interacting with gui-based programs

Mike Meyer mwm at
Fri Feb 21 17:02:25 CET 2003

Dennis Lee Bieber <wlfraed at> writes:
> Mike Meyer fed this fish to the penguins on Thursday 20 February 2003 
> 07:56 am:
> > This is one of the places where Windows beats Unix hands down. Windows
> > uses an interprocess communications mechanism to provide scripting,
> > which means you can control applications from any language that can do
> > IP, and can control multiple applications from one script. Unix tends
> > to provide scripting by embedding an interpreter in the application,
> > which means you can only use that language (ignoring GUILE for now),
> > and only control one application at a time.
>         And, IMHO, the Amiga beat them all -- since ARexx built its command 
> address system on top of the OS IPC message ports.

We're way off topic here. Building on top of the OS IPC mechanism is
only half the story. I'm not familiar enough with COM/DOM/etc. to know
whether or not it's built on a similar OS mechanism, or if that's what
makes the ARexx better than it. However, CORBA is built on top of
TCP/IP on Unix systems. What makes the ARexx better than CORBA is that
ARexx was bundled with the OS, which helped drive applications vendors
to support it.

> > Unix has the technology to do things the better way - for instnace, I
> > used CORBA - but until application vendors pick up on it, it won't do
> > you much good. You can read my white paper on the subject, including
>         Unfortunately, that also applies to IBM's Linux version of ORexx -- 
> while the language handles multiple command addresses with no problem, 
> the other applications would have to be written to register the 
> address/port with the ORexx system:

I don't have much hope for anything ever showing up in the Unix
community. Before you'll get any significant support from application
vendors, you have to have system vendors agreeing on a single
mechanism - whether it's CORBA, ORexx messages, or something else.
That just doesn't seem likely, as we already have three radically
different high-level IP mechanisms competing.

Mike Meyer <mwm at>
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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