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Re: [hackers-il] Google

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  • Nadav Har'El
    ... It s interesting how sometimes two completely different posts can have something in common. In this case, my mention of Rob Pike and my previous note about
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 16, 2003
      On Tue, Dec 16, 2003, Nadav Har'El wrote about "[hackers-il] Google":
      > * Google got some of Bell Lab's people, like Rob Pike (see "The UNIX
      > Programming Environment", "The Practice of Programming", "Plan 9", "Inferno",
      > "A Concurrent Window System" and "Squeak"), and Eric Shmidt (one of the two
      > people who created Lex) is their CEO.

      It's interesting how sometimes two completely different posts can have
      something in common. In this case, my mention of Rob Pike and my previous
      note about minimizing use of X server memory.

      I am reading now Pike's "A Concurrent Window System" paper - a paper
      from 1989. Even in 1989, Pike argued that the X Window System's philosophy
      of minimizing memory use of the X server is WRONG, because desktop memory
      is cheap and plentyful (and this was 1989, mind you!), and X's way of having
      clients refresh their windows causes preceived slowness in the user interface
      (and indeed, this is a problem I heard several times from users who are not
      familiar with X. It must have been much worse in 1989).

      A short excerpt from his article, about this issue:
      "...Other systems [such as X - nyh] typically send their clients expose
      events when the visibility of their windows changes. Such events require
      all affected clients to run when the display is rearranged, which can
      cause considerable paging overhead and delay. ... single bitblt
      executed by the window system can restore a window much faster than can
      paging in and executing client code. When windows take longer to repair
      themselves, the entire user interface becomes less dynamic and less
      comfortable [Pike 88]. Layers permit very responsive interfaces."


      --
      Nadav Har'El | Tuesday, Dec 16 2003, 21 Kislev 5764
      nyh@... |-----------------------------------------
      Phone: +972-53-790466, ICQ 13349191 |Bigamy: Having one wife too many.
      http://nadav.harel.org.il |Monogamy: The same thing!
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