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From: Ken Raeburn
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Avoid `SCM_VALIDATE_LIST ()'
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2008 00:23:08 -0400

On Sep 1, 2008, at 16:30, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
On a tangent, is anyone still seriously considering to run Emacs atop GUILE?

There's Ken Reaburn's attempt at ,
and there's also the Elisp support that's under `lang'.  I don't think
the former is really maintained.  The latter isn't actively maintained
either but I think it's in a pretty good shape.  Neil?

Still keeping it in the back of my mind, but first my attempts to use SVK to mirror the Emacs repository broke (naturally, after it had looked solid enough that I had switched to it for my Emacs development work), and now Guile uses git, which I've never picked up, and some Emacs folks are talking about changing to yet another source control system. (BTW, are people aware that the pages for guile list an ftp snapshot site that has in fact not been updated since last September? For people not interested in downloading, installing, and learning N new source control systems, daily or weekly snapshots are handy.)

I'm thinking that if I do pick this project up again, it'll probably be with released versions of Guile; as long as Emacs continues to use CVS, I can easily stay current with that.

I did play with it a little bit a few months ago, and found one annoying problem:

I'm using a Mac as my main machine these days. The Emacs unexec mechanism interacts badly with the Mac version of malloc, so Emacs uses its own version specially tailored to use Mac system allocation routines in a way that works with unexec. Guile doesn't have any hooks for doing that sort of thing. Of course you can configure with - Dmalloc=unexec_malloc and so on, but then you're guaranteed not to be able to build an actual guile interpreter executable without the extra Emacs code. An alternative is to set up Emacs to not use unexec, but that's uncommon enough a configuration that you can't always expect it to work -- or expect anyone else to be terribly interested in why Emacs-without-unexec (even without Guile-related hacks) behaves strangely.

My work -- as far as it had progressed -- has nothing to do with converting lisp to scheme or anything like that. My "phase one" project keeps all the lisp evaluation code intact, and while both interpreters could conceivably be used and objects from each language might even be visible to the other, they may have totally different types -- like lisp strings with their text properties and such could be smobs in guile...


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