Stalled inovation

Čt 10 srpna 2006

I am still thinking about scripts­how incredibly useful they are and how surprisingly little of them are in GUI-Linux world. Given the fact, that every Linux user (not talking about programmers) knows very well how scripting capabilities could be useful for everybody (not only for programmers), I would expect that every Linux application would be script-enabled sooner than application from any other environment. It is not so. From major applications, there is a long list of those which do not have scripting or the one they have is inferior. Even (which is probably the most advanced in this area) has scripts which are such mess, that even thousand-times cursed VBA is just a dream against it—talking to a scripting user about (and that is one of the shorter names) is just not good. And I am not even talking about most KDE applications (which I otherwise prefer)—they have either nothing or something terribly unusable (kate is going to get some reasonable scripting only in upcoming 3.5 version). And that’s even worse given the fact that underlying KDE technology has so excellent inter-application scripting technology.

Now, another sad story from the world of Linux. I was reading Tim Bray’s blog about expiration of his RDF challenge. I have tried to get bigger picture of what he is talking about, so I read also his introduction to RDF and I was struck as with a lighting—he is talking about my beloved pet, bibliography and sucking BibTeX! You see, I am becoming to be a social scientist and I used to be a lawyer. And in academic writing in both of these professions there is huge amount of references which needs to be quoted. So, for example my wife (who is a linguist—other heavily referencing area of science) switched immediately from Word after her first simple article written in LyX —convenience of having all bibliography material in one file is just so big, that the switch was just not question. So, it is obvious that having separate bibliography database and the referring document as such is The Right Thing™. However, then we get to the blue part of the story—almost only usable bibliography manager in the world of Linux (and in the Free software world itself) is [BibTeX].

Category: computer Tagged: linux OpenOffice