Fwd: Embedded scripting languages

Begin forwarded message:

From: Noel O’Boyle baoilleach@gmail.com
Date: March 19, 2008 12:11:08 PM EDT
To: Jens Thomas j.m.h.thomas@dl.ac.uk
Cc: angel.herraez@uah.es, c.morley@gaseq.co.uk,
david.zorrilla@uca.es, d@milkbox.net, geoff.hutchison@gmail.com, jhjensen@kemi.ku.dk
, KnowlesPJ@cardiff.ac.uk, mhanwell@gmail.com, p.a.couch@dl.ac.uk, p.sherwood@dl.ac.uk
, t.youngs@qub.ac.uk, toon.verstraelen@ugent.be, uvaretto@cscs.ch,
Huub van Dam H.J.J.VanDam@dl.ac.uk
Subject: Embedded scripting languages

I just want to follow up on a comment I made at the Runcorn meeting.
It was in relation to Aten, which had a Tcl-like scripting language
for parsing files. But this comment also applies to the proposed
embedding of a Python console in Avogadro.

It’s taken from a blog post of Andrew Dalke, whom some of you may be
familiar with:

Quote from http://www.dalkescientific.com/writings/PyCon2004.html:
And finally something that Warren [author of PyMol] first
explained to me is that Python doesn’t make for a good shell or
command language. “ls -l *.txt” is lengthy to write in Python and
"rotate x 5 degrees" is easier to explain than
"viewMatrix.rotateX(5)". His PyMol has a dual mode interface similar
to the Interactive Python used by SciPy that can distinguish between a
shell-like command and a Python statement. The fundamental issue here
is that basic Tcl is still easier for a few things than basic Python.
I would like to experiment some to see how much of a problem this is.

So, it might be worth bearing this in mind if considering Python as an
embedded interpreter. Andrew suggests some type of dual mode so that
the user can choose either between Python or something closer like


On 19/03/2008, Jens Thomas j.m.h.thomas@dl.ac.uk wrote:

Hi Again,

This is just to say that, at least initially while sort the key areas
that we’d like to work on, it’s probably easiest if we just email
amongst ourselves rather than use the Blue Obelisk list directly.

If you do have any comments on what I’ve put on the wiki therefore,
"reply to all" so that we’re all kept informed.

As no one has made any comments regarding the wiki or my suggested
headings, I’ll assume I’m o.k. to email the other Blue Obelisk
folks to
let them know what we’re up to and that we’ll be adding bits to
their site.

However, I’m off for the easter break from tomorrow, so I’m not
to do anything on this till next week, so if you do have any other
for how to do things, you’ve a few days to mail us all with them.

I hope you all have a great Easter!

Best wishes,


Jens Thomas wrote:

Hi All,

Firstly, I just wanted to say that it was great to see you all at
meeting and that I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did.

I think we were really lucky to get a good such a good group of
developers and users together, and I’m sure that lots of good things
will come of it. Just on a personal level it was really nice to meet
you all and to see how well everyone got on.

There are obviously quite a few things that need to be taken forward
following the meeting.

The first is to get everyone on a mailing list that actually
Noel suggested the Blue Obelisk mailing list, which can be found at:


Unless I hear to the contrary from anyone, I’ll assume that people
happy with this and will post further stuff to that list.

The second thing is to start focussing on the areas that we would
to work together and get some presence on the web. If we decide to
adopt the Blue Obelisk mailing list, then it might be an idea to use
their wiki to do this too.

As a first step in this direction, I’ve created a page on the wiki
that summarise some of my thoughts on the outcome of the meetings
have tried to split the various topics into areas suitable for
their own web pages. You can find this at:


Please have a look at this and send me (or preferably the Blue
mailing list) any comments, or just edit the page to add/change

If you do want to edit the pages, you’ll need an account, which
Noel or myself should be able to give you.

There are obviously lots other things to discuss, but I guess it
sense to do that once we’ve some sort of framework in place for
containing things, so I’ll leave things there for the time being.

I look forward to hearing from you all.

Best wishes,


Jens Thomas, email: j.m.h.thomas@dl.ac.uk
STFC Daresbury Lab, tel: +44-1925-603849
Warrington, fax: +44-1925-603634
WA4 4AD, UK. http: http://www.cse.scitech.ac.uk