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Re: [0/18] new argv_ref branch for m4 speedup

From: Gary V. Vaughan
Subject: Re: [0/18] new argv_ref branch for m4 speedup
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 13:22:33 +0800

Hi Eric,

Sorry for my recent absence: I've been galavanting across the globe again,
and after some tight deadlines with work from internet cafes in amongst
traveling between Texas, England, India and the Philippines in just the last 2 months my hacking time has been severely curtailed :-( I should have an apartment with DSL in Manila from the beginning of January, and be able to
participate in the GNU lists again...

By inspection, your argv_ref branch changes look fantastic btw :-)

On 5 Dec 2007, at 13:13, Eric Blake wrote:
Sure enough, I found a regression today, when using the same character for
both start and end quotes.  I've rebased argv_ref to fix this bug, and
added two new patches to the end of the series that make more macros
handle builtin tokens from defn (similar to Solaris and BSD m4 -
basically, fixing the bug that ifelse(defn(`defn'),defn(`divnum'),a,b) was
outputting a instead of b), as well as fixing m4wrap to obey POSIX by
using FIFO (not LIFO) semantics. The patch series currently adds a new macro, m4parw (the name was suggested months ago when I first brought up the issue of FIFO vs. LIFO), but since I also added the file wraplifo.m4 that can do the same trick without using the new builtin, I'm open to the
idea of not adding m4parw after all.

Unless we absolutely must add new builtins to provide missing functionality or comply with POSIX, I'd rather keep the core language as lean and small as possible. Of course, on HEAD, there's nothing to prevent you adding an
m4parw loadable module that is only loaded on demand if the speedup is
significant compared to the macro version.

I'm still leaning towards the idea of distributing m4sugar with GNU M4,
which would allow us to optimise the implementations, or even migrate parts
of it to C, in order to provide a nice speedup for autoconf.

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