OT: on IDEs and code writing on steroids

Jacob Carlborg doob at me.com
Wed May 20 13:44:00 PDT 2009

dsimcha wrote:
> == Quote from Ary Borenszweig (ary at esperanto.org.ar)'s article
>> dsimcha escribió:
>>> == Quote from Christopher Wright (dhasenan at gmail.com)'s article
>>>> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>>>>> "Andrei Alexandrescu" <SeeWebsiteForEmail at erdani.org> wrote in message
>>>>> news:gus0lu$1smj$2 at digitalmars.com...
>>>>>> I've repeatedly failed to figure out the coolness of C#, and would
>>>>>> appreciate a few pointers. Or references. Or delegates :o).
>>>>> Outside of this group, I think most of the people considering C# really cool
>>>>> are people who are unaware of D and are coming to C# from Java. What's
>>>>> "cool" about C# is that it's like a less-shitty version of Java (and *had*
>>>>> good tools, although the newer versions of VS are almost as much of a
>>>>> bloated unresponsive mess as Eclipse - Which come to think of it, makes me
>>>>> wonder - If Java has gotten so fast as many people claim, why is Eclipse
>>>>> still such a sluggish POS?).
>>>>> Compare C# to D though and most of the coolness fades, even though there are
>>>>> still a handful of things I think D could still learn from C# (but there's
>>>>> probably more than a handful that C# could learn from D).
>>>> Generics and reflection. Generics just hide a lot of casts, usually, but
>>>> that's still quite useful. And autoboxing is convenient, though not
>>>> appropriate for D.
>>> What the heck do you need generics for when you have real templates?  To me,
>>> generics seem like just a lame excuse for templates.
>> Yesterday doob reported a bug in Descent saying "when you compile your
>> project and it references a user library that has errors, when you click
>> on the console to jump to the error, it doesn't work". I said to him: I
>> never thought a user library could have errors! How did this happen to
>> you? He replied: "I found a bug in a template in Tango".
>> That's why generics doesn't suck: if there's something wrong in them,
>> the compiler tells you in compile-time. In D, you get the errors only
>> when instantiating that template.
>> Generics might not be as powerful as templates, but once you write one
>> that compiles, you know you will always be able to instantiate it.
> Yes, but there are two flaws in this argument:
> 1.  If you are only using templates like generics, you simply use a unit test to
> see if it compiles.  If you're not doing anything fancy and it compiles for one or
> two types, it will probably compile for everything that you would reasonably
> expect it to.

I used tango.text.xml.Document with wchar and dchar as the template type 
and in tango.text.xml.PullParser there were some functions that took 
char[] instead of T[] as the argument. 

> 2.  If you're doing something fancier, like metaprogramming, you have to just face
> the fact that this is non-trivial, and couldn't be done with generics anyhow.
> 3.  As Bearophile alluded to, templates are really a clever hack to give you the
> flexibility of a dynamic language with the performance and compile time checking
> of a static language.  This is done by moving the dynamism to instantiation time.
>  Therefore, whereas in a dynamic language you pay at runtime in terms of the "here
> be monsters, this code may not be being used as the author intended and tested
> it", with templates you pay at instantiation time.  However, IMHO this is orders
> of magnitude better than not having that flexibility at all.  I personally can't
> figure out how people accomplish anything in static languages w/o templates.  It's
> just too inflexible.

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