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Re: Preview: portable dumper

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Preview: portable dumper
Date: Fri, 02 Dec 2016 09:54:57 +0200

> From: Stefan Monnier <address@hidden>
> Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2016 21:18:04 -0500
> > It's a new and significant mechanism, which is central to building and
> > starting Emacs.  It needs to be studied, understood, and maintained.
> FWIW, I looked at Daniel's code and found it understandable, whereas
> I never managed to make any sense of the unexec code, which still just looks
> like magical voodoo to me, despite my trying twice to understand it.

I understand both (though, admittedly, that excludes unexelf.c, which
I never needed to look at for more than 5 sec).  But this is not about
you or me.  Do you really believe that I'm afraid of the dumper code,
having tweaked the display engine to speak RTL?  However, this is
about the next generation of Emacs maintainers who will inherit this
code and will have to maintain it.

Granted, the proposed dumper is not very complicated.  But it isn't
trivial either.  So if we can achieve a similar effect by using the
"normal" loadup code, which is much simpler and doesn't really require
understanding anything new, I think it's more beneficial for the
project's future.

The key issue is performance, as was stated many times.  If the
performance of loadup after all the speedups is not good enough, then
we will have to conclude that this idea cannot fly, at least not yet.
(That conclusion might be revisited later, if/when disks, filesystems,
and machines become faster.)  It will also not fly if no one will pick
up the gauntlet and work on that idea to get it to completion.

But IMO we should at least try implementing that idea, because its
benefits are so clear.  We shouldn't give up without trying, and we
have no special reason to decide the idea isn't viable until we've

Once again, if those ideas seem strange, let alone incorrect, to
you-all out there, just say the word, and I will step down.  Then I
can stop worrying about the portable dumper, and you can stop worrying
about my strange ideas.  Emacs is not my private project; I'm only
entitled to promote my ideas if the others either support them or
trust me to DTRT.  Please decide which one is it, and let's move on.

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