Archive for May, 2005

Are language discussions fun?

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

I’m not sure how the “is Gnome fun” discussion turned into a language
discussion. I would personally perfer using either C# or Java over C
to code a new app these days. However, using C is not what makes
hacking Gnome less fun than it used to be for me.

What makes Gnome less fun for me is the fact that Gnome is a stable
high-quality codebase that I’m spending all my time maintaining. Each
little change has to be very careful about not breaking backwards
compatibility or introducing bugs and each new features must be very
well understood and known to be right (because its very hard to get
rid of it later). Most time I spend on gnome is reading bugzilla,
fixing bugs in old code, discussing each little change forever,
reviewing patches and saying no to feature requests. In essence, I
have become a maintainance programmer, not a software developer. Of
course, at times I do new development, but it is far more seldom than
it used to be, and I almost never have time to do experimental stuff.

One reason using C# or Java would make things fun for me is because it
would basically force me to work on a new application from scratch,
which means I wouldn’t have to care about all these things and just go
wild experimenting and hacking. Of course, there isn’t much chance for
me to do that because even if I did start working on a new app I’d
still have all the old code I’d have to maintain.