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Re: Guile emacs thread (again)

From: Taylan Ulrich Bayirli/Kammer
Subject: Re: Guile emacs thread (again)
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:07:21 +0200

Foreword: I'm who enthusiastically edited all the EmacsWiki pages to
report on the latest status, but I didn't bother the ML or so
precisely because the current state is still far from being ready for
normal usage.  Sorry if I caused unnecessary hype.

Now to clear some things up:

Eli Zaretskii writes:

> Well, the "User-visible issues" there sound pretty scary to me.
> Evidently, even building it, and even on GNU/Linux, is not without
> problems ("it compiles and starts up if you struggle a little").

Note that replacing the Elisp engine with libguile has been done just
now; this is the first publicly available version of it, so it
"compiles and starts up if you struggle a little" indeed. :) And then
it's slow (extremely so in some specific things) and bug-ridden from a
user perspective.  You could call it pre-alpha I suppose.

(The Guile-Emacs from last year and such had libguile embedded in
Emacs, and using some of its data types in Emacs's Elisp engine, but
was not using it to execute Elisp.)

> And it doesn't help that one needs a hacked version of Guile for
> this (i.e. have 2 different Guile versions installed on the same
> machine).

Of course the changes will flow into Guile's master or stable branch
when ready.  I guess you meant this wrt. making this a branch of
upstream Emacs right now, in which case I agree; that would be weird
if it doesn't work with the latest Guile release.

> So IMO, Someone® should invest a non-trivial amount of work to at
> least resolve the main issues mentioned on the TODO page.
> Otherwise, I doubt that someone will consider using such an Emacs
> for serious work, and without that it will never get past the
> alpha-testing stage, whether it is an official branch of the Emacs
> repo or not.

It's indeed scary that there is exactly one developer working on
Guile-Emacs since years, and they're only active during GSoC periods
(though "doing god's work" in those periods).  I wish to Some Day™
start working on it myself, but for now [reasons], and I'm afraid I
can't promise anything for the future either because [uncomfortable
reasons].  I hope some good people will join the effort, since it has
come so far.

> [...] One example is non-ASCII text and string representation --
> AFAICS GuileEmacs wants to convert them back and forth from/to
> Scheme strings, but the internal representation of text in Emacs is
> not 100% UTF-8, it has a couple of extensions, and it's not clear
> how best to support that.

If I understood BT Templeton (bipt) right on IRC, converting strings
back and forth is only a temporary solution.  I hope we find a way to
merge the two string types.


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