I would be very unlikely to use someone's homegrown library specific
However, if you want to make a library for an existing popular scripting
language that handles your specific domain well, I'd be quite likely to
use that if I had a problem with your domain and I was comfortable with
the existing popular scripting language, i'd use it for sure. Odds are
your domain is not really "libraries" (that's not really a software
problem domain), but perhaps as Patrick suggests "dealing with
relationships among semantic objects", and then odds are libraries are
not the only people interested in this problem domain.
Some people like ruby because of it's support for creating what they
call "domain specific languages", which I think is a silly phrase, which
really just means "a libraryAPI at the right level of abstraction for
the tasks at hand, so you can accomplish the tasks at hand concisely and
without repeated code."
Patrick Etienne wrote:
I was bewildered at the notion of needing yet another scripting
language, let alone one as "library domain-specific" (that wording
alone throws up red flags everywhere), but I'm not here to bash ideas.
Instead I looked up your site and read the small blurb about "Nova".
It seems that the main objective behind your pursuit is creating a
language that provides a specific data type for semantic objects (or
relationships). I have to ask, what about semantic maps makes you
believe that they require a specific data type rather than just being
an object type? Are other scripting languages too slow to suit certain
needs such that a new data type is necessitated? I really can't see
this being the case. That being said, while it can be an invaluable
experience to learn about making scripting languages, if there's to be
any community movement toward a particular language (php, ruby, java,
scheme or what have you) there has to be some very real and
Or more directly, you seem to have specific ideas about a library
domain-specific language. What do today's languages not have that you
believe is so essential that you'd be willing to write a new scripting
- Patrick E.
On Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 10:51 AM, Peter Schlumpf
Bill, you hit a nail pretty squarely on the head. I believe this decades long
fetish with MARC has to go. It was designed to efficiently store data on
magtapes and doesn't make any sense in today's world. It's a huge millstone
around the neck of Libraryland and it keeps them stuck in that tiny little
ghetto. Anything can be a mind-prison, even PHP, Python or Django. They are
all arbitrary anyway.
And you are correct in pointing out that the natural response of librarians to
a problem is to seek consensus in a self-absorbed way. Form committees and all
that nonsense which never goes anywhere. They are happy enough going around in
circles, like the Nowhere Man making all his nowhere plans for nobody.
My hope is that some among us would just undertake these problems ourselves.
Outside of the realm of the libraries and the limiting mindsets many of us work
in. We've all got ideas. Fire up vi and get busy and make something happen,
like a library domain-specific language. Start fresh. There is nothing wrong
with that. What's wrong is how the library community goes about such things.
Let's go somewhere.