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Re: A language idea: Elle

>   I'm not sure what your favorite tools are, but my current favorite 
>   (Emacs), and the one
>   that I strongly expect to be my future favorite (Eclipse), all work with 
>   AspectJ.

Eclipse is cool and has the right sort of ideas.. but if people get a
chance, impress upon the IBM'ers working on the VCE (visual
composition editor) that supporting "non-visual" components on the
canvas is a good/useful thing. VisualAge supports this, but the open
source versions (Eclipse) and WSAD don't yet.

What does this mean? Well, it gives you the ability to instantiate a
data structure (say a hash table, set etc.) with a button click, and
"connect" it's properties, events etc. to GUI components and behavior
through connections. Note that "models" (things coming from a
database, intermediate results of computations etc.) are more likely
to be such things, and half the problem is hooking such things up to
"views" which are increasingly getting more sophisticated (people
didn't have skins and tree controls and coolbars in the old days :).
If much of the integration, plumbing etc. is done by the tools for
you, then you don't have to worry much about optimizing say how many
tokens a particular primitive represents.

People haven't talked about visual programming much on this list at
all, partly because I suspect given the "language" orientation of the
list.. people here are perfectly comfortable w/ text editors (perhaps
their early experience w/ visual 4GL's turned them off, perhaps they
haven't figured out an optimal combination that works for them,
perhaps they just don't have to write programs with massive amounts of
GUI logic like visio or Notes or think that people who do *must* be in
a minority anyways, right? :) But I'd like to ask if any of the ll
developers are doing something about this? (i.e. connecting to an
underlying substrate not only in terms of "scripting" primitives, but
to GUI building components through visual metaphors). Granted that
this approach has its negatives, but seems like a ripe area for
innovation ... 

Would/should Elle, for example, have a page-flow designer?  (Or is
everthing going to go the Jakarta/XUL way -- where the answer to any
question begins with "find said <XML> file and fire up emacs .. and
.. " <ducking .. ;->)