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LISA 2000 Abstract

An Expectant Chat about Script Maturity

Dr. Alva L. Couch, Tufts University


Using scripts to automate common administrative tasks is a ubiquitous practice. Powerful scripting languages and approaches support seemingly `efficient' scripting practices that actually compromise the robustness of our scripts, as well as indirectly detracting from the stability and maturity of our support infrastructure. This is especially true for scripts that automate complex interactive processes using the scripting tools Expect or Chat. I present a formal methodology for the design and implementation of interactive scripting that, with a little more effort than writing a simple Expect script, produces scripts with substantially improved robustness and permanence. My scripting tool Babble interprets a detailed structural description of an interactive session as a script. Using this declarative, fourth-generation language, one can craft interactive scripts that are easier to perfect, inherently more robust, easier to maintain over time, and self-documenting.

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Last changed: 16 Jan. 2002 ml
Technical Program
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