Monday, July 23, 2012

Gmmproc progress

I have recently pushed over 30 commits to glibmm gmmproc-refactor branch. This concludes gmmproc's first "milestone" - to generate glibmm sources, build a library, build the tests and examples and finally succesfully run the tests. But by saying "glibmm" I mean only GLib wrappers - Gio wrappers are next on the list.

First milestone?

Yeah, right, as if there are any. That "first milestone" may look modest, but I actually think that it is like 75% of work done. GIR parsing, type conversions system, parsing templates, replacing m4 code with perl and then tying them and squeezing them with foot into some semblance of a program - all of those had to be written to have something working.

I haven't yet made any benchmarks of gmmproc rewrite, but right now it seems to be faster than the old one. Still old one can be faster if we run parallel build (make -jX) - there is one of main differences between currently used gmmproc and its rewrite. The former processes and writes one set of files (like from widget.hg and widget.ccg to widget.h, and widget_p.h) on every run, while the former processes all files in single run. That forces me to actually do parallel processing inside my program instead of reusing make's powers. Fortunately, I tried to write most of my code in a way that parallelizing it would be easy if done in OpenMP style.

Talking about speed - there is one area I would like to speed up in general - GIR parsing. It looks like the slowest part of whole gmmproc, but I didn't yet tried to profile it. I was thinking about using typelib instead, but from what I heard, there is no detailed C type information there (the "c:type" attributes from gir). This is still to be confirmed as it is not on top of my nowhere written list. Otherwise, using typelib would be, I imagine, faster. Provided that C-to-perl interface to GIRepository is written first - whooo, yak shaving!

Some plans

Still, I feel no hurry in rewriting as I rather see it to be used in next version of glibmm/gtkmm (I assume that those will be glibmm-4 and gtkmm-4). Thus I am not writing a strict drop-in replacement - I already have made (or I plan to make) some changes in generated API (like exception-to-GError conversion in vfuncs wrappers) and in template API (I would like to get rid of _CUSTOM_CTOR_CAST and similar in favour of _CLASS_FOO options).

There is still much to be done beside threading the application:
1. generating Doxygen documentation based on docs in GIR,
2. code documentation,
3. gmmproc macros documentation,
4. tests (there are some, but still not enough),
5. reports about unwrapped classes and functions,
6. and probably more.

I am happy to get this far and to actually finally see something more or less working.

Small disclaimer

The code is ugly mess. It needs to be reorganized, reshuffled in several places. WrapParser class is huge, even with moving some functions into shared modules. 'use' clauses have to be reviewed. 'constant' module for section traits was probably a crappy idea. Sometimes class/function naming is bogus (identity conversions, imbued types, tokens store?). Code style is very inconsistent (I started reading Modern Perl somewhere in the middle).
Oh, and commit messages are useless - they are probably going to be squashed at some point into single enormous commit for merging into master (and I am going to get only +1 commit of contribution on glibmm on Ohloh, damn!).

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