Exolon wrote:I like to play with GUI code to get a feel for a new language without taking on heavy duty or mundane programming tasks.
Ah. You may want to try something else, while getting the hang of CL, as there doesn't seem to be much well-polished GUI-related stuff, unless you go for Lispworks. It's not that it doesn't work, I just get the distinct impression that you want to have already climbed the main learning curve of CL before adding those to your load.
Exolon wrote:After working professionally with J2EE/Spring/Hibernate apps and all the headaches and verbose pain involved (creating a new 'page' meant writing 1: controller unit test 2: controller 3: model unit test 4: model 5: new entries in servlets.xml 6: new jsp 7: new entry in views.xml 8: a HttpUnit UAT test - even without the unit/UAT tests this was a lot of donkey work) I've been kind of turned off writing webapps for a while - although the little I've seen of CL libraries for these purposes seems much, much less verbose (which is pretty easy, let's be honest) than Java.
Ah, whereas my day-job is customer support in the midst of a Java shop. While I admittedly don't work directly with the code myself, I spend enough time reading the source-code to wonder why the hell they have to make everything so incredibly complicated.
Do give it a try; chances are you'll find it strikingly simpler, at least for relatively trivial stuff. I qualify that because non-trivial work requires a well-thought-out model, which involves work no matter what language you're implementing in.
If you go for Hunchentoot and CL-WHO, I'll mention two gotchas: first, make sure you really do have the latest versions of the dependencies, to save yourself wondering why the frikkin' page won't display. Second, CL-WHO wants (format nil ...) sometimes, and (format t ...) at other times, and I've yet to spend the time to figure out the reason.
Exolon wrote:However, you must admit that such large learning curves and obstacles to newbie Lispers like myself will drive some people (who may have been capable of great contributions had things been a little easier) away.
That's why I wanted to ask you guys how your experiences compared to mine in this area.
I totally agree. I just finished a large chunk of refactoring in my pet library this morning, so there's hope it'll be released in a month or so. If I've gotten it right, it'll make web programming just a bit simpler again, by providing the utilities that you'd have had to write anyway. I even comment my code!
Exolon wrote:On the subject of asdf-install and perhaps asdf itself, I understand why a lot of people are saying "it sucks, just do it manually", but the fact is we need something like that - consider how much apt-get/dpkg from Debian have contributed to the popularity of Linux distributions like Ubuntu. Things like this and having working sexy libraries like sdl/cells/etc out-of-the-box would be a boon to Common Lisp and get more programmers using this powerful language, I think. I will try to improve things as best I can, but I'm no expert, and most definitely a newbie when it comes to Common Lisp itself.
My next trick is to see if I can improve on asdf/asdf-install. Version constraints are my particular bug-bear, because I'm sick of maintaining multiple different repositories on my development machine.