Archives for: January 2006, 26

Jan 26, 2006 : code reuse, meta-indexes

Ugo Cei's recent posts about using Java from Ruby have made me start thinking about such code re-use. Code re-use is obviously a good thing. Very often there are tools out there that do what you need. If it works with the language you are using, and you can find said tool, things are great.

Part 1: the tool must work with your language Cross-over utilities (aka language bindings) will help bring compatibility from one tool into another language. The most common form of this is wrappers around a C library to make it available in PHP, Python, Java, whatever. I don't know how good these tools are and how much they are used. It'd be good to look into. Another option is languages that run on the same interpreter or virtual machine. Think of .NET and the Common Language Runtime. Parrot is the VM that Perl 6 will run on. There is already work to get Python, Lua, Perl 5, and others to run on it. The Java VM could be used to run other languages, but I don't know that it is. I am surprised there is not more momentum on Parrot and other common-language VMs.

Part 2: you must be able to find the tool How do you find new tools? Googling doesn't cut it; there are too many different terms you could use and too many results to search through. Freshmeat used to be my nearly-definitive source of finding tools. But there are so many tool packages that are not in Freshmeat, but are indexed elsewhere. I think of the Apache Software Foundation and the very-much-in-development projects.apache.org. We need a meta-index of software tools. Basically of the top of my head I can list off a dozen. And when I google for them all together, I get nothing. There is no meta-index of software tools. For starters, I'll list some here now:

And I bet there are a lot more language-specific ones that I don't know of. And then what do you do with smaller sites like the following?

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