1x45: Tons Of It About

A question out of my ignorance. If Swift goes truly open source, is there a way to modify the language for other platforms?

Yep. Whether anyone wants to is another question. As mentioned in the show, I’m sure that someone will sit down and write, say, Gtk bindings for Swift, thus making it possible to write Linux desktop apps with Swift and Gtk. I am also pretty sure that the project won’t be completed and won’t see very much adoption.

That must have been the part of the show that I thought (seriously :smile:) “I wish they would speak English”. I wish I could have followed. Oh well. I wish I had the time to learn. Again, oh well. But, I must say, listening to BV does give me an opportunity to get glimpses into the world of coding. Maybe it will transfer over to me. Does osmosis work over a podcast? :smile:


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I actually planned to mention something along this line of thinking during the show, but we were already running over time. I think attempting to become the next main university CS language is very much on the radar for both Microsoft and Apple.


That language is pretty clearly currently Java; has that materially benefited Android? I haven’t seen any stats on that sort of thing; that this thought had not occurred to me at any point suggests that the link between “language that people tend to learn at university” and “language they go on to develop in by choice” isn’t all that pronounced, but maybe that’s not the case. (Java is normally top or very close to the top in most “programming language popularity” reports such as TIOBE.)

There was a time when Hypercard dominated the pre-College level schools in the USA. Outside of being used to make Myst… not much really came of that from a “programming language/environment that people use in the real world” way.

Fair… so we’re coming around to the thought that introducing Swift into schools and universities might not be the future-planning conspiracy theory masterstroke that we might have initially thought, right?

Concerning Swift. The show segment became a case in point. One of the toughest, but most worthwhile parts of being integrated in the Open Source world, is being open to the criticism. A company like Apple purposefully creates a protective bubble for itself. This can go both ways, not just to stop people nicking its stuff, but shielding itself from critics as well. I can see how letting down the drawbridge to the frankly, fucking rabid debating culture in the free software world, might not seem inviting. But if they can tough up enough to take it, I think we’ll have a better corporate citizen in future years.

It might have helped Android as such, but you can do a lot of things with Java if you feel like tinkering around. If Swift is the first language you learned, and the only really sensible things to do with it are running on an iPhone or iPad (or on a simulator your Uni ran on Windows 7), that might change things.

And I don’t know any CS professor who is really happy with Java, so the time is probably ripe for a change.

Wouldn’t think so. Hypercard / Turbo Pascal and lots of other educational language were used in a time, when programming was (for the vast majority of everyone who had to do programming classes in school) boring and used for stuff like solving mathematical puzzles. Nowadays, you can learn how to write a fart app for your phone, which creates a whole different kind of binding.

Plus, Apple might use this to get developers. If their language is as good as they clearly believe themselves, and if developers are exposed to that language pretty much from the moment they start programming, they might continue to see the iPhone as their preferred platform for a long time to come.

Regarding your various complaints about how no phone manufacturer is making a phone with decent (~36 hours) battery life, I feel I should draw your attention to this:
Graph showing phone battery life at 57% with 1 day 10 hours remaining
My typical usage involves listening to podcasts in the car to and from work (about an hour either way with the phone at full volume), having either the Wi-Fi or 2G on all day to receive notifications from twitter and telegram, casual browsing/social media checking, and listening to audibooks on bluetooth headphones for an hour at night. I’m not playing games all day, but nor is the phone just idling, and I easily get >48 hours between charges.

The phone? Oneplus One.

“Jeremy reviews the HTC One M9 mobile phone, HTC’s new flagship device”

… and misses the mark on more than one count, in my opinion. Unimpressive battery life, increased heat (which no doubt has something to do with the battery life), and a camera markedly inferior to the competition are glaring weaknesses. The all-metal build quality and excellent speakers are strong points, but they are essentially carryovers from the M9’s predecessors. “Jewelry quality”? For a device that most people will use for a couple of years before replacing it? Sorry, but Jeremy’s recommendation of the M9 doesn’t make much sense to me.

Also, he mentions several Android competitors to the M9 but appears to make one glaring omission: Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. At one time the Note phones seemed crazily big and heavy, but compared to the current generation of large phones, they’re mainstream. I’ve been using a Note 4 since December, my first non-Nexus phone in three years, and I think I made a great choice which still stacks up well against the M9 as well as the LG G4, Galaxy S6 and Nexus 6.

Thanks for the feedback. A couple comments.

[quote=“G_Onen, post:33, topic:10513”]
… and misses the mark on more than one count, in my opinion. Unimpressive battery life, increased heat (which no doubt has something to do with the battery life), and a camera markedly inferior to the competition are glaring weaknesses. [/quote]

I explicitly mentioned all three of those.

I guess I don’t understand your contention. Is it that things you replace every couple years shouldn’t need to look nice and be of high quality? If so, we disagree on that point.

I did explicitly mention I don’t like phablets (and phones that feel plasticky) to be fair. I’ll stand by my assessment that the One M9, S6 and Nexus 6 are the best three Android phones that I’ve used regularly and that are currently available. I’ve not had a lot of time with the LG G4 or OnePlus, but that will hopefully change in the near future.


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It’s because of the exchange rate!


Jeremy, your review of the M9 is certainly in good company. The mainstream tech press gave it mostly positive reviews, generally for the same reasons you did. Your opinion of the M9 is certainly not an outlier - which means, I suppose, that mine is.

But I see the M9 as a device that did little to correct the deficiencies of its HTC One predecessors while breaking no new ground. It is a stand-pat product from a company that is under continuing pressure to improve sales and financial results. HTC needed to do more than stand pat with the M9. And by all accounts, the M9 has been a sales disappointment for HTC, which is in worse trouble than ever.

Surely a product that really deserved the mostly positive reviews you and others gave it would have been more successful in the marketplace. Compare HTC’s approach to Samsung’s, which reacted to the negative reviews the Galaxy S5 got in 2014 by making drastic changes for the S6. And the marketplace has rewarded Samsung while punishing HTC. I realize the Samsung marketing machine has something to do with the S6’s success, but surely the relative merits of the two devices have something to do with how they have fared in the market.

Additionally, I recently interviewed Roberto Galoppini, who is the Senior Director of Business Development at SourceForge.


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Looks like SourceForge has put a call out for community council panel members.

But is learning Swift and Objective C worth a $15,799 goal.

Darrell Nicholas seems to think so.


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