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Re: emacs roadmap

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: emacs roadmap
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2012 23:02:32 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

>> Lexical closures are supported natively since Emacs-24.  Namespaces are
>> another beast altogether, and there's not much on the horizon there either.
> Ok, so now I understand defvar, lol.  Not much use of lexical scoping in the
> wild - this was all I could find: http://github.com/nicferrier/elnode

Use of lexical-binding restricts the code to Emacs-24, so it's
understandably not used very much in the wild yet.  But if you grep for
`lexical-binding:' in the emacs/lisp/**/*.el or elpa/packages/**/*.el
files, you'll see that such code does exist.

>>> - first-class print for functions?
>> Not sure what that would be.

ELISP> (defun foo () '(1 2 3))
ELISP> (as-string 'foo)
> (defun foo() '(1 2 3))
> Would be very useful for debugging.

(symbol-function 'foo) gives you something pretty close for
interpreted functions.  For byte-coded functions, we don't keep enough
info to get this data, but `C-h f foo RET' should give you a hyperlink to
the function's actual source code.

> Tounge was slightly in cheek.  What annoys me 100 times a day is having to
> switch away from the emacs environment to a browser and I was imagining that
> the technical difficulties involved in getting a decent browser rendering
> might coincide with the point at which C is needed to get closer to the *nix
> machine metal.  I'm half hoping that things like guile 2 pushing lisp
> further down the chain might one day lead to an emacs os (a personal
> preference not a recommendation). 

Implementing a browser in Elisp is of course problematic because of the
lack of efficiency of Elisp.  But even if Elisp/Guile were super
efficient, keeping up with the web standards is a big job in itself, so
we don't want to go there anyway, and instead we'd want to rely on
external libraries.  Still, a close integration between those libraries
and Emacs is a non-trivial problem.  A lot of people would be happy to
see some progress on this front, indeed.


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