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Poco Forums • View topic - Barca and PocoMail scripting guides for humans

Barca and PocoMail scripting guides for humans

Discussion not related specifically to one of the topics below

Moderators: Eric, Tomas, robin

Barca and PocoMail scripting guides for humans

Postby peritek » Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:49 am

To be perfectly honest, Barca and Pocomail's scripting is way too complicated for most 'normal humans' and either needs to be simplified and not "c" programmer like or a decent manual and examples provided by the team.

I've moved away from both products; both paid for many times; because I frankly don't have enough examples anywhere to work with the scripts (and no time to work with so few examples) and that is what I need to cope with my email load and particular requirements.

The few times that I have asked for help, I have been forwarded to massively outdated and sparsely populated pages that are of very little use.

I think that the scripting facility is the singly most powerful and underutilised feature of these products and needs to be PROPERLY documented and MANY examples provided for it because it would fix so many people's wants and needs.

Just my 2 (frustrated) cent's worth.
peritek
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Postby Tomas » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:00 am

Well, it's a functionality for more advanced users, particularly for those with some programming experience already. Most regular users shall only need to know how to operate an already existing script.

I'm just a complete programming beginner "hobbyist", so far from qualified to make any comparisons, but the Pocoscript language to me seems to be fairly simple, particularly when compared to other Pascal-like or Basic-like scripting dialects. It only has basic programming functionality.

I'm a slow learner when it comes to programming, and this might not be applicable to others, but what I have found is that you don't want to skip the beginner path - with any language, you have to sit behind the computer and write few very simple programs, even if useless, just to get practice. You will not learn it by reading the manual. That might work with pros who have experience in other language, they can just look into manual and write something useful, but IMHO not for most regular users. Personally I have downloaded all Pocoscripts from the Extras area, and if needed, I can always search those files (50-60 of them) for an example of how some function works in practice.

In case you don't like current syntax (you are not alone, it's not visually appealing to me either), the only way would be to completely rework that functionality, since it would have to be completely replaced with some other scripting module), as I doubt it's possible to significantly change the currently used module.

Still, you are right, I think the entry barrier could be further lowered.

For example a basic intro on how to start with Pocoscript, targetted at people with no programming experience?
Perhaps the information from Michael's FAQ shall be officially backed up, improved and turned into an official documentation? Though it mostly contains advanced stuff anyway.
Or the scripts from the Poco Forum, so far dispersed in posts all over the forum, to be collected to one place?

If you have some other or better ideas, please let me know.

I put it on my todo list.
Tomas
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Postby peritek » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:32 pm

I'm just a complete programming beginner "hobbyist"


You are pretty good in my opinion, your good support has always shown that.

Pocoscript language to me seems to be fairly simple


After 20 minutes of chasing down examples that are specific to some uses and the lack of any coherent manual, I have to go back to work that pays the bills.

Particularly when compared to other Pascal-like or Basic-like scripting dialects.


You should see my basic compiler. It is as fast as c and has long winded keywords, a huge manual and lots of coherent examples. I wish PocoScript was like that, not c like, as more people would find it easier to pickup.

I'm a slow learner when it comes to programming,


I'm slower (evil grin). It took me 8 years to learn my current compiler to do enough useful things with it. I wish Michael was around too.

You will not learn it by reading the manual.


If you are referring to a pocoscript manual, there isn't one, not by any definition of the word that I can recognise.

If I could get a proper set of PocoMail/Barca API's, I might have some ideas but i'm pretty dumb when it comes to new languages (LOL). I still maintain that PocoScript done properly would make it take off for beginners who often have as many requirements as the experts.!!

P.s., my current compiler project is up to 15,000 lines but as I said, I am slow.
peritek
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Postby Tomas » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:18 am

Thanks for the clarification, I guess I misunderstood your original post a bit.

I'll see what can be done. While I intend to work on improving the Pocoscript docs, some time must be spent on the "beginner" part first (for more reasons, but one pretty self-explanatory is that I'm a pocoscript beginner myself).

In any case, your valuable input was noted, and will be the second part of my pocoscript docs project.
Tomas
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