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Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps

9 replies
Amir Michail
Joined: 2009-03-14,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.

Hi,

I'm currently building an iphone app that makes use of the google app engine.

I miss Scala more on the iphone than on the GAE: Scala would be a
significant improvement over Objective C (with no garbage collection).

One might argue that the iphone has limited resources and that
non-garbage collected Objective C is more appropriate.

What do you think?

Amir

Jim Miller
Joined: 2009-01-05,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps

The real issues, and I'm certainly no IPhone/IPod expert, is that it
is difficult (impossible?) to get a JVM to run on the IPhone.
Supposedly this has to do with decisions and capabilities in the
IPhone OS that hamper the ability to put another VM on the platform.
Apple has done a remarkably good job of restricting development on the
IPhone to their tools. You'd have to look at some of the mailing
lists (not just scala) for more discussion about the difficulties of
porting the JVM to IPhone.

Of course you could jailbreak the IPhone but then you're running afoul
of Apple and their ability to brick your device the next time you
connect to ITunes.

On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 6:56 PM, Amir Michail wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I'm currently building an iphone app that makes use of the google app engine.
>
> I miss Scala more on the iphone than on the GAE:  Scala would be a
> significant improvement over Objective C (with no garbage collection).
>
> One might argue that the iphone has limited resources and that
> non-garbage collected Objective C is more appropriate.
>
> What do you think?
>
> Amir
>

Amir Michail
Joined: 2009-03-14,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps

On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 7:00 PM, Jim Miller wrote:
> The real issues, and I'm certainly no IPhone/IPod expert, is that it
> is difficult (impossible?) to get a JVM to run on the IPhone.
> Supposedly this has to do with decisions and capabilities in the
> IPhone OS that hamper the ability to put another VM on the platform.
> Apple has done a remarkably good job of restricting development on the
> IPhone to their tools.  You'd have to look at some of the mailing
> lists (not just scala) for more discussion about the difficulties of
> porting the JVM to IPhone.
>
> Of course you could jailbreak the IPhone but then you're running afoul
> of Apple and their ability to brick your device the next time you
> connect to ITunes.

BTW, one might argue that by making development difficult, Apple will
have fewer but higher quality apps being submitted for inclusion into
the App store.

Amir

>
> On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 6:56 PM, Amir Michail wrote:
>> Hi,
>>
>> I'm currently building an iphone app that makes use of the google app engine.
>>
>> I miss Scala more on the iphone than on the GAE:  Scala would be a
>> significant improvement over Objective C (with no garbage collection).
>>
>> One might argue that the iphone has limited resources and that
>> non-garbage collected Objective C is more appropriate.
>>
>> What do you think?
>>
>> Amir
>>
>

DRMacIver
Joined: 2008-09-02,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps

On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 11:25 PM, Amir Michail wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 7:00 PM, Jim Miller wrote:
>> The real issues, and I'm certainly no IPhone/IPod expert, is that it
>> is difficult (impossible?) to get a JVM to run on the IPhone.
>> Supposedly this has to do with decisions and capabilities in the
>> IPhone OS that hamper the ability to put another VM on the platform.
>> Apple has done a remarkably good job of restricting development on the
>> IPhone to their tools.  You'd have to look at some of the mailing
>> lists (not just scala) for more discussion about the difficulties of
>> porting the JVM to IPhone.
>>
>> Of course you could jailbreak the IPhone but then you're running afoul
>> of Apple and their ability to brick your device the next time you
>> connect to ITunes.
>
> BTW, one might argue that by making development difficult, Apple will
> have fewer but higher quality apps being submitted for inclusion into
> the App store.

One might argue that. Fortunately there is a resoundingly conclusive
counterargument: The sort of apps that actually appear in the app
store...

Joshua.Suereth
Joined: 2008-09-02,
User offline. Last seen 32 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps
Surprising words coming from a man who bout the iFart app.... Don't lie!  I know you have it!


I would love to see scala for the iPhone, but I do not think this would happen before some sort of JVM like entity was on the iPhone.



On Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 8:45 AM, David MacIver <david [dot] maciver [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 11:25 PM, Amir Michail <amichail [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 7:00 PM, Jim Miller <gordon [dot] j [dot] miller [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:
>> The real issues, and I'm certainly no IPhone/IPod expert, is that it
>> is difficult (impossible?) to get a JVM to run on the IPhone.
>> Supposedly this has to do with decisions and capabilities in the
>> IPhone OS that hamper the ability to put another VM on the platform.
>> Apple has done a remarkably good job of restricting development on the
>> IPhone to their tools.  You'd have to look at some of the mailing
>> lists (not just scala) for more discussion about the difficulties of
>> porting the JVM to IPhone.
>>
>> Of course you could jailbreak the IPhone but then you're running afoul
>> of Apple and their ability to brick your device the next time you
>> connect to ITunes.
>
> BTW, one might argue that by making development difficult, Apple will
> have fewer but higher quality apps being submitted for inclusion into
> the App store.

