Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Neil Harris-2
Steve Bennett wrote:

> On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 5:01 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>> The reason BASIC was and still enjoys wide popularity is because it's
>> easier to learn.
>>
>> The example does not make the substantial point because it veers so
>> strongly to the opposite end of the spectrum as to be unrelated to the argument
>> whatsoever.  I never suggested that a language should *mimic* English (or a
>> bizarre type of hyper-English).
>>
>> I welcome however, anyone who wants to actually conduct this argument, on
>> Earth.
>>    
>
>
> The difference between this thread and the parallel one on wikitech-l:
> that thread quickly focussed on four genuine candidates: Lua, Python,
> JavaScript and PHP. People identified the basic requirements
> (security, speed...) and pointed out the pros and cons of each
> language, in terms of available interpreters, tried and tested
> experiments with sandboxing each, etc.
>
> Here, we're talking about bringing back BASIC because it's so much
> more readable. *yawn*
>
> Steve
>
>  

Can we take this discussion back to wikitech-l now, please, and focus on
specific, concrete proposals for syntax reform and/or language replacement?

-- Neil




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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The argument that a language should be readable and easy to learn is REALLY
relevant and powerful. A language that is only good for geeks is detrimental
to the use of MediaWiki. Our current templates and template syntax are
horrible. Wikipedia is as a consequence hardly editable by everyone.
Thanks,
      GerardM

2009/7/8 Neil Harris <[hidden email]>

> Steve Bennett wrote:
> > On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 5:01 AM, <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> >> The reason BASIC was and still enjoys wide popularity is because it's
> >> easier to learn.
> >>
> >> The example does not make the substantial point because it veers so
> >> strongly to the opposite end of the spectrum as to be unrelated to the
> argument
> >> whatsoever.  I never suggested that a language should *mimic* English
> (or a
> >> bizarre type of hyper-English).
> >>
> >> I welcome however, anyone who wants to actually conduct this argument,
> on
> >> Earth.
> >>
> >
> >
> > The difference between this thread and the parallel one on wikitech-l:
> > that thread quickly focussed on four genuine candidates: Lua, Python,
> > JavaScript and PHP. People identified the basic requirements
> > (security, speed...) and pointed out the pros and cons of each
> > language, in terms of available interpreters, tried and tested
> > experiments with sandboxing each, etc.
> >
> > Here, we're talking about bringing back BASIC because it's so much
> > more readable. *yawn*
> >
> > Steve
> >
> >
>
> Can we take this discussion back to wikitech-l now, please, and focus on
> specific, concrete proposals for syntax reform and/or language replacement?
>
> -- Neil
>
>
>
>
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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Neil Harris-2
Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> Hoi,
> The argument that a language should be readable and easy to learn is REALLY
> relevant and powerful. A language that is only good for geeks is detrimental
> to the use of MediaWiki. Our current templates and template syntax are
> horrible. Wikipedia is as a consequence hardly editable by everyone.
> Thanks,
>       GerardM
>  

I agree. Could you make some concrete suggestion about how you would go
about improving it?

-- Neil


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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Neil Harris-2
In reply to this post by Neil Harris-2
[hidden email] wrote:
>  My entire point Neil was simply that, "short-time-to-learn" should also be a consideration.? To me, a language that borrows heavily from an *already known* source like English or even BASIC is easier to learn, than one which requires that every command be learned again without any prior foundation.? I am not a subscriber to tech.? I don't think I want to be.
>
>  

Wikitech-l is undoubtedly the right forum for this discussion, so we
really should continue this discussion there.

I find it rather difficult to understand exactly what you want here.
Could you please give an example, even a rough one, of the sort of
syntax you are proposing?

For example, how would you write something like, say, this artificial
example:

{{#switch:
{{#iferror: {{#expr: {{{1}}} + {{{2}}} }} | error | correct }}
| error = that's an error
| correct = {{{1}}} + {{{2}}} = {{#expr: {{{1}}} + {{{2}}} }}}}

in your new notation?

-- Neil


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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Peter Gervai-5
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 10:16, Gerard Meijssen<[hidden email]> wrote:
> The argument that a language should be readable and easy to learn is REALLY
> relevant and powerful. A language that is only good for geeks is detrimental
> to the use of MediaWiki. Our current templates and template syntax are
> horrible. Wikipedia is as a consequence hardly editable by everyone.

