On Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 8:07 PM, Ralf Quint <freedos...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 8/19/2015 4:14 PM, Thomas Mueller wrote:
>> I believe I took a look at opengem but didn't get far. Opengem
>> couldn't integrate with other software as X Window system can.
> "Integrate" in which way? I don't have a DOS system running GEM handy
> right now, but all it takes is a short cut for it and proper DOS
> software will run, in text mode of course, just fine...

My recollection of things like GEM was that integration was a matter
of  adding DOS apps to the GEM desktop and menu structure,  They would
still be character mode DOS apps, but could be run from the GEM GUI.

The process was equivalent to what you do to add Linux apps to
something like the XFCE desktop.

The difference is that Linux is multitasking and more than one thing
may be active at a time, and the the Linux app may also have a GUI.

>> I used elvis in DR-DOS 7.03 and FreeDOS, but elvis hasn't been updated
>> since 2.2_0. I tried vim (7.0?) in DOS, had difficulty with more than
>> one file at a time, now use vi which is nvi, but this has not been
>> ported to DOS.
> Well, it's probably worse if you would have tried EMACS instead... (one
> joke from "back in those days" was that EMACS actually stands for "Eight
> Megabytes And Constantly Swapping") :-D )

There are lots of things called Emacs or influenced by it.  The
original was a set of macros in the TECO (Text Editor and Corrector)
language that ran on the DEC minicomputer at the MIT AI lab where
Richard Stallman once worked.  TECO was a language intended for
manipulating text, with a syntax that resembled line noise.  Various
folks at the lab had written TECO macro packages to ease use.

Stallman and Guy Steele ()mostly Stallman) collected and merged them
into a comprehensive package called Editing MACroS, and emacs rapidly
became the standard editor used at the labs.  (Stallman commented he
realized how successful his effort had been when he no longer
remembered how to do things in raw TECO.)  When TECO went away,
Stallman rewrote Emacs in Lisp, and current Gnu Emacs is a derivative.
It's essentially an interpreter for a dialect of Lisp, and most of the
editor is written in Lisp.  If you were fluent in Emacs Lisp, you
could get it to do just about anything, and there are Emacs major
modes for reading and replying email, reading and posting to Usenet
newsgroups, and even playing games.  Old timers on Unix would run
Emacs when they logged in, and Emacs would be their shell, with
everything done from within it.

On DOS, my preference was Daniel Lawrence's MicroEMACS, which derived
from a product of the same name by Dave Conroy.  It had the Emacs
command set and a capable macro language, and was quite configurable.

It was also extremely portable, and built out-of-the-box from C source
on my old AT&T 3B1 Unix machine. The 3B1 had a bit-mapped screen and a
GUI called FACE, with a variety of dedicated function keys.  I used
the configurability to get Emacs to do sensible things when I pressed
various of the dedicated keys on the machine's keyboard.  (Under DOS,
I had a macro file that made MicroEMACS use WordStar keystrokes.)

(I was able to build an older version of Gnu Emacs on the machine as
well, but didn't use it much.)

I had vi under DOS as well, courtesy of a commercial package called
the MKS Toolkit.  The Toolkit implemented all of the Unix commands
that made sense in a single-user, single-tasking OS, including a
complete vi.  The big win for me was a DOS version of the Unix Korn
Shell, that had everything save asynchronous background processes.
When I was in the Korn shell, you had to dig a bit to realize it
*wasn't* a Unix machine. :-)

> Well, it's DOS, which is 16bit and hence you can not access 1.5MB in one
> piece, so that means your software needs to be smart enough to use
> XMS/EMS memory to expand the usable amount of RAM, which requires that
> this is properly integrated in the software's memory management. And
> considering that vi (in which ever incarnation) is *ix software, it
> isn't likely take this into account. IMHO, you are comparing apples and
> oranges here...

Or your editor had to use things like spill files, with stuff being
edited in RAM, and stuff before and after it on disk, and lots of
swapping.  (IIRD, the MINCE (Minc e Is Not Complete Emacs) editor that
originated under CP/M used that approach, and carried it through to
the DOS version.  (Mince became a word processor called The Final
Word, which Borland acquired and renamed Sprint.)

>> I tried FDNPKG in FreeDOS, it worked some of the time, but other times it 
>> messed up: not nearly as well developed as package management in Linux and 
>> *BSD.
> Another case where people forcefully try to apply *ix/Linux type
> handling of things to (Free)DOS. IMHO, not much good can come out of
> this. Or at least people's expectations are far too high...

If their expectations are set by Windows and Linux, they can't help
but be too high.  There are a variety of things I don't even *try* to
do under DOS.  They might technically be doable, but I have better
things to do with the time needed to jump through those hoops.

> Ralf

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