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Old 04-10-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
astrodad
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Cocoa vs Python (Books vs libprs500)

OK, I'll admit that I can't make up my mind on something and I want to get your help.

I am trying to decide which language/platform I should invest in: Cocoa (Objective C) or Python.

Here's why. I love the functionality and cross-platform nature of libprs500. But I love the UI, look, and snappiness of Books. I want to help contribute to both but I know I don't have the time for it. So I need to pick one platform and go with it.

Here are my pros and cons for each:

Libprs500 (Python) Pros:

1. Lots of functionality already developed
2. Cross platform
3. Google App Engine also supportw Python
4. Great developer response (Kovid's the man)

Libprs500 (Python) cons:

1. UI elements are basic and, well, ugly.
2. Slower than Objective C
3. Steep learning curve (I'm already experiencing it)
4. Question about it's longevity

Books (Cocoa) Pros:

1. Very fast and able to access advanced features of the operating system including advanced and attractive controls (Mac Only)
2. Library management code robust and easy to understand.
3. It's for the Mac only, which I have an interest in learning anyway

Books (Cocoa) Cons:

1. Lots of PRS-500(5) functionality to be written
2. Developer (Chris) is in school and response time is limited (by his own admission and is understandable)
3. Single Platform (Mac Only)

I'm just curious what you all think. Based on some of these statements, if you had some extra time to participate in one of the two projects, which would it be and why?

TIA!
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:26 AM   #2
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If you go with Cocoa, you are limiting yourself bigtime to just one platform and doing not all that many people a favor.

Python however is cross platform. So when you develop code, it can be used in multiple systems. Not limited to just one.

Best to go with Python.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:38 AM   #3
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You can write Cocoa apps in Python.
http://developer.apple.com/cocoa/pyobjc.html
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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Actually, Cocoa code can run on other platforms using GNUstep. Nova Mind for example, uses this to get a Windows version of the mindmapping software.

Apple of course, was able to revive the code for their Openstep for Enterprise for Windows NT to get Safari.app running on Windows.

It should be quite easy to just make calls to Python from a Cocoa app, so this should get you the best of both worlds (re-use the code from libprs500, but use Cocoa for the interface).

William
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillAdams View Post
Actually, Cocoa code can run on other platforms using GNUstep. Nova Mind for example, uses this to get a Windows version of the mindmapping software.

Apple of course, was able to revive the code for their Openstep for Enterprise for Windows NT to get Safari.app running on Windows.

It should be quite easy to just make calls to Python from a Cocoa app, so this should get you the best of both worlds (re-use the code from libprs500, but use Cocoa for the interface).

William
I was actually considering this option, but it would end up being a fork in the Books code. I spoke to Chris via email and he also posted a blog on his site that he was planning on getting the PRS500(5) support natively, without calling the libprs500 python code. I may consider the feasibility of doing this before I make a decision.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jplumey View Post
OK, I'll admit that I can't make up my mind on something and I want to get your help.

Libprs500 (Python) cons:

1. UI elements are basic and, well, ugly.
Isn't there a cross platform UI library that gives a Mac look on Mac's and a Windows look on windows? I think it Winwidgets or something?

BOb
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Old 04-10-2008, 03:27 PM   #7
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Maybe, I don't know much about. What i like is the ability to use the Mac standard interfaces (using Cocoa) with the libprs500 classes for managing the data, conversions, and interacting with the hardware.

That's the angle I am looking at right now.
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Old 04-10-2008, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
If you go with Cocoa, you are limiting yourself bigtime to just one platform and doing not all that many people a favor.

Python however is cross platform. So when you develop code, it can be used in multiple systems. Not limited to just one.

Best to go with Python.
Good point, but if the Python classes are re-usable, then they could theoretically be used in a modified books application (for Mac) and a Windows libprs500.
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:14 AM   #9
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I'm not going to comment on books vs. libprs500 since I'm obviously biased, but I do want to understand what you mean by the "Steep learning curve" for the libprs500 codebase, since I've tried to keep the code as simple and re-usable as possible.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:14 AM   #10
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I started writing a reply & got called away, but the OP might find it easier to split the comparisons into "Python vs Cocoa", "libprs500 UI" vs Cocoa UI" & "libprs500" vs Cocoa" as there are quite different things being lumped into an A vs B scenario.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:22 PM   #11
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Have you got a link to this Books app?
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Old 04-11-2008, 04:01 PM   #12
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Isn't there a cross platform UI library that gives a Mac look on Mac's and a Windows look on windows? I think it Winwidgets or something?
It is called wxWidgets, and there's a very nice IDE/RAD designer for it in wxDev-C++.
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Old 04-11-2008, 06:39 PM   #13
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Have you got a link to this Books app?
http://books.aetherial.net/wordpress/
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
I'm not going to comment on books vs. libprs500 since I'm obviously biased, but I do want to understand what you mean by the "Steep learning curve" for the libprs500 codebase, since I've tried to keep the code as simple and re-usable as possible.
Well, what I mean is that a) Python is different than what I'm used to and B) There is a lot of code to go through. Once I get all of the language structure understood it will probably be easier to understand.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:43 PM   #15
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Ah, I see. Well if you have specific questions, drop me a line.
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