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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] new language, arch, furth, etc.

From: Tom Lord
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] new language, arch, furth, etc.
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 12:35:15 -0700 (PDT)

    > From: "Pierce T.Wetter III" <address@hidden>

    >   If Tom is listening, could you put into the stack of things to
    > talk about how you see communication with external processes fit
    > into your new language? That's my major issue.

I'm not sure what problems you include in the scope of "communication
with external processes".   I'll mention a couple points that I think
might be relevent:

* There's no avoiding parsing

  Not everything can be a string -- configuration variables are 
  sometimes going to be bound to "structured data".  Any process
  that wants to process configuration source text will need to have
  a parser that does more than copy a string from the source text.

  Therefore, one goal for the design is to make the parsing 
  (a) very well defined;  (b) very easy to implement.

  The intention here is that many programs can be extended with such a
  parser, that that adds very little new code or new run-time
  overhead, and that everyone can parse these definitions in the same

* Special cases can be specially handled

  Many unix programs (for example) expect a limited form of
  "structured data" as input, most often a list of lines,
  sometimes a list of lines divided into fields.

  In those cases where it makes sense for a particular datum,
  I don't see why tla (or some other tool) can't do that conversion
  for the sake of other programs.   E.g., read in a list (a b c)
  but print three lines, "a", "b", and "c".

It's nice that, so far, nobody has said "Well, why not use XML?" :-)


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