Why LispOS?

Chris Bitmead chrisb@Ans.Com.Au
Wed, 25 Mar 1998 23:14:24 +0000

Rodrigo Ventura wrote:
>     Chris> I guess the point is, why are you so concerned about accessing
>     Chris> UNIX devices?
>         That is the same to ask "why do you want to access the
> filesystem" or "why do you want to allocate memory" or "why do you
> want to know the exact position of the mouse" or "why do you want to
> print a file to a printer" or "why do you want to display graphics"
> and so on and so on. In few words: it's the very reason of existence
> of computers -- to access the exterior. One cannot compute in a vacuum!

I consider accessing UNIX character based files and devices as
the moral equivilent of you programming in Xlib compared to
Motif. Yeah, it does the job, but it is a very very low level API
to have to muck around using, it's slow,complicated and prone to
errors to have to code. To continue the Xlib/Motif analogy, to
write something in Xlib takes millions of lines of code that
would take 100 lines with Motif.

>     >> I concede that Xlib can be simple after reading tons and tons
>     >> of docs. And after several months without thinking about Xlib, is it
>     >> possible to get back to it easly? Although I confess my ignorance on
>     >> Xlib internals.
>     Chris> If your aim is to draw a line or a circle on the screen, then it
>     Chris> is simple. But is a low level abstraction. Quite a good one
>     Chris> really, but a low level one nevertheless.
>         Oh, no doubt about that. I love X design. It's really well
> designed. Although it seems very complex to me. I guess that it is
> inevitable at that point. The level of competence is too high --
> Xserver on one machine and the client in another one.
>         Regards,

Chris Bitmead