Open Source (was Don't you just wish Rev would do this?)

Trevor DeVore lists at
Thu Jun 7 19:56:39 EDT 2007

On Jun 7, 2007, at 3:34 PM, David Bovill wrote:

> Not sure - but whats missing from this:
>> Adobe plans to release all of the components of the Flex SDK  
>> needed to
>> create Flex applications, including the Java source code for the
>> ActionScript and MXML compilers, the ActionScript debugger, and the
>> ActionScript libraries that make up the core Flex framework. Adobe  
>> Flex
>> Builder, the Eclipse-based IDE, is not part of the open source  
>> announcement.
> Sounds pretty comprehensive to me?

That is quite a bit of stuff but it is missing Flex Builder (the  
development environment), Flex Data Services or Flash. As I  
understand it (again, correct me if I'm wrong) the development  
environment, a key component (data services) and the primary output  
(Flash movies) of Flex are closed. Plus the Flash player isn't open  

What I'm getting at here is that key parts are still closed which is  
what a Rev solution would be like if there was a widely available  
open source web development framework.

>> I think the first step is an extensible language designed by a small
>> group that does have to waste time doing design by committee. Make
>> that available to everyone and then people can start building elegant
>> open source frameworks that will catch on.
> What are you thinking of here Trevor - sounds intriguing  - but you  
> lost me

Currently Revolution is primarily a desktop application environment.  
The combination of the syntax, how easy it is to create GUI elements  
and the cross-platform capabilities is a major plus and what draw me  
towards it. What Revolution lacks is the capability to create your  
own objects or extend the language in any way.

When you start using Revolution on the web the cross-platform nature  
of the engine and the GUI elements no longer play a role in deciding  
whether or not Revolution adds value. As a web development tool all  
that matter are:

1) Language
2) Available frameworks and libraries

The GUI is handled by the web browser so interacting with the browser  
is what your framework and libraries do. Really the language is the  
primary factor since all frameworks and libraries are built using the  

In Revolution I can interact with lines in a string very elegantly:

repeat for each line theLine in thString
     put item 1 of theLine into theID
     put item 2 of theLine into theTitle
end repeat

The problem with the Revolution language now is that I can't create  
my own xml object and interact with it like I might lines in a string  
of text:

repeat for each node theNode in xml document myXMLDocument
     put the "id" attribute of theNode into theID
     put the "title" attribute of theNode into theTitle
end repeat

What this means is that a developer cannot create elegant language  
based solutions for interacting with XML and databases (two key  
elements of web development). I think for Revolution to be appealing  
to web developers the language needs to support the ability to build  
up custom objects and define our own syntax. The english-like syntax  
is the beauty of the language but it needs to be made extensible by  
the developer.

Does this make sense?

Trevor DeVore
Blue Mango Learning Systems    -
trevor at

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