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Please, please, please, please...

12 replies on 1 page. Most recent reply: Feb 19, 2011 10:01 PM by Chris Dailey

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Rick Kitts

Posts: 48
Nickname: rkitts
Registered: Jan, 2003

Please, please, please, please... (View in Weblogs)
Posted: Nov 9, 2010 12:49 PM
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Summary
Progress happens, and it's not Java for me anymore. I'm hoping this Gosu thing is.
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So full disclosure. I used to work at this place, Guidewire, that has made this language called Gosu. Probably there's bits of me in the DNA of the language. But that's not why I'm writing something here for the first time in a long time.

From the top, here's a link to the home of Gosu:

http://gosu-lang.org/

I'll be damned if I know why they called it Gosu. Personally I think it's pretty odd but whatever. I used to work in the imaginatively named language C++, so language naming isn't particularly high on my list of selection criteria.

I haven't done much with it yet but it has many (many) of the properties I'm looking for.

It runs on the JVM. 'nuff said.

It's statically typed but without all the syntactic overhead of Java.

It has something very like categories from Objective-C, so you can add behavior to existing classes without have to subclass them.

It doesn't use checked exceptions. I hate to admit this but I got a taste for these because I hack C# right now (don't cry for me, I'm well paid) and not having to write catch blocks is pretty nice.

It's got closures (not Clojures, closures). Hmm, I got a taste for these from C# also. I'm so reluctant to give MSFT credit for anything except aggravation I'm almost embarrassed right now.

Very importantly, for me, it's got really, really decent IDE support right out of the box. I'm sorry, I'm so lazy now that it takes a lot for me to give up code completion. I'm willing to not have it for something really small and trivial, but for everyday typing it's a must have for me.

So anyway, here's Gosu. An oddly named (I think) language that looks to me to have the potential to satisfy my time-for-a-new-language craving that I've been suffering for rather a while now. I'm only coming out of blogging retirement here because maybe, just maybe, this Gosu thing has a chance. And I thought you might like to know about it.


Carson Gross

Posts: 153
Nickname: cgross
Registered: Oct, 2006

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 9, 2010 2:28 PM
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I predict Gosu will become the most popular programming language in the history of the universe, ever.

Also, I work on it.

Cheers,
Carson

Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 10, 2010 4:34 AM
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Ironically; when I read your item it contained a large embedded advert for Scala training. Nevertheless, despite the article title screaming "I'm a programming noob, please, please, please do my homework for me." or "Here's a thinly disguised link to a Chinese handbag retailer.", I took a took at the website and was pleasantly surprised.

The home page and site are nicely designed, simple and functional and the code examples look nice.

Having looked at the site, a few trivial questions sprang to mind:
- The home page references a significant number of large enterprises that are using the language. Do all these companies have their own staff that are actively using the language for their own projects, or are they "using it" by dint of being clients of Guidewire, who are the actual users of the language?
- More importantly, why would I be interested in Gosu, over Scala, Groovy, et al?
- Less importantly, assuming that I'm choosing a new language because "Progress happens and it's not Java...", why would I choose a language that is inherently dependent upon the JVM?

Regards,
Vince.

Carson Gross

Posts: 153
Nickname: cgross
Registered: Oct, 2006

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 10, 2010 9:50 AM
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> - The home page references a significant number of large
> e enterprises that are using the language. Do all these
> companies have their own staff that are actively using the
> language for their own projects, or are they "using it" by
> dint of being clients of Guidewire, who are the actual
> users of the language?

Our customers use the language to configure our applications. We also are heavy users of the language internally. So, both.

> - More importantly, why would I be interested in Gosu,
> , over Scala, Groovy, et al?

Short version: it is simpler than Scala by a long shot, and more serious about static typing than groovy. (I think the syntax is nicer than groovy, but that is of course subjective, and I would of course think that.)

> - Less importantly, assuming that I'm choosing a new
> w language because "Progress happens and it's not
> Java...", why would I choose a language that is inherently
> dependent upon the JVM?

As much abuse as the JVM has come in for lately (thanks, oracle) it still has a huge install base, lots of momentum and a large set of libraries. We wanted to give Java developers, ourselves foremost, a language that would be an easy transition and that captured most of the good ideas of the last few decades without being overly complicated.

Cheers,
Carson

Nemanja Trifunovic

Posts: 172
Nickname: ntrif
Registered: Jun, 2004

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 10, 2010 12:02 PM
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> > - The home page references a significant number of
> large
> > e enterprises that are using the language. Do all
> these
> Short version: it is simpler than Scala by a long shot,
> and more serious about static typing than groovy. (I
> think the syntax is nicer than groovy, but that is of
> course subjective, and I would of course think that.)

How does it compare with Fantom?

robert young

Posts: 361
Nickname: funbunny
Registered: Sep, 2003

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 10, 2010 12:11 PM
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> As much abuse as the JVM has come in for lately (thanks,
> oracle) it still has a huge install base, lots of momentum
> and a large set of libraries.
>
> Cheers,
> Carson

IIRC, the mess with Oracle/Sun/Apache/theWholeBloodyWorld is over the language spec and implementations of compilers. The jvm spec hasn't changed much, if at all, over the years. Yes?

