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[Gnu-arch-users] Testbed for OverArch

From: Clark McGrew
Subject: [Gnu-arch-users] Testbed for OverArch
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 18:49:37 -0500


Several people on this list have been arguing for a "higher level"
command line interface to tla, and the answer has generally been along
the lines of: What's needed is the "mythical" overarch.  But, as far as
I know nobody has tried to define overarch, and what the "higher level"
command definitions should be is a point of debate.  Since I'm rather
interested in getting TLA to the point that it can be turned loose on a
bunch of impatient physicists, many of whom approach programing as, at
best, a necessary evil, I've decided to push things along and set up a
framework for overarch.

The short-term plan:

1) Set up a simple framework to extend the tla command line interface
using scripts. (this is kind of done).  The framework is intended as a
prototyping tool.  Part of the goal is to make the commands self

2) Develop proposed "overarch" commands and see how they work in real
usage.  Hopefully, anybody who has to support lots of users can try this
out and develop new "overarch" commands.  My hope is that the good ideas
will rise to the top.

My secret goal is to get one of the people who really grok tla to take
this over and maybe even get it included in the core tla distribution. 
I think this is a case where more exposure is better.   

What's been done:

I've hacked together a oarch script and a trivial example tool and put
up an archive on my web page at

archive: address@hidden

The category and branch are oarch--mainline--0.0

There's a very rudimentary configure file that will install oarch into
your home bin directory.  Please don't execute it until you've read the
script.  After the oarch command is in your path, you can use from the
command line just like tla.  You can also define new commands, or
override tla commands to experiment with user interfaces.   There is
usage documentation at the top of the oarch script.

My next goal is to figure out how to print some help and usage commands
from the scripts (called tools in the internal lingo).  After that, I'm
going to start 

I hope this helps get the overarch discussion going, or motivates
somebody who has a better idea to improve on it.

Clark McGrew                    Univ. at Stony Brook, Physics and Astronomy
<address@hidden>        631-632-8299

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