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[help-GIFT] A GIFT roadmap

From: Wolfgang Müller
Subject: [help-GIFT] A GIFT roadmap
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 17:32:37 +0200
User-agent: KMail/1.5

Hi GIFTies,

Triggered by the giFT/GIFT discussion, as well as Josh's mails, I would like 
to propose a roadmap for future GIFT development.

Lately, Steph and Henning have made suggestions off-line (they wrote a paper) 
concerning improvement of MRML. Steph has backed this up with his MRML 2 
standard proposal, and an architecture implemented in JAVA that goes with it, 
and that is currently done in Geneva, by Tayeb, a diploma student.

This would mean, that in the long run, GIFT would be rather written in JAVA 
than in c++. In the short run, I would volunteer to write JNI and CNI (Cygnus 
native interface) code for making the new JAVA stuff work with the old 

--What would we gain with this?--

1. At many universities I know the average student is more comfortable with 
JAVA than he/she is with c(++). So, this move would make finding students who 
would like to work on non-image-processing parts of GIFT easier.

2. In the long run, we would gain more platform independence, especially, if 
we consider the use of gcj, and gij, the GNU compiler/interpreter for JAVA. 


I propose going a two-lane process

Fast lane: Make the current GIFT a better GIFT
1. Make gift-current rock stable. For this we need mainly contribution of 
testing under varying conditions.
2. Make gift-current idiot proof. We need people who contribute testing of 
installation unter varying conditions. Given my schedule, I do not manage to 
keep my system a suitable system for testing the installation, and a suitable 
system for fixing the bugs at the same time.
3. Make GIFT work on BSD
4. Ask for testing in the KDE community, making it fitter for use in KMRML.

It would be good to have something like that at the end of the year.

Slower lane: Get ready for replacement GIFT
1. Port functionality to some very simple pure JAVA query engine together with 
Tayeb's work and the proper configuration
2. Make proper interfaces between JAVA and the "old" GIFT plugin mechanism.

This goes quickly or not so quickly, depending on the number of students 
people manage to attract.

Are you OK with that? Any takers for testing, programming and suggestions?

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