Patrick O'Donnell pao at
Wed Apr 8 06:33:00 PDT 2009

>From: Glynn Clements <glynn at>
>Date: Wed, 8 Apr 2009 11:58:45 +0100
>Patrick O'Donnell wrote:
>> >> Someone offered up
>> ...  a guide to what's even in that
>> directory. ...
>BDF	Bitmap Distribution Format
>	Format of BDF bitmap font files

That is helpful.  It would make a good README file to go in that
directory.  If I were to add a smattering of HTML markup for links to
the subdirectories, who would be the best person to send it to to be
installed there?

>In theory, most of the above aren't relevant if you're using toolkits ...
>Writing a GUI application using nothing but raw Xlib is a bad idea.
>It's analogous to writing an application without any libraries (even
>libc), using nothing but home-grown functions and direct system calls.
>Application programming documentation normally focuses on a specific

Oh, I agree.  But, as I mentioned in another message, I'm maintaining
systems whose X interactions predate pretty much all the toolkits.  (I
think Xt was in its infancy and was not yet stable enough for our
use.)  Re-porting¹ the systems to use a toolkit at this time is very

>The low-level documentation is of interest mainly to authors of
>toolkits and/or low-level utilities.

I guess that's pretty much where I find myself, actually.  Although
the module boundaries are not as impermeable as I would wish, our
low-level substrate does take the shape of a toolkit.  It's too bad
that maintaining that substrate happens to be incidental to the
maintenance of the applications, and not a directly focussed task.

		- Patrick

¹I found it amusing how close "re-porting" was to -- as I originally
mistyped -- "repotting".  The unintentional metaphor is almost apt.

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