Thursday, 21 June 2012

Lack of documentation

Yesterday I spent a lot of time trying to plot a Chart in a Gtk Drawing Area, using quickly, Glade3, pygtk and pycha.

Some criticism about these tools:
  • "hackish" style... you fix some problem thanks god to people like this: http://somethingididnotknow.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/retrieve-the-window-object-from-widgets-with-pygobject-gtk3.
  • general lack of documentation. what you find around the web is usually deprecated and it doesn't work when you try it
  • the gtk documentation is mainly in C, not in python, and sometimes have a C function called pippo() doesn't mean it exists the equivalent python function pippo()..but something like pyPippo()....
  • when you need a library for a simple task, like plotting on a screen, you can find a lot of solutions, but find the one that just works , it is hard. Many library examples just doesn't work.. you have to find the solution. Read this http://detrasproject.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/show-graphs-using-pygtk/ Also if you don't want plot chart, read the post to understand what I mean. It's not coding.. it's hacking.
  • Trying to plot a line chart inside a drawing area...it has been a bad experience.. and the result not satisfying for now... it looks good but there are a lot of bug to fix.
a prototype.

Quickly, pygtk, glade etc are great tool.. but Ubuntu need documentation, keeping it updated with examples and easy to find tutorial on "how to solve a simple task" or a page with the most important and working library for solve a task.
The hackish approach is not for all, we are in 2012.

This is not an attack to ubuntu community or in general to opensource.
Instead it is an important point, where community should think and improve.

I will post later the recipe for plot a pycha inside a GTK window made with Glade.