[tex-live] Why not using a (e.g.) SQL-like installation-language?

Oliver Bandel oliver at first.in-berlin.de
Sat Jul 21 16:28:39 CEST 2007


there are a lot of people and a lot of programming languages
out there, and because of that there are at some points
borders between the people who could provide development effort.

Why not using an SQL-like language for the installation-control?

Then people do not have to learn Perl or Python or Shell or anything else,
which might take a lot of effort to learn it.

If there would be one layer of an installation-language, which would be
easy enough for all people, then nobody needs learning an API of a certain
A Domain Specific Language (DSL) could help here.

So installation routines could be written in a high-level way,
instead of programming on the API of a general programming language
(which to chose?).

For example a SQL-statement like

  SELECT * from "foobar" where size < 1000000;

could be transformed to an installation routine:

  INSTALL src,doc from "foobar" where size < 1000000;

(or any other selection that would make sense)

Some days ago I started to implement a apache-logfile-retriever,
which uses a subset of the SQL-language. Selection with WHERE-statement
already works now, and maybe today I make it complete.

Description of idea and an example on what would work:
(Code not online now; maybe later.)

So: why not making it this way also for TeX-installations?

The language could automatically load data from
CD/DVD or via network, if it is intended to do so.

So, what I'm praising for is: using ONE certain DSL for the installation,
instead of possibly one of hundreds of general programming languages.
The installer itself could be implemented (possibly) in any of the many
languages, but it would provide ONE language for all TeX-people.

Does this idea makes any sense to you?

    Oliver Bandel

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