Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
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From: pa...@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au (Tom J Parry)
Subject: Let's write a wordprocessor.
Message-ID: <1993May18.134256.25601@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au>
Originator: pa...@yoyo.cc.monash.edu.au
Keywords: wordprocessor
Sender: n...@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au (Usenet system)
Organization: Monash University, Melb., Australia.
Date: Tue, 18 May 1993 13:42:56 GMT
Lines: 38

A few points before we begin:

I'm very tired so this might not make sense.
This may have been discussed adnauseum before - forgive me.

The three great applications which have popularised PC use are
essentially the WYSIWIG word processor, the spread sheet and the
friendly database. Now I love linux, feel claustrophobic on anything else,
but I still wouldn't leave my family to happily word process under it.

Nevertheless, it is an excellent programming environment which is capable
of producing a very powerful, attractive, stable wordprocessor which
would:

(a) Be free
(b) Therefore be well used, supported and stable.

There is an enormous amount of spare programming power out there, and I
need a recreational piece of programming - so I figured that if I designed
it (with lots of input from other knowledgeable people on the intricasies
of X, fonts, postscript etc), it wouldn't be hard to get a dozen or so
programmers to write it neatly. We could do it right from "artists impressions"
through to design and documentation. I would want it written neatly in
C++ with some coding conventions etc.

There is just so much effort going into linux that I would hate to see a
badly featured proprietary operating system steal its thunder.

So flame me, offer suggestions, words of wisdom, cries of "it will never
work, or it's been done" - laughter - tears of joy. I really wanted to
sit down and have the design ready before I presented it to the world,
but I think parallel design is even feasible.
 
(or just ignore me - I knew I ommitted an option)

-- 
Tom J Parry.
Your reality is a figment of my imagination.

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From: mig...@roxanne.nuclecu.unam.mx (Miguel de Icaza)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: Let's write a wordprocessor.
Date: 19 May 93 17:57:29
Organization: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.
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References: <1993May18.134256.25601@monu6.cc.monash.edu.au> <brauer.737813956@aix520>
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In-reply-to: brauer@aix520.informatik.uni-leipzig.de's message of 19 May 93 12:19:16 GMT


For the wordprocessor project, here are some points about writing such
beast.

I think writing the word processor in C or C++ is out of the game. Why
not use Tcl/Tk?. Tk is an easy and tested X toolkit and it can be
extended in order to handle the special cases in the program.

Tk's text widget. We can have text with different fonts/colors at
the same time. As far as I know the next version of Tk (under
contruction) will have more support for interspace between lines and
things like that).

The problem with TeX is that every time you want to see a preview of a
page, or print something you have to go throug a lot of programs (tex,
dvi2ps, ghostscript?) and this makes the process slow. 

As far as I know, it is easier to generate groff output. We could save
the file in a propietary format and the user may choose the output
subsystem (groff, TeX).

--
Miguel de Icaza.

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From: r...@ee.uwm.edu (Rick Miller)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux,comp.editors
Subject: A Better WordProcessor Idea
Date: 20 May 1993 19:54:09 GMT
Organization: Just me.
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Summary: Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Keywords: wordprocessor
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	8mw^0G#nVHE%W,`X"[j0s{r.~%zs:O|HFU=LwzYgH

A word or two on the "Let's write a word-processor!" discussion,
 currently raging on 'comp.os.linux'...

Hey, folks!  There's nothing 'magical' about DOS's wordprocessors.  Some
(like WordPerfect-5.0) have already been ported to UNIX platforms and are
being sold commercially.  Let's just do what is *always* done...  CLONE IT!

The very *best* GNU software are the ones which are plug-n-play replacements
for their commercial counterparts... with improvements!

Let's not re-invent the wheel.  Let's just write our own WordPerfect clone!

It doesn't have to do *everything* at first, but if it uses WordPerfect's
key-function bindings and can read/write WordPerfect-compatible files...
it'll knock the socks off clumsy ol' "doc".  With its menu-bar, WP5.1 was
such a snap for me to use that I've never yet read the manual, and its
pre-viewer was all I needed.  I wasn't distracted by WYSIWYGitis, but I
could see what it was going to look like when I wanted to.

Come on, folks.  Face it.  WordPerfect[tm] is a de facto standard.
How many times has Lotus 1-2-3 been cloned?  Why not WordPerfect???

*ARE* there any WordPerfect clones out there?  It might make things a bit
easier if we had some rough source-code to start from...

RICK MILLER                     <r...@ee.uwm.edu> <ric...@discus.mil.wi.us>
16203 WOODS                     Send me a postcard and you'll get one back!
53150-8615 USA                  Enposxtigu bildkarton kaj vi ricevos alion!

Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: A Better WordProcesso
From: lars.wirzen...@lill.frmug.fr.mugnet.org (Lars Wirzenius)
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Distribution: world
Message-ID: <2e.16196.44.0NBBF2C4@lill.frmug.fr.mugnet.org>
Date: Sat, 22 May 93 20:23:00 +0001
Organization: Li'LL BBS - Paris, France
Lines: 41

@SUBJECT:Re: A Better WordProcessor Idea                              
Message-ID: <1993May22.202315.21618@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
Newsgroup: comp.os.linux,comp.editors
Organization: University of Helsinki

There is some disagreement over which kind of user interface and file
format is the best.  My suggestions: make the user interface a
separate program, instead of putting everything into one program.
This will make it easy to have several user interfaces, all of which
share the same non-user interface specific text editing and formatting
engine.  Check out the implementation of Rob Pike's sam editor for an
example of how this can be done.

