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Re: [Pspp-cvs] Changes to pspp/src/algorithm.c

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: [Pspp-cvs] Changes to pspp/src/algorithm.c
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2005 20:38:06 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.110004 (No Gnus v0.4) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

John Darrington <address@hidden> writes:

> On Mon, Oct 24, 2005 at 07:21:07AM -0700, Ben Pfaff wrote:
>      John, it looks like you deleted the random_shuffle() function.
>      Is there a reason for that?
> It was unused, and was responsible for extra dependencies on algorithm.c
> --- dependencies which seemed to belong at a higher level rather than a 
> lower one.
> I'm trying to untangle some of the code, with a view to makeing a library
> containing sfm-write sfm-read etc.

If I recall correctly, you're aiming to produce import/export
filters for OpenOffice (or related software).  I don't know
whether a library is the best way to do this, at least for now.
Separating out the necessary code may be difficult, and the
result may be ugly.  Furthermore, if the library is to be used by
external code (not just by code in the PSPP codebase), then it
commits us to a particular ABI, so that if we change internals
that the library includes (and we certainly will), then it breaks
the external code.  The latter is what really worries me.  I
really don't want to commit to any ABI now.

So my suggestion is that we should really do one of the

        1. Separate the library but only use it within the PSPP
           source tree.  Use it to write program(s) to convert
           PSPP file formats to/from other formats.


        2. Add PSPP command line syntax that causes PSPP to just
           do a file conversion and exit, when invoked as
           e.g. `pspp --convert --from foo.dat --too foo.xml'.
           That way we don't even have the separate the library.

I think I prefer #2.

What do you think?
"Platonically Evil Monkey has been symbolically representing the darkest 
 fears of humanity since the dawn of literature and religion, and I think
 I speak for everyone when I give it a sidelong glance of uneasy recognition 
 this evening." --Scrymarch

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