Mortals _use_ the templates, not _create_ them. Geeks create templates
for mortals.

Current syntax is indeed horrible, but complete readibility is not the
main issue I'd say. Security, speed and flexibility should be, along
the ease of implementation.

Peter

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Peter Gervai-5
In reply to this post by Neil Harris-2
On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 12:23, Neil Harris<[hidden email]> wrote:

> {{#switch:
> {{#iferror: {{#expr: {{{1}}} + {{{2}}} }} | error | correct }}
> | error = that's an error
> | correct = {{{1}}} + {{{2}}} = {{#expr: {{{1}}} + {{{2}}} }}}}

{{#perl
if( error( eval( "$arg1+$arg2" ) ) ) {
 return "that's an error";
} else {
 return "1+2=", $arg1+$arg2;
}
}}

:-)

But really, any above cited language should work, the more easy to
parse (and to create an interpreter) the better. I guess a lua-like
language should be easy and readable.

--
 byte-byte,
    grin

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Peter Gervai-5
Hoi,
What is the "ease of implementation" other then being able to use the syntax
? When you say that geeks create templates, you forget that the majority of
our projects do not have the geeks to support all these weird and wonderful
templates. You forget that there are loads of MediaWiki installations
outside the WMF as well.  REALLY, the inability of people to do this geek
thing is detrimental to the adoption of MediaWiki.

PS I have been a programmer for quite some years, I can submit to the WMF
SVN and I will not touch templates with a bargepole when I can help it. I
can because typically I refuse.
Thanks,
       GerardM

2009/7/8 Peter Gervai <[hidden email]>

> On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 10:16, Gerard Meijssen<[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > The argument that a language should be readable and easy to learn is
> REALLY
> > relevant and powerful. A language that is only good for geeks is
> detrimental
> > to the use of MediaWiki. Our current templates and template syntax are
> > horrible. Wikipedia is as a consequence hardly editable by everyone.
>
> Mortals _use_ the templates, not _create_ them. Geeks create templates
> for mortals.
>
> Current syntax is indeed horrible, but complete readibility is not the
> main issue I'd say. Security, speed and flexibility should be, along
> the ease of implementation.
>
> Peter
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by Neil Harris-2
Hoi,
My instict would be to slash and burn the existing templates. That is not
the way to go. So I would introduce a new functionality that has new
functionality that is to replace the old crap. Once the new functionality is
functional, I would prevent any modifications of the old stuff and replace
the old stuff whenever. Priority would be given for replacing the
performance hogs.
Thanks,
     GerardM


2009/7/8 Neil Harris <[hidden email]>

> Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> > Hoi,
> > The argument that a language should be readable and easy to learn is
> REALLY
> > relevant and powerful. A language that is only good for geeks is
> detrimental
> > to the use of MediaWiki. Our current templates and template syntax are
> > horrible. Wikipedia is as a consequence hardly editable by everyone.
> > Thanks,
> >       GerardM
> >
>
> I agree. Could you make some concrete suggestion about how you would go
> about improving it?
>
> -- Neil
>
>
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> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-l
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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Steve Bennett-8
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
On Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 6:13 PM, Gerard
Meijssen<[hidden email]> wrote:
>You forget that there are loads of MediaWiki installations
> outside the WMF as well.  REALLY, the inability of people to do this geek
> thing is detrimental to the adoption of MediaWiki.

You think? What's another wiki that even has user-programmable
templates? The MediaWiki templating system is actually a real
strength.

Steve

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Well this strength is not that great when people like myself who has commit
right on SVN does not want to touch templates with a barge pole if I can
help it. Wikipedia is supposed to be this thing everybody can edit.
Thanks,
      Gerard

2009/7/16 Steve Bennett <[hidden email]>

> On Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 6:13 PM, Gerard
> Meijssen<[hidden email]> wrote:
> >You forget that there are loads of MediaWiki installations
> > outside the WMF as well.  REALLY, the inability of people to do this geek
> > thing is detrimental to the adoption of MediaWiki.
>
> You think? What's another wiki that even has user-programmable
> templates? The MediaWiki templating system is actually a real
> strength.
>
> Steve
>
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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Peter Gervai-5
On Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 12:06, Gerard Meijssen<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Well this strength is not that great when people like myself who has commit
> right on SVN does not want to touch templates with a barge pole if I can
> help it. Wikipedia is supposed to be this thing everybody can edit.

