Miguel has finally seen the light :-)

I had the privilege to meet Gnome’s founder, Miguel de Icaza at the first GUADEC back in… oh my, 2000, has it been that long already. I was still co-leading gtk– at the time. Miguel is a brilliant fellow, full of energy and spirit. But at the time I was disagreeing with most of his views. So it is with some amusement that I caught the following bit in a recent interview :

derStandard.at: What would – in retrospect – be the one piece of software that you most regret having written in plain C cause C# was not around at that time?

Miguel de Icaza: Everything that I ever wrote for the desktop.

And just before that :

I would not waste time in the 99% of the application that copes with high-level issues doing it in a low-level language.

You don’t say.

Gee, Miguel, C++ was there at the time too. It’s far from being as high level as C#, but it’s still better than C. (that said, believe it or not, I very much hope that mono will grow to be a commonly used platform for desktop apps on Linux, because C# is just so much better than C++ – but please drop GTK as a graphic toolkit, that can only be a temporary solution. Debugging through two levels of completely different object models will always be a nightmare)

3 thoughts on “Miguel has finally seen the light :-)”

  1. Guillaume, C++ is just as low-level for GUI programming as C is. I rather poke my eye with a pencil than write GUI code in C++ 🙂


  2. Disclaimer : I’m not sure at all the comment above is actually from Miguel :-). The IP is from a Comcast host, I emailed him for confirmation for got no reply.

    Anyway, just in case : come on. In C/GTK you spend half your time emulating C++ features by hand (namely, an object model). So you did have some stuff in C that were worth recreating, didn’t you ? Bottom line : you still discarded a pretty good dev platform (C++/Qt) in favor of something which was much, much worse (C/GTK). I don’t think this dead horse is worse flogging again.

    (and worpress sucks at not letting you input ‘+’ signs in comments indeed – had to post-edit)

  3. Hello Guillaume,

    Am not sure where you emailed me, but it did not reach me. Maybe your stuff got flagged as spam.

    Object orientation does play a role, but the worst really is the lack of automatic memory management, the memory leaks, the overflows, the reused objects that were freed already, the countless hours of purify/insure and these days valgrind.

    Love Guillaume, love!

  4. I emailed you at the address you gave here (@novell.com).

    I agree, mem management is a huge benefit. Now please explain how C/GTK wasn’t even worse than C++ in that regard ? At least C++ has strong data structures, and Qt provides a nice tree model which lets you forget about mem management for 90% of the objects you use (and some containers too).

    If you’re trying to convince me that C# is a better language for GUIs than C++, you’re preaching a convert. What remains however is providing a good graphic toolkit with it, because no amount of language frills will help you if you don’t have good layouts and a sensible widget hierarchy. Java and Swing painfully demonstrated that.

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