Wood, metal and plastic [was: Re: Why do we call python scripting?]

David Oppenheimer davidopp at megsinet.net
Sat Aug 28 10:16:46 EDT 1999

There is a product called Platic which is billed as an "Object Oriented
Visual Modeling Tool based on UML."  You can find more info on it here:
 It wouldn't qualify as a new language, but this thing will generate java
from the visual objects.  Kinda similar to Sanscript (which is its own
visual language and similar to Prograph but more advanced).  Sanscript can
be (used to be) found here http://www.trulyvisual.com Maybe they have been
gobbled up by the big boys...who knows.

David O.

Paul Jackson wrote:

> Construction materials have two dimensions:
>     1) ease of fabrication, and
>     2) strength in use.
> One constructs a house mostly of wood boards, because it is
> cheaper and easier to build with them.  But in critical places
> such as locks, hinges and fasteners, one uses metal.
> I think of full-blown C++ as die cast metal, and 'classic'
> scripting languages as wood.
>     Python is plastic.
> It's suitable to a wider range of uses than shell scripts or
> Perl (though it cannot displace all uses of C or C++) but it
> is as easy to work with as scripts.
>         wood    == script   [jcl, 4dos, ksh, Perl]
>         metal   == compiled [Cobol, Fortran, C, C++]
>         plastic == ???      [Python]
> We need a new word - though until Python has a competitor, that
> is difficult.  Human brains don't do well picking names for
> classes with one known member.  The sound of one hand clapping
> or some such.
> Or perhaps Python _does_ have plastic competitors.
> Are there other "plastic" languages out there that I don't
> know about?  If there were, then we could identify the class,
> show at least two example members, and 'name that class'.
> Then perhaps this 'is Python a scripting language' question
> would rest in peace.
> (Actually, the way I've heard some of the Lisp crowd speak of
> their various dialects and common usage patterns, that sounds
> pretty plastic to me.  Python differs in having a syntax
> more like the main stream languages, and in not presuming an
> elaborate support environment, both of which make Python much
> more accessible to a main stream programmer, for main stream
> systems, like myself and the systems to which I program.)
> --
> =======================================================================
> I won't rest till it's the best ...        Software Production Engineer
> Paul Jackson (pj at sgi.com; pj at usa.net) 3x1373 http://sam.engr.sgi.com/pj

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