What is "Open Language"?

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What is "Open Language"?

Richard Gaskin
I was looking for a clear definition of LiveCode's proposed "Open
Language", but I've come up empty.

The original Kickstarter page says only:

    We will introduce a new technology called “Open Language”.
    With Open Language, the more technical members of our community
    can create English-like words and phrases to enable everyone to
    write programs that use any aspect of a computer or device. If
    you’re technical, you can read all about that here.

...where "here" is a link to a blog post that no longer exists.

Within the community there have been broadly varying ideas about what
"Open Language" might entail, and I was hoping that blog post might
clear things up but alas it's not even in the Wayback Machine.

Anyone here have a copy of that blog post?

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Colin Holgate-3
I found this definition of open language, which might be on the right lines too:

http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=609766



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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Mark Waddingham-2
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
Simply put, Open Language is a technology that will mean that LCB libraries and widgets will be able to define english-like syntax rather than being limited to function call / command call / property access syntax.

It is a key piece that will not only mean 'third parties' can define english-like syntax but also mean the all the current engine syntax can be very easily evolved and augmented.

Mark.

Sent from my iPhone

> On 24 Oct 2015, at 17:10, Richard Gaskin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I was looking for a clear definition of LiveCode's proposed "Open Language", but I've come up empty.
>
> The original Kickstarter page says only:
>
>   We will introduce a new technology called “Open Language”.
>   With Open Language, the more technical members of our community
>   can create English-like words and phrases to enable everyone to
>   write programs that use any aspect of a computer or device. If
>   you’re technical, you can read all about that here.
>
> ...where "here" is a link to a blog post that no longer exists.
>
> Within the community there have been broadly varying ideas about what "Open Language" might entail, and I was hoping that blog post might clear things up but alas it's not even in the Wayback Machine.
>
> Anyone here have a copy of that blog post?
>
> --
> Richard Gaskin
> Fourth World Systems
> Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
> ____________________________________________________________________
> [hidden email]                http://www.FourthWorld.com
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode

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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richard Gaskin
In reply to this post by Colin Holgate-3
Colin Holgate wrote:
> I found this definition of open language, which might be on the right lines too:
>
> http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=609766

A good reminder for us all to keep our ACM memberships current.

But alas mine has lapsed, and before I spend US$15 to download the 2001
article to see if it matches what LiveCode Ltd. proposed for their
system in 2013, I'm hoping we might find some definition specific to
their plans not behind a paywall.

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Re: What is "Open Language"?

mwieder
In reply to this post by Mark Waddingham-2
On 10/24/2015 09:39 AM, Mark Waddingham wrote:

> It is a key piece that will not only mean 'third parties' can define english-like syntax but also mean the all the current engine syntax can be very easily evolved and augmented.

Cool. I'm looking forward to finally resolving ambiguities like

Is the turkey ready to eat yet?
and
I left her behind for you.

<g>

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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Colin Holgate-3
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
I don’t know what ACM is! Google found that page for me.


> On Oct 24, 2015, at 12:42 PM, Richard Gaskin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> I found this definition of open language, which might be on the right lines too:
>>
>> http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=609766 <http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=609766>
>
> A good reminder for us all to keep our ACM memberships current.

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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richard Gaskin
In reply to this post by Mark Waddingham-2
Mark Waddingham wrote:

 > Simply put, Open Language is a technology that will mean that LCB
 > libraries and widgets will be able to define english-like syntax
 > rather than being limited to function call / command call / property
 > access syntax.
 >
 > It is a key piece that will not only mean 'third parties' can define
 > english-like syntax but also mean the all the current engine syntax
 > can be very easily evolved and augmented.

