IFCX Wings : The Literate Scripting Framework

With IFCX Wings we'll be able to write beautiful literate scripts, just like the lucky Mathematica users do, but in any language we like and for free!

You can see what a Wings document looks like in HTML as WingsExample.html(info). The real deal will be OOHTML which will enable the code to be evaluated in web browsers and other clients.

While lots more documentation is needed to explain what it is and how to use it, there a prototype bundled in the download of Groovy For Open Office.

Documentation is still lacking, but the Wings POC was significantly cleaned up so I could show it to the folks at the JavaPosse Roundup 08.

The current version can be downloaded from the SF.net files area: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=199110. And you can look at the document (OpenOffice ODF Text) without installing G4OO, you just won't be able to run the macro to reevaluate the code yourself.

My lightning talk at the Roundup is on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jRivRmMUnBs). The quality isn't so good, but the color wheel in the DLP projector does lend a psychedelic air. Also I managed to forget to show the cool feature I added that day which was getting the Apache Ivy integration working.

Related stuff


The Connexions project at Rice University (http://cnx.org), founded by Richard Baraniuk, is another "live book" system. They do all the same sorts of things IFCX aspires to, but is done with XML and centralized server technology, rather than OOHTML and SWISS.

This TED video gives a nice quick introduction to these ideas and how they lead to better education materials. The part most relevant to Wings starts about 13 minutes in. Ironically he talks about Chemistry, Mathematics, and Music as material topics with live code in them but not Computer Science and Programming.

This Google Talk video gives a fair bit more detail into the technology and the ideas.