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Re: Who will write filtering scripts?

1997-03-27 21:17:49
On Thu, 27 Mar 1997, Jack De Winter wrote:

At 06:09 PM 3/27/97 -0800, Brian Moore wrote:
I believe machine readable is more important.

Let the user agent figure out a way to make it pretty: a filtering set
should be quickly parsed by a machine.  It's not too hard to make a gui
filter-maker that lets you cover various levels of user sophistication
(from full egrep parsing of headers and/or body to just 'has bob in the from

If it isn't too much problem, it would be interesting if there was
a switch, and a cannonicalization that explains how to go from one
to the other.  This could simply be considered an extra pass on the
script human->machine->compiled and turned on by default.  Kind of
like how the unix shell scripts work.

This is a good excuse to write a machine-parsable language and worry about
high-level languages in some other context.  This might encourage GUIs for
the language as well.

I realize that it makes a bit more work for Tim, but as I outlined
to him earlier at the ACAP conference, having a simplist, yet effective
scripting language is a powerful tool.  I got a sneak peak, and the line
"if size over 10K then bounce ... endif" was pretty straight forward.
if you take it a step further and throw out any words that your grammar
does not recognize, "if the message size if over 10K then bounce end"
becomes very useful.

Allowing random "harmless" words in the grammar does not seem like a good
idea, especially if anyone wants a chance to ever extend it.  I do not
believe there is any utility in this; it presents the illusion of usability
to programmers without presenting any usability to users.

Would there be any violent objections if I tried to write something geared
towards machine-parsing (strictly prefix, probably a LISP like syntax
because I believe it's easiest to parse), but still editable by mere
mortals?  We could layer a readable language over top of that.

(I like LISP anyway, so I'm sort of becoming biased towards this approach.)

                                           Tim Showalter