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Re: GUI and redisplay work

From: Alexandre Garreau
Subject: Re: GUI and redisplay work
Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2021 21:29:43 +0200

Le vendredi 29 octobre 2021, 19:34:14 CEST Arthur Miller a écrit :
> Alexandre Garreau <galex-713@galex-713.eu> writes:
> > Le mercredi 27 octobre 2021, 19:12:36 CEST tomas@tuxteam.de a écrit :
> >> On Wed, Oct 27, 2021 at 06:07:53PM +0200, Alexandre Garreau wrote:
> >> 
> >> [...]
> >> 
> >> > All current Web engines derive from KHTML and Gecko, which are very
> >> > old… wouldn’t the web engines in 2050 still derive from them, given
> >> > their age?
> >> > 
> >> > On the other hand, TeX has now’ve been around for half a century,
> >> > as
> >> > long as emacs, and longer than the gnu (and nowadays main or even
> >> > only seriously used) implementation of emacs [...]
> >> 
> >> Before you start re-inventing the world, if I were you, I'd have a
> >> look at what is "out there" already. Perhaps to contribute to it,
> >> perhaps to copy it, but just perhaps to learn from it on how to
> >> 
> >> do (or not to do) things:
> >>   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_TeXmacs
> >>   http://texmacs.org/tmweb/home/welcome.en.html
> >> 
> >> I think Joris and the other (many!) contributors could share quite
> >> a few stories...
> > 
> > I know TeXmacs and since it initially enthusiastmed me a lot (iirc I
> > even talked a bit with its author during a GHM a decade ago), I
> > several times tried to use it but unfortunately my computer is too
> > slow to run it fluently, so I gave up trying.
> > 
> > Moreover while WYSIWYM looked like a good idea orally, using TeXmacs
> > was at the same time more confusing than standard markup, and WYSIWYG
> > (although I typically use WYSIWYG only in a very very limited way),
> > so maybe the idea is just too innovative to be easy to grasp from a
> > single software that’s rarely used (I rarely typeset documents
> > actually, especially to print anything, and I prefer to take notes in
> > text editors because I don’t get margins nor slowness, I just compile
> > them once when I export my exams to pdf).
> > 
> > Also looks like it’s only a text processor with it own format, and not
> > a general purpose editor, that could edit, say, HTML or TeX, or, most
> > importantly, its own config files, so it’s nor really like emacs, nor
> > TeX :/
> > 
> > And although it looks as good as TeX typographically, it’s younger and
> > could be less stable, but I’m sure there could be good ideas and
> > experiment here… I just already don’t have the time and attention
> > capability to work on emacs as much as I’d like (so I still haven’t
> > contributed anything), and TeXmacs would be lower priority for me.
> > 
> > Also I’d like first and foremost to read and understand all TeX’s and
> > Metafont’s source (especially as it’s heavily documented in its own
> > favored way and made to be read that way), and understand how does GTK
> > works, before to try to understand some software that uses the later
> > to
> > incompatibly mimmick the first.  I still haven’t done that.  And I
> > should reread the TeXbook, but doing the exercises and reading the
> > source at same time.
> Have you checked out Nyxt browser?
> https://nyxt.atlas.engineer/
> CL + another widget derived from khtml ...
> I am quite sure someone could develop a text editor based on "web
> technologies" or just in pure CL that works in Nyxt.

That’s very very interesting, and it pretty much looks like what I always 
imagined when I imagined a web engine inside emacs… at least the minimal 
part of it.  In the bigger pictures, it *oughts* to integrate with 
javascript, give access to its DOM API to lisp, allow finegrained control 
of scripts (like NoScript but more developed, like including information 
about network/inter-site communication, which APIs are enabled, allowing 
to let APIs to *lie* to the remote program, and, most importantly, 
reacting to licenses and source informations, just as LibreJS, but more 
developed (for instance involving the ability to detect obfuscation, to 
archive executed programs, share them (if the program *really* is free 
that’s anyway legal however you do it), rate them (the most readable 
(hence the most likely free (because how are you gonna know an unreadable 
software is purposedly so or the dev’s just terrible?))/trustable, the 
least malware, the best)), support WebExtensions, including ones involving 
other languages (not only lisp, but also scheme, for instance (such as 
what would have been possible with guile)), or even native/compiled ones.

Talking about CL, that makes me also think that there’s maybe a great deal 
of loss by letting the web engine being written in C, while cl could 
nowadays, with proper typing, be just as fast, yet with the ability to be 
compiled at will.  Along with partial evaluation, that allows a great deal 
of optimization and performance gain with web, as long as you visit again 
a non-totally-changing page, and don’t execute a different script at each 
run (which, btw, completely *disable* any benefit of free software).  Maybe 
even up to the point where a web app could be just as fast as a native 
toolkit (modulo any non-clearly-forseen shortcoming of lisp).

Another issue with CL (and scheme too, and that’s a common obstacle found 
in TeXmacs as well), and combined with the fact it’s apparently still not 
packaged into debian, discourages me to try (to seriously switch to it) is 
that to customize and extend it, I would have to learn a whole new system 
than emacs’ one, which already has a great deal of complexity (I could say 
richness, because that complexity looks useful and justified to me), and 
even is improvable (as no more than recently here have been discussed the 
ability to add more metadata to packages, and in not-so-far past the one 
to natively compile elisp).  Again, guile would have been made for that, 
if only it successfully merged with emacs.

The final problem 

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