Subject: Re: On the topline menu
To: None <>
From: Ted Lemon <>
List: macbsd-general
Date: 06/20/1994 09:25:06
FYI, the pmax doesn't have any kind of 80x24 character generation
hardware.   In fact, my pmax is running without a bitmapped console of
any kind.   I would be extremely upset if there were tons of code in
the kernel to support such a thing.

A console which has minimal support for displaying characters so that
you can get up into Multi User mode is all that's needed here, IMHO.
At that point, if you don't want something as heavy as X, roll your
own virtual terminal emulator that does all the nifty stuff you want
and uses ptys to do it.   This would involve pretty much the same code
that would be required to do it in the kernel, but without polluting
the kernel address space with a bazillion buffers for storing the
contents of your virtual terminals.

Also, since you are now running your virtual terminals in user space,
they're a hell of a lot easier to debug - you don't need to reboot the
system every time you hit a bug - just fix it and start the UI back
up.   Coming back from a system crash (or just a simple reboot) is a
lot more time consuming than restarting a user-mode program.

This argument is really counterproductive.  Jeff, I would suggest that
you look into what it would take to do what you want in user mode
versus what it would take to do it in kernel mode, and draw your own
conclusions.  I think that if you figure out how you'd do both things,
you'll see that putting the code you want in the kernel is more
trouble than it's worth.