Which GUI?

Steve Holden sholden at bellatlantic.net
Mon Feb 21 15:48:43 EST 2000

Grant Edwards wrote:
> In article <38B04C8C.45F96A76 at bellatlantic.net>, Steve Holden wrote:
> [disparaging remarks about Windoze huge bulk and general code bloat]
> I don't.  ;)  [use Windows]
> One could argue that X11 is hardly a minimalist solution
> either...
> --
> Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  Isn't this my STOP?!
>                                   at
>                                visi.com

Well, arguing that way wouldn't find me in disagreement.  Interestingly,
both these windowing platforms were designed (IMLTHO) primarily with
world domination in mind.  Gates was aiming to wipe Macintosh out with
an inferior interface, and the X effort represented the results of the
combined hysteria of H-P, IBM et al when Sun introduced the Network
Extensible Windowing System (NeWS).

NeWS was interesting, since it used a PostScript imaging model and
real-world coordinates rather than pixel graphics.  It was designed for
client-server systems from the get-go.  Although it did take a few
liberties with PostScript to implement an event-handling system.  But
this is irrelevant, since NeWS was pushed out of existence when Sun
found they didn't have enough marketing muscle to resist the trend
toward X Window.

And, of course, GUIs are handling enough complexity that smallness is
not a usual feature.  Both Bill Joy and Ken Thompson argued back in the
days of the 3Ms (one megabyte, one megapixel, one MIPS) that a good
responsive user interface would need more than 10 MIPS.  They were right.

"If computing ever stops being fun, I'll stop doing it"

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