[Lazarus] The future of desktop

Santiago A. svaa at ciberpiula.net
Thu Nov 28 14:18:06 CET 2013

It's a little off-topic, but as the comment was asking about pascal and
lazarus, I will put it here:

In a Spanish blog, a fresh graduated asked about what programming
languages should learn. People post their opinions, and someone asked
"What about delphi/object-pascal/freepascal/lazarus? Nobody has
mentioned it and we use it a lot in Argentina"

INHO, the reply was very interesting:

"I used to program a lot in Object pascal at the end of XX century, and
maybe until 2003. But since then I have had very little chances of using
Object Pascal. And only when I could choose the tool. Last time I used
it was a day I decided to evaluate Lazarus.
Desktop applications are declining. On a hand we have a lot of new
devices that usually use Java, Objective-C, and on the other hand we
have Web applicationes. So desktop applications are in small niche, like
its development tools.
Here is an example: A friend of mine works for a company that has been
hired by a bank  to rebuild the workstation software.  Now client are
running on XP and the software is written in .NET (and VB4!!!). The are
moving to client software running in a local server written in PHP and
workstations with a browser with a lot of javascript. The Operating
system of clients and its hardware becomes irrelevant.
IT is always changing, but the change that is coming is deeper than usual."

I still work a lot with native desktop, but recently I asked about the
options to change the interface to web with ExPasJS  etc. I'm afraid we
are moving to that.

Native GUI is the best... but "native" has become a moving target. Now
we have many devices, we use remote connections more that a few years
ago, so we don't know what is in the client side. Even windows, the most
extended desktop, changes its GUI from version to version, so many times
you are forced to redesign the interface of your applications.
It would be wonderful if we could have a standard GUI for every
device/operating system. There have been several attempts (Freedesktop,
Fresco) etc.
The one we have now is HTML+Javascript, it's ugly, it's slow, it's a lot
of bad things, but it's a standard. Look what ever device you want and
there is a browser. That's why there are many tools that make extensive
use of javascript  like Gnome Shell (even a full OS like FirefoxOS) .

Perhaps Lazarus should start thinking about a widget "html+javascript"
and  prioritize it.


Santiago A.
svaa at ciberpiula.net

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