In article <r8tg1x1a7cb.fsf@salomon.CS.Princeton.EDU>,
danwang@salomon.CS.Princeton.EDU (Daniel Wang) writes:
>After thinking about J. O's paper it looks like what he's really talking
>about is domain specific versus general purpose langauges.
>Where "scripting language" = Domain Specific
>and "systems language" = General Purpose.
>When he talks about "gluing" I think he's really ought to say putting
>together primitives designed by someone else that are at the right level of
>abstraction. Read with this perspective some of what he says sounds a bit
The whole discussion about scripting or systems languages, from the
original definitions in Ousterhouts paper onwards, has been very
strange. This seems like the first attempt to give a more abstract
Previously it has been very bottom up: "we have features a,b,c,... ,
and will call a language with features g,i and m for a scripting
language, otherwise it is a systems language". Doing it this way is of
course completely ridiculous.
The only reasonable way to decide which languages are scripting
languages is to FIRST determine what you intend a scripting language
to be able to do and how it is meant to be used. THEN you can look
through your list of languages and those that satisfy your criteria
are then scripting languages, IRRESPECTIVE of which features they have
or lack. The features by themselves are really quite uninteresting, it
is the combination and general feel which is important.
Viewed in this way, calling everything which is not a scripting
language for a "systems language" is also ridiculous. I mean a
"systems language" must be one used for writing operating systems. If
scripting languages are used to glue things together what are the
things that I am gluing together to be written in? Application
However you look at it Ousterhouts paper to me stills read as some
form of technical advertising hype about why you should be using
Tcl. Limiting the languages placed in the same class as Tcl to VB also
clearly shows who the intended audience is. As is the way of making ad
hoc definitions which don't really relate to more normal CS usage.
A final question which has long interested me and which seems relevant
to this whole discussion: who would use Tcl if it DIDN'T have such a
integrated interface to Tk?
Robert Virding Tel: +46 (0)8 719 95 28
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