[m-dev.] documenting parts of Mercury's C runtime interface

Ralph Becket rafe at csse.unimelb.edu.au
Thu Jan 31 11:36:42 AEDT 2008

Julien Fischer, Thursday, 31 January 2008:
> Hi,
> Most Mercury bindings to C (or C++) libraries need to make some use of the
> facilities provided by the runtime, e.g. for memory allocation in C code 
> using
> the GC, making aligned string copies, or extracting an underlying C file
> stream from a Mercury one.
> Currently, none of this stuff is really documented outside of runtime
> code itself.  For most of the runtime this is desirable since we want
> the freedom to change it without respect to backwards compatability,
> but some usage of the runtime functionality has become some prevalent
> in library bindings and other code that makes heavy use of the C interface
>  that it really does need to be documented properly.
> Should this be done in the reference manual, the user's guide, or a separate
> guide to the runtime?  Which would people prefer?

My view is that the Users' Guide is about how to drive the tools; the
Reference Manual is about the language.  For convenience, I would
appreciate something like an appendix to the RM explaining important
aspects of the current implementation.  I don't want to have to consult
two documents about the foreign language interface.
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