I’ve been looking around at other languages to see how they adapt to the Windows environment. Sinan Ünür sent me a link to Jessica McKellar’s “The Future of Python” from the New Zealand Python User Group. Get past the language bashing at the beginning (and see Tim Bunce’s TIOBE or not TIOBE – “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”), she has some interesting things to say about Python on Windows and how hard it is for newbies on Windows to get started.
If you continue past her Windows points, you can listen to her talk about games and that people “just want to make games”. But, that’s like saying I just want to build a bicycle when I really mean assemble parts I don’t really understand. There’s a lot I could write here about using Python or Perl to create a game development kit for “normal people”, but that’s not the point. The people making those kits still understand what’s happening, and those are the people these languages target.
I think this is why development outside of Windows specific technologies is so hard. We’re not meant to understand all that stuff behind the scenes, or to set our environment ourselves, or to muck around in the weeds. That’s why the big IDEs and fancy tools exist and expose just what we should be thinking about.
It’s not that any of this is wrong; we’re trying to do things outside of the scope of the environment.
Perl, Python, and many other languages work (enough) on Windows, but there’s an impedance mismatch in how those languages think about problems and want to do their work.
I’m still amazed that it works at all, and reminds me of Louis CK’s bit about the miracle of flight that is somehow is ruined for some people when the inflight wifi goes out.