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Re: "window virtual machine"

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Date: Thu, 6 Oct 88  19:51:21 CDT
From: Kerry Kimbrough <Kimbrough@dsg.csc.ti.com>
To: cl-windows@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU
Subject: Re: "window virtual machine"
In-Reply-To: Msg of Thu, 06 Oct 88 08:12:14 PDT from kempf@Sun.COM

   > It seems as if a "window virtual machine" combining Level 2 & 3
   > insulating application developers from the underlying host window systems
   > could make window based applications more portable.

Just to keep the conversation lively, let me say that I consider such an
approach to be of questionable usefulness in defining Common Lisp standards.

The biggest problem is that the "window virtual machine" is perforce the "least
common denominator".  The "common denominator" approach will find it hard to
support a broad variety of UI styles because of the lack of commonality in input
behavior.  The set of possible input events (enter/leave window, exposure, focus
change, button down/up, etc.) has a huge impact on possible UI styles.  This is
particularly painful when you consider that there exists a system rich in its
support for modern user interface programming which is already well on its way
toward standardization --- ladies and gentlemen, the X Window System.  

The "common denominator" represents portability at a great sacrifice in
functionality with no economic benefit!  For portability, the industry will soon
consolidate around one window system in each market anyway, and the impulse for
this standardization is outside the control of the Lisp community.  And, with
the advent of OSF, there is even the breath of a hope that X will be a bridge
between the PC and workstation markets.