PHP and Python are intended for large and complex applications and
come with a huge standard library people probably expect to be
available. Security concerns are a problem too, so a subset would
probably be necessary So, in essence you get a crippled-down language
that isn't really useful for templates.
Making our own language, either by 'fixing' the template language or
by inventing something new would only mean we introduce a new language
that'll be specific to our own platform and nobody knows outside of
XSLT is not meant to be written or read by humans. It's a
Turing-complete language stuffed into horrendous XML statements. Let's
not go down that road.
efficient languages meant to solve tasks like this. Remember, i'm
stuff. If you strip that all out (take a look at the 1.5. core
reference at Mozilla.com
get a pretty nice and simple language that isn't very large. Both
would require a new parser and/or installed compilers on the
server-side. Compared to the disadvantages of other options, that
seems like a pretty small loss for a great win.
of efforts to get it even faster in modern browsers. Every Wikipedia
user has a copy of it implemented in their browser and can start
experimenting without the need for installing a compiler or a web
potential number of people who could start programming Mediawiki
templates. And it's already closely tied to the web, so you don't have
to invent new ways of dealing with web-specific stuff.
On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:16 PM, Brion Vibber<brion(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
As many folks have noted, our current templating
system works ok for
simple things, but doesn't scale well -- even moderately complex
conditionals or text-munging will quickly turn your template source into
what appears to be line noise.
And we all thought Perl was bad! ;)
There's been talk of Lua as an embedded templating language for a while,
and there's even an extension implementation.
One advantage of Lua over other languages is that its implementation is
optimized for use as an embedded language, and it looks kind of pretty.
An _inherent_ disadvantage is that it's a fairly rarely-used language,
so still requires special learning on potential template programmers' part.
An _implementation_ disadvantage is that it currently is dependent on an
external Lua binary installation -- something that probably won't be
present on third-party installs, meaning Lua templates couldn't be
easily copied to non-Wikimedia wikis.
There are perhaps three primary alternative contenders that don't
involve making up our own scripting language (something I'd dearly like
Advantage: Lots of webbish people have some experience with PHP or can
easily find references.
Advantage: we're pretty much guaranteed to have a PHP interpreter
Disadvantage: PHP is difficult to lock down for secure execution.
including Wikipedia power-users.
Disadvantage: Server-side interpreter not guaranteed to be present. Like
Lua, would either restrict our portability or would require an
interpreter reimplementation. :P
Advantage: A Python interpreter will be present on most web servers,
though not necessarily all. (Windows-based servers especially.)
Wash: Python is probably better known than Lua, but not as well as PHP
Disadvantage: Like PHP, Python is difficult to lock down securely.
Any thoughts? Does anybody happen to have a PHP implementation of a Lua
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