# To subscribers of the xforms list from Steve Lamont <email@example.com> :
> Well, this might sound a bit blasphemous but I have to ask anyway.
> Why should one choose to use the xforms library as opposed to something like
> say java.
We are moving toward Java here in our lab -- especially Java3D for our
The downside of Java from my perspective is that the Java GUI
development environments I've seen (including Forte' from Sun) stink.
They generally force you into working entirely in their development
environment, which means learning yet another editor (`emacs' does
everything I want and if it doesn't I can hack some elisp code or do a
on-the-fly keyboard macro, thankyouverymuch) with all the annoyance
that generally entails.
I'm certainly not against learning new things -- that's why I'm
working for a university rather than some dot.com or driving a truck
-- I just hate the idea of having a whole environment stuffed down my
throat when I just want to design a GUI.
You are semi-right about Java not being compiled. It is compiled but
into something called byte code (harkening back to the days of UCSD
Pascal -- ugh!) which is then interpreted on by the JVM (Java Virtual
Machine). You can write native code classes but do that and there
goes the portability, which is putatively Java's big advantage --
write once, run anywhere.
Another problem with Java that I've encountered is that not all
vendors support Java as well as others. For example, the Macintosh
doesn't support Java3D, which is a major factor in our work. Of
course, the Mac doesn't support XForms, either (or at least not until
OS X???? -- I'll have to ask my Mac guy what his insights are about
that), so that's a push.
But we're basically talking about interfaces here, not graphics
If there was an XForms-like GUI builder which allowed you to generate
interfaces but didn't otherwise get in your way, I'd be on it right
I like the fact that I can whomp up a quick and not entirely dirty
application in XForms with `fdesign', which (at least at my current
point in the Java learning curve) I can't in Java.
Java Swing does make pretty interfaces once you get the hang of it.
But getting the hang of it is a great big pain and you have to tweak
everything by hand, which makes for large quantities of code.
As I say, we're moving to Java here, but for other reasons than GUI
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Mar 09 2001 - 05:09:06 EST