Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Scripting on Windows

Author:Dave Aiello
Posted:1/14/1999; 5:55:53 AM
Topic:Scripting on Windows
Msg #:2121 (In response to 2053)
Prev/Next:2120 / 2122

A lot of the functionality you are asking for is already there if you use a scripting language like Perl or Python, but I guess the validity of my comment depends upon the platform you are using and the approach you take.

For instance, I am much more confident of my ability to write a TCP/IP client in a scripting language on the NT and UNIX platforms than I am on the Macintosh. This is not because I am unfamiliar with the Macintosh, but because I found a lot of annoying Perl module incompatibilities on NT and Macintosh. ActiveState, the company that has lead Perl 5.005 development on Windows, has aleviated a lot of these problem on NT, but I am not sure who is carrying the ball on the Mac.

The problem I see with Perl, and scripting languages like it, is that they do not seem appropriate for the kind of scripting that I used to do with things like AppleScript and Frontier. By this, I mean application automation that was one of my main claims to fame prior to the development of the Web as we know it today.

Since the advent of the Web, I have simply been captivated by all of the things I could do without using desktop applications. Nearly everything I build today is delivered through a Web Server. So, at least half the places where I would have wanted scripting hooks in the past don't really matter to me anymore.

(I should also point out that I am impressed that Frontier has jumped two huge chasms -- from simply being an alternative to AppleScript to being competitive in the Web space, and from being a Mac-only to a Mac and Win32 toolset.)

A number of people speaking about the NT environment have hinted that the mechanism for scheduling tasks needs to be improved. I tend to agree with that, although I also suspect that many of the things that we would want to do (in terms of adding/deleting scheduled tasks, and inspecting scheduled task lists) are doable today, just not in ways that are obvious to those of us who cut our teeth on non-PC platforms.

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