Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Dec 2009 22:16 UTC
Mac OS X Late last night (CET), we reported on the story that the VLC project needed more developers for the Mac version of this popular video player, or else the Mac variant may disappear. Just about every website out there reported on this issue, but it turns out it all got a bit exaggerated (on the internet? Surely you jest...). We spoke to VLC developer Pierre d'Herbemont to clarify the issue, and they've also put up a wiki page about the so-called demise of the Mac version of VLC. He also detailed what, exactly, they meant by "Apple is blocking us".
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RE: Qt4 Interface?
by leos on Thu 17th Dec 2009 23:53 UTC in reply to "Qt4 Interface?"
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

Is the qt4 interface for VLC on the mac so horrible that they are better off starting over from scratch?


They're doing what programmers like doing best. Create their own product.
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html

That's not necessarily a criticism, after all, open source development is supposed to be fun, but I really don't think it's the best for the project as a whole. However, in the end he who codes decides, so unless someone steps up to make sure the Qt interface plays nice on OSX, it won't happen. I'll check it out since I develop Qt stuff on Mac as well, but I suspect it will take more time than I have.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?
by Delgarde on Fri 18th Dec 2009 00:19 in reply to "RE: Qt4 Interface?"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

They're doing what programmers like doing best. Create their own product.
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html


That article of Joel's is often quoted, and indeed is probably accurate for most projects. But consider it's central example - the abandonment of the old Netscape code in favour of what eventually became Firefox.

In hindsight, I think it's pretty safe to say that keeping with the old code would never have led to anything like the modern Firefox. And without Firefox kick-starting competition between browsers, I don't see that we'd have ended up with anything like the modern Web - we might, god forbid, be stuck with IE6 as the pinnacle of browser design...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?
by sbergman27 on Fri 18th Dec 2009 00:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

In hindsight, I think it's pretty safe to say that keeping with the old code would never have led to anything like the modern Firefox.

I disagree. If they had refactored and replaced components in a controlled and orderly fashion instead of saying "Hey, let's throw out most of the existing codebase and start from scratch!" they would have had a usable and markettable product throughout the entire cycle rather than a slow and buggy product, not ready for prime time (but with perpetual "awesome nightlies!"), and wouldn't have had to claw their way back up from 1% market share or wherever the old Mozilla ended up. And arguably, they could have gotten to the current technical state of FF as fast, or possibly faster than they did. And likely with a higher current marked share than the badly trailing second place that they have managed world wide at this time. That IE's continued huge lead and Firefox's 25% or whatever is so often considered a 'victory' says more about the abysmal state of competition that we all just got used to than about the current state of competition.

Edited 2009-12-18 00:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?
by segedunum on Fri 18th Dec 2009 14:06 in reply to "RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

That article of Joel's is often quoted, and indeed is probably accurate for most projects. But consider it's central example - the abandonment of the old Netscape code in favour of what eventually became Firefox.

It's a bad example to cite. The reason why Firefox had to take a completely new direction was because of that disastrous decision by Netscape over version 6, or what should have been version 5. That pretty much finished them and the browser off in that incarnation to the point where Mozilla had no real choice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?
by renhoek on Fri 18th Dec 2009 19:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?"
renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

In hindsight, I think it's pretty safe to say that keeping with the old code would never have led to anything like the modern Firefox. And without Firefox kick-starting competition between browsers, I don't see that we'd have ended up with anything like the modern Web - we might, god forbid, be stuck with IE6 as the pinnacle of browser design...


Or webkit, that would suck...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?
by Kroc on Fri 18th Dec 2009 09:18 in reply to "RE: Qt4 Interface?"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I speak as a developer who, when he has something new to build, goes out and finds somebody who has already done it, download the code and discover that it’s an ugly, unmaintainable, over-engineered mess that’s more effort to redesign and repurpose than to simply start from scratch.

I could have used MarkDown but it was useless for my needs so I wrote ReMarkable. I could have used a CMS, but they’re all too bloated and changing the HTML would be a backward cow-pat shovelling mission, cleaning up their mistakes. I wrote my own. I throw away and write my own—new and better—tool for almost every third party piece of code I come across.

