ex11, plotting and Cairo ...

Peter-Henry Mander <>
Wed Jul 20 12:03:38 CEST 2005

Hi Joe,

(Enters scene with proverbial oar)

Although you are rightly concerned about portability, I really liked
ex11 because it _removed_ many layers between application code and
graphics, cutting out a lot of sloooow ugly crap between the two.

Considering this, why not attack the MS-Windows GDI directly in Erlang,
maybe with a k.i.s.s. C driver to ease the connection? As far as I'm
aware there are essentially only two low-level graphics APIs that cover
99.997% of computers: MS-Windows GDI and MIT-X11.

Furthermore, with Erlang distribution you gain the advantage of a
graphics API for Windows that is network oriented, like X11. Believe me,
I sorely miss the client-server architecture of X11 when working on
MS-Windows. I install Cygwin-X11 within minutes!

I'm not claiming it's easy, but ex11 supplemented with "eGDI" would be a
solid foundation for concurrency-oriented graphics. Keep the middle and
upper layers written in Erlang and have just two low-layer protocols to
choose from, possibly switched automagically according to OS.


On Wed, 2005-07-20 at 09:11 +0200, Joe Armstrong (AL/EAB) wrote:
>  What fun. As regards graphics in Erlang the situation is still a
>  I see things the problem is more one of "programming models" than
> an Erlang interface to X (replace X by your favourite package).


"The Tao of Programming
 flows far away 
 and returns 
 on the wind of morning."

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