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role of guile-lib

From: Julian Graham
Subject: role of guile-lib
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2008 16:14:23 -0500

Hi everyone,

So I found myself with a little bit of spare time this week and so I
dusted off a Guile-based project I've been working on and was dismayed
to be reminded that the current version of guile-lib (0.1.6) includes
a distribution of SSAX that flat-out doesn't work.  I've posted about
this on the guile-lib mailing list and filed a bug on, but
that was a year ago and since neither of those locations is controlled
by active guile-lib contributors [1], I don't expect to see much
movement on this in the immediate future.

But it does raise the question of what the proper role for guile-lib
is, given that no one seems to have touched it in more than a year.
Its stated purpose is to serve as a "a down-scaled, limited-scope CPAN
for Guile," and several of the included modules (e.g., the texinfo
code) are appropriate to that description, but there are other modules
in there that seem like they belong somewhere else -- not necessarily
in Guile core, but in a comprehensive, maybe-obligatory library of
code whose companion relationship to the Guile core distribution
emphasizes the fact that its contents are things users are going to
expect to have as part of a modern language platform, a la the Java
"classpath libraries" or CPAN.  Some examples of this type of module
are: SSAX, statprof, the unit testing code, and the logging stuff
(although I've actually never used those last two).

So maybe the entity I'm describing above is what guile-lib is supposed
to be, but it's not what it is right now.  In addition to what I've
already mentioned, there are package that aren't currently in
guile-lib -- like Evan Prodromou's (net http) -- that would optimally
be part of a more complete system.  Another possibility is that the
Snow project could meet this need, but there are some Guile-side
technical hurdles to be jumped before it'd be viable -- and it's not
like they don't have their own problems with bit-rot.

It seems like other parts of Guile are being re-organized a bit right
now -- any chance we could take a look at this as well?


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