Shiny geek toy? [scanned]

Richard Franks richard.franks at
Thu Dec 7 19:03:19 CET 2006

On Thu, 2006-12-07 at 14:15 +0100, Markus Stehr wrote:

> Argh, why does it always have to be some obscure object orientated
> language?

C/C++/Java are obscure?

> I would rather like to see some procedual Basic, like FreeBasic or
> QBasic, on this little buddy.

I'd argue strongly against this. I have a lingering affection for Blitz
Basic on my windows box - I can prototype ideas and algorithms very
quickly and the integrated debugger is nicer than DDD or printf's. But
the lack of strong typing, even in compiled Basic, leads to quirky
unpredictable behaviours when scaled.

For deployment on a "i just want it to work, now" system such as a
mobile phone, a proliferation of basic/weak typed languages could be

I seem to recall, although maybe I just dreampt it, that the UI
interface is written in C, rather than C++. I'm pretty sure it was an
October entry from Harold Weltes blog, although I can't find it now:

(interesting info on the GSM implementation here too!)

> 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.

I disagree with the 'decent apps and games with basic' line:
1) They still require hooks into the OS, but are completely dependent
upon those hooks for system interaction. If a hook doesn't exist for a
certain bit of functionality, then your basic program has no way to use
2) Even at 80% efficiency, that's still a waste of CPU/Battery life for
ZERO end-user benefit.

I agree that it'd be nice to present a safe development sandbox for
people who don't want to wade through reams of documentation but have
some coding experience. However, I think the way to do that should be
through simple, well-documented API's.


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