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Re: [guile-user] Ideas for Documentation

From: Linas Vepstas
Subject: Re: [guile-user] Ideas for Documentation
Date: Mon, 17 May 2010 09:31:14 -0500

On 16 May 2010 11:06, Keith Wright <address@hidden> wrote:
> On the other hand, while I have no idea what you know
> or how it can be described, I can prove by algebra[1]
> that all computer programs are discrete math.

If I knew how to describe what I know, I'd put it on my resume.

google and wikipedia can provide the "standard" definition
of "discrete math" e.g.

Although GnuCash, Gnotime & other programs that use
guile originally intended for guile to be used as a true
"extension language", that goal remains mostly unfulfilled.
Frankly, its just plain hard for non-programmers (and
many experienced programmers) to use scheme.

So, for example, GnoTime generates reports/charts in
HTML so that they can be e-mailed, etc. Scheme code can
be embedded in the reports, kind-of-like PHP, to customize
the layout contents. (gnotime sends these off to guile for
interpretation, while generating the report) There's a bunch
of example reports, and a built-in mini-scheme-tutorial in
GnoTime (found in the "reports" menu, explaining that the
reports can be customized), to assist with this. But, to the
best of my knowledge, no one has ever actually done this --
no one has ever made any changes big enough to send
back to the gnotime developers.

Guile in GnuCash was originally intended to make GnuCash
customizable in various deep and powerful ways, but I think
that vision was lost, and I don't think it even begins to be as
easily usable as gnotime is.  GnuCash would probably need
some major work to expose guile to the ordinary user, and,
even if these changes were made, its not clear that the
ordinary user cares.

At best, "extension languages" seem best suited for small
consultancies who are making one-off changes to existing
software products, for the benefit of paying clients. Neither
GnoTime nor GnuCash seem to have a user-base that is
interested in getting slightly modified versions for their own
private use.


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