Pardus Linux is a case study of functional Python. It's a Linux distribution built from semi-scratch, the main focii being package management and init subsystems - places where C and shell script make poor sense. A funded group has finally tackled these issues.
A package management software deals a lot with sets, lists, and dependency graphs....We have extensively used functional operators (map, filter, reduce) and list comprehensions, even metaclasses are used in a few places.
Someone nudge Guido. Scheme or Oz might have been the better choice, but give them credit. They admit frankly to social acceptance issues.
I promise that "Dave Pollak" is not a pseudonym for "Paul Snively."
Update: I guess the self-deprecating humor hasn't worked, some 400+ reads later. Although the caveat that Dave offers about trying to objectively compare his own framework with Ruby on Rails is well-taken, I think that this nevertheless is an important marker in applying a very PLT-driven language and framework, Scala and lift, to a very realistic application, especially given that it's a rewrite from a currently-popular language and framework, Ruby and Rails. We admitted proponents of static typing and weird languages are constantly being asked for this sort of thing, and while it's doubtful that this adds anything to the PLT discussion per se—at least until we have a chance to dig into lift and see how Scala's design uniquely supports it—I thought people might find the Scala connection worth commenting on.
(Note: The title is meant to be humorous!)
It's neat to work with XML fragments as an inspectable CLOS object hierarchy. I think XMLisp is also a great example of the flexibility available to Lisps of all flavors; I'm sure some industrious soul could easily port it to PLT Scheme or something similar!
Ralf LÃ¤mmel and Erik Meijer. Revealing the X/O impedance mismatch.
This paper is over 100 pages, way longer than I have the time to read at the moment. Skimming, the paper looks interesting and useful. If you manage to read the whole thing, do share your observations with us in the discussion group.
(via Don Box)
This paper will attempt an objective side-by-side comparison of the two languages: not just from the point of view of technical features, but also looking at usability, vendor support, performance, portability, and other decision factors. Is it true, for example, that XQuery is better for data and XSLT is better for documents? Is one or the other language easier to learn depending on your computing background? As well as trying to answer these questions, the paper will also illustrate how the two languages can interoperate, so that each can be used for the parts of an application where it is most appropriate.
A comprehensive discussion by Michael Kay that, I think, wasn't mentioned here before.
Atlas it ASP.Net's AJAX solution, and it seems quite well thought out from what I can tell.
Both the ASP.Net Atlas code and the Atlas XML Script DSL provide a declarative programming model, which should help build AJAX applications which otherwise require a somewhat confusing programming model for beginners.
It sohuld be interesting to see how this approach compares with web frameworks such as Rails (whose DWIM approach makes it quite DSL-ish), and with the approach Wadler takes with Links.
Following the story on Mind Mappers and other RDF comments of late, I thought this NLP slide show (PDF) should get a story. Dr. Adrian Walker offers an interesting perspective in a friendly crayon-colored format, including a critique of RDF. Source site Internet Business Logic has other offerings including an online demo.
The X in XML stands for â€œExtensibleâ€; one big selling point is that you can invent your own XML languages to help you solve your own problems. But Iâ€™ve become convinced, over the last couple of years, that you shouldnâ€™t. Unless you really have to. This piece explains why. And, thereâ€™s a companion piece entitled On XML Language Design, in case you do really have to.
OS and web search vendors are merging desktop search into their offerings. Vendor solutions vaguely worry me. They seem too focused on the home PC and not on business needs, while needlessly bypassing RDF. There's also vendor lock, bad EULAs, privacy negligence, and lost boundaries between OS, applications, and data - proprietary black boxes tempting us into dependence.
That thinking led me to the open-source Mind Raider program. It's one of the few that makes RDF useful for normal people. It compares to Chandler but focuses less on email and calendars. As far as I know, Chandler doesn't expose RDF or even use it, necessarily. However the Mind Raider Big Picture shows similarity to Chandler's vision.
So why should this stuff matter to LtU. Well, compare formal organization between data that only computers inspect and data that people use daily. Many database systems exist to store data in the former category. Employee and customer address data serves little purpose beyond printing paychecks and shipping labels. A human will not care about values except that they not be empty. Granted that people do use databases to track sales figures and other aggregates. Still even those folks use data in the latter category: stray thoughts and reminders, sticky notes, social and business correlations, restaurant napkin sketches, collaborative data, recorded conversations, news clippings. A large cloud of miscellany doesn't rise to the level of application documents or the formality of enterprise systems.
Few systems exist to aggregate and organize that stuff. If your brain suffices, then good for you. The rest of us need a crutch. Some people use spreadsheets to store lists simply because there's little else available. I've used software which imitates sticky notes on screen. It leaves much to be desired. There are dozens of little programs for narrow data types - address books, internet bookmark apps, password managers, photo albums, etc. How do you tell the address book that the photo album has pictures of the guy, and that his web link lives in the bookmark manager? Right now, you don't. And programs never organize data just the way you want. Besides, exceptions to the common format always arise. So the problem is not just searching documents and email, nice as that is, but organizing human details in useful ways. Moleskin notebooks and Dictaphones have been around a long while. It's time for cool software.
Somehow RDF seems primed for the role, but it needs less abstract public relations. Raw RDF may not be the ideal presentation but still seems a likely candidate for the underlying data model. Each individual develops a personal ontology (aka "working style" if you will) over years of time. RDF can capture that, but it will take friendly programs like Mind Raider. What do you think?
Ning is a new free online service for building and using social applications.
The apps are built using PHP and a simple XML-vocabulary based DSL called XNHTML.
As I've been saying for a long time here and elsewhere, it's all about programmability these days, and as the Ning folks realise DSLs are a very good technique for achieving end-user programmability.
Seems to me they could have gone the extra mile, and eliminated the need for PHP altogether, but I guess that would be asking for too much...
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