One might argue that. Fortunately there is a resoundingly conclusive
counterargument: The sort of apps that actually appear in the app
store...

DRMacIver
Joined: 2008-09-02,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps

On Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:56 PM, Josh Suereth wrote:
> Surprising words coming from a man who bout the iFart app.... Don't lie!  I
> know you have it!

I don't even have an iphone. :-)

> I would love to see scala for the iPhone, but I do not think this would
> happen before some sort of JVM like entity was on the iPhone.

Particularly given the objective C runtime on the iPhone doesn't even
have garbage collection enabled. It is, I am given to understand, a
very resource constrained environment, and thus probably not that
suitable for running a JVM.

Steven Obua
Joined: 2009-03-25,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps

I've done my share of Iphone development (see www.sidepod.net,
www.bauernskat.com), and I would love to see Scala on the IPhone. I really
miss garbage collection (on the other hand, no garbage collection is a nice
reminder of old times :-)) Scala would be particularly nice for modeling
Apples Foundation and UI classes.

I think what would be good for situations like this is an interpreter for
Scala written in C :-) I don't mind the speed-difference, if anything needs
to be really really fast I code it in C.

Best,

Steven

David MacIver wrote:
>
> On Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:56 PM, Josh Suereth
> wrote:
>> Surprising words coming from a man who bout the iFart app.... Don't lie! 
>> I
>> know you have it!
>
> I don't even have an iphone. :-)
>
>
>> I would love to see scala for the iPhone, but I do not think this would
>> happen before some sort of JVM like entity was on the iPhone.
>
> Particularly given the objective C runtime on the iPhone doesn't even
> have garbage collection enabled. It is, I am given to understand, a
> very resource constrained environment, and thus probably not that
> suitable for running a JVM.
>
>

Szymon Jachim
Joined: 2008-12-17,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps
....or a scalac backend that would target ANSI C. ;-)

One might argue that ANSI C has much more implementations than JVM and is the only way to get a platform independent software.

Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vala_(programming_language)

Szymon

On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 4:04 PM, Steven Obua <obua [at] me [dot] com> wrote:

I've done my share of Iphone development (see www.sidepod.net,
www.bauernskat.com), and I would love to see Scala on the IPhone. I really
miss garbage collection (on the other hand, no garbage collection is a nice
reminder of old times :-)) Scala would be particularly nice for modeling
Apples Foundation and UI classes.

I think what would be good for situations like this is an interpreter for
Scala written in C :-) I don't mind the speed-difference, if anything needs
to be really really fast I code it in C.

Best,

Steven



David MacIver wrote:
>
> On Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 12:56 PM, Josh Suereth <joshua [dot] suereth [at] gmail [dot] com>
> wrote:
>> Surprising words coming from a man who bout the iFart app.... Don't lie! 
>> I
>> know you have it!
>
> I don't even have an iphone. :-)
>
>
>> I would love to see scala for the iPhone, but I do not think this would
>> happen before some sort of JVM like entity was on the iPhone.
>
> Particularly given the objective C runtime on the iPhone doesn't even
> have garbage collection enabled. It is, I am given to understand, a
> very resource constrained environment, and thus probably not that
> suitable for running a JVM.
>
>

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jherber
Joined: 2009-02-08,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps

have you seen the google presentation from author of xmlvm? looks promising:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8nMpi5-P-I

Amir Michail wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> I'm currently building an iphone app that makes use of the google app
> engine.
>
> I miss Scala more on the iphone than on the GAE: Scala would be a
> significant improvement over Objective C (with no garbage collection).
>
> One might argue that the iphone has limited resources and that
> non-garbage collected Objective C is more appropriate.
>
> What do you think?
>
> Amir
>
>

Meredith Gregory
Joined: 2008-12-17,
User offline. Last seen 42 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Where Scala is really needed these days: iphone apps
Jim,

Many thanks for this link. i looked at xmlvm about 2 years ago. i thought it looked promising, then. It seems they've come a long way on very little resources (a sign that the approach, itself, has merit). Iirc, they were focused on using XSLT as the primary transformation device. i think that Scala, with it's XML support might be even better as a XML -> XML and XML -> TrgtFmt platform. That makes me wonder if there is a XSLT -> Scala compiler which would aid in boosting the existing xmlvm assets (such as JVM -> .Net CIL cross compilation or JVM -> Javascript cross compilation) onto Scala.

Best wishes,

--greg

On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 9:02 PM, jherber <jimherber [at] gmail [dot] com> wrote:

have you seen the google presentation from author of xmlvm?  looks promising:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8nMpi5-P-I


Amir Michail wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> I'm currently building an iphone app that makes use of the google app
> engine.
>
> I miss Scala more on the iphone than on the GAE:  Scala would be a
> significant improvement over Objective C (with no garbage collection).
>
> One might argue that the iphone has limited resources and that
> non-garbage collected Objective C is more appropriate.
>
> What do you think?
>
> Amir
>
>

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