On 8/7/02 12:23 AM, "Christopher Browne" <cbbrowne / acm.org> wrote:

>> The entireX package seems to be free and fairly complete.
> 
> But with the quite substantial risks that:
> a) The package is only free for noncommercial use;
> b) They don't indicate the pricing of licensing for commercial use,
>   which normally, for Unix-based software, indicates that you'd
>   better have briefcases full of money to bring to the table;
> c) There are no promises of continuing availability.
> 
> If it started to become _truly important_, I'd fully expect that
> Microsoft would make sure that it became unavailable so as to make the
> only useful outcome be for you to HAVE to port your software to
> Windows.

Good point.

>> I still like just using XML. With COM, the programmer of the
>> automatable app has to specify that app's object model in IDL, then
>> the OS somehow registers the service that the app provides and would
>> be clients have to use system calls to query the registry. I don't
>> see the point. An XML file can provide the same information about
>> the object model.
> 
> "DTDs are  not common knowledge  because programming students  are not
> taught markup.  A markup language is not a programming language."
> -- Peter Flynn <silmaril / m-net.arbornet.org>
> 
> There are few problems that XML can, by itself, solve.  It mostly
> _adds_ problems that have to be solved.

But the Property List DTD, the DTD for describing object models, is *done*.
It's not like the application programmer needs to re-invent it for each
program.

Or, if you like, put an IDL file next to the executable rather than an XML
file. The point is the whole exercise of having a server so that the
scripter can look up the details of the object model of the target
application is too heavy. The scripter should be able to see the target's
object model in some kind of easy to understand form like an object browser,
but that functionality can be moved into the editor.

My problem is I just cringe at anything that looks like a centralized
registry because of all the problems that that approach has created for
Windows. COM raises the specter that some malformed IDL could screw up
scriptablity in general. I prefer a solutions where the object model
description is just a file that is next to the executable.

The XML approach using the Plist DTD is easy to localize and IDL is not, but
that's a minor point, or not, if you aren't a native English speaker.
-- 
Laws are the spider's webs which, if anything small falls into them they
ensnare it, but large things break through and escape. -Solon, statesman
(c. 638-c558 BCE)