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Re: [Axiom-developer] Sockets, threads and GUI<->Kernel communication

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Sockets, threads and GUI<->Kernel communication
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 09:23:15 -0700 (PDT)

--- Gabriel Dos Reis <address@hidden> wrote:

> However, my fundamental point remains: common things should be
> simple.
> I think we should be careful about the arguments we make.

Agreed.  My understanding was that it was the use of sockets itself
which you were objecting to.  Maxima's socket mechanism is both
effective and extremely simple, if I remember correctly.  I can see
where Axiom's CURRENT use of the idea may be suboptimal.

> Yet, they are they roots of many unpleasant aspects when working on
> the internal details and improvements of Axiom.

I will have to take a closer look at that aspect of the code - that is
surprising to me.  Of course, Maxima is a simple two way communication
and Axiom seems to communicate between core, graphics, and hyperdoc all
at once...

> | broadly developed and robust.  That may have changed since, but I
> would
> | want more information than I have now before I would be willing to
> | regard thread support in Lisp as something to depend on.
> Well, my initial comment is more a statement about the current state
> as opposed to an active suggestion to redesign Axiom.  Certainly, we
> have around Lisp systems mapping to threads and using them.  They
> don't look more complicated than the current mess we have.

OK, that's probably true.

> Now, you
> may have a point about standard thread interface, but that is more of
> a general problem with Lisp environments once you start doing
> anything useful -- you have to catter for all kinds of variabilities.

Also true, but my expectation would be that sockets are more likely to
be available and robust in a given case than threads.  I admit I do not
have the facts in hand to justify that expectation.

> | some introductory material on thread vs. socket issues that I could
> | read?
> They are not mutually exclusive, so I don't understand your point.

I misunderstood your original objection - I thought sockets applied to
Axiom in any fashion was a problem.  It sounds more like the way we
CURRENTLY do things isn't so good regardless of mechanism, and that's a
different sort of issue.  I'm surprised that this aspect of Axiom is
complex, so there are clearly some design issues I'm not taking into
account yet.


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