[Python-Dev] Parrot -- should life imitate satire?
12 Aug 2001 23:10:02 -0400
Owen Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> Rasmus Lerdorf <email@example.com> writes:
> > > By introducing another layer of abstraction we will most probably decrease
> > > the performance of all languages. That is, since the universal
> > > interface to, given your example, the Sablotron XSLT library is the API
> > > and Perl, Python and PHP have internals different enough that there would
> > > have to be a certain amount of glue and translation work between the
> > > structures of the extension layer and the internals of the interpretter.
> > It should still be possible to come up with some guidelines for writing a
> > single extension that supports multiple scripting languages. Especially
> > for something like Sablotron which isn't that complex. You feed it some
> > XML and some XSL and it spits back a result. Most of the work in writing
> > the extension is figuring out how the user-visible API should look and
> > then translating that API along with its function/method calls and
> > argument type mangling to whatever the thing that is being glued is
> > expecting.
> > Note that I am not talking about runtime binary compatibility here. I am
> > talking about source compatibility where potentially big chunks of code
> > would be very different across the different languages. In an approach
> > like this I don't see a performance issue. It is more of an education
> > issue actually.
> > And with a bit of effort I bet we could come up with enough common ground,
> > or at least some nifty macro tricks, where people wouldn't feel
> > overwhelmed by the task of supporting multiple scripting languages when
> > they sat down to write some new backend library.
> I think knowledge of the rules for writing bindable libraries is
> much more useful than macro tricks.
> Etc. If you follow these rules, you get a a library where writing
> bindings for it is a brain-dead task. But still task. A library like
> GObject that standardizes memory management, and object-oriented
> structures helps quite a bit, but I'm certainly of the opinion that
> the eventual goal has to be
> - write a library using tools that produce an introspectable
> descriptions of its interfaces.
> - Language bindings are automatic and can be done without
> a compilation step.
Oh yes, and the thing I forgot to mention:
Write a library and the language bindings will come. The problem
is getting a vast number of language bindings (the list of 38
language bindings for GTK+ at http://erik.bagfors.nu/gnome/languages.html
is almost certainly not even complete). The problem is keeping language
bindings complete and up-to-date. This is the biggest reason
why automation is crucual.