Why [not] X?

Mike McDonald mikemac@titian.engr.sgi.com
Thu, 22 May 1997 22:50:10 -0700

>To: Mike McDonald <mikemac>
>Subject: Re: Why [not] X? 
>Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 21:13:35 -0700
>From: Kelly Murray <kem@Franz.COM>
>> >No one other than myself, as far as I know, is building anything.
>>  Last time I'm speak nicely of you! :-) (I know, CLIM has no place in
>> your SilkMachine.)
>Please accept my apologies!
>I find it very easy (and practical) to ignore CLIM...
>>   If one were to write a web browser in Lisp, what would one use for
>> displaying the graphics? CLX? CLIM? (format ...)?
>Well, call me insane, but I suggest a web browser would be a good start!!
>And not by just redirecting the source input to the output device!
>The dynamic gif generator would likely come in handy here...

  So you'd have a web browser that generated GIF maps for each page
that the real browser wanted to look at? Then if the user clicked on
some portion of the image, the lisp version could generate a new GIF
map with the new page in it and send that to the new browser? Seems
kind of round about but doable. I think the performance would probably
stink. (Not that I'm overly worried about performance at this point,
especially given the blazing speed of the web we have today.)

>>   The PPM tools just convert from one format to another (for the most
>> part). Or do you want things like draw-line into a gif image?
>It does other neat stuff, the newer versions do I recall.
>write text into gifs, merge gifs, do colormap transforms,
>generate patterns and do pixel operations on them etc.
>I don't think you can draw a line into a bitmap.  That would be

  Hmm, I'll have to look into getting a newer copy. The version I have
was built by a guy inside SGI. It can't even convert an X bitmap into
a PBM!

<Combining Kelley's follow up into one message.>
>OK, here's a sane suggestion: start with the CMU-CL Hemlock editor.
>Add a web broswer capability to it.
>Use whatever Hemlock uses for an output display device.

  Hemlock uses CLX. If I were to write a browser in Lisp, I'd
seriously consider using CLX. (Since I don't have CLIM done yet!) It
could still serve up GIF images of whole pages without much problem. 
(Draw the page into a pixmap, copy the pixmap into a Ximage, convert
the Ximage into a GIF. Trivial. Hmm, it'd be nice if just about any
LispOS (or SilkMachine) app could be viewed from a web browser. (I
know. That's what you've been arguing for all along.) It should also
be viewable on the local machine somehow. I think I'm going to have to
go back and reread that article about how Franz modified a version of
CLIM so the chemistry guys could display their interface over the web
via html. Keystroke commands are still a problem, so no Emacs this

  The idea I was considering was writing a HTML-pane for CLIM. 
(Presentation types are SOOO nice for so many apps, which is what I
want from CLIM.) Hmm, I'm going to have to do some thinking. We're
definitely going to have to get together over some beers.

  Mike McDonald