My recent proposal to work on modeling capabilities fell flat, but elicited some good discussion of future directions for Subtext. Peter Marks wrote:
… I would rather see a complete re-examination of what lies underneath the World Wide Web. And then take the Subtext approach of banishing syntax, treating program as data, history, etc. … This would mean initially abandoning the UI demo and focusing more on the development of a system/infrastructure that works with and within the Internet.
Macneil Shonle wrote:
I wonder what “Subtext on Rails” would look like?
- HTML/XML is a tree. It would be useful to have a language based on trees…
- HTML/XML encodes a tree into a text string in a way that makes it awkward for both humans and computers. What if we treat the syntax as merely a serialization format? Give the programmer a tree-based UI, and give the program a tree-based semantics?
- Templates suck. Every web programming language seems to be based on escaping code inside HTML. What a mess. You have to mentally juggle multiple syntaxes, multiple notions of context, multiple namespaces, multiple evaluation-times. What is needed is a uniform way to treat trees as both data and code at the same time…
- The primary method of constructing HTML is copy & paste. Sometimes explicit inclusions are used. What is needed is a powerful and principled basis for copying and varying trees…
I haven’t really thought this through – I am just throwing it out for discussion.