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Re: Emacs in a Chrome Tab? (related to NaCl Support for Emacs discussion

From: chad
Subject: Re: Emacs in a Chrome Tab? (related to NaCl Support for Emacs discussion)
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2012 14:42:07 -0800

NativeClient is mostly about using the local processor to cut out server 
round-trips for computations.  Unfortunately for your idea, it doesn't address 
the idea of the display engine; native client nexe's are expected to use the 
browser's ui.  There is some experimental 3D support for nexe's via their 
alternative to NSAPI, but this is far enough away from Emacs that a port would 
be complex.  For your goals, I'd guess that xembed (ala the xembed branch) is 
an easier practical path to a prototype.

This idea, like Tom Tromey's `rebase emacs on Common Lisp', Steve's `Emacs in 
JavaScript', and the various Guilemacs attempts point out (yet again) something 
I would not have guessed when I started with emacs ~22 years ago: while the 
most technically valuable piece of Emacs (aside from its freedom) is the 
extensive libraries of elisp code, the most critical piece is actually the 
display engine.  It's very hard to move Emacs anywhere that the display engine 
won't go, and it seems to be very hard to move the display engine.  


P.S. This makes the herculean efforts of things like epoch, multi-tty, and bidi 
all the more impressive.  Thanks again to all the wonderful emacs hackers out 

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