First of all, I would like to second the idea of switching to a single
cross-platform toolkit. After a serious initial effort, this would
likely improve future maintenance. A whole buch of issues (namely
those caused by the toolkit) can be taken care of by a much bigger
community. I am thinking of itches like the stupid Xft display residue
and the like. A toolkit might not solve it perfectly according to
some, but I haven't heard anyone saying "Shit, I'd rather have
XEmacs' stray pixels..." either. At least things look wrong
consistently. And if it gets fixed it will look right in *all*
While doing this I would think of getting rid of stuff such as
progress bars, home-grown tooltips, etc. Proper Lisp bindings to
toolkit widgets make thinks look much better integrated.
A proper print dialog! Hell, that'd be something. It ought to be
possible for someone to print only a subset of pages without having to
jump through hoops. And this does not imply we'd have to get rid of
the ancient lpr way of doing things.
Font selection using a slightly less arcane interface than Customize,
comes to mind. In my day job, I find myself presenting code examples
using *other editors* simply because basic things like changing the
font size for a projector is such a pain in the neck (both Xft, and
Keyboard issues could be worked around more straightforward I suppose
(might have to be worked out with XEmacs low-level handling). Since my
switch to Ubuntu I still don't get German Umlauts on a US keyboard the
way I used to in my good old plain X11 set-up. I have to memorize
stupid combinations like "AltR-y" to get "ü". This has something to
with the "ISO level 3 shift"-or-what-ever-it-was-called, I
reckon. From a user perspective this sucks: XEmacs is the *only*
application that I use that suffers from this problem. Emacs behaves
better in that respect for crying out loud.
Can't say much about GTK+ -- I'll do it ayway:
"Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen(a)xemacs.org> writes:
A big technical problem we face there is that they all come with
own event loops. So much of what makes Emacs nicer than many other
editors is the modelessness, but making that work smoothly depends a
lot on features like C-g actually interrupting Emacs quickly. I don't
know if there are any high-level toolkits that allow you to do this.
Supposedly you can add event sources to GLIB's event loop:
Not sure if that would help the situation...
Another problem is that many of them only can handle one display at
time AFAIK. Unacceptable to me personally, I'd have to stop using
XEmacs! I suppose GTK can handle multiple displays by now?
I am fairly certain that this has been possible since GTK+-2.0.
But how about the higher level toolkits like wxWindows?
What would be the benefit of a higher level toolkit? GTK+ is cross
platform already, AFAIK. MacOS support being a bit behind it
seems. Development seems to be quite active though.
And do they flexibly allow input from other sources like background
subprocesses and TTY displays and gnuclient?
Not sure how XEmacs handles that communication.
Marcus, (mostly) faithful to XEmacs since about '94
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