Extensible Programming for the 21st Century

27 May 2004

I've just had my bi-monthly heart attack, when I stumble across something that seems to scoop my entire thesis, and spend the morning frantically chasing references to check that it doesn't. In this case, it was a fairly interesting article (linked to from this SlashDot thead) about "extensible programming", wherein instead of communicating data between components in terms of streams of characters, รก la the Unix command line, we use something a little more structured, which at the moment translates as XML. He also brings in a lot of together other ideas, such as Scheme hygienic macros, in a view that's spookily similar to my own way of thinking. Worth a look.

(In case you're wondering, the thing that worried me thesis-wise was the fourth footnote, which alludes to the fact that .NET makes translation between source languages "almost possible" via common intermediate form. I've checked, and I can't find anything suggesting that anyone actually does this with .NET. If you're reading this, and know of someone who does, then please let me know.)

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