[m-dev.] Re: foreign language interface documentation

Fergus Henderson fjh at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Wed Oct 30 03:46:03 AEDT 2002

On 15-Oct-2002, Tyson Dowd <trd at cs.mu.OZ.AU> wrote:
> On 14-Oct-2002, Fergus Henderson <fjh at cs.mu.OZ.AU> wrote:
> > On 14-Oct-2002, Tyson Dowd <trd at cs.mu.OZ.AU> wrote:
> > > I won't be able to make it to this meeting.
> > 
> > I wanted to ask you about the foreign language interface stuff.
> > Currently the language reference manual says
> > 
> >  | This chapter documents the new foreign language interface.
> >  | This interface is not yet complete, and is not fully supported.
> >  | It is documented here as an aid to the Mercury language developers.
> >  | See the @pxref{C interface} chapter for the existing, supported C
> >  | interface for Mercury.
> >  |  
> >  | The syntax, documentation, behaviour and semantics of the constructs
> >  | described in this chapter are subject to change without notice.
> > 
> > Is this still correct?  What parts of the foreign language interface
> > are not complete?  What changes, if any are planned, are the reasons
> > for documenting the interface as unstable still valid?
> Not complete: import and export are not parametized.

OK, but I don't anticipate any changes to the current interface
as a result of adding support for those.

> No instability is planned however the .NET backend foreign language
> interfacing support could change in order to support high-level data,
> RTTI interfacing and so on.   Basically the FFI support is not complete,
> and so the changes that are required are not yet known.

Fair enough.  But it doesn't sound like the situation is much different
from the C interface, which might also require changes to support
such things.  If the foreign language interface is not less stable than the
old C interface, we might as well go ahead and document it.

> I would advise simply commenting out the MC++ code section as it is the
> most troublesome interface and is used the least.

Troublesome in what way?

> > Any suggestions for what we should do about this for the forthcoming
> > release?
> The options are: leave as is, comment out these sections, fill them in,
> or finish my thesis for me and I'll do fill them in. 

I didn't like any of those options, but I went for #3.
I will post a diff for review shortly.

Fergus Henderson <fjh at cs.mu.oz.au>  |  "I have always known that the pursuit
The University of Melbourne         |  of excellence is a lethal habit"
WWW: <http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/~fjh>  |     -- the last words of T. S. Garp.
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