Scripting Future: What is to come

What's next for scripting:

  • Marketing acceptance followed by demand
    The growing visibility of scripting will lead the market to demand its availability in applications--not just browsers and servers but ALL applications (and embedded systems). Applications lacking scripting will fall behind those that allow the rapid development and end-user customization that scripting allows.

    The W3C has defined DOM and DHTML for the next generation of web pages. It is a relatively small change to say that each HTML component can be dynamically scripted, but the implications are tremendous. Although the DHTML specification is not completed and standardized yet, here are a couple of applications using Netscape's currently available tags to show what it's like.
  • Visual and RAD tools
    Most scripting vendors have or are developing visual RAD tools to provide even simpler control of their environment. Visual Basic has been known for years, but also look for Tcl development from Sun, and Visual JavaScript tools from Nombas (for desktop applications) and Netscape (for internet applications).

  • Java
    Java is not a complete loss. As a solution, Java has shown itself to be as complex and project-delay prone as any other system-level language it is meant to supplant. But as a cross-platform system-level language, Java is well suited to providing the components for script languages to glue together. A particularly useful place for Java is in created the JavaBeans that Nombas' ScriptEase:Javascript bean can glue together.

  • Distributed Computing - DS and CORBA
    Just as scripting is used to glue components together in a single system, it is also ideally suited for gluing components together across systems. The OMG group will soon standardize on scripting for CORBA. And for a simpler scripting model see Nombas' initiative for Distributed Scripting and Internet Distributed Scripting, which allows script calls to control components across any system or distance. (At this point in the talk I showed a demo with a Macintosh interacting with a Windows system over the internet, remotely controlling an Excel spreadsheet with OLE calls. Neither of these systems are set up to know about DOLE--the Macintosh does not even know OLE--and yet DS made it extremely easy to make those two system share OLE and act as one.)

  • Workgroup Scripting - Management and lowered TCO
    As scripting gains ubiquity on systems, and distributed scripting allows the systems to share processing, a new category of scripting arises: Workgroup scripting. Now a single system can control others, balance loads, query systems, and generally make multi-system control as easy as a single system. TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) drops down to the cost of scripting from a single system.



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