Writing a Gnome app? Do it in JavaScript, say developers

Writing a Gnome app? Do it in JavaScript, say developers

Summary: JavaScript should be prioritised as the default language for developing Gnome applications, say its development team.

TOPICS: Linux, Open Source

JavaScript should be used as the main development language for writing Gnome applications, according to Gnome's development team.

Gnome is a popular desktop environment and graphical user interface that runs on top of Linux-based operating systems.

At the Gnome Developer Experience Hackfest in Brussels last week there were calls for a single "first-class" language that developers could recommend to new developers aspiring to create Gnome applications. 

The team are often asked by new developers what tools should be used when writing an application for the platform but up until now there has been no definitive answer, according to a blog post written by engineer Travis Reitter.

Reitter said that if a developer asks which language should be used to create an application, there are about eight different answers that can be given, depending on personal preference. 

There was a "broad consensus" among those at the conference that a single language for Gnome application development should be adopted, according to Reitter. 

The team decided to support JavaScript as the first-class language for Gnome application development because it already has momentum behind it and Reitter says there is a lot of work going into making it "fast, embeddable, and framework agnostic".

JavaScript is also being used in Windows 8, mobile platforms, and for local web applications.

Reitter claims that a default language will enable developers to more easily prepare documentation and share knowledge with newcomers to the development community, who will be able to copy and paste code from other applications. 

Despite the fact that JavaScript will be recommended as the default language to write Gnome applications, the team stressed that other languages will still be supported. 

"It's critical that everyone understands this decision as a plan to elevate the language, bindings, tools, and documentation to a level of quality we have not yet achieved. It is not a decision to abandon any other language bindings," said Reitter.

Topics: Linux, Open Source

Sam Shead

About Sam Shead

Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging technology, datacentres, cloud, storage and web start-ups.

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  • Great!

    Now desktop apps can be as buggy and broken as web apps.
    • Re: Great!

      I have been trying to resist using flagging in lieu of downvotes, but you are the straw that broke my camel's back.
  • Brain dead antediluvian morons

    Anyone who seriously says JavaPuke and application in the same sentence should be castrated for the benefit of the gene pool.
    • Re: Brain dead antediluvian morons

      Flagged for cluelessness.
  • Javascript? Applications? LOL

    JS is appropriate for applets, but not applications (think Windows Notepad vs. Microsoft Word). The same thing will happen here as happened when Flash was extended to much more than that for which it was originally intended. Bugs, security issues, crashes...Gnome developers, like so many others in the esoteric world of software development, should fix what they already have before attempting to add more. Of course, it would also help if they used a hammer to drive the nails instead of a nerf ball.
    Iman Oldgeek