[Nickle]Nickle functionality and documentation

Barton C Massey bart@cs.pdx.edu
Wed, 14 Feb 2001 12:04:53 -0800

In message <2213.982178850@localhost> you wrote:
> In message <200102140912.BAA17828@sirius.cs.pdx.edu>, Barton C Massey writes:> 
>     There's namespaces, with appropriate scoping rules.
>     One of the examples should show this.  Do you need more?
> Woah, coooool. I think I'm impressed!


> > Note that there are also first-class functions with static
> > scope and highly controllable lifetime for locals.
> So when do you present a paper on this, or didn't you already?
> Where's the PostScript?

The paper has been accepted for the Freenix track of Usenix
this summer: all we have right now is an extended abstract,
which really doesn't say very much yet.  I'm working on docs
in my copious spare time; I'll write the paper after the
docs are done and the language is mostly frozen and
generally released.  Hopefully that's sometime soon.

> I think it's time for a Nickle FAQ, don't you?

Probably should finish the documentation first.  Updating
the manual page will be a good start: we should probably
mention some of these features you've been discussing
(threads, namespaces, first-class functions) in there.  :-)

> I've notified
> NetApp management that I'm on the project, so I should be able
> to put time into it now without worries.

Very cool!  One first possibility would be for you to read
the grammar for namespaces, experiment until you understand
it or get explanations from Keith or myself, and then write
that section of the manual...  This is on the top of my
documentation to-do list, actually.

> I'd like to make it easy for you guys, so if you have any
> preferences for formatting tools let me know.

Not particularly.  We use everything, and hate it all. :-)
You don't know of anything *nice*, do you?  HTML-ability a
big plus.  My first choice would be a full SGML
implementation, but last I checked Jade wasn't quite there
yet, IIRC.

The paper will be in LaTeX, of course, so detailed technical
description probably just wants to start there.