Message from discussion Common Lisp for Mac OS X
From: Tim Bradshaw <t...@tfeb.org>
Subject: Re: Common Lisp for Mac OS X
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2010 08:14:06 +0100
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On 2010-06-03 01:40:17 +0100, Andrew Reilly said:
> I think that there are quite a few people who don't think that the
> "network" part is necessary, given that most machines capable of running
> X (well) are also capable of running the whole GUI, and that the
> partition should be elsewhere. This was the original premise of Java, as
> it grew out of experience with NeWS (which was a PostScript based GUI
> that Sun played with for a while --- I can't remember if you could run
> NeWS apps over a network, but I can't think of any reason why not.)
I'm fairly sure NeWS stood for *network* extensible window system, and
yes, it could run things over a network. It was a good idea, but it
was slow on anything you could afford and Sun cocked it up in the way
they cocked up almost everything.
Obviously when X was designed, a window system that would run over a
network was pretty useful, because if you had a 3/50 on your desk
(which would run X11 OK after the release that improved performance -
R4 maybe?), but there were much bigger systems in the basement, you
didn't want to run too much on the 3/50.
Nowadays it's still important, but in a way X doesn't provide.
Obviously the Linux fanboys don't see it as important because they live
in a world where compute power is cheap and it's easy to provide on
your desk. (But no one actually cares what they think.) But think
about a bank or something: they have maybe a few tens of thousands of
desktops, all of which have operating systems which are busily
persistently caching data. This is a hideous security & compliance
nightmare for them, so there's basically nothing they'd like more than
to put all of that in some central secure location and remove any
persistent storage from desktops. As an added bonus they then get rid
of a lot of maintenance costs. But what they need, which X can't do,
is to be able to move the whole desktop to another screen, so people
can move around. Of course there are systems which can do this,
they're just not X.