Re: [dev] mret

From: Connor Lane Smith <>
Date: Wed, 25 May 2011 22:38:08 +0100


2011/5/25 Kamil Cholewiński <>:
> It's just an interactive mockup, a prototype, a testbed for ideas, not
> meant for immediate consumption.

Nice. I've only played with it briefly, but I get its being a mockup:
I started building my own terminal in response to the TermKit thread,
and I've not really got anything worth showing yet. Prototyping things
in Python ftw.

It would be nice if the textbox can be more 'canvas-like', such as
drawing a horizontal or vertical line to indicate each individual
commands output? Stuff like that.

imo (and stealing some ideas from Kurt) you should have separate boxes
which are filled with the output of the given command; you just type a
command and the box appears and starts to be filled. You can then type
your next command whenever you want, completely asynchronously, and
that's added on the end, and starts to be filled, too. You can see
past jobs, kill them, etc... That's what I'd like to see in a
terminal, stuff that really improves the user experience just by
making things less like a teletype. Can we prototype things like that?
That would be cool.

> Yeah, I've considered creating a custom protocol. I think choosing to
> speak Tcl directly was mostly the effect of my laziness. I'm lazy and
> I love it.

Like I said in the TermKit thread, I think the best approach would be
to use the existing Xembed protocol.

> The only problem is with relying on features of 70's hardware.
> Plan9's cat and Unix's cat still make the same "meow" sound.

I wonder if this is true, and whether we're stuck using the tools we
use because our underlying abstractions ought to have changed and
haven't. It's just a fear I have.

> C'mon, at 200 SLOC it's smaller than Mike Wazowski.


> OK, and one serious question now. Do you think having a separate,
> scriptable input buffer is better or worse than relying on every
> interactive interpreter to handle its line editing by itself?

I think the terminal ought to handle line editing. A terminal ought to
be a box of text you can type into. No ANSI escape codes, no editor
handling. Just a box, with separated input and output (so what you say
and what the computer says don't get all jumbled up; I want my buffer
to be polite). I don't like the dividing line between the input and
output, so much, but that's just an aesthetic choice...

Received on Wed May 25 2011 - 23:38:08 CEST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Wed May 25 2011 - 23:48:02 CEST