I believe that I am the one who most often brings up the
idea of flow-based programming around here. I mostly
heard about it from Stephen White in a Ruby mailing list,
and thought it was an interesting idea. Another which
looked related to my eye was toontalk, which was mentioned
at Re: Any interesting philosophy of programming articles to recommend?
. Unfortunately while interesting, the
overhead to get it going in my current job didn't make it
look like it would pay off.
If you want to get more of an uptake in Perl, Ruby, etc
I would suggest that the best first step is to try to create
a nice programming environment (in Java or otherwise) for
the hooking together of components, and then document what
exactly you need to do to be able to build components in
any language. That will allow people to do the component
building in any language that they want, and then put
them together in your toolkit. If people are interested in
duplicating the basic programming environment, they can.
An alternate approach is to instead of re-creating the IPC
based approach, instead take a look at what people are
doing with other programming areas, and see if you can
add to them what makes flow-based programming work as a
concept. For instance take a look at this article on
and see whether you can implement the basics of flow-based
programming in terms of XML filters talking to each other.
(My gut feeling is that it is doable, though possibly the
idea of SAX machines will need enhancement.)
If so, then engage key people involved in that in a dialog
and try to meet in the middle. I think it is easier for
people to get excited if they see themselves running
towards a future goal, than if they think they are giving
up what they have done to start all over.