A Squeak Look and Feel

Stephen Ma stephen_ma at mindlink.bc.ca
Sat Apr 11 19:36:30 UTC 1998

Patrick Logan <patrickl at servio.gemstone.com> writes:
> Here is my attitude on "looks" and "feels". 10-15 years ago I used
> Lisp Machines (TI and Symbolics, pre-Genera, if you're
> interested). Those systems did not have much of a "look" but they had
> a helluva "feel". If you want to talk "information at your finger
> tips", they had information out the wazoo, and it was pretty easy to
> get to all of it.

I've never been fortunate enough to play with a Lisp machine, so I'm
curious.  What kinds of information were at your fingertips?  I'm
interested because I'm working on a documentation browser for Squeak
(first beta release in a few more days, by the way).

You mentioned Emacs in a later paragraph, so to save you time I'll
start off with that editor's documentation features and let you
compare them against the Lisp machines.

(a) You can get help for any keyboard command at any time: enter the
    help command, then press the keys in question.  A help window will
    pop up.

(b) You can pull up documentation on any Lisp function or global
    variable: just point to a name and press the magic keys.  Very
    helpful when you're trying to understand someone else's code.

(c) There is a separate "info" browser for reading hypertext; a _ton_
    of well-organized information is accessible there.  The browser is
    never more than two keystrokes away, no matter where you are.

If the Lisp machines are even niftier than this, I would very much
like to know.

Stephen Ma <stephen_ma at mindlink.net>

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