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From Tim Ellison <t.p.elli...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: [general] Should we make portlib a separate component?
Date Mon, 04 Feb 2008 20:35:48 GMT
Mark Hindess wrote:
> Should portlib be a separate component like classlib, drlvm, jdktools,
> etc.?
> 
> Currently portlib is closely associated with classlib.  It is built in
> the same way as any other classlib module.  But really it isn't just
> another classlib module.  It's a porting layer for classlib, DRLVM,
> jdktools, etc.

Well it isn't today.  DRLVM and jdktools do their own thing, so it 
really is just a factoring of the class library code.

> It is suppose to have a well-defined API ... but we changed the API
> without a second thought when the patch for HARMONY-2236, for example,
> was committed.  I'm under no illusions that having portlib as a separate
> component will stop this happening but I think it would help us think
> about it a little differently.

I don't see why this a problem.  We have control over both sides of the 
API boundary, so changing the API to suit a usecase better is fine, 
provided the implementation and its usage is changed simultaneously -- 
and it was.

We don't promote the portlib APIs for our end users to use.  If we did 
then of course we would have to be more careful.  Even internally, like 
the VMI, we are careful when there are internal users.

> It would also enable us to apply versioning (branching/tagging) to
> portlib separately from classlib which in turn would allow us to
> manage changes to the API more easily.  Classlib/DRLVM could make
> compile/runtime decisions based on the version of the portlib API that
> is found.

I see what you are saying, but again, I'm yet to be convinced there is a 
problem being solved here.  Why not also version control the hycommon, 
hythread, etc internal APIs too?

> Separate versioning of this component should make it easier to make
> changes and extend the portlib to cover additional requirements.  For
> example, to better support DRLVM, particularly if it moved away from
> using APR which I seem to recall was mentioned (again) recently.
> 
> It would also give us the flexibility to choose to have portlib use a
> different build mechanism in future - such as autoconf - if we decided
> that was more suitable for a pure native code component.
> 
> Comments?

I don't have a strong objection to moving it out to a 'top level' 
component -- it just seems premature when there is no pressing need to 
do so.  If somebody declared a porting problem, or DRLVM gurus said they 
want easier access to use it then sure.  Perhaps there is a driver that 
I'm not seeing here.

It sounds like it is just a move within the project, not a re-architecture.

Regards,
Tim

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