I’ve recently become obsessed by starkit and starkit applications. Let me tell you why. I have a linux desktop at work. I have a windows laptop for work use. I sometimes sit at other peoples windows boxes. Where-ever I happen to be sitting there are some things I want access to. Starkits let me do that. The datafile is the same, the application code is the same, I just need one starkit (one file) per architecture. And it just works. I use gorilla for passwords and wikit (a wiki in a file) for general notes. It’s very cool.
The only problem is that some applications I want don’t exist yet as starkits. I want a general purpose address book which can import and export data to my nokia phone and to evolution email and possibly in the future to Thunderbird. I want a notetaker database the same as I had on my hp200lx, in fact I want to import all that old hp200lx data into it. So I could go off and refine my tcl and learn the starkit and database API’s and write my little applications and at the end of the day all the pleasure would be stolen from me because I don’t like programming in TCL. I like programming in Perl.
Why can’t I do this in Perl? There is no equivalent of a starkit for Perl. A starkit is one executable here that contains everything you need to run your GUI application and database.
I recently came across SQLite.pm which covers the database side of it. But it still requires a complete perl install, a complete install of some GUI and then installing SQLite and then my app code.
I have to admit that I do have a bias against the Perl Tk library. Not because there is anything wrong with it in and of itself. Its just that under Linux the resulting applications look pretty ordinary and 1980’s. I keep waiting for another GUI toolkit for Perl to develop a userbase so I could go with it, preferably one that is so popular it becomes ubiquitously installed where-ever Perl is, part of the core even. So far it hasn’t happened. GTK seemed like it might be a contender for a while but I am still waiting.
I don’t want to have to install anything. Not just out of laziness either. It might not be my machine. The tclkit for windows is about 930k. The application kits are about 200k each. Nicely sized for my thumb drive.
I can already here people wondering if I want write once run everywhere why don’t I write in Java (or language x), and it’s mostly because I like Perl. And Perl already runs OK everywhere I want to work. It just needs to be made easier.