Re: obsoletified ?

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From: Eirikur Hallgrimsson (
Date: Thu Oct 05 2000 - 17:09:56 PDT

This reminds me of my gag (humor) routine buried in the early
VAXstation code..... vsta$$preclude_an_obviated_rectangle().
There was so much rectangle-management code, that a little humor was
needed. The overlapping bitmap graphics on the cover of first set of
manuals (and later, on mousepads and shipping cartons) documented one
of my bugs. The artist came by to see the product on a day when I had
gotten the mouse hooked-up to actually move windows around, but I was
leaving little pieces behind due to "windows" being complex clusters
of things, some of which were being deleted before the code got
around to erasing them on the screen.

Funny, in response to the way I originally coded it, we invented (not
uniquely, the Mac and many other systems do this) the hack of
deleting a window from the screen by painting its entire rectangle
with the background pattern, before figuring out what it has
uncovered. This actually makes deleting a window off the top of a
stack of overlapping windows take LONGER, but people really didn't
like the Mondrian-like effect of watching the window disappear a
chunk at at time as things below it redisplayed. This was slow
enough to be very visible because of the complex compositing, view,
and occlusion model in the VS100's host-based software, complexity
that should have made application development much easier and more
attractive than the Macintosh, but there was the typical Digital
price-point to be dealt with. The actual workstation with the 68000
and the bit-slice rasterop accelerator wasn't the problem, it was the
large VAX that you needed to run the host software. MIT didn't want
to run the software and that's where X came from.


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