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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Extension language

From: Joshua Haberman
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] Extension language
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2003 10:46:04 -0700

On Fri, 2003-10-17 at 08:53, Tom Lord wrote:
> But you're also suggesting a firm separation between the interactive
> CLI and the programmatic interface.  That's a fine idea and it remains
> a fine idea even if we say that the programmatic interface is itself a
> CLI.  There's nothing wrong with adding new commands (presumably
> hidden by default) whose primary purpose is to provide a programmatic
> interface.

I personally resist the CLI-as-programmatic-interface idea for two main

1. The vast majority of programs I have encountered that use external
programs through a CLI have been fragile and had not very useful
interfaces.  They are fragile because supplying input requires careful
treatment of the shell and quoting, and output requires careful parsing
of flat text to create data structures.  Their interfaces are often not
useful because they are bound to revolving around the operations that
the CLI provides.  I don't know what kind of CLI programmatic interface
you have in mind, but it seems to me that it is difficult to provide in
a CLI the same granularity as a traditional programming interface.

2. It reduces portability since it requires a shell and finding the
location of the target binary.  Do you intend to increasingly depend on
a POSIX environment, such that the possibility of running on (say)
Windows without Cygwin becomes more remote?


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