Shiny geek toy?

Christopher Heiny heiny at
Thu Dec 7 17:45:18 CET 2006

On Thursday 07 December 2006 05:15, Markus Stehr scribbled in crayon on the 
back of a kid's menu:
> Hi!
> Christopher Heiny:
> >and will see C++ and Java as enablers, VHDL and Perl as barriers.
> Argh, why does it always have to be some obscure object orientated
> language?
> I would rather like to see some procedual Basic, like FreeBasic or
> QBasic, on this little buddy.

Then you're making a shiny geek toy.  Very few coders fresh out of college 
know any dialect of Basic - most of them are going to know C++ and/or Java, 
and that's about the only one(s) they'll be capable of coding well in.  
Management is notoriously aadverse to people spending time on training or 
learning, especially when on very tight schedules.

I'm not arguing that one language or another is better for developing 
applications or running an embedded system.  What I'm trying to point out 
is that management is going to play to the lowest common denominator in the 
engineering staff.  Requiring all (or most) of your people to learn a new 
language in order to use OpenMoko is going to be a major inhibitor to 
adoption of OpenMoko, regardless of the superiority of that language.

That said, there's nothing standing in the way of porting as many Basic 
dialects to the platform as your heart desires.  As I think someone pointed 
out in another thread last month, you can do that with Python.  But all the 
good stuff you point out below isn't going to matter to the pointy haired 

> Benefits: More applications.
> Everyone and his dog can produce decent apps and games with Basic as the
> learning curve isnt so steep as with C++/Java.
> And that a Basic compiler can produce fast code we see on FreeBasic.
> Version 0.17 and it produces codes that is ~80% as fast as the same
> programm coded in GCC-C and you can do the same stuff you can do in
> GCC-C but with a language everyone understands, plain English.
> Maybe someone with some knowledge in the Gnu Compiler Collection could
> help Andre Victor, the author of FB, converting the standalone compiler
> (BASIC -> x86 ASM -> Opcodes) to a GCC frontend (BASIC -> "GCC Pseudo
> Asm" -> Opcodes). Its on the todo list but first Andre wants optional(!)
> OO support. Its there but needs some extensive testing ;)
> If FB gets frontended then we would have our Basic *g*
> Greetings,
> Markus Stehr
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