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Re: obby

From: Karl Fogel
Subject: Re: obby
Date: Mon, 25 May 2009 16:45:11 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.92 (gnu/linux)

Stefan Monnier <address@hidden> writes:
> The problem goes a bit further: most distributions, like Debian and
> friends, will find it inconvenient to build their Emacs binary against
> that library unless that library is small, or it's likely to already be
> installed, or most Emacs users are likely to want to use it.
> In the case of support for `obby', I don't know the size of the library,
> but at least I don't expect most Emacs users to use it, and I don't
> expect most installs to already have the library installed.

The library is about 2.8M in source release.  It's C++.
(Obtained from http://gobby.0x539.de/trac/wiki/Download)

> That's a significant problem for "static linking" (it's actually still
> dynamically-linked by the way, altough the list of libraries thus linked
> is known statically).

Until the library is widely distributed, we could just ship its source
in Emacs (the same way other programs do with SQLite, for example).
Well, 2.8M is a lot to just support one feature; I'm not sure what our
standards are for decisions like this.

But could we conditionally link against it?  Use it if it is there, and
have Ebby simply return errors otherwise, while the rest of Emacs would
be unaffected?

The reason I'm interested is that Gobby, the program for which the
'obby' protocol was invented, is getting quite popular.  I'm sitting
right now at a conference where it's the conference-wide default for
collaborative editing, and this is not the first time that's happened.
If this protocol is going to become a standard for collaborative editing
(as seems likely, at least from here) then it could be a big win for
Emacs to support it.

I can't devote development time to this myself, so I'm cheering for
anything that makes it easier for Phil Hagelberg to work on it :-).


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