Skip to main content

All about Catalyst – interview of Matt S. Trout (Part 2 of 3)

Does all that flexibility come at a price?

The key price is that while there are common ways to do things, you’re rarely going to find One True Way to solve any given problem. It’s more likely to be “here’s half a dozen perfectly reasonable ways, which one is best probably depends on what the rest of your code looks like”, plus while there’s generally not much integration specific code involved, everything else is a little more DIY than most frameworks seem to require.
I can put together a catalyst app that does something at least vaguely interesting in a couple hours, but doing the sort of 5 minute wow moment thing that intro screencasts and marketing copy seem to aim for just doesn’t happen, and often when people first approach catalyst they tend to get a bit overwhelmed by the various features and the way you can put them together.

There’s a reflex of “this is too much, I don’t need this!”. But then a fair percentage of them come back two or three years later, have another look and go “ah, I see why I want all these features now: I’d've written half as much code since I thought I didn’t need all Catalyst features”. Similarly the wow moment is usually three months or six months into a project, when you realise that adding features is still going quickly because the code’s naturally shaken out into a sensible structure

So, there’s quite a bit of learning, and it’s pretty easy for it to look like overkill if you haven’t already experienced the pain involved. It’s a lot like the use strict problem writ large – declaring variables with my inappropriate scopes rather than making it up as you go along is more thinking and more effort to begin with, so it’s not always easy to get across that it’s worth it until the prospective user has had blue daemons fly out of his nose a couple of times from mistakes a more structured approach would’ve avoided.

Full interview on Josettorama

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review : How To Create Pragmatic, Lightweight Languages

At last, a guide that makes creating a language with its associated baggage of lexers, parsers and compilers, accessible to mere mortals, rather to a group of a few hardcore eclectics as it stood until now.

The first thing that catches the eye, is the subtitle:

The unix philosophy applied to language design, for GPLs and DSLs"
What is meant by "unix philosophy" ?. It's taking simple, high quality components and combining them together in smart ways to obtain a complex result; the exact approach the book adopts.
I'm getting ahead here, but a first sample of this philosophy becomes apparent at the beginnings of Chapter 5 where the Parser treats and calls the Lexer like  unix's pipes as in lexer|parser. Until the end of the book, this pipeline is going to become larger, like a chain, due to the amount of components that end up interacting together.

The book opens by putting things into perspective in Chapter 1: Motivation: why do you want to build lan…

How Much Gameplay Can You Pack In Just 13K?

Given our expectations of Xbox games, you might consider writing a game within a 13K limit, which is the challenge for the annual js13K competition far too restrictive. Its results are now out and prove that it is possible to produce a game that is fun to play. 

Back in the tape loading days and on platforms the likes of Commodore64 games came in sizes of 4K or less. As proof of concept, here's a list of a few such 4K titles, copied over from Lemon64 's archive:
Alien SidestepBug CrusherDot GobblerClose EncountersDot Gobbler v2GridrunnerLaser CyclesMarios BrewerySpace ActionSpace RicoshayTank WarsHesmon64Retro Ball  Fast forward to now, at a time when Javascript's eating the world by making all sorts of applications or  games available to everyone through the medium of the browser, rendering the need of dedicated platforms and Operating systems obsolete, 13K is sufficient enough to pack both gameplay AND cool graphics due to the advanced browser engines and HTML5.

Hour of Code 2017 Introduces App Lab

t's the time of year when the world-class Hour of Code once more commences; just an hour for introducing coding to the uninitiated, having them complete self guided tutorials. But is a hour sufficient? What can a beginner actually code within this limit? The answer is a bit more complicated than that, so let's find out all about it! Integrated into the larger, worldwide, annual Computer Science Education week, this year taking place December 4-10, Hour of Code's novel mission has always been to get everybody coding, aged from 4 to 104, by providing: "a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code, showing that anybody can learn the basics, and broadening participation in the field of computer science". But first of all, why this obsession with Computer Science, in particular in getting  kids as young as 4 to learn to code? The answer is simple. Nowadays code is everywhere around us, from desktop computers to mobile phones and, thanks to w…