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We depend on powerscripters

This message was posted by on the Macintosh Scripting list on Sun, Jan 12, 1997.

My opinions only....

There are three groups of people involved in the scripting market, on any platform, in any year, using any tools. App developers, script writers and powerscripters.

App developers. They develop interactions. Complex stuff requiring years of training and committment to very very hard work in a very competitive world.

Script writers. People who manage systems or networks or websites or groups of users, customizing the systems, building applications out of system functions and commercial apps, at the front line. Lots of secretaries fit into this category. They have the time and the patience to learn, and they understand the human systems. Librarians turn out to be big end-user script writers too.

Powerscripters. They connect the two worlds. At the intersection of any product and script writers, we need people who have a systems background, deep talent and committment, people who are driven to learn and grow. Look around you. People like Preston, Brent and Scott and John Baxter, Mason Hale, etc.

As a case study, look at the FileMaker scripting interface, and then look at what Brent Simmons has been able to do with them. They're more complex than most people need. Brent understood that and fixed it.

As Bill Cheeseman points out, it's remarkable that the app developers have done so much to support scripting. But they tend to reveal the full functionality of the product when only a simplified subset will ever be used by real world scripting apps. I'm a commercial developer myself, and understand the mindset. I want to expose everything possible. It's easier to sift thru a hundred APIs to find the one you want, than to work around a missing API. That's the app developer view of things. But this approach doesn't serve the script writer very well.

When I'm writing scripts I want to get the job done quickly and I like elegance and simplicty. Then I want performance. I like it when someone has anticipated my needs, when the road is paved ahead of me. Only a powerscripter is going to be able to take care of that kind of streamlining.

Scripting needs a framework. When I look at Java I see something that looks much like our object db. I also see something that's much less mature than what we have. I see a lot of opportunity there.

Interesting times!


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