I think you misprioritise the whole thing.

Consider it a feature, not a base functionality. Most installations do
not use 10% of the possible features available, due to lack of
knowledge, time, bravery or else. Writing templates with code is a
rare art by my observation, most of the larger MW installations never
have used it in the first hand.

You would like to remove TeX (math) input because the language is complex?

And since it'd be an extension I guess, it would imply that you want
to forbid(?) creating complex extensions? That's unrealistic. Geeks
need this functionality, so ungeeks may or may not care about that, it
doesn't really matter. If it's easier to understand than not: that's a
plus.

By the way I wouldn't touch PHP with a teen feet pole and rubber
gloves, but I'm fine with current template syntax. We're individuals
with our own preferences. ;-)

grin

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Given that there is no alternative to the templates the are  imho opinion
crucial and core functionality. It is key functionality for everyone who
wants to set up a MediaWiki installation that looks good. Tex is effectively
a corner case and is not comparable in importance.
Thanks,
    GerardM

2009/7/17 Peter Gervai <[hidden email]>

> On Fri, Jul 17, 2009 at 12:06, Gerard Meijssen<[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Well this strength is not that great when people like myself who has
> commit
> > right on SVN does not want to touch templates with a barge pole if I can
> > help it. Wikipedia is supposed to be this thing everybody can edit.
>
> I think you misprioritise the whole thing.
>
> Consider it a feature, not a base functionality. Most installations do
> not use 10% of the possible features available, due to lack of
> knowledge, time, bravery or else. Writing templates with code is a
> rare art by my observation, most of the larger MW installations never
> have used it in the first hand.
>
> You would like to remove TeX (math) input because the language is complex?
>
> And since it'd be an extension I guess, it would imply that you want
> to forbid(?) creating complex extensions? That's unrealistic. Geeks
> need this functionality, so ungeeks may or may not care about that, it
> doesn't really matter. If it's easier to understand than not: that's a
> plus.
>
> By the way I wouldn't touch PHP with a teen feet pole and rubber
> gloves, but I'm fine with current template syntax. We're individuals
> with our own preferences. ;-)
>
> grin
>
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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

David Gerard-2
2009/7/17 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:

> Given that there is no alternative to the templates the are  imho opinion
> crucial and core functionality. It is key functionality for everyone who
> wants to set up a MediaWiki installation that looks good. Tex is effectively
> a corner case and is not comparable in importance.


So your needs are crucial and core functionality, but others' needs
are corner cases and not comparable?

I can't think why you're not convincing people.


- d.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
The needs I am talking about are ALL the MediaWiki installations outside of
the WMF. Most, almost all of these do not use Tex. As a consequence you are
wrong to consider them "my" needs because it is not about me.
Thanks,
      GerardM

2009/7/17 David Gerard <[hidden email]>

> 2009/7/17 Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]>:
>
> > Given that there is no alternative to the templates the are  imho opinion
> > crucial and core functionality. It is key functionality for everyone who
> > wants to set up a MediaWiki installation that looks good. Tex is
> effectively
> > a corner case and is not comparable in importance.
>
>
> So your needs are crucial and core functionality, but others' needs
> are corner cases and not comparable?
>
> I can't think why you're not convincing people.
>
>
> - d.
>
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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Dmitriy Sintsov
Hi!
Is there any progress on this? Or, that's closed topic and such built-in
language won't be implemented?
By the way, the lots of MediaWiki installations use TeX, so OCaml is
already available as the language for extensions. Imagine #ocaml parser
function or an ocaml tag. It's not the most lightweight choise, though.
Also, Bryan Tong Minh had a great idea - choosing between an external
(compiled) version of Lua  (or another scripting language) and
"fallback" to slow built-in interpreter, when the first choice is
unavailable. Perhaps a limited subset of Lua.
Dmitriy

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Tim Starling-2
Dmitriy Sintsov wrote:

> Hi!
> Is there any progress on this? Or, that's closed topic and such built-in
> language won't be implemented?
> By the way, the lots of MediaWiki installations use TeX, so OCaml is
> already available as the language for extensions. Imagine #ocaml parser
> function or an ocaml tag. It's not the most lightweight choise, though.
> Also, Bryan Tong Minh had a great idea - choosing between an external
> (compiled) version of Lua  (or another scripting language) and
> "fallback" to slow built-in interpreter, when the first choice is
> unavailable. Perhaps a limited subset of Lua.

