GNU Guix launches
Posted Nov 26, 2012 13:51 UTC (Mon) by cmm
In reply to: GNU Guix launches
Parent article: GNU Guix launches
The whole "standardized extension language" thing brings two benefits:
- Uniform surface syntax across extensible programs. But surface syntax is really the least of your worries when scripting an application (unless the "little language" it comes with is really atrocious, of course) — pretty much all the cognitive load in such a situation is knowing what the hell to write in the script, not in what particular syntax.
- Mature and uniform "adding an extension language" API for application developers.
Which is all cool if you need to add an extension language to your program and haven't done so yet. If you already have one and it's not brain-dead — I don't really see much point in replacing it. Nix's configuration language does not seem brain-dead.
As for the alternatives: Lua is younger than Guile, I think, and anyway it's basically a Scheme with syntax (and some questionable design choices mixed in, like not requiring you to declare variables. It's amazing how much typo-related pain that is customarily ascribed to the dynamically-typed nature of "scripting" languages is actually the result of this particular brain damage which most of them share...). I don't know how nice Python is as an extension language — but it is not backward-compatible with itself, which in my eyes makes it a joke (yes, I know the whole world is in love with it anyway). This is not GNU advocacy, I'm just trying to illustrate the fact that their extension language policy (as I understand it) is not arbitrary.
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