heirs, designates or associates has officially adopted it and taken responsibility for keeping it alive.

More than one graphics library could be recommended.  The key is that there is more than a page of links to people who are "trying to write one".  There has to be a kind of mutual buy-in between the library and the language.

This is not a criticism of DUI or D; I think this part of the equation just takes time.

Kevin



April 27, 2005
Matthew wrote:
> I've read a couple of things recently that've indicated that D's not
> taken seriously by the C++ world.

The more senior the developer, the more he's got to lose. Switch to another language, and his entire lead, superiority, seniority, experiencedness, his ivory tower, possibly even job -- are all gone overnight.

Since this is based on [non-rational] feelings, it's something he is not used to, or even aware of. And definitely is not used to tackle within himself.

This typically results in hits below the belt, grabbing whatever flies by to wield against the perceived enemy. It's about survival, which emotionally gives the right to lie, cheat, derise, exaggerate, and even sabotage. (Hey, it's the scared animal. What can I say.)

Look at Microsoft reacting to Linux. The largest company doing what an individual would. FUD.

----

Oh, and you have to _earn_ your reputation with the big guys!

A lot of promises is nice, but that only serves _within_ the D community, to keep our own morale up.

Look at any physical hero film. The guy is laughed at till he whips the pack leader's ass.

> I'm interested to hear from people what their friends/colleagues/etc.
> think about D, especially in terms of whether they would be willing
> to use it come 1.0.

Friends:

 - Cool
 - There's both & and &&, so why f*ck everything up with bit??
 - GC is not for systems work
 - Better docs, howtos, best practices
 - A complete distro would be cool!
     (I take this means DMD, dui, mango, db-io, docs, etc.)

> I'm also interested to hear of any specific must-haves that such people have expressed.

Clients:

 - D bindings for Apache!
 - HTML creation framework (I guess for the above)
 - Servlet framework
 - Serialization!
 - Robust database connectivity
 - Full Eclipse integration
 - "Official" cross platform GUI library
 - Bit as boolean??????
 - No string classes?
 - Library seems half-done, and haphazard (inconsistent naming, etc.)
 - Not for serious projects until native on Solaris!
 - GC with pauses!? (Heavier projects risk even larger pauses!)
 - No well documented success stories! Is D applied anywhere?
 - We need reliable and fast support. And pay for it.
 - No proper generics?
 - Not until competing suppliers of D.
 - We don't need a language with home-made docs.
 - We do business, so if it ain't 1.2 we don't even look at it.
 - Where's the list of commercial apps already on the market?
 - Failed casts return null? We need exceptions here!
 - Who says this language will be around in 2 years?
 - With new languages coming like a dozen a week, why D?
 - You say it's so good, why's there nothing big on Sourceforge?

> Please, everyone, don't turn this thread into what _you_ think about
> D, or what _you_ think should be in 1.0. We have a pretty good feel
> for what D-philes think already.

I've felt that the best line I've used is

"There's enough work done in Java that should be done in C++, and that's where D really shines."

Seems this phrase opens doors better than any of my others.
April 27, 2005
Matthew wrote:
> I've read a couple of things recently that've indicated that D's not taken seriously by the C++ world. I am wondering whether this is true, since it's certainly not the impression that I've had from the people I've spoken with about it, most of whom are not using it now, but are definitely interested in doing so in the future; the D-curious, if you like?
> 
> I'm interested to hear from people what their friends/colleagues/etc. think about D, especially in terms of whether they would be willing to use it come 1.0.

Most of my colleagues think D is great, but it cannot be used for serious development until more "professional" libraries and tools are available. Some also like to see commercially supported libraries and tools. A good  GUI library is a must. Currently they are content using Microsoft supported products. It well be hard to make a change until D is seen as a professional programming language. What does this mean?

- Good tools. Of course this means a good IDE that can compete with Visual Studio.

- Large collection of standard libraries (e.g. Java, .NET), not some hodge-podge of loosely collected libraries, half supported and half not. This *must* include a sexy GUI toolkit.

- Wider use and support by the industry. E.g., if Microsoft supported D, it would be used tomorrow.

- All above should be professionally documented.


> I'm also interested to hear of any specific must-haves that such people have expressed.

See points above.

> Please, everyone, don't turn this thread into what _you_ think about D, or what _you_ think should be in 1.0. We have a pretty good feel for what D-philes think already.
> 
> Cheers
> 
> Matthew
> 
> 
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