Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Wed, 02 Apr 2003
Language Centric Software Development == Metalinguistic Abstraction
Joe Gregario's post on E4X (ECMAScript for XML) refers to his article on Language-Centric Software Development, where he describes the role of embedded languages (focusing mostly on scripting). His conclusion:
When developing a piece of software concentrate on building a languge to solve problems in the domain you are working in. No one fixed language can solve every problem so build a customized language just for that domain.
Abelson and Sussman's Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs calls this Metalinguistic abstraction. This observation is the reason that I keep yammering on about Lisp style macros. In a language with good macros, E4X is a bunch of macros, not an extension that will require hacking on the interpreter and a round through the ECMA committee.
[14:01] | [computers/programming] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Good Eclipse startup document
Eric Foster-Johnson has a great post on how to get started with Eclipse. I've added it to my own Eclipse Quickstart page.
[13:41] | [computers/programming/java/eclipse] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Hydra everywhere
Hydra is making the blog rounds today.
Hydra for eXtreme Programming
It's a Rendezvous (IETF ZeroConf) enabled collaborative editor. It reminded me of the collaboration frameworks that we had at Taligent in 1995, which made building apps like this pretty easy. Hydra would be a boon for people doing pair programming (both distributed and co-located), and I can see it being a boon for open source developers as well. It's also a good use of Rendezvous to make the user experience great.

There's only one catch for me. It only runs on MacOS X. I have seen a number of really innovative Macintosh applications go by in the last few months. Aquamind's Notetaker is another that comes easily to mind. I keep toying with the idea of switching back (I was a long time Macintosh user). I just can't convince myself to do it. I know that Mac developers are experiencing very high degrees of productivity with Cocoa and Smalltalk, er, Objective-C. But I can't get past the closed-source issue with Cocoa. I've watched too many great apps die: Lotus Agenda, Think Tank, More, Arrange, InControl, Ecco Professional, and more. If I'm going to switch to a new platform, I want to switch onto a predominantly open-source platform. I would be happy to pay for open source versions of Hydra or Notetaker -- I want those guys to be able to eat and do cool software. But I don't want to gamble with my data anymore. So for now, I'll live with the slow pain of watching the Mac guys do cool software that I can't run.

[13:38] | [computers] | # | TB | F | G | 4 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
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