Re: Heated agreement? (was) Re: Canvas shortcomings

Mark wrote:

On Wed, 20 Jun 2001, Martin Sevior wrote:

On Tue, 19 Jun 2001, Mark wrote:

On Wed, 20 Jun 2001, Martin Sevior wrote:

It seems to me that we're in heated agreement that there should be a set
of virtual primitive functions that call arbitary backend graphics
contexts. Right?

Well, I posted some messages too, so I don't know if the debate was
limited to three points of view in total agreement.

I'm not sure why this is on a public list. Why don't you three e-mail each
other and figure out a solution. The general feeling I get from this
discusion is one of insolence and volutary ignorance.

Well I didn't know there was going to be a debate until I saw it on the
list. I just joined in like you.
I'm sorry for implying you agreed with me. That's why I put the "?" on the
subject line.

Regarding willful ignorance, would you care to adress why a pure
postscript solution is better than a virtual Front End with a variety of
backends (Postscript amongst them.)

If they provide the same funtionality, there is no difference, except you
are making an unecesary abstraction. The more useful abstraction I think
is at the device level, that is having a common rendering API in which you
can use difference device contexts.

My experience with AbiWord is that a relative simple set of graphics
primitives enables a workable driver for a diverse set of outputs.

I think trying to do the same for a postscript interpreter would be much
harder and almost certainly slower.

Apple has showed me what is possibly with display postscript. I don't know
whether it is modified or not. My guess is they used the code aquired from
NeXT and teaked it to make Quartz. I haven't examined an implementation so
I'm not certain of this. In Quartz it appears the the windows managed by
the system are also done in postscript. They do quite a neat trick with
the window that is minimized, making the window warp into the dock.

I'm not sugesting we need this level of performance, indeed that might
take some time to accomplish, but that it is possible to be quite
successful with the postscript model.


Apple doesn't use Postscript in MacOS X, but PDF. That's why the PDF viewer is only 200k documentation and data included. NeXTStep/OpenStep and GNUStep use a Postscript-based rendering, and for the record X Window's graphics model is based (/modelled/copied) on Postscript (circa 1987, IIRC).

I won't say more, because I don't know more ;)

/Bastien Nocera

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