#2197 Fantom needs more movement

Username42 Mon 28 Oct 2013

I can't understand how is possible the last blog entry is dated on may. I can understand why is said this community is quiet, when seems like there haven't been news for a really long time. Can i trust Fantom to be alive for the next years? Are you embarassed about this PL? If not, then give us more news, give us more activity. Unforturnately, things work like that in this world.

LightDye Mon 28 Oct 2013

I agree. We know that Fantom is awesome. Some members of this community have created awesome tools and frameworks. Lately SlimerDude has been busy creating his AlienFactory (af*) suite, but he isn't the only one. Kaushik, Tcolar and others have done it in the past, but members are posting here less frequently than before and this gives the impression that everyone is loosing interest. We all need to post more frequently here and in social media. It also surprise me that there are just a few questions regarding Fantom in StackOverflow, mostly unanswered. Fantom also needs to move forward and have an implementation for LLVM. I can't help there because that low-level programming is not my area of expertise, but we need to raise interest. Fantom could be used for Android development as well. A game engine could be created using Fantom. Things like that may attract more programmers.

Username42 Tue 29 Oct 2013

And, for example, it lacks of some basic tools. How can one deploy for .net/java? Fantom makes easier the programming side, but does not compensate if then i have to spend time in others areas of the development. I cant recall where i read something like "first make the tools, then the language", but i think it sounds fair.

brian Tue 29 Oct 2013

For Andy and myself, we use Fantom in production every day. It is solid and gets the job done, and so we don't spend a lot of time talking about it. But I agree it would be nice to promote Fantom more.

And, for example, it lacks of some basic tools. How can one deploy for .net/java?

Fantom is currently targeted at Java and JavaScript platforms. Both of those are rock solid and ready for production use. Other targets like .NET are just prototypes/proof of concepts.

SlimerDude Wed 30 Oct 2013

Username42, I believe you're asking 2 questions:

1) Why was the last Fantom release in May?

Historically, the official blog is used to announce new Fantom versions (the last one being in May). I see this as a good thing as it tells me the language is stable and not going to change under my feet. I've noted a couple of rough corners that still need to be addressed (see Tickets), but then, I probably take the language further than most.

2) Why is the community quiet?

Good question. To get Fantom on the SEO radar it needs more web exposure. Yes it needs more libraries, but it also needs promoting. (One encourages the other.) That means we need to use Sidewalk less and use other sites more. It needs people to write articles and blog posts, to essentially spread the word. Article ideas are:

  • compare Fantom (and it's libraries) to others
  • hints and tips for the language and libraries
  • tutorials and walk throughs for beginners
  • ask questions on StackOverflow - not here!
  • success stories and use cases

I believe the lack of the above is why the community looks quiet.

I'm partly to blame for this as I don't (yet) have a blog and I ask my questions here, not on StackOverflow. And Username42, if you've not written any blogs or articles on Fantom, then you too are just as much to blame as the rest of us! You also made a couple of sweeping statements, I'd like you to be a little more specific... what activity would you like to see in Fantom and what tools are you lacking?

Username42 Wed 30 Oct 2013

I'm new here, i literally know Fantom for about 2 days or so. It gave me a good vibe and didn't know why everything was so quiet.

I tried F4 and liked it, but with eclipse i'm used to export to (runnable) jars in a easy way. I can't say the same with Fantom, which forces me to learn how to use another tool. Maybe it sounds like i'm a lazy one, but truth is i don't want to check something else if that makes my development slower.

By the way, how can i check new features for the language in case there are? or plans about the future of Fantom?

ahhatem Thu 31 Oct 2013

I have been following fantom for a couple of years, I don't do development any more so I don't use it daily.... I can say that things are a lot quieter the last couple of months... I believe primarily because of less bugs as the platform matures...   Fantom has an amazing and loyal community... They contribute and do an amazing job at maintaining the platforms, tools and libraries.... And they are very helpful.. And have proven to be reliable... But the problem is that it is a really really small community.... Most people have never heard of Fantom... They are usually impressed when I tell them about it... they usually never hear about it again....... we need a lot more publicity....  Not sure about the best way to get there... We need something that grabs real attention ... May be something like xamarin did with mono using it for cross mobile platforms dev... But that is a lot of work... Not sure what.... But we need something that actually gets people to talk about Fantom.... I am not sure if a beautiful very well designed language is enough on its own on the long term...

SlimerDude Thu 31 Oct 2013

Username42, for new language features and updates, subscribe to email updates from the official Blog.

