Mon Aug 30 12:10:48 CEST 2004
From: "Joe Armstrong" <>
> 2) Towards the end of my hacking ex11 I came to the realisation that
> I didn't want, or need, a complex set of underlying widgets,
> I could actually make do with a very small set of widgets, in fact I
> could do 98% of everything I ever wanted to do with one or two
> widgets, unfortunately these widgets aren't in GTK/QL/FLTK etc. :-)
Just a thought - the text display widget doen't really have to be graphical. It
could be a (slightly enhanced) text console. ANSI codes are standardized to set
colors, and move the cursor; there are packages to let the mouse be used.
I actually tried it, and it kind of works. One problem is that under Unix
there's the terminfo/termcap swamp where it's easy to get lost. The other is
that the shell needs some adjustments. Nothing unsurpassable.
Another way to implement this would be to use Emacs as backend. Talk about
lightweight! :-) I looked into this too, and the big problem is the same as the
big advantage: the weight and wealth of Emacs functionality...
I think the reason this kind of widget isn't easily available is that it's not
really graphical. When doing GUIs (in the traditional sense), it seems to be an
unwritten requirement that one should be able to display multiple and
variable-width fonts, and icons and other cool stuff. Which looks good but not
always brings new functionality.
Regarding the 3 simple widgets, I think it's a nice idea to open up the
low-level layer and let the higher level build onto it.
BTW, the third widget is in fact a window manager.
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