MAILING LIST NEWS
I have turned off archiving on VLX-general so you can say whatever you
want from now on without having to worry about it being globally posted
and available to anyone who visits the VLX site. Whatever you send to
the list will only be sent to other list subscribers.
At this point, only about half of the folks that originally expressed
interest in VLX have subscribed to VLX-general. If you still haven't
subscribed, I'll continue to copy you on the items I post to the list
for another week... but you'll miss the postings of everyone else.
So if you're still interested in the VLX project, please subscribe to
the VLX-general mailing list. I'd like to start an open discussion about
the overall functional specification and feature set... and I know there
are a few different points of view out there waiting to be expressed! :)
VLX SITE NEWS
I've posted the revised project Manifesto and project milestones to the
documentation section of the VLX site on SourceForge. John thought the
goal of making the IDE "impossible" to crash might be a little
unrealistic and after thinking about it, I had to agree... so I changed
"impossible" to "difficult"! :) It now reads:
"We intend to surround VLX with a platform independent Visual IDE
that's efficient to use, easy to learn and difficult to crash."
I also slightly modified the wording of the VIDE section per John's
concern that it might imply that we'll only be encapsulating a text
language using graphical representations. It now reads:
"Once verified, our VIDE will compress the details of the visual
algorithm into a single iconic form and then efficiently compile it
into a component where it can be used and re-used with complete
There is still much to discuss in this area. As I see it, we can
still integrate with and create iconic representations of text
algorithms... but the "philosophy" of VLX would be to bring that
language into *our* visual realm rather than try to bind VLX to an
existing text language.
This is certainly not cast in concrete... please comment if you have a
different perspective on this.
There have been some interesting developments in terms of available
tools and potential cooperation on VLX. I wrote to and just received a
very cordial reply from Professor Gennaro Costagliola at the University
of Solerno. He also attached the latest version of his VLCC (Visual
Language Compiler Compiler) project. He seems like a very knowledgeable
and congenial person and he has expressed a definite interest in the
development of VLX.
VLCC is a very interesting tool that can perhaps save us from the need
to write a Java bootstrap for VLX--. It currently produces a C++
"environment" that requires Borland C++ 5.03... so this probably
wouldn't be useful for Mac developers. Here's a link to his site:
If anyone with a Windows box is interested in taking a look at this, let
me know. The license (that I had to translate from Italian!) says that
it's ok to distribute as long as it's done as a complete package.
This would seem like the perfect prototyping tool... a visual language
lab for creating both visual languages and environments to test them in.
Professor Costagliola also said that his dream is to recode the whole
thing in Java! Maybe we can get him some support on SourceForge after
we're done stirring the pot over there with Visual Languages!
That's it for now!