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Higher level issues

From: John Darrington
Subject: Higher level issues
Date: Sat, 7 May 2005 14:43:42 +0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.4i

On Fri, May 06, 2005 at 09:26:41PM -0700, Ben Pfaff wrote:

     We seem to have a bunch of these higher-level problems,
     e.g. MATRIX DATA, stat caching, and so on.  Perhaps we should
     actually start using the task manager to write up our ideas.

Looking at the task manager, it seems to be more suited to things
which are definite tasks rather than ideas which are merely potential
tasks.  But yes, somewhere to record discussions in a slightly more
organised fashion than mailing list archives would be useful. The wiki
idea starts to become tempting ...   

One such higher-level problem:

I'd like to see some kind of framework to replace q2c/command.def ---
There should be  a single source containing the properties of a
command. Possibly this could be an XML doc, but some special purpose
thing could be defined.  Then we have a bunch of scripts or other
program to take this definition file and generate:
    * The parser, like q2c currently (sort of) does.
    * The syntax BNF text for the manual.
    * The brief description for the manual.
    * Functions to fully implement command line completion.
    * Brief usage instructions (so we can implement the INFO command).

    and possibly:

    * templates for GUI boxes.

On the subject of command line completion, this leads to another
higher level problem:

To do command line completion properly the lexer will need to be
written such that it inputs individual tokens rather than an entire
line.   I remember Ben saying somewhere he wants to go the other way
and make it input a complete command at a time.  Maybe we'd need to
have two input streams and a re-entrant lexer.


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