CLIM mail archive
who's designing clim 2.0
Subject: who's designing clim 2.0
From: "Dennis L. Doughty" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 91 14:59 EDT
Cc: clim@BBN.COM, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 91 08:24:45 -0400
From: robert futrelle <email@example.com>
I have a comment about what I'd like to see in clim 2.0
and I'm a little concerned that others haven't spoken up.
The group that is designing clim has been very quiet.
I don't know who they are and they haven't been actively
seeking advice from users on this mailing list.
The group that is designing CLIM 2.0 is comprised of representatives from ILA,
Symbolics, Lucid, Franz, Apple, Xerox, DEC, and MCC (the corporate entities
that have invested in CLIM).
Nevertheless, there has been an enormous amount of
experience over the last 10 or 20 years with window
systems and interface building, so I am keeping my
fingers crossed that they are doing their best to
incorporate this experience and are doing great things
for the rest of us.
We have had to choose our areas of innovation carefully. We are not trying to
design the ultimate window system, rather a high-level, portable interface to
existing window systems with some carefully selected extensions.
I can see a spectrum of applications for clim from
pure text and building editors all the way to 3d
graphics for cad/cam and for games, for that matter.
Yes, indeed. Remember, however, that there is only one absolute goal for CLIM:
portability. Below that, there are various subgoals which involve certain
tensions. For example, there is a tension between satisfying people who want
specific features and people who want a "small CLIM". There is a tension
between associating too heavily with a user interface paradigm from one window
system and not providing enough integration with any particular one.
Our lab is trying to create large systems that present
scientific and technical documents on the screen.
This means multi-fonts (e.g., Greek (and Hebrew for math))
and especially subscripts and superscripts in running
text and a somewhat richer model for full math equation
display. Mike Lesk at Bellcore discovered, in his large
project with Amer Chem Soc that he needed seven levels
of vertical text positioning just to do chemical text
(baseline plus sub and super superscript plus
sub and super subscript plus normal sub and superscript.
In this case, remember that CLIM does in fact provide arbitrary positioning of
glyphs in device-specific fonts through the DRAW-TEXT primitive. Equation
formatting is something that you specifically need and which others probably
think would add unnecessary bloat, preferring instead (for example) 3D
graphics, which indicate you don't need. From CLIM's perspective, this is a
good candidate for an extension library (or an application-specific utility).
The reason this needs clim is because these document
systems have to be intelligent (there's knowledge and
hyper-links behind all those characters) so that in turn
needs smart systems built in CL/CLOS (and OODBMS?!!).
Yes, this is the reason we implemented CLIM in CL/CLOS.
It goes without saying that all these technical texts need
graphics for all the many diagrams, but these are typically
2-d diagrams and clim seems to be strong enough in the
graphic area for this.
There is one deficiency which should be addressed:
There should be the ability to present text rotated
90 degrees as appears on the zillions of data graphs
and on some labeled drawings that are published every
year. (our field of biology publishes 300,000
*papers* every year :-) !!
Yes, we already have some facilities for this. As you might guess, this is
hard to do uniformly in a portable way. Maybe if everyone were running Display
Who's designing clim 2.0?
What are their goals - structure, function, features?
CLIM 2.0 is not going to be radically different from CLIM 1.0 in the areas
already covered by CLIM 1.0. CLIM 2.0 is CLIM 1.0 plus facilities added to
support toolkit-style programming and therefore the integration with the look
and feel of the native platform.
Many of us need technical text displays.
This is one of many layers that application developers may need. Not all of
these layers need be specified by the CLIM committee. They should definitely
not be part of the core module.
Basic 2-d graphics in clim seems adequate.
Others, however, have requested 3D. (This is one of those tensions I mentioned
We need 90 degree rotated text [we do faces :-) ].
We hope to be able to satisfy this for most platforms.
I hope others will speak up before 2.0 is frozen.
We encourage comments and throughout this entire process we have incorporated
the comments and suggestions from our customer base.
Thanks for CLIM and keep up the good work --
and, you vendors, we need sources! (thanks symbolics).
International Lisp Associates
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