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Re: A plea for dynamically loadable extension modules

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: A plea for dynamically loadable extension modules
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2003 18:59:28 +0900
User-agent: Gnus/5.1001 (Gnus v5.10.1) XEmacs/21.4 (Portable Code, linux)

>>>>> "David" == David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

    David> "Stephen J. Turnbull" <address@hidden> writes:

    >> >>>>> "Mario" == Mario Lang <address@hidden> writes:

    Mario> Emacs is my favourite User Interface, so I'd like to
    Mario> eventually make those bindings available to elisp.

    >> XEmacs supports dynamically loadable extension modules

    David> Should the model lend itself to Emacs easily, or are there
    David> specialities involved with the memory organization/garbage
    David> collection/call semantics and whatever else would sound
    David> like it was heavily dependent on the specifics of
    David> internals?

AFAIK it's actually not very difficult on most modern Unix platforms,
including Mac OS X.

The main technical issues are about how to handle module unloading,
which is greatly desired by developer-users, and rather scary to those
of us who have to support the product.  AFAIK the main unsolved
problem is what to do about module-local Lisp data if the module gets

Anyway, Emacs has had dynamically loading support for several years,
it's just that the maintainers refused to apply the patch.  I suppose
that the patches for 20.x probably can be updated for 21.x.  Sorry, I
don't know where they are, and unfortunately Debian has apparently
removed its package versions, too.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
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