Code patches vs. macros vs. plugins (was: Re: Re[2]: INS)

From: Omer Zak (
Date: Tue Jan 21 2003 - 03:43:01 EST

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    On Tue, 21 Jan 2003, [iso-8859-1] Andrew Dunbar wrote:

    [... an INS suggestion has been snipped ...]

    > Something which AbiWord doesn't seem to have yet is
    > a set of "unapproved" patches.
    > This is a perfect candidate for such a patch.
    > Somebody could write (and maintain) it for those
    > people who want it, for a price.The code is never
    > committed to the mainline AbiWord CVS server but is
    > kept elsewhere.

    While the idea of having unapproved AbiWord patches is good, I don't think
    that this mechanism will be necessary to support intrusive INS protection

    I don't know enough about AbiWord to discuss its macro and key rebinding
    mechanisms, but for example in EMACS, you can redefine any key
    combination to execute an arbitrary EMACS-LISP code. And such code could
    be written to pop up a dialog.

    In the case of AbiWord, if this is not already implemented or planned, I
    suggest to think about a mechanism for supporting key combinations
    rebinding and macros. The scripting language to be used for macros could
    be Scheme (Guile) or Python.

    Another possible approach is to ensure that the plugin interface allows
    rebinding of keys to execute an user-selected plugin, and the plugin is to
    be sufficiently powerful to either eat an key combination (for example, to
    eat the INS keypress if the user chooses "No" in the INS protection
    dialog) or pass it on to the rest of AbiWord.

    An advantage of macros and key rebindings over code patches or plugins is
    that macros and key rebindings can be developed on all platforms
    supporting AbiWord, and once developed, they can be used in all platforms
    without any recompilations.

    May I ask the mighty AbiWord Gurus to come forth and summarize what kinds
    of macro/key rebinding/plugins support, which are relevant to the INS
    protection problem, are available/planned for AbiWord to us mere mortals
    who didn't learn yet the mysteries and antics of AbiWord?
                                                 --- Omer

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