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GSoC: Emacs Lisp support for GNU Guile

From: Daniel Kraft
Subject: GSoC: Emacs Lisp support for GNU Guile
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 21:44:11 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20070425)

Hi all,

as already discussed briefly with the Guile guys behind the new VM thing, I got the idea to implement Emacs Lisp as supported language for the Guile VM system.

Below is a proposal for a GSoC project I submitted to GNU as mentoring organization; Karl Berry replied that it sounds interesting but they needed to find a mentor / mentors for this project; what do you (Emacs and Guile people) think about it?

Thank you very much for your ideas!


Your name:
Daniel Kraft

Your email address:

Package name and title of the project:
GNU Guile -- implement Emacs Lisp support on top of new VM framework.


Guile's new VM/compiler framework allows easy extension and addition of the
supported programming languages, and I would like to utilize it and add support
for Emacs Lisp to Guile using this new infrastructure.

Benefits and Deliverables:

Originally, Guile as the GNU scripting language was designed as a language
based on the Scheme lisp dialect; however, as a prime example for use of a
scripting language (and with a huge existing base of scripts) Emacs Lisp is
another popular lisp based scripting language.  With the new capabilities of
Guile, it will be possible to add support of this language to Guile and thus
allow it (and all programs using Guile as scripting engine) to be programmed not only in Scheme but also Emacs lisp; thus, it will also be possible to utilize
all the existing elisp code for creating even more nifty and useful scripts.

My project's work will be the basic implementation of Emacs Lisp for Guile,
which of course includes a comprehensive test-suite for making sure it works
(and to catch future regressions easily) as well as documentation, so the
overall result will be of the best possible use to the community.  For the
course of the project, it may also be necessary (or say, "a side effect") to
work on extensions and bug-fixes to the core Guile system as needed, which
will in those cases hopefully be another benefit to Guile.

Finally, I hope to get to know the Guile community and become a part of it in general, not only for Summer of Code because it is a very interesting project
in general to me; and the new VM work of course adds a lot more reasons for
being interested as well...

Plan / Timeline:

Until the summer (when I still have to spent most time for my studies) I want
to use the time I can find to get familiar with the community and codebase a
little bit (maybe working on small bugs and such) as well as thinking about
and discussing the plans for the project with my mentor.

When I have holidays (end of June) I will be able to work full time on the
project; my plan is to get a mainly working implementation during July (maybe
missing some features, but already usable) so that I have time to put on
the finishing touches, test it, write documentation and all that in August.


Depends on the requests from my mentor / the community, but I think the
public development mailing lists and private email should be fine; other ideas
are instant messaging / IRC.


I'm an undergraduate student with subjects Mathematics and Physics at the
University of Graz, Austria; however, I've been interested in computer
science and programming in my spare time for already about ten years and
have experience with some variety of languages, including C, C++, Fortran
as well as functional and logic languages (Haskell, Scheme and Prolog) and
things like bash scripting or Makefiles.  I was employed half a year before
starting my studies as programmer and have a registered small company in
Austria for IT services I do (but very little of course) in parallel to
my work for university.  I participated two times for Austria in the
International Olympiad in Informatics and got a basic understanding
of algorithms and data structures in the course of this.

Regarding my experiences with Free Software, I'm a user of GNU/Linux and
only free software for my system for three years now, and were also
involved in some projects in the past in addition to developing some own
small projects released under GPL.  Projects I work(ed) with include
FreeWRL, the Mozilla Foundation and currently GCC.

Especially interesting for this project I propose might be that I already have some experience with implementing parsers / compilers, as I implemented already some of my own scripting languages as well as the work on the Fortran front-end
of GCC.

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