Two questions:

1. Do we have a projected timeline for that?

2. Isn't the goal so that we can have 10,000 different, often
incompatible and sometimes confusing, custom syntax options for doing
basic things like setting the rect of a button?  :)  (This is why I get
food thrown at me while speaking at LiveCode conferences)

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
  [hidden email]                http://www.FourthWorld.com


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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Roger Eller
In reply to this post by mwieder
if "she" ain't in the fld then
     look in the barn
   else
     if she is among theCows then
         come back home fer supper
     end if
end if
On Oct 24, 2015 12:45 PM, "Mark Wieder" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 10/24/2015 09:39 AM, Mark Waddingham wrote:
>
> It is a key piece that will not only mean 'third parties' can define
>> english-like syntax but also mean the all the current engine syntax can be
>> very easily evolved and augmented.
>>
>
> Cool. I'm looking forward to finally resolving ambiguities like
>
> Is the turkey ready to eat yet?
> and
> I left her behind for you.
>
> <g>
>
> --
>  Mark Wieder
>  [hidden email]
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your
> subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode
>
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JB
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Re: What is "Open Language"?

JB
In reply to this post by mwieder

> On Oct 24, 2015, at 9:45 AM, Mark Wieder <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
> I left her behind for you.
>
> <g>
>
> --
> Mark Wieder
> [hidden email]
>
> _______________________________________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode
>

Your choice of words is really important.
I was recently listening to a couple of old
songs.  One song the lyrics said,

“I don’t know why I love you but I do”

Then I thought about it and decided she
probably wants a better answer than that
even though the song is nice.

The other one is from Mockingbird.  It said

“If that mockingbird doesn’t sing he is going
to buy me a diamond ring”

I am thinking the mockingbird will live longer
if it keeps quiet.

John Balgenorth
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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richard Gaskin
In reply to this post by Colin Holgate-3
Colin Holgate wrote:

 >> On Oct 24, 2015, at 12:42 PM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
 >>
 >>> I found this definition of open language, which might be on
 >>> the right lines too:
 >>>
 >>> http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=609766 
<http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=609766>
 >>
 >> A good reminder for us all to keep our ACM memberships current.
 >
 > I don’t know what ACM is! Google found that page for me.

Kindly indulge this good work for our friends at the ACM:

The Association for Computing Machinery is one of the oldest and most
respected organizations for computing professionals and enthusiasts.

One of their membership options grants access to the ACM library, one of
the world's most comprehensive collections of research related to nearly
every area of computing, such as the article linked to above.

The ACM includes many special interest groups (SIGs), of which SIGGRAPH
is among their most famous - the annual SIGGRAPH conference is
considered one of the premier showcases for new and interesting projects
in computing imaging, 3D, motion graphics, VR, and more.

For UX/UI designers the ACM SIGCHI (Computer-Human Interaction) is a
great resource providing a bi-monthly publication, Interactions, and has
many local chapters around the world:
<http://www.sigchi.org/connect/local-sigs>

I've also had memberships with the Interaction Design Association and
the User Experience Professionals Association, but as much as I've
enjoyed their meetings and publications I still consider ACM SIGCHI the
creme de le creme of usability orgs.

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
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RE: What is "Open Language"?

John Dixon
In reply to this post by Mark Waddingham-2
Oh dear... it smacks of pidgeon english... with words like 'innit', 'blood' and 'bling' being included... to maintain a standard, perhaps there should be an 'Oxford English publication of acceptable words to be used in liveCode syntax'...


> Simply put, Open Language is a technology that will mean that LCB libraries and widgets will be able to define english-like syntax rather than being limited to function call / command call / property access syntax.
>
> It is a key piece that will not only mean 'third parties' can define english-like syntax but also mean the all the current engine syntax can be very easily evolved and augmented.
>
> Mark.

     
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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richard Gaskin
John Dixon wrote:

 >> Simply put, Open Language is a technology that will mean that LCB
 >> libraries and widgets will be able to define english-like syntax
 >> rather than being limited to function call / command call / property
 >> access syntax.
 >>
 >> It is a key piece that will not only mean 'third parties' can define
 >> english-like syntax but also mean the all the current engine syntax
 >> can be very easily evolved and augmented.
 >
 > Oh dear... it smacks of pidgeon english... with words like 'innit',
 > 'blood' and 'bling' being included... to maintain a standard, perhaps
 > there should be an 'Oxford English publication of acceptable words to
 > be used in liveCode syntax'...

