Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Version 0.8.1 is ready

We finished testing and are pleased with the new version, which shows the two main benefits of EGL: ease of coding and ease of thought.

For the first time, you can use the Rich UI feature to develop mobile applications. The new version also offers a consistent way to access enterprise logic from your mobile applications and from other web applications.

Now... what do you say?

No, I'm not asking you to say "thank you"; I'm asking, "What do you think?"

-- Ben


  1. I think it is time to consider a name change for the language. The farther you go in adding new features (object orientation!) and the more you reinvent the way the language works the less it makes sense to keep the EGL moniker. Clearly, this isn't EGL any is a new language that shares some characteristics of EGL. Lose the EGL name and you'll stand a better chance of attracting people to the language. This is a case where the history of EGL is not working in your favor ... if you want to attract a new audience to this language then lose the name that so quickly leads one back to a definition of EGL as a language designed to generate COBOL for mainframes.

    1. I completely agree. How about Kamilion? We already have a prototype logo.

  2. Another thought: It is time for the core team to reconsider adding HTML5 support. You know I can't help but continue to compare EDT to Opa (see and one of the things that is helping Opa to build up a full head of steam is its support for technologies like HTML5. (See also the list of technologies supported by Opa that includes Twitter, Facebook, GoogleMaps, GoogleCharts, Dropbox, Captcha, and on and on).

    If you REALLY wanted to demonstrate something special with EDT, put the compiler's money where its mouth is (okay, weird use of metaphor) and support the Android SDK.

    At a minimum though...HTML5...come on folks, get out in front of this one...

    1. Dan,

      I agree that HTML5 support would be great, but as Ben wrote it's a post-version-1.0 thought right now. Maybe you'd like to contribute some code and force us to rethink our plan?


  3. Dan, thanks much for your response.

    A name change is a future possibility but is outside our immediate focus. The same is true for supporting the technologies that you mentioned. Let me see if I can say why.

    The 0.8.1 delivery provides a simple way to write business applications, but the work during the next months is not to improve the outward shine. The focus now is on core issues:

    o Complete an extensible compiler for the language, ensuring that all language constructs are in place.

    o Complete the core generators that are provided by the project.

    (Let me be clear about the terminology: The EGL compiler transforms the EGL developer's code to an output, and a generator handles the last step of that transformation.)

    Yes, the project's core generators will serve the EGL business developer. But the technology under development is for a larger use.

    Consider a question that a factory manager might ask: Can our firm customize an industrial mold, when the purpose of that mold is to construct a physical tool that can be configured to create different versions of the same output?

    Here is the question that a software manager might ask: Can our firm use EGL to create a language variant, when the purpose of that variant is to configure logic easily for a complex technical environment? The variant mentioned by the software manager is a domain-specific language and is akin to the physical tool mentioned by the factory manager.

    We aim to please, but with a long-term view. EGL is a language for writing variants of itself.

    As to the name: For years we've avoided use of "Enterprise Generation Language." The phrase was "old fashioned," like COBOL, and was said to be associated with technologies that required the developer to update a generated output.

    I never really agreed with the embarrassment. First, we asked developers to accept the generated output as if it were compiled code. Our instruction was always, "If you want to change the logic, change the EGL source." Second, a song lyric is, "Everything old is new again."

    Several people have suggested that we change the name to start afresh. As I said, a change is possible; but in a way, the name is exactly right: EGL is a generation language, and that's a good thing. The constructs of the language hide the details that are being generated. I can imagine "Enterprise" being replaced by "Extensible," and perhaps that will happen in years to come.

    1. Ben,

      Thank you for taking the time to respond in detail. Much appreciated.

      The team's next steps to round out the compiler and generator are clearly crucial steps in the project.

      You know, it really is the "Enterprise" that doesn't fit any more. As I've tried to demonstrate, EGL is just as suitable for writing cool browser-based games as it is for talking to an IBM i. I like "Extensible" better. I'm going to start calling it ExGL. :)