Stefan - 15. September 2006
A lot of discussions have come up following Joel’s announcement of using his own language called Wasabi. While many people did blame Joel for the reasons using Wasabi, most of them failed to state some obvious alternatives.
Most web developers are either building things for one customer, or they’re building web apps that they will host themselves. That’s a nice position to be in. But most FogBugz customers don’t want their proprietary project data on someone else’s servers, so we have to sell them the source code to install on their own server.
This may be true – for web developers. But it isn’t for any developer who targets more than just one platform. There are many applications who run out of the box on a wide variant of operating systems, without the need of installing anything else.
While Perl isnt’t installed on Windows server, ActiveState provides PerlApp, which allows to create freestanding programs which can easily be run without the need of a complete Perl installation.
I know that Joel is not very fond of Perl, which sounds rather funny for someone developing his applications with VBscript …
Now we have a language even Joel gives a 50 percent chance of becoming a viable choice for businesses: Python. And Python has py2exe and Freeze, giving us the same possibilities here as with Perl: Write once, run anywhere without the need of additional installations.
Java Web Start could also be an interesting alternative, even if it forces your customers to install JRE before being able to use Web Start. So this method isn’t quite meeting Joel’s conditions.