About the file format: Using LaTeX has definite advantages, but is not
essential.  What is essential, is two things: the `native' file format
must not be binary, because it must be easy to generate with standard
tools (so that tools can be used to generate parts of the text, e.g. a
fancy file listing or screen dump).  A mere import function is not
nearly good enough, it's way too clumsy to use.

Also, a text file format makes it easy to debug, and portable (at
least much more so) to other architectures.  

The other essential thing is that there needs to be a program to
convert files between the native format and popular other formats (WP,
WfW, WPfW, LaTeX, ...).  This needs to be a separate program (so it
can be used in shell scripts), and can be written separately and as a
separate project.

Also, the formatting algorithms from TeX probably are usable in a
WYSIWYG word processor as well, even if they might be less easy to do
than the kind of quick-and-dirty algorithms most DOS wps seem to use
(at least the output from those is usually horrible).  Use them if you
can, because if the quality of output is close to TeX, you can get
much more people to use the program.  Even if you ignore math: not
everyone uses TeX for math.

--
Lars.Wirzen...@helsinki.fi  (finger wirze...@klaava.helsinki.fi)
   MS-DOS, you can't live with it, you can live without it.

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From: torgeir.ve...@lill.frmug.fr.mugnet.org (Torgeir Veimo)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: A Better WordProcesso
Message-ID: <2e.16309.44.0NBBF2CC@lill.frmug.fr.mugnet.org>
Date: 24 May 93 14:53:00 GMT
Organization: Li'LL BBS - Paris, France
Lines: 47

Message-ID: <1993May24.145454.11510@alf.uib.no>
Newsgroup: comp.os.linux,comp.editors
From: s...@ii.uib.no (Torgeir Veimo)
Subject: Re: A Better WordProcessor Idea
Organization: Institutt for Informatikk UIB Norway

In article <1993May22.202315.21...@klaava.Helsinki.FI>,
wirze...@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Lars Wirzenius) writes:
|> About the file format: Using LaTeX has definite advantages, but is not
|> essential.  What is essential, is two things: the `native' file format
|> must not be binary, because it must be easy to generate with standard
|> tools (so that tools can be used to generate parts of the text, e.g. a
|> fancy file listing or screen dump).  A mere import function is not
|> nearly good enough, it's way too clumsy to use.

Probably a latex-like hierarchial file format would be suitable. The 'Doc'
wysiwyc document editor in the interviews distribution apparently uses this,
but
since our university don't carry interviews, i've never had the chance to
compile and try it? Probably there are some binary distributions floating
around. 

|> Also, the formatting algorithms from TeX probably are usable in a
|> WYSIWYG word processor as well, even if they might be less easy to do
|> than the kind of quick-and-dirty algorithms most DOS wps seem to use
|> (at least the output from those is usually horrible).  Use them if you
|> can, because if the quality of output is close to TeX, you can get
|> much more people to use the program.  Even if you ignore math: not
|> everyone uses TeX for math.

If you want to do this in X, you could write an Textsink widget that formats
output to the screen using tex like sematics. (The Textwidget uses one
TextSource t ohold the text and one textsink to display it. It takes care of
input itself.) The main problem lies in using intelligent reformatting when
inserting text or when some part of the window needs to be repainted. I dunno
much about tex formatting algorithms. Does anyone know of a internet site
carrying descriptions of the formating algorithms using in tex?

-- 
Torgeir Veimo (s...@ii.uib.no)

Studying at the University of Bergen

"...I'm gona wave my freak flag high!" (Jimi Hendrix)
"...and it would be okay on any other day!" (The Police)

 -> Manage the Earth - Allow Whale Hunting

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From: lars.wirzen...@lill.frmug.fr.mugnet.org (Lars Wirzenius)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux
Subject: Re: A Better WordProcesso
Message-ID: <2e.16310.44.0NBBF2CD@lill.frmug.fr.mugnet.org>
Date: 24 May 93 19:41:00 GMT
Organization: Li'LL BBS - Paris, France
Lines: 20

Message-ID: <1993May24.194237.26966@klaava.Helsinki.FI>
Newsgroup: comp.os.linux,comp.editors
From: wirze...@klaava.Helsinki.FI (Lars Wirzenius)
Subject: Re: A Better WordProcessor Idea
Organization: University of Helsinki

s...@ii.uib.no (Torgeir Veimo) writes:
>Does anyone know of a internet site carrying descriptions of the
>formating algorithms using in tex?

The whole of TeX the program is extensively documented by its author,
Donald Knuth, in a book called something like `TeX the Program'.  It
is volume B in Knuth's book series on TeX.  I think that anyone
serious about text formatting should read the book (assuming that you
give any credit to the claim that TeX's formatting algorithms are
among the very best).

--
Lars.Wirzen...@helsinki.fi  (finger wirze...@klaava.helsinki.fi)
   MS-DOS, you can't live with it, you can live without it.

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