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GUI and redisplay work (was: SVG widget in GNU Emacs)

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: GUI and redisplay work (was: SVG widget in GNU Emacs)
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2021 08:32:15 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> Ultimately I'd rather see effort go into getting pure gtk merged and

Yes, please.  This should be very high priority (sadly, this is way out
of my area of expertise).

> the browser engine devs and use something like electron. I doubt the
> emacs devs or maintainers would ever consent to running emacs on top
> of chromium or webkit (although there's already the effort to have

I think fundamentally it would be great for Emacs to reuse some existing
display engine rather than having to have our own.  But there are some
important issues:

1- We need to be able to open a 200MB log file with a snappy enough
   performance to be usable (including with a bit of font-locking).
   Most Web redisplay engines are not optimized for that case at all and
   many would tend to become completely unusable.  So if we want to use
   a web engine, we may still need some intermediate layer that feeds
   only part of the buffer to the underlying rendering engine.

2- It needs to support all the features that we currently support.
   Most engines provide *different* features from the ones we have,
   rather than just strictly more.

3- I plan for Emacs to still be around in 2050, but based on past
   experience I suspect that all the current Web engines will
   have been replaced before 2050.

So I think we need to see a Web engine as just another "backend
display", just like currently have X11, Gtk, NS, w32, and tty backends.


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