[OT] If programming languages were religions...
ambassador at fourthworld.com
Mon Dec 22 23:43:44 CST 2008
I've agreed with you before, and I won't change my opinion now: I still
agree with you.
My post was merely a response to the one small part of your many posts
today in which it seemed you had not yet fully grasped the sweeping
scope of unique enhancements Rev has brought to the xTalk family of
It seems you have. I think I'd just lost sight of whatever point this
thread once had. My mistake.
May we consider this horse sufficiently pulverized?
My hatchet is buried. I'm going to go do some Christmas now.
I hope you enjoy yours too.
Fourth World Media Corporation
Ambassador at FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
Randall Lee Reetz wrote:
> I just don't think a language is significantly different because it
> has more or less words than it had at one time. What distinguishes a
> language from other languages is structural, grammatical, syntactic.
> Both spanish and english acquire new lexicon all the time... rarely
> does this new vocabulary require a rewrite of the grammatical rules
> that sit at each language's base. Nobody looking at Rev's script
> would ever say it wasn't an xtalk language. Adding a load of new
> words and functions doesn't change this, never will. None of what I
> am saying is an evaluation of Rev. The reason both SuperCard and Rev
> can make available hyperCard stack translators is because of this
> structural kinship. It is a badge of honor. Every time a new domain
> specific version of C comes out, i role my eyes and groan. You can't
> make a purse out of a sow's ear. Garbage in – garbage out. XTalk
> heritage is a selling point! Adding functionality on top... well
> that is even better. It matters what sits under and supports any new
> I am certainly not saying that xTalk is the end-all-be-all language.
> The future holds promise (I hope). What I am saying is that a
> flexible natural language syntax leverages human cognition and
> learned abilities... enabling a short learning curve and the ability
> to concentrate on problem domain instead of tool domain. Allan Kay
> and Bill Atkinson understood and honored this premise.
> I don't need to be sold on the positive attributes of Rev. The
> problems I have had with SuperCard have nothing to do with the
> product. I love supercard! And nothing at all to do with its
> development team (person). The organization is too small for decent
> product development funding. And, (from what I have been told) the
> product is owned by a group that does not own access to all of the
> kernel upon which it is built.
> On Dec 22, 2008, at 10:41 AM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
>> Randall Lee Reetz wrote:
>>> As I said, there are important aspects of the Revolution product
>>> that ARE unique... the use and GUI centered IDE, the multi-
>>> platform develop and publish flexibility, the viability of the
>>> user community and this online support group, the stability of
>>> the company and the rapidity and reliability of the pace of
>>> version development cycle, the constant evolution of the product
>>> in lockstep with platform evolution, etc. But the subject was
>>> the scripting language itself.
>> While of course Revolution is just one implementation in the xTalk
>> family of languages, its specific dialect at this point is probably
>> 30% or even 40% or more unique, or at least distinct from the
>> Mother Tongue, HyperTalk.
>> If we exclude all externals (since they were written in other
>> languages) and look only at what's natively in the engine, it might
>> even be the case that Rev has added as many new tokens as were in
>> the entire HyperTalk 2.x language.
>> All tokens related to arrays, sockets, URLs, new forms of repeat,
>> icons in ask and answer, scrollbars, color, blendlevels, images,
>> groups, gradients, aliases, system color and folder pickers,
>> compression/decompression, binary file I/O, binary operators,
>> Unicode, window modes, mouseMove and other messages, buffer
>> control, video playback, QTVR control, drag-and-drop,
>> executionContexts and other debugging/logging info, script-local
>> vars, animated GIFs, image export formats, screen shots, new date
>> and time formats, backdrops, timers, serial I/O, audio recording,
>> substacks, template objects, labels as distinct from names, and
>> dozens of new properties for even buttons and fields, just to name
>> a few - all unique to Rev.
>> And then there's a good number of tokens not in HC that Rev has
>> adopted from other xTalks, like SC's frontScripts, backScripts,
>> graphic objects, transfer modes, and the merge function, and OMO's
>> libraryStack message, just to name a few, along with a new altID
>> property to make such ports even easier.
>> If it appears all Rev brings to the table is multi-platform support
>> and its IDE, that perception will change as one spends more time
>> with the Rev Dictionary. A LOT has been happening since the engine
>> was born in '92.
>> I don't even use the Rev IDE nor its externals. With just the core
>> language in the engine, I simply couldn't go back to HC or even SC
>> if I had to. While we're all using xTalks, I've adopted a coding
>> style that makes such extensive use of the expanded syntax and
>> object model that I doubt much of what I do would run anywhere else.
>> Sure, Rev feels familiar to any xTalker. I guess that's a good
>> sign of how passionate Mark Waddingham is about maintaining the
>> flavor of the language (he was once nearly willing to engage in
>> fisticuffs with me in his defense of the language style <g>; I
>> acquiesced, of course, since he's both younger and stronger than me
>> and more importantly fighting with a greater sense of purpose).
>> But for all its familiarity, Rev is a brave new world among xTalks,
>> one that has earned through the sweat of its many programmers a
>> place of unique honor among the xTalk dialects.
>> True, Mark Lucas, SuperCard's lead programmer, is perhaps the
>> greatest Mac programmer I've ever been privileged to know
>> personally, and under his stewardship it's no surprise SuperCard
>> has done as well as it has. But while Mr. Lucas may do the work of
>> a ten men, not only does he have a stronger loathing of the Windows
>> API than even myself, but he would also be among the first to note
>> the challenges of doing this sort of work for multiple platforms.
>> Drag and drop, for example, is a complex API on OS X; add in
>> Windows and Linux and the complexity grows geometrically.
>> For all the inspiration Rev has drawn from its lineage, the Rev
>> engine is quite an achievement in its own right. Browse through
>> the Dictionary and you'll see what I mean.
>> Richard Gaskin
>> Fourth World
>> Revolution training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
>> Webzine for Rev developers: http://www.revjournal.com
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>> use-revolution at lists.runrev.com
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