[Pharo-project] FFI in 1.1

Stéphane Ducasse stephane.ducasse at inria.fr
Mon Apr 26 01:41:35 EDT 2010


On Apr 26, 2010, at 12:06 AM, Schwab,Wilhelm K wrote:

> Stef,
> 
> I have read that Alien is not very good at calling functions - I have *no* idea whether that is fair, but we should check before adopting it.  If it is indeed poor at them, I recommend using FFI until we or its maintainers can fix Alien.

there are no such alien maintainers. There are us.
> 
> Also, whatever we include should work on windows, mac and Linux.  Alien seems to be getting close to read on Linux, but Laurent reported ugly crashes when trying to actually run it.  That would not be good for a supported platform.
> 
> Bill
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: pharo-project-bounces at lists.gforge.inria.fr [mailto:pharo-project-bounces at lists.gforge.inria.fr] On Behalf Of Stéphane Ducasse
> Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2010 3:05 PM
> To: Pharo-project at lists.gforge.inria.fr
> Subject: Re: [Pharo-project] FFI in 1.1
> 
> Probably.
> There were some discussions that alien will be integrated / working also for the windows vm.
> So we will see which one I will let people with more experience telling that to us.
> 
> Stef
> 
> On Apr 25, 2010, at 9:26 PM, Mariano Martinez Peck wrote:
> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Sun, Apr 25, 2010 at 6:12 PM, Stéphane Ducasse <stephane.ducasse at inria.fr> wrote:
>>> 
>>> yes communication with C library. so this is just a tool too.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Exactly. It is a tool. Not a dev tool in my opinion.In such way,  SqueakDBX is also a tool. A tool to persist in a relational database.
>> 
>> Mariano FFI/ALIEN is ***REALLY*** important to get the possibility to 
>> call and write code in smalltalk as mentioned by john so this is more central (closer to core) than openDBX or refactoring browser.
>> Look at lua... why lua is cool because he can be embeded seamlessly in 
>> C and call C. So if we do not put pressure on FFI to support callback well or ALIEN then we will stay this language that has problem to interact with the outside world.
>> This is why having FFI in pharo-dev is important. We should be able to call mac native menu.
>> Of course we should pay attention that we rely too much on C library 
>> but the world is getting more complex and writing everything in 
>> smalltalk is also costly. Not FFI/ALIEN can reduce our dependency to C compilation and C-writing so this is already an important step.
>> Am I clear?
>> 
>> 
>> Yes, and I agree. However, that was not the discussion. I agree FFI is important. I don't care to add it to PharoDev 1.1 if you agree with that.
>> But I STILL think and that's what I was discussing in the last mail, is that FFI is NOT A DEV TOOL for me. 
>> Anyway...forget this little discussion.  
>> 
>> In summary, should I add FFI when I start to build PharoDev 1.1 ?
>> 
>> Cheers
>> 
>> Mariano
>> 
>> Stef
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