Re: Scripting in Gnome

On Mon, 2004-02-02 at 13:35, jamie wrote:
> > Perl and python are both highly optimized, small and fast cores.  A
> > custom language would not be and would have far less functionality. 
> > Most everything in Perl and Python are implemented as libraries which do
> > not need to be loaded if they are not used.
> Minimal functionality is needed for a simple script engine. IE u dont
> need OO or types (all types are variant in VBA/javascript) or tons of
> built in functionality. IMO python and perl r overkill in that respect.

Hold on there.  Perl and Python are typeless languages (even more so
than VBA which requires you DIM and REDIM your variables).  If you look
at the python core it is simple sporting only a handful keywords to
handle looping, class constructs, variables, etc.  VBA is much more
complicated in that respect.   You are way off base if you think that
Python is somehow heavier than JavaScript or VBA.  It may contain a lot
more support libraries but like I said those are optional.  

> > That is the chicken before the egg problem.  Rarely are things just
> > accepted into the Gnome core.  They have to prove their worth first. 
> > Personaly I think Gnome is taking the right path with the language
> > binding releases.  Plus technology's like DBUS will make it simpler to
> > communicated with non-bound object.  What you might be happy with is the
> > Mono project which may become part of the Gnome core at some point but
> > it has a lot of hurdles before that happens.  Basically with Mono only
> > one set of bindings need to be produced and any language that can target
> > .Net can use them.  This includes VB if you are so inclined.    
> Mono will never become an *official* part of Gnome due to politics (SUN
> would go ape sh1t if it happened).
SUN doesn't run Gnome.  No company runs it.  Even if it doesn't become
part of official Gnome if it does what you want it to do why are you
complaining?  More than likely Ximian will integrate it with their
desktop at which point you may be able to use it to extend the desktop. 
Since we are not talking about extending the desktop for other to use
but to make it easy for to customize your own there is no problem there.

>  Also the VB in mono and .Net is
> radically different to VB and is thus completely incompatible. 

Well thats what you get when you take the generic route.  Bindings allow
the environment to be tailored to the language, not the other way

> The
> scripting I am proposing is at the same level as VBA - it is not a full
> blown language for developing big apps. Its designed for glue,
> automation and building small apps. 

That is what Python/LUA/Ruby/Perl are for.  In fact Python is just a
GLUE language with extremely easy to write C bindings.  Your idea of a
full featured vs. application specific language really seem based on
some internal fear of languages that are flexible and robust.  In fact I
believe you can even embed python into your application.  Or even use it
to write Java apps :-)

> > And maintainability suffers because of it.  Code in HTML just sucks
> > IMHO.  Code should reside separately with the XML only being a
> > template.  Model/View rocks.
> You can do that anyhow in XML using include files - one for
> interface/one for code

Yes, yes I know but I would rather not give that choice.  Good UI extend
to the code too.

> > 
> > >  A simple generic scripting interface
> > > with syntax defined by XML is a quick and easy way to getting integrated
> > > scripting into Gnome with the least overhead. The only objects that the
> > > scriptiong language should use are bonobo and/or glade.
> > 
> > So your talking about the same thing that orbit does except that ORBit
> > uses IDL's instead of an XML interface.  As I said scriptability really
> > falls on the applications to construct interfaces on which one can call
> > on.  I think DBUS will really be the unifying force here across desktops
> > and on through all the lower layers.  No need for yet another arbitrary
> > language. 
> No the XML will make use of Bonobo/Orbit not replace it. Again Im
> talking about mini scripts here - its nothing that competes with Perl or
> Python. All it is is a generic script engine which enables scripts to be
> used in any language whoose syntax is defined using an xml definition. 

Yes you are talking about Orbit IDL's which allow any language to call
into an interface described by an IDL.  I still fail to see how another
language would help here.  You are free to implement it and show its
value but from my perspective it seems like yet another binding with yet
another interface definition language.  Can you give an example of what
this XML format would look like?

> VBA is needed anyhow for things like Gnumeric if they want to achieve
> compatibility with Excel

There have been a number of attempts to clone VB.  All of which have not
taken off.  If you want to look to compatibility I would look to Mono. 
VB might be different but by the time you had a VBA clone Excel will
have transfered completely to VB.Net.


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