This is part of the reason I raised this thread.  We've seen some rather
broadly varying ideas about what Open Language means, but I share your
concerns and I'm not sure that's what Mark intended, even if some are
excited at the prospect.

I believe the core of the issue is that to date all xTalks have required
comma-delimited arguments for custom commands.  The good news is that
this is pretty much how most programming languages work, so it's not
particularly onerous.  But the bad news is that it means that the
libraries we share bear no relationship syntactically with the build-in
commands.

I *believe* (emphasis added to note that I'd he happy to be corrected by
Mr. Waddingham if this isn't correct) that Open Language was proposed
primarily (perhaps only) to allow library scripters to define syntax
that fits in more closely with the flavor of the rest of the language.

For example, today I might write:

    CreateDocument "Window Title", tFilePath

...but with Open Language I could write:

    create document titled "Window Title" using file tFilePath

Mr. Waddingham, is that correct?


That said, I admit I'm rather enamored of this request:
<http://quality.runrev.com/show_bug.cgi?id=3157>

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richmond Mathewson-2
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
On 24/10/15 19:10, Richard Gaskin wrote:

> I was looking for a clear definition of LiveCode's proposed "Open
> Language", but I've come up empty.
>
> The original Kickstarter page says only:
>
>    We will introduce a new technology called “Open Language”.
>    With Open Language, the more technical members of our community
>    can create English-like words and phrases to enable everyone to
>    write programs that use any aspect of a computer or device. If
>    you’re technical, you can read all about that here.

Talk about throw-away lines . . .

Surely (?????) LiveCode already does this: use English-like words and
phrases
to enable everyone to write programs ????

The sticking point is this bit:

"to enable everyone to write programs that use any aspect of a computer
or device."

Well: I still cannot talk to my USB robot or my USB footpedal set with
LiveCode . . .

>
> ...where "here" is a link to a blog post that no longer exists.

I've always had a sneaking suspicion that "someone" went 'off at the
mouth' a bit during
the Kickstarter and promised things that, either, they had no intention
of keeping, or promised
things that, really, they didn't realise would involve them in so many
unseen complexities that
they would be, effectively, unrealisable.

The definition: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=609766

is JUST a proposal, and as such, it is nothing more, and does not
involve a feasibility study
nor a prototype,

AND

as people are NOT computers, not vice-versa, I cannot see how an "Open
Language"
= with Human-like logic and endlessly extensible in a human-like fashion
is ever going to be possible.

I would say, that LiveCode, at its best [because, recently, in its
efforts to be 'clever' is seems to strayed away from that]
is pretty near to having some sort of 'naturalistic' language; but that
is NOT an Open language.

>
> Within the community there have been broadly varying ideas about what
> "Open Language" might entail, and I was hoping that blog post might
> clear things up but alas it's not even in the Wayback Machine.
>
> Anyone here have a copy of that blog post?
>

How incredibly convenient that quite a few 'promises' that we remember
from the Kickstarter have
evaporated into the miasma of cyber-space so we cannot hold people to
them . . . .

I don't quite know why the user base of LiveCode still refuses to accept
that RunRev is NOT being nearly as 'open'
with them as, perhaps, one would expect from an Open Source thing.
Despite RunRev's repeated protestations
these sort of 'things' keep coming up.

I do believe that until RunRev can "come clean" with their user-base
there will be a growing feeling of distrust which will only harm them.

Expanded too quickly, promised too many things too quickly, kept
changing prices and conditions too quickly, avoiding some embarrassing
truths . . . um.

