What is "Open Language"?

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Sat Oct 24 14:17:40 EDT 2015

John Dixon wrote:

 >> Simply put, Open Language is a technology that will mean that LCB
 >> libraries and widgets will be able to define english-like syntax
 >> rather than being limited to function call / command call / property
 >> access syntax.
 >> It is a key piece that will not only mean 'third parties' can define
 >> english-like syntax but also mean the all the current engine syntax
 >> can be very easily evolved and augmented.
 > Oh dear... it smacks of pidgeon english... with words like 'innit',
 > 'blood' and 'bling' being included... to maintain a standard, perhaps
 > there should be an 'Oxford English publication of acceptable words to
 > be used in liveCode syntax'...

This is part of the reason I raised this thread.  We've seen some rather 
broadly varying ideas about what Open Language means, but I share your 
concerns and I'm not sure that's what Mark intended, even if some are 
excited at the prospect.

I believe the core of the issue is that to date all xTalks have required 
comma-delimited arguments for custom commands.  The good news is that 
this is pretty much how most programming languages work, so it's not 
particularly onerous.  But the bad news is that it means that the 
libraries we share bear no relationship syntactically with the build-in 

I *believe* (emphasis added to note that I'd he happy to be corrected by 
Mr. Waddingham if this isn't correct) that Open Language was proposed 
primarily (perhaps only) to allow library scripters to define syntax 
that fits in more closely with the flavor of the rest of the language.

For example, today I might write:

    CreateDocument "Window Title", tFilePath

...but with Open Language I could write:

    create document titled "Window Title" using file tFilePath

Mr. Waddingham, is that correct?

That said, I admit I'm rather enamored of this request:

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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