  1. Login to this (Fantom Discuss / Sidewalk) site
  2. Click the Logged in as Username42 link in the top right corner
  3. Update email preferences and save

As for exporting runnable jars the answer is to build a pod. Rather than say more here, I thought I start listening to my own words and post it here:

How To Distribute a Fantom App

The blog is something I've been thinking of doing for a while now, as I have lots of ideas for beginner articles - thanks for the push!

Aahhatem, while having a killer app, or killer library is great - it's kinda hit and miss and not something you can't actively write (or we'd all be doing it!). I think we just need more enthusiasm on the web. I'm thinking that enthusiasm promotes enthusiasm, promotes libraries, promotes enthusiasm, etc... If the community grows then there's a greater chance of that killer app being written!

LightDye Fri 1 Nov 2013

Well, let's get the ball rolling in StackOverflow. I just posted this question there about afBedSheet (couldn't tag it as such though, because I haven't got enough reputation to add new tags)

ahhatem Sat 2 Nov 2013

Nice, all this will help but I still believe that people's adoption of new technologies specially new stuff with small communities is always bound with something particularly easy and really needed for them. Otherwise, the adoption will continue to be slow and will take a lot of time. If we want Fantom to boom, we need something -anything- to be done in Fantom a lot easier/better/... than the others. Something that actually pushes a lot people to get out of there comfort zone and take the risk of relying on a new and small platform.

SlimerDude Sat 2 Nov 2013

Ahhatem, I hear you. That would make Fantom the go to language for that feature / technology. I know LightDye is eager for LLVM and Android adoption.

Personally, I'm after sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!

LightDye Sat 2 Nov 2013

ha ha, I know I'm dreaming. However, due to Apple's strict policies and Oracle's lack of interest (seemingly), I never thought we could ever run code written in Java on an iOS device, but projects like RoboVM or CodenameOne got me dreaming again. And these will work for other JVM languages too.

LightDye Mon 4 Nov 2013

I posted another question about afBedSheet in StackOverflow.

SlimerDude Mon 4 Nov 2013

Gee, I don't know if I should be proud or concerned that afBedSheet now has its own tag on StackOverflow!!?


ttmrichter Tue 5 Nov 2013

You're welcome. ;)

jay_t55 Mon 25 Nov 2013

I agree with what's been said in this discussion. I've been silently following Fantom for years, since before its name change (back when it was called Fan). I love Fantom, the people here are helpful and nice but there are some things lacking and I guess we all need to do more to get Fantom to where it needs to be.

Since I only play around in Fantom (no serious work, yet), as I mainly use C++ and C# for most of my work, I rarely am able to answer many of the questions in the Discussions, but I am going to write about Fantom on my blog.

I'm not too sure what I should write about though, so if anyone has any suggestions please tell me :) One thing I can think of is a series of tutorials to help get people started with Fantom and show them around. What do you think?

ttmrichter Mon 25 Nov 2013

I kind of write tutorials as a hobby like, say, this one for SWI-Prolog's module system. The tutorials that get best-received tend to be the ones that are focused on a single feature that is complicated and/or different from what one usually expects.

For Fantom, given that your target reader is likely going to be a Java or C# programmer, find something about Fantom that is different (and interestingly different!) from the way things are done in Java/C# and write a tutorial dealing with that. Maybe the pod system. Maybe actor-based concurrency. (I'm not really sufficiently familiar with either the Java or C# ecosystem to pick a good topic here.) Once you do, put on your "clueless newb" goggles and look at the problem domain from that perspective. Then start writing.

SlimerDude Mon 25 Nov 2013

I am going to write about Fantom on my blog.


tutorials to help get people started with Fantom and show them around

That's a good idea - I remember feeling a little lost when I first started. All the documentation is here on fantom.org but it's not always easy to find. That's why I (recently) wrote Fantom For Beginners, just to get someone to a position where they can compile and run a fantom program.

I see nothing wrong with re-writing, paraphrasing or aggregating existing content for someone will find the re-wording useful... and linking to existing sites & pages is always good for google juice.

Developers are lazy (I am!) and often learn from examples, so snippets of code is a good idea also.

put on your "clueless newb" goggles and look at the problem domain from that perspective

Yep. Anything that you've learnt, overcome, or just weren't sure about, could be a good starting point for an article. It doesn't have to be big - on Fantom-Factory I plan to keep my entries small - like Tips and How-To's.

if anyone has any suggestions please tell me :)

Hmm... If stuck, have a look at Why Fantom and pick any topic there, even a Little Thing - something that you personally like, and write about why you like it and give an example or two.

But most importantly, don't forget to post a link here so we can all read it! :)

Have fun!

P.S. @jasonpezzimenti

I've been silently following Fantom for years

Not any more! :D

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