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Re: Google Summer of Code - some ideas

From: joakim
Subject: Re: Google Summer of Code - some ideas
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2013 20:34:23 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.130006 (Ma Gnus v0.6) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

Aurélien Aptel <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi,
> I would like to work on Emacs itself for this year GSoC. I have
> several projects in mind.
> - Modules & FFI
> I'm interested in adding a way to load compiled modules dynamically
> and possibly add a FFI. I say possibly because the more I look into
> into the more I realize it's not really helpful for complex stuff and
> simple stuff are easy to do with a module. I know Joakim Verona
> suggested to look into GObjectIntrospection which he implemented in
> his xwidget branch but I have not looked at it yet. It's possible that
> this project overlaps a bit with Daimrod's project [1] in which case
> we could both work on it, I don't think it would be a problem.

I unsurprisingly favour GObjectIntrospection. GIR is based on libffi,
with loads of sugar on.

If you wind up coding some other approach(I'm not opposed to this) we
should at least try to be compatible so we can do code re-use.

For instance, atm, xwgir(my emacs gir interface) can only handle
scalars, not structs. So, that remains to be coded for xwgir, and could
presumably be re-used for lower level libffi calling.

(one needs to make some functions to create structs, fill them in, make
them gc compatible and some other things in the same vein)

> I've also already posted on the mailing list about it [2] if you want
> to know more.
> - Internal documentation
> I have started a "Hacker Guide" on the wiki few month ago [3] hoping
> some people would jump in to help me (didn't happen :( ). Anyway Eli
> gave me some advice and suggestions to improve it but I didn't have
> the time to work on it. Ultimately this could end up in the manual. I
> could also clean/fix some things as I document them.
> - Support for library <FOO>
> By support I mean expose the lib API to Emacs Lisp. I don't know which
> lib could be added but I'm sure people here could make some
> suggestions. This can be done to extend Elisp or to make it faster (or
> both :).

FYI there is a reluctancy in the community to add dependencies.
I made a libmagic patch that was rejected for instance.

I agree with the patch rejection now, it's better to add something like
xwgir, and then add gir wrappers for your favorite libs. That way the
entire gnome system benefits. Its also easier to accomodate RMS library
gpl compliance symbol request this way.

> All these are just ideas, you can always suggest something different
> for any of them.
> As for the credentials, I've already several contributions related to Emacs :
> - raw strings patch which you can read more about on my blog [4]
> - under-"waving" patch (accepted) [5]
> - I've worked on org-mode in last year GSoC
> Also I've already signed/sent the copyright assignment, so that's
> done. Thought I should mention it.
> So, If an emacs hacker is interested in mentoring any of these
> projects please manifest yourself :) !
> 1: http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.devel/1589902: 
> http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.devel/1512433: 
> http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/HackerGuide4: 
> http://definitelyaplug.b0.cx/post/raw-strings/5: 
> http://comments.gmane.org/gmane.emacs.devel/147958

Joakim Verona

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