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Re: GUI terminal widget

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: GUI terminal widget
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2019 17:06:17 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.6.1

On 6/3/19 12:34 PM, Rik wrote:

I didn't see any comments at https://wiki.octave.org/GUI_terminal_widget so I thought I would bring the conversation back to the mailing list.

From a strategic level, this is a big change.  What do we get from doing this (pros) and what do we lose (cons)?  Are there sufficient benefits to undertake this task?

Yes, it would be a fairly big change. That's why I wanted to create a small example that would be easy to experiment with. I'd also make any use of the new widget optional in Octave, at least until we decide whether the new approach is really better.

Although the terminal often causes problems, it also allows for a lot of code re-use.  We use Readline for history and input processing.

We can still use readline. My toy program uses it. But we need a lot less of readline. None of the messy code that deals with the actual terminal is needed. All you really need is the code for handling editing and history.

We get 'less' and other utilities for free.  In replacing this, do we essentially need to re-invent the wheel? That's a *lot* of coding effort for something that isn't even particularly Octave related.  Since your time is finite, if you are working on this then there will be other Octave bugs that aren't addressed.  Is the balance worthwhile?  You understand core Octave better than anyone so it may be that your time is better spent resolving 50 bugs there, rather than writing more generic terminal emulation code that other programmers could do.

Yeah, I'm not sure about any of this either. It's definitely worth the discussion before going to far.


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