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What's Wrong with Hawk / Ftwalk?

Ftwalk has never gained more than a handful of users. There are a number of reasons for this, doubtless including things unimagined. Here is a list of the more obviously likely reasons, aside from things like: lack of time and/or interest in learning new languages; personal taste; library or specific application support; multiplatform needs.

Practical Constraints

  • Ftwalk is intrinsically non-portable. This is because it assumes the behavior of the native platform at a very detailed level.
  • Ftwalk is implemented in C++. This seems to significantly limit the number of people who might be interested in working on/with it.

Design Issues

  • The single biggest problem is lack of error checking. This is largely because unrecognized symbols are treated as global variables (even when they appear to be function names).
  • Ftwalk always creates a log file when it runs. This both looks like unfinished debug scaffolding and is inadequate in a number of cases (e.g., forking, or multiple independent instances).

Implementation Issues

  • Ftwalk has always been very sensitive to changes in C++ compilers and/or operating system header files (which in the early days were very often incompatible with C++). In many cases users confronted compiler errors or warnings then attempting to build the package.