From: ericzen (email@example.com)
Date: Mon Sep 22 2003 - 22:55:55 EDT
On 2003.09.22 19:17 r coyne wrote:
> Take plug-ins, for example -- a never-ending source of
> problems. I don't understand how plugins work, but
> surely it should be possible to vector them through
> some sort of table of pointers or jump addresses or
> instructions in such a way that any given
> function(ality) is guaranteed to be findable in the
> same place even as the actual code gets rewritten and
> moved around and new abilities added in future
This may have been clarified off list, but there is some minor hope this will come for 2.2--the limited version dependency, so that, at least, minor versions will be intercompatible (minor of major-minor-sub, or major in primary-major-minor depending on your semantical choice).
> I realize that abi is designed to run on a multitude
> of platforms and that this complicates matters. But
> don't all operating systems nowadays provide pretty
> much the same basics, like a directory tree,
> environmental variables, pipes, and so on? And if you
> stick with a programming language compiler/package
> that is widely available, won't it do a lot of the
> work of coordination, adapting to each OS it runs on?
> So if you take a lowest-common-denominator approach
> and if you spend enough time and effort early on, like
> now, working out the conventions for how the various
> routines, modules, files, programs, plugins, packages,
> etc. are supposed to find and communicate with each
> other, I would think you could come up with something
> less demanding and more robust than the present
"When the correct version of the plugins is available and already built, the built-in option actually builds them into the main binary. This is for the likes and QNX and so forth that won't hand external sub-programme modules, unicies (posix-compliant platforms) should NOT need this."
Operating systems are designed to some extent or another as niche. Windows is a general user's office-based desktop. Mac OS X is designed as an artist's or general public (not specifically long-time computer user)'s media-centric desktop. Most unicies are focused as acting as some type of server. QNX is a real-time based embeddable system with an interface. I could go forward to explain differences in non-abi-supported operating systems and even their variants, but the fact is, that Operating Systems only have one thing in common: they allow the hardware to do what is expected of them (successfully is dependent on other things, however ;o).
> And to the extent this requires discussions and
> agreements with other projects, get to it; attend
> those conferences. If somebody in the open-source
> world has to invent some conventions, why not abi?
> Design something that will do the trick and put out a
"Great. So besides this post, how are you going to help out?"
Send money to send developers to conferences ;o)
> And then, of course, there's the whole issue of
> intelligent, informative, crash-proof handling of
> error conditions, and the need for careful, loving
> attention to documentation.
"Could please post a specific crash bug or more on our bugzilla? We actually have very few there now."
Like Mrs. Sevior, I haven't had much crash experience with Abi. I only had one with a pre-1.0 (one!) version that was related to font paths...again....
> What I am saying, basically, is that with the release
> of 2.0, abi is probably approaching the point of
> diminishing returns to features. 3.0 should be about
> bulletproofing and getting it "ready for prime time";
> in other words, this is the time to "start over from
> the beginning and this time do it right," now that you
> understand the problems.
2.2 sounds like it'll go a long way in that direction to me.
(if you clicked the plugins link, you've already seen this page).
> But then, I haven't programmed in years and am far
> from au courant, so I'm just talking through my hat
> and may be totally wrong. And I do mean this as a
> what-the-user-wants tip for 3.0, not a criticism of 1
> and 2 or the developers who gave them to us. In the
> early versions, it was only natural and proper to
> concentrate on getting something up and running that
> would be worth using. I write this because I suspect
> that, especially in a decentralized, volunteer
> organization like abi, with no one exactly in charge
> and authorized to turn the whole thing on a dime,
> institutional habit and momentum may inhibit the sort
> of grand rethinking I'm talking about, even when it is needed.
Based on uwog's comment, I'm fairly certain there is a numero uno guy in charge...Dom. Wv, Wmf, Enchant and, of course, Abi are his focus, and that all really leads back to Abi. If Dom says, "Let's scrap AbiCapi," it gets scrapped; if Dom says, "Let's rewrite the graphics rendering," it gets rewritten; if Dom says, "Lets make pink the default page colour," um, we'll probably kick that guy out of the chat room and call the Philly police to make sure he's still alive (and sane).
Have you been reading too many anti-Open Source papers? Time to download "The Cathedral and the Bazaar".
So, other than possible bug filing and possibly Q&A, will you be doing anything else?
"I haven't programmed in years and am far from au courant."
So, money? Hackers are "O.K." with being pimped!
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