David C. Plummer (DCP@QUABBIN.SCRC.Symbolics.COM)
Wed, 30 Sep 87 10:26 EDT
Date: Mon 28 Sep 87 15:31:31-PDT
From: William Westfield <BILLW@MATHOM.CISCO.COM>
What it amounts to is that most operating systems are STILL dealing
with the terminal as if it were a printer, and that this probably has
to change before a smarter virtual terminal protocol can be defined.
That's an interesting point. I can name at least two operating systems
that natively know about display terminals and considered printing
terminals as a (crippled) subset. I believe they knew this as long as
15 years ago. They are: ITS (developed at the MIT AI lab) and, if
memory serves, WAITS (developed at Stanford). There are things in ITS
that are profound even today, since as you say, "most OSs are STILL"
wedged about terminal==printer. SRA and JTW aren't talking through
their teeth; they are familiar with and have access to existing systems
that know about display terminals and have for many years.
The cynic in me says you won't see much real improvement in Unix or VMS
or whatever unless and until their owners bite the bullet, commit to
entering the 1980s (from the 1960s), and pour money into the development
hole. I would actually suggest they try to be visionaries and enter the
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