News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus Mail Starting 2/27/98

From: zod@walrus.com (zod);
Sent at Sat, 28 Feb 1998 03:39:39 -0500;
The Boss of Me

What is the origin of the phrase "Dig we Must!"? I first found it in Apple docs concerning the Java garbage collector. Or else I am very mistaken.

I first used the phrase in the DaveNet piece, The Cute Little Nut, 5/4/95. It was a slogan for Con Ed, the NY power company. They'd put up signs around construction sites saying, Dig We Must! It made an impression on me as a kid, clearly. It's become one of my main slogans, along with Still Diggin, which adds a sense of time to it. DW

From: dwiner@well.com (Dave Winer);
Sent at Fri, 27 Feb 1998 15:22:09 -0800;
Re:RPC over HTTP via XML

I wrote this piece *very* carefully, but maybe not carefully enough. To be clear...

We support COM because it is the native IAC protocol on Windows, a platform that we support. We have no plans to support COM on the Mac, where we support the Apple Event Manager, which is also proprietary and we believe platform-specific.

RPC over HTTP via XML is the cross-platform IAC protocol that we are pushing. With everything we have.

From: malpern@scott.skidmore.edu (Micah Alpern);
Sent at Fri, 27 Feb 1998 14:54:35 -0800;
Re:RPC over HTTP via XML

Dave, one quick point. One of the nice things about DaveNet over the years has been that you always define all the acronyms you use, at least in ps's. (such ps- XML stands for eXtended Markup Language). You neglected to do so on this piece. Particularly with RPC. That's one I don't know, yet ;-). Thanks.

RPC stands for Remote Procedure Call. HTTP stands for HyperText Transport Protocol. I believe XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. DW

From: rberger@ibd.com (Robert J. Berger);
Sent at Fri, 27 Feb 1998 14:53:29 -0800;
Re:RPC over HTTP via XML

I can't believe you have taken the Microsoft koolaid so much that you are now supporting COM! XML is an open standard, inherently cross platform, it's cool to support that. But COM is the ultimate Microsoft gotcha. Its totally closed, propriatary and Windows/Win32 centric.

Its not even a nice technology. Its huge and heavyweight, fundamentally procedural with a thin veneer of OOP. Its an early 80s technology being foisted on the community. A step backwards not forwards.

COM is so intimately tied to Windows that it will be tough to make it usable on other platforms (existing or future). It is not an Internet standard and I don't see Microsoft opening it to a public body, not even as minimal as Sun's relationship with Java/ISO, let alone an IETF RFC.

Of course, if one sees the world as owned and operated by Microsoft and there are no other platforms today or the next decade, then COM makes sense.

From: deanc@ici.net (Dean Chouinard);
Sent at Fri, 27 Feb 1998 16:56:56 -0500;
Windows Word Processor

I use Yeah Write! They have a free version. Its real simple.


From: mark_gardner@merck.com (Gardner, Mark J.);
Sent at Fri, 27 Feb 1998 13:24:01 -0500;
ISAPI Filters and Apache

I saw the item on Scripting News about discovering ISAPI Filters documentation. You should note that Apache for Windows NT can load most ISAPI Extensions, but it cannot load ISAPI Filters.

So it looks like you're stuck writing a DLL for Apache. :-(

From: jimfl@bnl.gov (jimfl);
Sent at Fri, 27 Feb 1998 08:36:49 -0500;
Usable Script

The term script, in the more modern usage, is, of course, borrowed from a more traditional usage where "a script" (a writing system, or lettering style) is the medium in which "some script" is produced. So I think saying something like "we need to produce a bit of script to solve the interace glue" is very usable usage. The word "script" was used for both the medium and the message.

Is a script a thing or some stuff? In Frontier especially, what one might think of as "a script" is more likely to be a bunch of little scripts organized hierarchically, thus "some script". Stuff. "Have fun: write script" doesn't have to come off as "Me have fun... write script. Must dig!"

Just like going back into the family photo album, it is often entertaining to take a look at what words used to do, and by what odd sequences of co-incidence they came to us as they now are. There is a wonderful volume filled with this kind of activity called "On Words" by C.S. Lewis.

From: jjvornov@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu (James J. Vornov);
Sent at Fri, 27 Feb 1998 09:06:46 -0500;
Re "Script"

That's an easy one. Substitute the word "code" for script in that sentence and you'll see it parses fine. Code implies many statements. A program is many lines of code. I agree that a script is a program. But then maybe a script is code?

From: cshotton@biap.com (Chuck Shotton);
Sent at Fri, 27 Feb 1998 07:58:39 -0600;
Generic vs. Specific

A cultural language note. A writer on one of our lists says "I think it is very usable script at this point." Where I come from, the correct grammar would be "I think it is a very usable script at this point." I notice more and more people speaking this way. Where did this way of speaking of script (er scripts) come from?

"I think this is very tasty gravy" vs "I think this is a very tasty gravy".

Both are correct, but we generally prefer the first, which is the reverse of your preferred vernacular for scripts.

In the example you provide on Scripting News, substitute the word "English" for the word "script" and it'll make sense where that person's mindset comes from.

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