[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Wanted: Documentation about Interfacing to Zwei AND A Winning Structure Editor
- To: MMcM at SCRC-TENEX
- Subject: Wanted: Documentation about Interfacing to Zwei AND A Winning Structure Editor
- From: Tim McNerney <TIM at MIT-OZ>
- Date: Sat ,8 Oct 83 04:26:00 EDT
- Cc: Bug-Zwei at MIT-OZ, Tim at MIT-OZ
- Fonts: CPTFONTB
There is a lack of documentation:
Zwei is just what the world needs: a "language" for writing editors in (substitute "system" for
"language" if you prefer). The problem is, as you probably already know, is that there is no
nationally advertised set of conventions for simply extending Zmacs or for building some new
special-purpose display-oriented frobboz. I am particularly interested in revolutionary new
display frobs, specifically in the area of debugging tools.
So I pose the question:
How long will it be before the deep dark inner secrets of Zwei become "official"? We really
can't keep on guessing about the "right" way to interface to Zwei. Some of MIT's best wizards
have failed in their valiant attempts to use Zwei for relatively straightforward applications.
Looking at the sources (while constantly fearing that things will change in the next release) is
not the right thing. Besides, if (God forbid!) you should ever decide that your customers don't
really need to have the sources at their site, then they would be completely screwed. They
would have a customizable, extensible... undocumented... er... un-customizable, un-extensible,
display editor! And the world doesn't need just another display editor.
The world could really use a Zwei-based structure editor.
It seems so close, yet so far away. The current concept of a structure editor (a la Interlisp,
for example) could be vastly improved upon by keeping text (in upper and/or lower case,
different fonts, comments, etc.) IN PARALLEL with the Lisp object being edited. Updating of the
Lisp object could be delayed if the text were to specify some impossible state, but conversely,
if the Lisp object were changed, the text would be updated immediately. In a sense, the Lisp
object would be "wired" to the screen.
What do you think? C'est reasonable? C'est in ze works? C'est no, I'll write one, if you tell
me how to really win with Zwei.
P.S. Are people safe investing in British Petroleum?