Older blog entries for jdhildeb (starting at number 1)

Had a new idea for gnome-vim yesterday. Presently communication between my component code and the vim instance is limited to sending keystrokes and using the vim client-server functionality to (for example) evaluate a vim expression and receive the result. Quite limited, but, well, gnome-vim started out as a quick hack, because I wanted to use vim with Evo.

Several people have asked why I don't make use the vim-gtk code in gnome-vim. My response has been:

  • the vim-gtk toolbars and menus wouldn't "just work" as a bonobo control, because they're just straight gtk. They'd have to be rewritten to use bonobo so that the menus and toolbars can be merged with the container's UI.
  • gnome-vim must support multiple instances running simultaneously, and needs to maintain communication with each running vim instance.

However, I was thinking more about this second point, and it seems that this is requirement is just due to the structure that gnome-vim inherited from the gtkhtml control (on which I based my initial code).

If instead of writing a component factory, I could simply supply an executable which implements an interface, and oaf should (I think) fire up an instance of the process for each required component. It would be an out-of-process control, but each process would be running the vim process directly (with corba interface implementations and bonobo stuff added).

This would allow a much tighter integration with vim, which would make it possible to support fancier interfaces. I envision gnome-vim being used with Anjuta: when the user begins to type a function name, gnome-vim pops up a menu with possible completions.

I'd like to move to this structure down the road, but in the meantime I have a maintenance version to release.

Looking forward to being back in Germany again. I'll be spending two months there with my fiancee Katharina on April 25 for two months, during which time I'll give a talk on Webware at Linuxtag 2002.

I was at Linuxtag 2001 in Stuttgart, but this will be my first presentation. I'm both nervous and excited about it. Although I've been a free software user, advocate and contributor for several years, it's only recently that I've stopped just "lurking" and started to make more connections with other developers, and I'm looking forward to doing more of this in Karlsruhe.

I'll be sure to bring my GPG fingerprint along. :)

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