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Re: Emacs 23 development policy (was: Syncing Gnus and Emacs repositorie

From: Adrian Robert
Subject: Re: Emacs 23 development policy (was: Syncing Gnus and Emacs repositories)
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 09:42:46 -0400

On Jun 14, 2007, at 3:25 AM, David Reitter wrote:

On 14 Jun 2007, at 07:31, Reiner Steib wrote:

I'd suppose that several developers have uncomitted changes lying
around since the kind-of feature freeze in May 2004. If we take "very
limited" literally, such changes might have to wait some more years.

There is the OpenStep/Cocoa port (Emacs.app) which was meant to be included. The interaction with the other code should be limited. This port has been in development for a few years now, and it would probably benefit from the additional input from other developers once it is in the CVS (perhaps in the unicode branch to start).

As current maintainer of this port, I'll make a couple of comments here.

Back in 2004-5, I made a push to update the long-standing OpenStep emacs port codebase to work well on the modern Mac OS X as well as the open-source GNUstep API implementation. I updated it to work within the character rendering framework of unicode-2 emacs, and, receiving some limited encouragement from this list, helped to gather copyright assignments from all contributors to the port past and present.

Late last year as I was finishing it up and getting ready to push for its inclusion in unicode-2, real life took over and my available time to work on it dropped precipitously. Since then I have failed to finish it and been hesitant to push for inclusion since my ability to maintain it was so limited.

Here is why it should be included anyway:

- provides equal or better functionality to Carbon port on OS X, while also running on GNUstep open source implementation (thereby providing antialiased rendering on linux and similar platforms)

- high-level API allows cleaner, more compact, hopefully more maintainable code, a little over 1/2 #/lines of Carbon port

- if you believe high-level APIs will become more common emacs port targets as time goes on (GTK, etc.), this codebase provides a useful reference

- fully integrated in unicode-2 branch, using new font backend and unicode representation throughout the rendering pipeline

Here is why it should NOT be included:

- I lack the time to maintain it, and for whatever reason so far, interest by other developers has been limited

- it still needs work: compositional character rendering, menu option display, some rendering and font-selection bugs

- the actively-maintained Carbon port already provides OS X functionality, and GNUstep's relevance is questionable

Anyway, there you have it. If it ends up there is interest in its inclusion, and the promise of other maintainers besides myself, I'll work on the remaining issues with the port in August, deal with integration issues, and provide guidance on the code. Either way, it will continue to be available at http://emacs-app.sf.net/

Sorry for the long message, please cc me with any replies, thanks.


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