Shims for old systems

Faré fahree at
Wed Feb 20 01:45:20 UTC 2019

>>: 73budden
>: Robert Goldman

>> 1. Shims. [...]
> The shims idea is interesting, but isn't it a lot of trouble to make and maintain a shim (which has to somehow indicate where to find the source files for the library), compared to forking a system?
Forking seems more robust, too. The problem with shims is that they
quickly get out of date. Or they must be paired with a specific
revision of the system being built, like the build_defs in the bazel
lisp support.

>> 2. Get rid of upgrade.
Upgrade is very important. See my original ASDF article:
Upgrade is even more important since implementations often include an
old version of ASDF:
CCL has 3.2.0, LispWorks has 3.1.7 (IIRC), and sometimes SBCL isn't
upgraded for years.
At least, unlike in the bad old ASDF 1 days, there is now a meaningful
version to query.

>> 3. Last, but most important actually. Prioritize manual, FAQ, Wiki and
>> all like this.
> I'm ok with that, but I don't have the time for an end-to-end rewrite of the manual. Note that I am also going to integrate everything into the manual, because I don't have the time to support more than one documentation set (e.g., Fare's Markdown stuff will get folded into the manual).
I don't love Markdown, but I resent that the texinfo version forces
the authors to manually maintain an index of nodes, etc. This makes
refactoring the structure of the manual particularly unpleasant.
Hopefully, Robert finds some other format that does the indexing for
you. I recommend Racket Scribble, but there are no doubt other
choices, too. My own Exscribe works too but only to produce HTML (its
PDF backend is too limited).

> Part of the problem is that the manual doesn't have a clear structure. It shoold somehow start off by teaching only the basics, in a very brief discussion, then get to more advanced topics, then the object model, and stuff that only an extender, developer, or maintainer would want to know. But it's quite possible I will retire or die before I manage to do that level of rewrite.
The "best practices" document kind of took that approach of layering
sections by skill. It is far from complete with that approach, though.
But maybe a merge of it with the current manual can help.

> A contribution I would love to have is an adaptation of the SBCL manual code that extracts symbols and docstrings for inclusion in Texinfo. At one point I looked into Didier's library (DecIt, I think?), but while it's good at extraction, I couldn't see how what it extracts could be moved around and integrated with large blocks of text.
Scribble and Exscribe being programmable mean you could do whatever
you want here.

—♯ƒ • François-René ÐVB Rideau •Reflection&Cybernethics•
One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity,
there ain't nothing can beat teamwork. — Edward Abbey

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