Let's imagine a situation:

Dear kids, those of you who would normally attend classes with me on
Tuesday morning will be unable to
as, unfortunately, I have an unavoidable doctor's appointment, therefore
I have had to move your class to Wednesday
morning: I am sorry to have put you to this inconvenience.

That is what I have just sent the 7 children who are due to have a class
with me on Tuesday: it's called "being 100% open".

It has never hurt my business.

Richmond.


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Re: What is "Open Language"?

J. Landman Gay
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
I was just going to post that link when I read your reply. It's my favorite too and I hope it never goes away.

On October 24, 2015 1:17:40 PM CDT, Richard Gaskin <[hidden email]> wrote:

>That said, I admit I'm rather enamored of this request:
><http://quality.runrev.com/show_bug.cgi?id=3157>

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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richmond Mathewson-2
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
On 24/10/15 19:53, Richard Gaskin wrote:

> Mark Waddingham wrote:
>
> > Simply put, Open Language is a technology that will mean that LCB
> > libraries and widgets will be able to define english-like syntax
> > rather than being limited to function call / command call / property
> > access syntax.
> >
> > It is a key piece that will not only mean 'third parties' can define
> > english-like syntax but also mean the all the current engine syntax
> > can be very easily evolved and augmented.
>
> Two questions:
>
> 1. Do we have a projected timeline for that?
>
> 2. Isn't the goal so that we can have 10,000 different, often
> incompatible and sometimes confusing, custom syntax options for doing
> basic things like setting the rect of a button?  :)  (This is why I
> get food thrown at me while speaking at LiveCode conferences)
>

Well, what to one person is 'natural language' may not be to another:
and a "10,000 different, often incompatible and sometimes confusing,
custom syntax options" does seem to sum that problem up fairly effectively.

It is an unreachable ideal for the plain and simple reason that
computers do not work in the
same way as human brains.

R.

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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richard Gaskin
In reply to this post by Richmond Mathewson-2
Richmond write:

 > The sticking point is this bit:
 >
 > "to enable everyone to write programs that use any aspect of a
 > computer or device."
 >
 > Well: I still cannot talk to my USB robot or my USB footpedal set
 > with LiveCode . . .

I agree it would have been clearer to have specified "or computing
device".  But since "device" is commonly used to refer collectively to
phones, phablets, and tablets, I've seen very few people so certain that
it meant "all possible devices ever manufactured for any purpose however
specialized" that they felt compelled to spam "RunRev doesn't care" all
over the forums.

Given this expectation, and that the number of folks using Lua, Python,
or JavaScript is far larger than our humble LiveCode audience, one might
ask whether the core dev teams for those and other scripting language
has provided you built-in commands for the specific device you have?

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richmond Mathewson-2
On 24/10/15 22:02, Richard Gaskin wrote:

> Richmond write:
>
> > The sticking point is this bit:
> >
> > "to enable everyone to write programs that use any aspect of a
> > computer or device."
> >
> > Well: I still cannot talk to my USB robot or my USB footpedal set
> > with LiveCode . . .
>
> I agree it would have been clearer to have specified "or computing
> device".  But since "device" is commonly used to refer collectively to
> phones, phablets, and tablets, I've seen very few people so certain
> that it meant "all possible devices ever manufactured for any purpose
> however specialized" that they felt compelled to spam "RunRev doesn't
> care" all over the forums.
>
> Given this expectation, and that the number of folks using Lua,
> Python, or JavaScript is far larger than our humble LiveCode audience,
> one might ask whether the core dev teams for those and other scripting
> language has provided you built-in commands for the specific device
> you have?

Aah: they probably haven't.

I don't think that "RunRev doesn't care", but I think they have promised
rather more than they are capable of delivering
in a semi-reasonable time-frame, and as a resilt they have got a lots of
people's expectations up in a way that may be
quite unrealistic, and it might not be a bad idea if they did a spot of
retrenchment instead of keeping quiet.

