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Re: Interfacing ActiveX/COM-objects "natively" in Emacs

From: Mathias Dahl
Subject: Re: Interfacing ActiveX/COM-objects "natively" in Emacs
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2005 15:27:36 +0200

> > Basically, what I need is "only" to instantiate different
> > ActiveX/COM-objects and use the methods and properties they provide,
> > not the VBScript programming language itself.
> > [...]
> > OK, enough blabbing, here is my question: what would be needed to
> > make it possible doing this more "natively" from Emacs? Is it
> > possible without rewriting major parts of Emacs?
> Quite likely.  It does not sound like much would be required here.
> > Would it be possible to do using some "plug-in" dll? Is anyone else
> > besides be interested in it? In my opinion, it would be quite useful
> > for accessing Windows-specific things like Registry data, automating
> > "ActiveX-enabled" software (both proprietary and Free).
> Obviously the definite person to provide an answer to this question
> would be Richard Stallman.  To save him some effort, since all the
> material for the answer has been discussed several times, I'll outline
> the answer to this as I understand it will be, and he can just correct
> what I have got wrong.

Thanks, David, for taking the time to reiterate this once again then!
I have not been following the development of Emacs for long, and I am
a quite sporadic reader of emacs-devel.
> For another, it has already been decided that Emacs will not get a
> generic interface to call binary modules, in order not to make it
> legally feasible to employ it as a tightly coupled component in
> basically unfree systems.  

OK, I did not know that and I understand the arguments.

> This argument would seem to apply also to
> ActiveX components.

Probably, yes.

> Note that this just concerns the core Emacs distribution: such
> facilities will not get added there.

OK. Got that.

> Anybody that wants to implement
> and employ such interfaces for his own private use is still free to do
> so.  And such an extension to Emacs can easily be distributed under
> the GPL.

This interests me. Do you have any idea on how to go about doing
something like this as a separate project? What are the basic "things"
needed? Would some cleverly crafted elisp packages combined with
"something" (whatever that might be) work?

I do not want to generate more traffic about this issue if it has been
decided several times that this is nothing that fits into Emacs core
(I can probably find those discussions myself now that the keyword to
search for seems to be "binary interface"). So, can you suggest a more
appropriate forum for discussing this (assuming someone more than me
is interested in it, of course)?

Again, thanks!


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