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From Noah Tilton <>
Subject Re: ODF Command Line Tools -- Request for community feedback
Date Mon, 21 May 2012 15:11:34 GMT
On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM, Rob Weir <> wrote:
> On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 12:35 PM, Noah Tilton <> wrote:
> <snip>
> Good thoughts.
> Aside from the level of abstraction, and how it maps to the problem
> domain, I think the style of language is another important components.
>  For example,  even if you had a perfect API, if it is coupled with a
> Haskell-like functional syntax, it will be an impediment to a
> "power-user" who is familiar with only imperative languages.
> You can slice and dice it in many ways, but one way to think of the spectrum is:
> 1) end user programming == simple record and play-back macros,
> spreadsheet functions
> 2) Power users, some web designers == simple imperative Javascript or
> shell scriptsing. Can copy a routine to reuse and make simple
> modifications to it.  Might read a programming book.
> 3) Application developers == a professional working with C#, maybe
> Java, or another modern language.  Builds complete solutions from
> existing parts, gluing them together where possible.  Focuses not on
> the individual components, but on integrating the pieces with the
> "business logic" that the custom requires.  Keeps up with the latest
> trends and techniques.
> 4) System programmers == C/C++ programmer.
> Skills increase as you go up the spectrum, as does cost.  Aiming too
> high makes a tool have a smaller audience.
> I think the ODF Toolkit today is at the app developer level in our
> "Simple API".  But because it is in a Java syntax, that puts it out of
> reach for level 2 developers.
>> Therefore, a good/useful DSL is terse, simple, and expressive.  It
>> utilizes users' vocabulary to describe the domain.
>> So my question to the list is, what kind of "nouns" and "verbs" should
>> be part of the language we are creating?  If you are an ODF Toolkit
>> user, what kind of language do you currently use, or would you feel
>> comfortable using, to describe your activities?
> One possible level is to look at what the developer at level 1 and 2
> already knows.  They don't know ODF. But they know word processors and
> spreadsheets and presentation graphics.  They know the abstractions of
> an end user:   sheets, slides, paragraphs.  Their "verbs" are the
> actions of the menu in their editors.

That's an interesting way to think about it; reminds me of something I
read a few months ago via hacker news:

> -Rob
>> Thanks,
>> --
>> Noah


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