[Pipet Devel] modifications to the program model

J.W. Bizzaro bizzaro at bc.edu
Fri Nov 20 23:50:39 EST 1998

Konrad and Jay,

I have thought about some modifications to the programming model for TULIP.  I
would still like the primary language of TULIP to be Python and the GUI toolkit
to be GTK/GNOME.  However, this alone would restrict all tools for TULIP to be
written in either C or Python.

>From my experience, more than about 50% of the algorithms (written by others)
that we might want to implement are written in FORTRAN.  And then there are many
others written in Perl, Java, and even Pascal.  To deal with this, we may want
to use two very powerful modules/tools for tying together different languages:
Expect and CORBA.  Below I pasted something I just put up on the TULIP Web site:

    TULIP tools can comminicate with each other in three ways,
    each having a different degree of integration with the core
    and, for new tools, requiring a different amount of modification: 

    High-Level Communication Via BSML and ExpectPy.  ExpectPy can
    handle IO between two tools, wich can be largely in the BSML
    format.  This type of communication may be best for non-core
    algorithms, written in any language,  because it will require
    the least amount of modification to the code, and they won't have
    to be wrapped in Python. 

(Expect can even be used on compiled, binary-only algorithms)

    Low-Level Communication Via Fnorb (CORBA).  Fnorb will allow for
    better communication between tools, meaning more control.  This
    will, however, require modification to the code of non-core tools
    and require these tools to be coded in a CORBA-friendly language. 

    Lowest-Level Communication Via Python.  One tool can be a Python
    module to another.  This way, methods can be called directly.
    This type of communication may be best for the core TULIP tools. 

Let me know what you think.  Somehow, I'm expecting, "CORBA sucks!"
or the like :-)

Also, check out what I wrote about using a "Glyphic Command Language"
for the workspace:

   (bottom of the page)

J.W. Bizzaro                  Phone: 617-552-3905
Boston College                mailto:bizzaro at bc.edu
Department of Chemistry       http://www.uml.edu/Dept/Chem/Bizzaro/

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