[erlang-questions] wXWidgets

Richard A. O'Keefe ok@REDACTED
Mon Oct 31 05:28:20 CET 2016

On 29/10/16 12:53 AM, Joe Armstrong wrote:
> I get the impression that GUI programming is actually going
> backwards - in the 80's there were systems build on languages
> like TCL that did not need GByte downloads and complex IDEs.

The first GUI interface I ever programmed was Interlisp-D,
which was Interlisp running on Xerox 1108s, 1109s, 1185s, and
1186s.  Everything above the microcode level was Lisp.  The
GUI library occupied two chapters in the manual, and from
never having programmed a GUI before it took me about 10 days
to get a multipane debugger going.  The machine had a 32MB
virtual memory and a 4MB physical memory, and it was a couple
of decades before I had access to a GUI that was as fast in

 From that standpoint: Tcl/Tk is arcane and bloated. (:-)

One change: colour.  The later Xerox D-machines had colour
displays, the earlier ones didn't.
Another change: images.  The D-machines were *great* at
styled text (that's where the word processor was invented,
after all) and vector graphics.  They didn't (at least not
back in 1984) have to deal with a whole lot of image file
Another change: video.
Another change: 3D.
Another change: HTML support.  (Which used to work fine on 8MB Macs...)

The Interlisp-D GUI kit stayed small because it HAD to.
wxWidgets is big because it CAN be and the incremental cost
of expanding it is always less than the incremental cost (to
the developers) of shrinking it (which might require redesign).

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