So, lots of talk about sripting engines on Planet GNOME. I was first planning this as an answer to Alex’s GScript introduction, but I thought others might be interested, so here it goes:
Here’s the three things I’d care about in a GNOME scripting environment a lot:
The most important thing is of course the bindability. You need to make it incredibly simple to bind stuff to or from GObject stuff. It looks like GScript already does an awesome job at this with natively marshalling everything and so on.
Another important thing is this: Does GScript ship programming tools and provide a way to do RAD? I’m thinking console, debugger, dnd script installation etc here. Not just for people writing scripts (where I’d want completion and built-in documentation), but also for me when making my application scriptable and having to debug refcounting issues because a script holds on to a GObject that my C code thinks is gone already.
But the most important thing for scripting I think is security. I want to be able to download scripts from untrusted sources (read: the Internet) without fear of them doing anything bad to my computer or its data. This is doubly complicated if exposing stuff is too easy. So if you expose “RemoveSong” in Rhythmbox, you already have a problem.
The reason you want to allow this, is twofold: 1) We are incredibly bad at maintaining a useful set of plugins (or art - same issue for themes). That’s not due to lack of capability, but because it’s booooring. 2) If you would set up a website where everyone can upload/download/vote on scripts and even integrated that site into your application, you would make the application self-improve and lower the barrier of entry for new people incredibly.
Here’s a use example
- I want to remove red eyes in the GIMP. So I open the plugin browser, enter “red eye” and get a list of plugins (note that none of these plugins are installed). I select the highest-rated (or most-installed one) and it launches, asking me to select the red eyes and afterwards removes it.
- I decide I’m smart and can write code that detects the red eyes automatically, so I select the script, click on “edit” and modify the script. After half an hour (read: 2 weeks) it does what I want. I’m happy.
- When looking through my scripts, I see the “upload” button next to my red-eye removal tool. So I click it and it’s available for everyone else.
- Go to 1, replace “I” with “you” and “selecting the area” with “speed”, “accuracy” or whatever other feature.
This gets you the whole bazaar style software evolution without human intervention, automatically and for free. The only people I know that are doing something like this are Userscripts for Greasemonkey, but even that doesn’t look very professional.
Syndicated 2008-09-09 11:37:39 from Swfblag