That thread was just talk, I don't think anyone was interested enough
to actually do anything. Nobody made any promises.

-- Tim Starling


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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Daniel Friesen-4
Tim Starling wrote:

> Dmitriy Sintsov wrote:
>  
>> Hi!
>> Is there any progress on this? Or, that's closed topic and such built-in
>> language won't be implemented?
>> By the way, the lots of MediaWiki installations use TeX, so OCaml is
>> already available as the language for extensions. Imagine #ocaml parser
>> function or an ocaml tag. It's not the most lightweight choise, though.
>> Also, Bryan Tong Minh had a great idea - choosing between an external
>> (compiled) version of Lua  (or another scripting language) and
>> "fallback" to slow built-in interpreter, when the first choice is
>> unavailable. Perhaps a limited subset of Lua.
>>    
>
> That thread was just talk, I don't think anyone was interested enough
> to actually do anything. Nobody made any promises.
>
> -- Tim Starling
>  
I did do some experimentation in making JavaScript embeddable.
Hit a small snag that I needed help with, but Lua's dev hasn't seamed to
have responded to my query.

~Daniel Friesen (Dantman, Nadir-Seen-Fire) [http://daniel.friesen.name]


--
~Daniel Friesen (Dantman, Nadir-Seen-Fire) [http://daniel.friesen.name]


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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Aryeh Gregor
In reply to this post by Dmitriy Sintsov
On Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 2:02 AM, Dmitriy Sintsov <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Is there any progress on this?

No.

> Or, that's closed topic and such built-in
> language won't be implemented?

There was no plausible candidate that would a) be reliably available
on shared hosting, b) be acceptably secure, and c) not require us to
write our own interpreter in PHP.  There is probably no such language
that exists.  I find it very unlikely that any progress will be made
unless at least one of those requirements is relaxed.

> By the way, the lots of MediaWiki installations use TeX, so OCaml is
> already available as the language for extensions.

No, that's not acceptable.  You can still use practically all
Wikipedia content without getting texvc working.  If an embedded
scripting language were added, it's a certainty that the large
majority of templates on Wikipedia would be gibberish without it.
Personally I don't see what's wrong with saying that to fully use
Wikipedia content your host needs to allow exec() -- you can get
hosting for $3/month that does.  But if the user can compile texvc, he
can use some sane language like Lua as well, so there's certainly no
reason OCaml should be on the table.

> Also, Bryan Tong Minh had a great idea - choosing between an external
> (compiled) version of Lua  (or another scripting language) and
> "fallback" to slow built-in interpreter, when the first choice is
> unavailable. Perhaps a limited subset of Lua.

It can't be a limited subset if Wikipedia templates are meant to work.
 It needs to be an exact match.  Someone would have to write a Lua
interpreter in pure PHP, which is unlikely to happen.

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Victor Vasiliev
In reply to this post by Dmitriy Sintsov
Dmitriy Sintsov wrote:
> Hi!
> Is there any progress on this? Or, that's closed topic and such built-in
> language won't be implemented?

I've almost finished writing an interpreter which is implemented using
PHP, but can easily ported to C using YACC. I hope it will be ready soon.

--vvv

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Re: [WikiEN-l] MediaWiki is getting a new programming language

Robert Rohde
On Tue, Sep 8, 2009 at 9:45 AM, Victor Vasiliev<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Dmitriy Sintsov wrote:
>> Hi!
>> Is there any progress on this? Or, that's closed topic and such built-in
>> language won't be implemented?
>
> I've almost finished writing an interpreter which is implemented using
> PHP, but can easily ported to C using YACC. I hope it will be ready soon.

An interpreter for what language?

-Robert Rohde

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