Sunday, October 21, 2007

Wanted: Language Transition Function Matrix

The scary name doesn't follow any complicated topic from linear algebra. It merely outlines an idea of a tool for PHP to Java to Python person who wants to get a familiar API on whatever platform the work needs to be done at the moment.

Organized as a snippets repository in matrix form (ok, let's put 'table' for 'matrix') it could conveniently display snippets in a target language that serve as an analogue of functions of a source language. For example, PHP function string file_get_contents($filename) is presented in Python as a :

def file_get_contents(filename):
f = open(filename)
try:
r = f.read( )
finally:
f.close( )
return r

Hovering the PHP API function name could popup a small DHTLM window with function description and a link to official documentation. Main link outside the popup area leads to user content. The resource is a collaborative area that reflects the state of language mappings between different language APIs, allows users to submit their own versions, vote, comment, refactor comments and narrow the scope of original API. It could also allow to work out and point best practices of using languages in specific areas.

I do not know of any resource like this one yet.