The fact is, that once a project has been started with an initial design, that project is now on a set of rails and can go in only one direction. The more steam it builds up the bigger the turning circle it has.

In every instance, it is more effort to try turn around a big, fast moving project with many people, than it is to create a new skunkworks project and go you own—better—direction.

It’s why Google contributed to Firefox up to a point (paying full time developers) and then made their own browser. Firefox had gathered the steam to open the marketplace to competition, but cutting the bloat from Firefox was too difficult to do by removing things people were now used to—their only option was to start from scratch.

This will happen, and will keep on happening, and is why even with QT4 so well developed, developers will *still* opt to roll their own—because it would take too much effort to change the fundamental design of QT4 than it would be to just write something new.

I _hate_ Qt4 apps on OS X. They are awful, unwieldy pieces of crap. They look worse than an amateur OS X programmer starting out with their first app. At least the amateur programmer coding for the first time has XCode, the HIG, Interface Builder (which allows easy HIG sizing / placing) and a sense of what an OS X app is supposed to look like.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?
by strcpy on Fri 18th Dec 2009 09:37 in reply to "RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

I speak as a developer who, when he has something new to build, goes out and finds somebody who has already done it, download the code and discover that it’s an ugly, unmaintainable, over-engineered mess that’s more effort to redesign and repurpose than to simply start from scratch.

[...] I wrote my own. I throw away and write my own—new and better—tool for almost every third party piece of code I come across.


I am sorry if this is too harsh, but this needs to be said if the case truly is what you describe above. It seems like you are not much of a developer.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?
by segedunum on Fri 18th Dec 2009 14:24 in reply to "RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

This will happen, and will keep on happening, and is why even with QT4 so well developed, developers will *still* opt to roll their own—because it would take too much effort to change the fundamental design of QT4 than it would be to just write something new.

For starters, it's Qt. QT is QuickTime.

Secondly, the long line of cross-platform toolkits and development avenues proves you wrong. Porting individually to each platform is a spectacular amount of work that merely ends up creating a dominant port where ports on other platforms, including the Mac, are totally incomplete. It's happened with Firefox and it's happened with Eclipse and SWT, which are both primarily Windows platforms. You're best off starting with a cross-platform GUI toolkit and then making your own slight platform specific changes. For an application like VLC it's possibly less of a concern.

I _hate_ Qt4 apps on OS X. They are awful, unwieldy pieces of crap. They look worse than an amateur OS X programmer starting out with their first app.

Would you rather there were no applications there at all for the Mac, because that's what's at stake? As your application base grows then I'm afraid the ideas of purity don't continue to hold, which is possibly one of the reasons why few developers in the world are interested in the Mac. That and there not being much of an installed base.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?
by google_ninja on Fri 18th Dec 2009 14:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

It depends what you are doing and why you are doing it. If you are doing it for fun, or it is some sort of project where you have your own skin in the game, then I fully agree with you. If you are getting paid to write code, typically it is to get a job done, not to create a masterpiece. There is definitely such a thing as taking pride in your work, but re-inventing the wheel for every little thing because you feel it is more elegant is never what the customer is paying you for. There is an evaluation process when choosing what to use for any piece of technology: does it do what i need it to do? is it supported? is the cost to use it less then the cost to roll my own? is it extensible in the ways I will probably need it to be extensible? is it improving at an acceptable rate? none of these are black and white questions, and all of them are important if you are going to make the the right kind of decision that people pay programmers to make.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?
by vivainio on Fri 18th Dec 2009 14:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

I speak as a developer who, when he has something new to build, goes out and finds somebody who has already done it, download the code and discover that it’s an ugly, unmaintainable, over-engineered mess that’s more effort to redesign and repurpose than to simply start from scratch.


That's called "not invented here" syndrome, and is shared by majority of developers.

It's an unfortunate glitch in programmer psyche that code is easier to write / design than read / understand / debug. That's especially prominent if the code is a bit on the overengineered side (frameworkitis...)

Edited 2009-12-18 14:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2