Python is showing up everywhere. We're thinking about making it show up in the author tools as well. Members of our developerWorks team lovingly use Python for text processing, XML parsing and transformation, all kinds of system tasks. It's all over the place inside many distributions of Linux, which is the OS we favor here at developerWorks. We're finding more and more ways to use the programming language, and more and more adherents here at developerWorks.
Currently, we want some way to automate the creation of a new article or tutorial, a process that uses templates also stored in the author tools package, checks various things about the path and environment itself, provides a graphical wizard-like interface in some cases. Currently, we're using a mix of shell scripts and visual basic files to support the different platforms our authors use (OSX, Linux, and varieties of Windows), but maintaining the mix of environments is difficult and brittle. In fact, we don't really have a good OSX story for the author tools. Moreover, we have Big Plans for expanding the guidance and aids we provide to authors, and Python looks like something we all could grow into here.
We'd love to hear from you:
- Would moving toward a single scripting environment inside the authoring tools such as Python be good for you as an author?
- We can ship compiled versions of Python scripts as EXEs and other binaries. Would that be useful? Do you prefer binary executables to installing new scripting and programming environments?
- Do you use Python? What other opportunities for scripting the authoring tools do you see?
- Are there other cross-platform glue languages or environments you think would serve us better as we build and maintain tools for helping authors create and publish content on developerWorks?