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[StrongED] Scripts

I hope you StrongEDitors out there will not mind me doing
some thinking aloud. Fred Graute does a marvellous job 
developping StrongED and letting us know about updates.
Also the database of StrongED modes is easy to use, and 
the authors of modes can keep them uptodate. But when it 
comes to scripting with StrongED the provision and 
updating of scripts has been somewhat ad hoc, to put it kindly.

This is not surprising, because scripts do not really belong to
anybody. What is needed, maybe, is a central repository,
accessible from where StrongED can be downloaded, divided into
sections each for its own scripting language. Users do not really
need to be bothered with the updating of entries in 
!ScriptSED.Languages; Fred looks after that and change is infrequent.
However, the entries in !ScriptSED.Scripts.xxx are a different
matter. Authors may want to update old scripts, either because a
new version of the scripting language demands it (and then
users need to be informed about how to update the language, and 
from where), or because they have a better script for the same 
job. A central repository, like that for modes, seems to me a 
good idea. Do we want to archive old versions? or just keep the 

I am making this suggestion because RISC OS is entering a period of
revival, with new hardware, requiring updated software, possibly
differentiated by platform. In consequence the provision of software
becomes more complicated and the old ad hoc methods become increasingly

I am led to these thoughts by Peter Young's recent experience, trying
out an old script in a new situation. It is unusual for updates of
scripting languages to break old scripts, but in this case it was the
occurrence of a rather arcane function, setfenv, which was part of
Lua 5.1 but was replaced by a simpler and more powerful mechanism in
Lua 5.2. 

A central repository could also do a better job of explaining the
purpose of each script. It should also have a wishlist, so that users
of StrongED who find their needs not met either by what is already
built in to StrongED ( probably quite a rare occurrence ) or scripts
already in the database can make their needs known. Such a list
should be independent of the individual language sections, because
different scripting languages are good for different sorts of jobs,
and the user is presumably more interested in what the script does rather
than in the technicalities of which language provides the best solution.

Maybe Fred has some opinions on this. He already has a lot on his plate.
Is it a good idea? 
If so, who will host the database? who will take responsibility for
it? how will users interact (email to that person?)?

Gavin Wraith (gavin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
Home page: http://www.wra1th.plus.com/

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