[rescue] NeWS (was: FS/FTGH: Sun kit)

der Mouse mouse at Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA
Tue Jan 17 15:31:09 CST 2006

> Speaking of PostScript, I remember before the X Window System became
> the defacto window system on all workstations that people often
> talked about how wonderful NeWS was for its display postscript model.
> God, was that ever a setup that was WAY overhyped.  I tried writing
> some UI by programming the display postscript and it was horrible.

Writing UIs by programming Xlib is not that great either.  I saw a
signature (Henry Spencer, I think it was) saying that writing in raw
Xlib was like computing sqrt(pi) in Roman numerals, and while I don't
go that far, I do agree that Xlib is a pretty bare-bones interface.

Yes, there are higher-level interfaces layered atop Xlib, and some
debugging tools for those who (for watever reason) are working with
Xlib.  Such higher layers and debugging tools could have existed for
NeWS, and indeed likely did, but, NeWS being closed source and locked
up tight, they never got out into people's hands where they could have
done some good.

I lay X's dominance not at the feet of technical merit - X is a good
example of something that sucks worse than everything except all the
alternatives anyone has tried, to steal a turn of phrase from Winston
Churchill - but at the feet of open licensing and widespread sample

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