Re: Scripting in Gnome

On Thu, 2004-02-05 at 03:57, James Henstridge wrote:

> >
> What you mention here is not a feature of VBA.  Instead, the feature is 
> that pretty much every non-trivial Windows app exposes APIs via the same 
> scripting interface (COM).  VBA (and Jscript and Python and Perl and 
> ...) have a binding for this scripting interface, which essentially 
> gives them the ability to script these applications for free.  This is 
> possible because COM provides an introspection interface, so the VBA 
> interpreter can find out what methods exist on an object, and how to 
> invoke them.

Thats true for objects that are unknown. In VBA, in-application specific
objects are just there - you dont need to explicitly use com or even
instantiate them (they obviously do that behind the scenes). That way
you can just dive in and use them without any additional glue. (Of
course external objects that you use in VBA have to be instantiated

VBA is a dumbed down language and thats why its popular (because
non-programmers can make use of it) so naturally I would want any method
we use for automation in VBA to be similarily dumbed down and wrapping
it in an object fashion is the way VBA achieves that. Might have to wait
for D-Bus/DOM then for the automation part...

> For the Linux desktop, this is particularly hard because it isn't clear 
> which scripting interface should be used.
>     * For Gnome, the answer would probably have been CORBA a few years
>       back (this is less clear cut these days).
>     * For KDE, the obvious answer is DCOP.
>     * For Mozilla, components are exposed in process to Javascript via
>       XPConnect.  They don't have an out of process interface.
>     * I think OpenOffice also has something similar to Bonobo or XPConnect

I understand the problem as someone wisely said "the nice thing about
standards is there are so many to choose from".

Because Bonobo is equivalent in functionality to COM, I was kinda hoping
a future version of Bonobo would be independent of corba or whatever
underlying mechanism is used so you could use whatever system works best
(obviously everyone will use the fastest and most efficient method
whilst keeping Corba for backwards compatibility). I think there's an
overwhelming case for replacing corba IDL with XML in bonobo if thats
done (XSLT for automatic language bindings would be very handy).


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