Transcript and Dot Notation

Bob Warren robertum at
Thu Mar 2 19:27:03 EST 2006

Dear Sivakatirswami,

I was brought up on Basic and VB. In VB (VB6 I mean, not VB.NET), the 
dot notation is not all that obscure, but nevertheless, after making the 
transition to Transcript and its verbosity, the fact that someone might 
consider making it more like VB makes my hair stand on end, or in other 
words it would be "dotty" (pun intended). I agree that it would probably 
mark the beginning of a process of de-characterisation that eventually 
might be fatal. Of course, I haven't done a survey, but I suggest that 
(just like VB) a vast core of users are probably "inventive users" or 
very ordinary folk like myself, not professionals or (forgive me) nerdy 
types who have the greatest influence on this List and consequently the 
development path of RR. Look at what happened to VB when the nerds took 
over! From a record-breaking 18 million users, VB is now reduced to I 
don't know how many, but the fact is that M$ are now giving away their 
software to try and entice users back into the fold. I hope they fail 
after what they did to VB6 (which is why I am here and not there).

The secret of the success of VB (up to VB6) was that it could be used by 
programmers of all types, from absolute beginners to real professionals. 
This is a secret shared by Transcript. I'd hate to see Rev do a 
Microsoft. I couldn't take it twice in a lifetime.

One way of looking at it is this. Ordinary people prefer to program in 
something that more or less corresponds to plain language (it taxes the 
memory less). Many professionals seem to have a taste for formal 
languages of the logical or mathematical type. There is, of course, a 
place for such languages. But Transcript is a very high level 
general-purpose language. Why try and change it into something else? Are 
its formal deficiencies so great that something REALLY has to be done 
along "dotty" lines?


Sivakatirswami wrote:
 >dot notation and such... let's be very careful...find a way to do the
 >same thing in verbose xTalk and it will live...infect the language
 >with obscurity and it will die a slow death from the inside out.

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