Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Scripting in Ant

Ant, unlike TeX up until LuaTeX, has a built-in scripting language. However, I’d rather use something off the rack. It turns out that there is an interpreter in the public domain, written in Objective Caml (in which Ant is written, thank goodness) for a subset of a rather old version of the Lua language. This may be my best bet.

It would really be nice to have bindings for current versions of scripting languages, but bindings get to be a lot of work, even if using automatic tools like swig. It would be really nice, indeed, to have bindings for multiple scripting languages, as GIMP does (Guile, Python, Perl, and I don’t know what else). But a subset of an old version of Lua may suffice.

I may get into setting up Lua scripting sooner rather than later, no small thanks to there being this implementation written in OCaml itself. There is a decent chance that I’ll also remove the original scripting language, so I don’t have to maintain it.

Since Ant stands for ‘Ant is Not TeX’, I could name the new version ‘Luana’, for ‘LUAna is Not Ant’, but probably I would not do that; the particular scripting language isn’t important, and ideally you could have plug-in support for many languages. I’d perhaps leave the original scripting language in place if I didn’t mind maintaining it.

(I also have the idea of linking somehow to Icon, but there isn’t much support for using Icon in that way.)

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