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From Mark Slee <>
Subject RE: Some thoughts about changes to Thrift
Date Fri, 06 Mar 2009 19:36:34 GMT
I do just want to call out again here that AFAIK Java tends not to be distributed with many
flavors of Linux, whereas Python does.

If a rewriting effort is undertaken, I'd just throw out a big +1 to fullly considering Python
in addition to Java.

-----Original Message-----
From: Rush Manbert [] 
Sent: Friday, March 06, 2009 10:01 AM
Subject: Re: Some thoughts about changes to Thrift

I don't use any command line tools that are Java-based, so I'm speaking from lack of experience
here. :-)

IMHO, a major feature of any tool implementation is that it be easy to integrate into user's
build environments on all supported platforms.  
In my case, this means that I need use the tool from a Xcode project and also from a Visual
Studio project. When we eventually support Linux, then I guess I'l need to use in a big Makefile-based
set of projects. It may mean that I need to write appropriate makefiles and use the make-flavor
of project that Xcode and VS support. On the Mac, in particular, this is important because
I can make my library project that uses Thrift depend on the project that generates the sources
using the compiler.

So what I'm saying is please take this into consideration when picking the cross-platform
language to use for rewriting the compiler. My personal choice would be Python, because it's
nice and clean to use from the command line, there are template engines available for it,
and installing Python on Windows is pretty easy. But if a Java-based tool has all the same
characteristics, then go for it.

- Rush

On Mar 6, 2009, at 8:02 AM, Bryan Duxbury wrote:

> It seems like there's some consensus on a JavaCC based compiler.  
> Should we open an JIRA issue and start to explore feasibility?
> -Bryan
> On Mar 6, 2009, at 3:03 AM, Esteve Fernandez wrote:
>> On Friday 06 March 2009 03:24:23 Mark Slee wrote:
>>> That's pretty much my fault.
>> Actually the current Thrift compiler served its puporse quite 
>> decently, but the coming of new languages and features has made it 
>> (along with the
>> generators) a bit more complex and less easy to maintain.
>>> I personally like Java and think it'd be a decent choice, but there 
>>> do seem to be a decent number of people out there building services 
>>> who seem to vehemently hate Java. Lots of *nix systems do not have a 
>>> JVM or JDK installed by default -- and it's pretty annoying for 
>>> users who aren't writing services in Java to have to install it to 
>>> build the compiler.
>> I'd argue for writing a parser in Java and use a template engine 
>> (Velocity, Freemarker, etc.). Why not Python? Dunno :-) I think Java 
>> is more widely deployed, it has better tools for scanning and parsing 
>> and more developers.
>> Etch, another incubating project with similar goals to Thrift, uses 
>> JavaCC for parsing and Velocity as template engine for its compiler 
>> and generators, even though it also emits C#
>> Using a template engine would make development of new features and 
>> the inclusion of more languages much easier. Instead of having to 
>> hack a generator to add some new feature, we could simply supply a 
>> new template file. For example, at some point in the future I'd like 
>> to build a generator for Javascript, and if we used a template 
>> engine, it would be a matter of writing a minimal generator and a 
>> bunch of templates.
>> Cheers.

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