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Re: Contributions to Guile

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: Contributions to Guile
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 2016 09:06:04 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Christopher Allan Webber <address@hidden> skribis:

> Chad Albers writes:


>> b. More robust documentation system - texinfo is not the greatest. And
>> it's non-trivial to generate any documentation (including texinfo) for
>> modules.
> Texinfo is pretty nice to use if you're an emacs user... in fact, if
> you're an emacs user, it's the best documentation reading system in the
> world.  But not everyone's an emacs user.

I think Texinfo is OK even if you’re not an Emacs user, no?  Especially
with the just-release 6.1 where menus can (finally!) be automatically

> If the html export was nicely themed

It can be nicely themed.  FWIW, Gnulib’s, which is what most
projects use to export their HTML to, now includes a CSS by
default (see <> as an example.)  We can
change this CSS anytime, and in fact, I would love it if someone
talented would come up with improvements!

>> d. An easier build system. I see most projects using autoconf and
>> make. Using build tools designed for the C language presents a higher
>> barrier to those that want to contribute libraries to the guile
>> community.

FWIW, I think what we’re using now is the easiest build system *for
users*: ./configure && make && make install.  It’s admittedly trickier
for developers, but not insurmountable (and someone working on Guile
doesn’t touch it every day either.)

>> e. Refactors - I have a _long_ list in my head, but here's one: the
>> "ice-9" namespace is cute but confusing to the beginner I once was.
> Yes, I encountered frustration here too.  It's faded to the background
> now, but I think ice-9 is confusing for newcomers, so is srfi-*.  As
> much as I love robots, these robot names are kind of jarring.  We've
> talked about some ice-9 stuff being factored into (guile foo) instead of
> (ice-9 foo) but I think Mark Weaver said he'd want a lot of careful
> cleanup going through that process (could be misremembering).  Some talk
> of aliases for srfi modules was made as well..

Agreed, aliases and a plan for future modules would be nice.

Thanks for the feedback!


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