Certainly, if RunRev were to state something like this:

"We would very much like to work towards Open Language, however we do
realise something now, that we might have been
unaware of in our enthusiasm over the Kickstarter and launching an Open
Source version of LiveCode, so it would be unreasonable
for users to expect anything near a fully open langauge sometime soon."

That might let people who are wondering, that they care.

R.

>
> --
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Fourth World Systems
>  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
>  ____________________________________________________________________
>  [hidden email] http://www.FourthWorld.com
>
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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Peter TB Brett
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
On 2015-10-24 18:53, Richard Gaskin wrote:

> 2. Isn't the goal so that we can have 10,000 different, often
> incompatible and sometimes confusing, custom syntax options for doing
> basic things like setting the rect of a button?

To quote Gilbert & Sullivan: "Well, yes, that's the idea."

Not too different from the status quo, though, is it? I can already
modify the bounding box of a button by setting its "left", "right",
"top", "bottom", "topLeft", "topRight", "bottomLeft", "bottomRight",
"rect", or "rectangle" pseudo-properties.

Some people believe that programming languages should be designed in
such a way that, for any given task, "There should be one - and
preferably only one - obvious way to do it."  This is not the design
philosophy of LiveCode.

                                   Peter

--
Dr Peter Brett <[hidden email]>
LiveCode Open Source Team

LiveCode on reddit! <https://reddit.com/r/livecode>

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Re: What is "Open Language"?

Richard Gaskin
In reply to this post by Richmond Mathewson-2
Richmond wrote:

 > as people are NOT computers, not vice-versa, I cannot see how an
 > "Open Language" = with Human-like logic and endlessly extensible
 > in a human-like fashion is ever going to be possible.

One could argue it never has, at least with some commands.

My favorite example is the "export snapshot" command - even with the
Dictionary guidance we all need to turn to for that no matter how many
times we've used it, it's so complex with such a combinatorial explosion
of options that I defy anyone to make a readable BNF for it. :)

Instead of using commas we delimit options with assistive noise words,
like "at" or "with", but with a command as complex as "export" snapshot"
do we specify the image compressor using "with" or "as", or is "as" for
the file name, since "at" is used for size?

And all the while, just like comma-delimited args, we must memorize the
order of them.  You can't just use "at" followed by the thumbnail size
just anywhere; all options must be used in a specific order.

For some complex things I find myself admiing R, XML, and other
languages where arguments are name-value pairs.

For example, if "export snapshot" were an R command it might look
something like:

   ExportSnapshot file=Myfile.png format=png size=128,256

Even better, in R most arguments are purely optional; anything omitted
uses a reasonable default.  LiveCode kinda does this too, but we really
appreciate it with R's plot command:

   plot <data>

...gives you a gorgeous scatter plot with useful x- and y-axis labels
and well-placed tick marks, without having to specify anything; you can
specify as much or as little as you like with most commands and expect a
useful result.

I'm not proposing LiveCode switch to name-value pair arguments, but in
some cases it would be a nice option, "export snapshot" being among them.

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  ____________________________________________________________________
  [hidden email]                http://www.FourthWorld.com


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RE: What is "Open Language"?

Peter TB Brett
In reply to this post by John Dixon
On 2015-10-24 19:40, John Dixon wrote:
> Oh dear... it smacks of pidgeon english... with words like 'innit',
> 'blood' and 'bling' being included... to maintain a standard, perhaps
> there should be an 'Oxford English publication of acceptable words to
> be used in liveCode syntax'...

Yes, many of the core dev team are looking forward to replacing:

* color -> colour
* hilite -> highlight
* gray -> grey
* program -> programme

Spelling these keywords properly will be an important step forward in
ensuring accessibility and comprehensibility for the LiveCode scripting
language. It will greatly reduce the number of bugs and regressions in
our releases, thanks to reducing the core team developers' typo rate.

                                  Peter :-)

--
Dr Peter Brett <[hidden email]>
LiveCode Open Source Team

LiveCode on reddit! <https://reddit.com/r/livecode>

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