What Bridge?

You might be wondering about whether any thing is happening with Shoes 3.3. Is there going to be a 3.3.2? What’s in it? Is anyone awake?

We don’t have a list of what’s in the next Shoes (3.3.2). As always, when developers don’t get feature requests then they work on their own pet peeves and the recently introduced Shoes Console was pretty lame when developers look at. A hack. A Useful hack but it could be much more useful. One developer wants to use it output results from Shoes tests and wrote a nice Shoes app to run test scripts on the internals of Shoes but the output was no where close to what a real terminal would display.

The code was particularly poor – I can say that, I wrote it! Clever but ugly. Developers care about ugly code. The first ugly is the Window was titled “Shoes Console” and we already had a “Shoes Console” – they are not the same. This one will be called Shoes Terminal. Arguably, the other Shoes Console, the one you alt-/ to, could have been renamed “Shoes Log”. On the gripping hand, The Shoes Terminal will actually do terminal things.

Inside Shoes, in the C code we had repurchased some dead and forgotten C from another project and as things often do, it might not have been the best choice. But after examining other projects to borrow from – it was not completely bad. So we fixed it to do better on Linux and possibly work better on Windows and be less offensive to the sensibilities of future C developers. That took time, a lot of time and it’s still not what I’d like although Linux is usable for many escape sequence emitting code that expects an xterm. Even works on Windows if you run cshoes.exe from the Windows dos console or msys.

And then we have OSX. At first glance, you’d think it would be like any other Unix, an assumption I mad when I hacked the current Objective->C implementation. Turns out, that wasn’t a good assumption. Shoes and OSX have always had some special “doesn’t fit the mold” problems. Shoes Terminal really highlights that special OSX experience.

There’s are deep OS river gorges Shoes has been crossing over with just a rope bridge over the rivers, swaying in the turbulent wind anchored to some wooden posts in the shifting banks. We can’t fix the gorge but we might be able to run a steel cable and put the pylons in concrete anchors. Not as easy as Xena runs across rope bridges.

So, we have been busy, working on things you may never see or use. Until you do. If you’re developer looking for a challenging bridge to cross, Shoes will provide that. Consider adding your skills. Embedded C Ruby in GUI of, Gtk, Cocoa, C, Objective C, Linux, OSX, Windows – we’ll never run out of fun.

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