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From "Rick Genter" <rgen...@silverlink.com>
Subject RE: Python implementation for Ant
Date Fri, 09 Feb 2007 15:17:54 GMT
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steve Loughran [mailto:stevel@apache.org] 
> Sent: Friday, February 09, 2007 2:15 AM
> To: Ant Users List
> Subject: Re: Python implementation for Ant
> 
> Now, I am not going to evangelise Prolog on everyone, but I 
> found some 
> things really nice about going back to it
>   -its very graph centric. If you can walk the graph (especially 
> depth-first), then you get graph code for free
>   -lists are intrinsic to the language. Java only has arrays and 
> strings; no lists. So working with lists drops you down to 
> objects and 
> unwiedly operations.
>   -incredibly fast dev cycle. That is despite the fact it doesnt come 
> with IDEs as good as IDEA.

It's funny you bring this up; while following this thread and reflecting
on the declarative nature of ANT, I was brought back to a previous life
(late '80s) where I did a *lot* of development in Prolog. At the time I
was using it for language parsing; I was actually able to successful
parse COBOL using Prolog thanks to its ability to backtrack. If you've
ever looked seriously at the syntax of COBOL you'll realize that it's
LALR(infinite); you can't even lexically analyze COBOL programs without
a wacky lexer (e.g., you can embed comments within tokens, and there is
no cpp-like preprocessor).

Anyway, it would be interesting to merge ANT and Prolog, especially if
you could come up with semantics for backtracking (e.g., my build step
failed, so walk back the dependency tree and "restore" everything back
to the way it was).

Just random musings from someone who's had way too little coffee so far
this morning.

Rick
--
Rick Genter
Principal Software Engineer
Silverlink Communications
<mailto:rgenter@silverlink.com> 

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