[plt-scheme] A crazy idea (fMUMPS)

From: Noel Welsh (noelwelsh at yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Dec 30 12:52:51 EST 2005

--- Greg Woodhouse <gregory.woodhouse at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> At the time, I wrote a package I could use myself
> by creating hand-edited XML documents ... I never got
around to
> creating a more friendly interface. 

An idea:

Let's say you specify a language for writing these
interfaces.  From this language you can generate a UI to
build them, as well as the transformations to generate
whatever code you want.  As I know nothing about HL7 (I
looked at the HL7 website and ran away), I'll use a
different example.

Imagine you want to allow people to create multiple choice
tests.  You say something like:

  "A multiple choice test is one or more sections.  Each
section is contains one or more questions.  Each question
is a problem, a list of solutions, and a correct solution."

>From this you can create a grammar something like:

  mc-test := section
           | section sections*
  section := test
           | test tests*

You'll probably want type annotations on the grammar as
well.  From this grammar it is reasonably simple to create
a structure editor that allows you to create a mc-test (say
via a web interface), and also to specify transformations
on that test (say, marking it).  All a good fun application
of PL theory [things like zippers, folds, strategic
programming], and a useful product at the end.  

Apologies if that is obvious.

I'm not clear if you want to do your day job better, or are
interested in striking out on your own.  The advice I'd
give in each situation is slightly different; my previous
response was targeted more at the later.


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