Hackfest 10111 Postmortem

by ynniv

– Since Last Time
    – Graham
        – worked a lot on Clocks – almost done, at least one more bug
            – implemented proxy files to store data
            – save and load use proxy-enabled replacements
            – enabled conservation of time
            – wants to write article, release soon
            – needs to field test it by coding using it – is it
    – Vinny
        – work ($$$) work a lot – XUL + JS
            – leaving proof of concept for product integration
        – thinking about how to write documentation
            – latex
                – has lots of hokey syntax, like & ~
            – docbook
                – XML based
                    – lots of rigid, verbose syntax – not very terse
            – toolchains
        – thinking about schools
        – λ
– Today’s Plans
    – Vinny
        – write a blurb about commotion
    – Graham
        – fix that error
        – blurb for Clocks
        – Chromatic modulation in chuck
            – has diatonic chord progressions, wants more general
        – overall
            – Stickers (vgkids.com)
– Today’s Reality
    – Graham
        – fixed that bug
        – wrote a blurb
    – Vinny
        – bad slacker! bad!
        – got a latex template from stephen, and read some of Stephen’s paper

2 Responses to “Hackfest 10111 Postmortem”

  1. Anonymous says:

    For a domain language like that, doesn’t it make sense for the domain abstractions to be abbreviated into syntax? That way, idiomatic operations can be mapped succinctly into code. Kind of like matlab array notation, or even λ.

    I’m sure Luke has an opinion on this one.

    Maybe all syntax should come with optional keywords. Then people can mix as they like!

    To quote the Tao:


    The Tao gave birth to machine language. Machine language gave birth to the assembler.

    The assembler gave birth to the compiler. Now there are ten thousand languages.

    Each language has its purpose, however humble. Each language expresses the Yin and Yang of software. Each language has its place within the Tao.

    But do not program in COBOL if you can avoid it.


  2. ynniv says:

    Hmm.  If the best programming languages were the most succinct, then everyone would love Perl.  For some thoughts on textual representation of programs, see http://subtextual.org/.  To improve LaTeX could be as simple as removing the importance of sytax from the representation and placing it in the editor.  If ~ is going to remove space between words, replace ~ with "<nospace/>" and have an editor that inserts "<nospace/>" when you type ~.  If you don’t have a fancy editor, then make a process mapping from your syntax heavy format to a syntax light, vocabulary heavy format, basically, a reverse stylesheet.  The fundamental format should be self-explanitory, since you’ll spend orders of magnitude more time reading existing text than you will writing new text.

    DocBook is reinventing the wheel simply because rubber is an improvement over steel – why not instead invent a rubber tire and *apply* that around the steel wheel?  DocBook lacks the beauty of LaTeX, but for what reason?  They are both textual markup languages that are used to create rich documents – why doesn’t DocBook map onto LaTeX?  As XML, it could have been a wrapper around LaTeX and still carried metadata that’s meaningless to LaTeX, but important for other types of output.

    The best XML document format has not yet been invented.

Leave a Reply