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Re: Shrinking the C core


From: Christopher Dimech
Subject: Re: Shrinking the C core
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2023 06:15:57 +0200

> Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2023 at 2:28 PM
> From: "Po Lu" <luangruo@yahoo.com>
> To: "Eric S. Raymond" <esr@thyrsus.com>
> Cc: emacs-devel@gnu.org
> Subject: Re: Shrinking the C core
>
> "Eric S. Raymond" <esr@thyrsus.com> writes:
>
> > Yes, in fact, I can. Because if by some miracle we were able to
> > instantly rewrite the entirety of Emacs in Python (which I'm not
> > advocating, I chose it because it's the slowest of the major modern
> > scripting languages) basic considerations of clocks per second would
> > predict it to run a *dead minimum* of two orders of magnitude faster
> > than the Emacs of, say, 1990.
>
> The important measure is how much slower it will be compared to the
> Emacs of today.  The Emacs of yesteryear is not relevant at all: simply
> grab a copy of Emacs 23.1, and compare the speed of CC Mode font lock
> there (on period hardware) to the speed of CC Mode font lock on
> contemporary hardware today.
>
> > They were too obvious, describing problems that competent software
> > engineers know how to prevent or hedge against, and you addressed me
> > as though I were a n00b that just fell off a cabbage truck. My
>
> Projecting much?
>
> I raised those concerns because I have seen them and suffered their
> consequences.  There is no place for hubris: analogous changes were also
> performed by equally skilled and experienced Emacs developers, only for
> issues to be uncovered years in the future.  (For example, when a call
> to `with-temp-buffer' was introduced to loadup.)
>
> How many times must we suffer the consequences of indiscriminate
> refactoring before we will recognize the obvious conclusion that
> code which doesn't need to change, shouldn't?

At one time I proposed to have an basic emacs version that would not
need changes.  Meaning, no bugs recognised, but no new features added.

An emacs project that is complete, with no more changes done.  At a level
that is manageable for one person.


> > earliest contributions to Emacs were done so long ago that they
> > predated the systematic Changelog convention; have you heard the
> > expression "teaching your grandmother to suck eggs"?  My patience for
> > that sort of thing is limited.
>
> If that is the attitude by which you treat other Emacs developers, then
> from my POV this debate is over.  We cannot work with you, when you
> dismiss real-world concerns that have been seen innumerable times in
> practice, based on a conceited view of your own skill.
>
> Which, BTW, has already broken the build once.  And the jury is still
> out on whether your earlier change needs to be reverted, since Andrea
> has yet to ascertain if it will lead to negative consequences for native
> compilation.
>
>



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