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Re: A femtolisp based emacs clone

From: James K. Lowden
Subject: Re: A femtolisp based emacs clone
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2016 23:52:49 -0400

On Mon, 22 Aug 2016 14:32:35 -0700 (PDT)
address@hidden wrote:

> In many situations, I need a small editor for a mobile computer or
> for a cloud computer. It would be great if I had emacs in such a
> situations, but emacs is large big and difficult to install for this
> kind of applications. 

To your point, my biggest disappointment with emacs is its
client-server model.  We have tramp.  We have remote-X.  For
high-latency connections, though, I always revert to terminal emuiation.
For some reason, it's the most responsive.  Hurrah for 1982.  

What we don't have is something like HTTP (or RDP), where the UI agent
is local and the "editing" is executed on the remote, minimizing the
communication between the two. It's funny to think that the interaction
between the GUI and the daemon should need high bandwidth, given that
the data rate is limited by the ability of the human to type and read.
Why should transmitting a page to the GUI be more expensive than
transmitting a page to an xterm?  

Imagine if "emacs --daemon" opened a TCP port instead of a unix domain
socket.  You start emacsclient on whatever gadget you have.  Maybe
it's a Windows box; maybe it's an iPad.  Maybe there's a javascript
implementation, and it runs in the browser.   You connect to your
editor daemon, deal with your document.  Save, exit, disconnect.  If
Amtrak finds a dead spot, you're summarily disconnected, but when you
resume, the client -- just like HTTP -- learns from the server what the
current display looks like, rebuilds it, and you start again.  

If you want to build something new and light, I'd suggest separating
the concern of editing a document from interacting with a user.  It's
not a new idea: arguably screen, sed, and ed do it.  But there's no
editor I know designed for unreliable, slow connections, which often as
not is what the Internet still is .  


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