Saturday, February 08, 2014


Computer languages can start heated debates.

Many "purists" who are steeped in the lore of UNIX and its various distributions will swear by obscure editors such as vi, or tools such as awk or grep and roundly scoff at the uninitiated.

The Gorse Fox has a long history with computer and finds this attitude rather tiresome and childish. He sees computers as tools to be used by as many people as possible - and as such they should be simple to understand and simple to program. Many years ago the very talented Mike Cowlishaw produced an interpreted language for computers, called Rexx. It doesn't matter what language the Gorse Fox plays with - he always compares it back to Rexx.

Today he installed rexx (a flavour called Regina-Rexx) on the Raspberry Pi - and has achieved more in a couple of hours than he had in the previous couple of weeks. The biggest single benefit probably being the language's ability to parse text efficiently in a simple coding construct. No obscure patterns... just a simple and clear statement.

You can listen the script-kiddies and the experts, but most of them are trying to show you how clever they are - The Gorse Fox eschews that notion - he is only interested in how easily the computer can be instructed to perform on his behalf.

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