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Re: GSoC: Emacs Lisp support for GNU Guile

From: Andy Wingo
Subject: Re: GSoC: Emacs Lisp support for GNU Guile
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 16:05:42 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Hi Daniel,

On Tue 31 Mar 2009 12:44, Daniel Kraft <address@hidden> writes:

> 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.

This sounds great! I'd love to assist. As the fellow who's hacked most
on Guile's VM, I can offer "mentorship" if you like, on the Guile
side -- though I am not as knowledgable about Emacs as I'd like to be.

I'll direct replies to further Guile-type details to the Guile list, but
in summary:

> 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.

YMMV, but I think that elisp is most useful within the context of Emacs
itself -- its data types, its libraries, its runtime. So after getting
Emacs Lisp's semantics to compile, perhaps as a "if time allows" thing,
defining a Guile implementation of emacs/src/lisp.h would allow Guile to
slip into Emacs with minimal modification of C sources.

Or perhaps it's better to limit this SOC to just the Scheme side of
things? Dunno.

In any case, I think with "world enough and time", Guile can do whatever
it takes to provide a faster, better Elisp implementation -- including
adding Elisp-specific ops to its VM, if necessary.

> Communication:
> 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 often on #guile, with CET as my timezone. Between there and the
mailing lists we should be good, avoiding private email.

I hope this works out!


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