One can argue about whether the "jvm" means not just the vm, but also the "standard libraries". In any case, a language hosted on a jvm is less (if at all) impacted by Oracle's machinations than those who use java compilers or wish to write one.

Carson Gross

Posts: 153
Nickname: cgross
Registered: Oct, 2006

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 10, 2010 12:38 PM
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> One can argue about whether the "jvm" means not just the
> vm, but also the "standard libraries". In any case, a
> language hosted on a jvm is less (if at all) impacted by
> Oracle's machinations than those who use java compilers or
> wish to write one.

Violent agreement.

Cheers,
Carson

Carson Gross

Posts: 153
Nickname: cgross
Registered: Oct, 2006

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 10, 2010 12:41 PM
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> How does it compare with Fantom?

I've got nothing bad at all to say about Fantom. I think it is a great language, and has some advantages over Gosu.

Gosu, however, is closer to Java than phantom. It supports a simplified version of java generics that is compatible with the existing java infrastructure. Constructors are more symmetric with java (although I prefer Fantom's approach, and tried to think of a way we could make that work.) Etc.

Fantom is a fantastic language. Gosu is pretty good too, and a bit less of a jump for java developers.

Cheers,
Carson

Bruce Eckel

Posts: 868
Nickname: beckel
Registered: Jun, 2003

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 11, 2010 4:01 PM
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I just skimmed over the docs but: too bad this didn't show up before I got sick of the whole Java mess. Gosu seems to do a nice job of cleaning up things that the Java designers had completely bogged for their various dumb reasons. I could see this language becoming a nice lateral move for people who have realized they spend as much time fighting with Java as being productive with it. Kudos and keep going!

Carson Gross

Posts: 153
Nickname: cgross
Registered: Oct, 2006

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 11, 2010 9:34 PM
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> I could see this language becoming a nice lateral
> move for people who have realized they spend as much time
> fighting with Java as being productive with it.

Yep. That's Gosu in a nutshell: not a revolution, just applying common sense to the requirements for practical development on the JVM, so existing java developers can slide on over.

Alan Keefer has a post up explaining why we developed it:

http://guidewiredevelopment.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/why-gosu/

And Scott McKinney, the language's father, will be putting a post up soon on the open type system, which is the "killer feature" of the language.

My contribution is, as usual, mostly snark:

http://guidewiredevelopment.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/hello-developers/

Cheers,
Carson

Kay Schluehr

Posts: 302
Nickname: schluehk
Registered: Jan, 2005

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 13, 2010 12:05 AM
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It is late for cleanup efforts like this and I wonder if any language other than Java will ever become "big" on the JVM given that most maintenance will be done in Java anyway and dealing with two languages at the same time makes sense only if the usability distance is large. The only success model we have seen yet is that of a C + scripting language couple [1].

Moreover it might appeal to the frustrated Java programmer ( like Ruby did in 2006 ) but I can't believe that it attracts the typical language geek who attempts to enhance horizon and skill set.

[1] The Java + scripting language pairing has been checked out as well but hasn't become widely popular.

Carson Gross

Posts: 153
Nickname: cgross
Registered: Oct, 2006

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Nov 13, 2010 12:31 PM
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> It is late for cleanup efforts like this and I wonder if
> any language other than Java will ever become "big" on the
> JVM given that most maintenance will be done in Java

Maybe.

Search was dead when google came along.

Online retailing was dead when Diapers.com came along.

SCM was dead when subversion came along. And then it was dead again when git and mercurial came along.

Gosu incorporates some of the nice features of other languages into a language that is very easy for a Java developers to make a lateral transition into. The Open Type System is a really interesting technology that should allow framework developers to do some innovative work within a statically typed environment. (Scott McKinney, the language's father, will be putting a post up on this topic on our dev blog "soon": http://guidewiredevelopment.wordpress.com/)

I agree that the change of Gosu replacing Java is slim-to-none, but there's always a chance, and if we end up with a small but vibrant user community, like Ruby, I think we'd all be perfectly happy, and a bit shocked. ;)

I'm surprised we haven't made the front page of Artima. We made /. and this seems like it would be far more interesting to the artima crowd.

Cheers,
Carson

Chris Dailey

Posts: 56
Nickname: mouse
Registered: Dec, 2002

Re: Please, please, please, please... Posted: Feb 19, 2011 10:01 PM
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A number of people mentioned either language or VM or both. One of the bad things is the new language niceties (whether on top of Java VM or .NET runtime) are usually too late to be retrofitted into many of the existing libraries. (e.g. How many libraries would benefit from the use of generics?) This is a problem with both Java and .NET.

Sorry, not to take anything away from Gosu. A quick look makes it remind me a lot of C#'s Linq, var, and extension methods - I'm sure Mirosoft stole most of those, but I'd welcome all of them into the Java world.

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