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Re: [DotGNU]'best damned development environment'

From: Norbert Bollow
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]'best damned development environment'
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 14:31:57 +0100

> Some suggestions for this software:
> -is support for non-GNU absolutely required? answer me

No.  For the development environment, it's good enough when it
runs on GNU/Linux and other variants of the GNU system.  With
other words, we should not worry about making it work on other
systems, but writing code in a reasonably portable manner is
always a good idea, and we'd be happy to accept patches that
help make it work on non-GNU systems.  In fact even those parts
of DotGNU which for strategic reasons we need to make work on
proprietary systems (specifically, this is SEE and any browser
plugins that we might want to create) can mostly be developed
under GNU/Linux.  This should probably be the "recommended" way
for working on developing these things, and much of the testing
can be done with WINE.

(For these things, we may need help from people who are
experienced in developing for the Microsoft Windows platform,
and the code for these things needs to be portable enough that
it can be compiled and debugged with the tools that these
developers are used to.  So again I don't see an absolute need
for the 'ultimative DotGNU development environment' to run on
the Microsoft Windows platform.)

>       -NOTE: this may require actually changing autoconf and
> automake, or more likely providing m4 macros that deal with
> cscc, csdoc, pnetlib, and whatever else is required.

I think we should at least offer the option of using Ant as a
build tool.  Maybe it should even be recommended as the
preferred build tool for almost all things DotGNU.  (I say
"almost all", because I think that we must make it possible to
build enough of Portable.NET without using Ant so that then Ant
can be built and run without any dependency on anything that is
not distributed with DotGNU anyway - in particular we don't want
any dependency on a non-free Java platform.)

>   -an EMACS major mode for linking directly to manual spots
> (hit a function and it looks it up in the standard library,
> then displays that in the info program). Why? because writing
> another text editor to support it would be
> ridiculous. However, this might not work out, in which case,
> text editor!

I think this can't be too hard to do in Emacs lisp.

> -documentation/manual tools, for WYSIWYG writing in texinfo
> format, autogeneration of info documentation...this, I
> believe, is very important, because most free software seems
> to be in constant need of documentation. And I want those who
> will actually produce this to have a nice time with it (like me
> :).

Yeah... please add this to the DotGNU tasks list: "A system that
makes it fun to collaboratively create documentation in texinfo

Greetings, Norbert.

A founder of the project and Steering Committee member
Norbert Bollow, Weidlistr.18, CH-8624 Gruet   (near Zurich, Switzerland)
Tel +41 1 972 20 59       Fax +41 1 972 20 69
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