Subject: Re: Framebuffer version of Abi ?
From: Paul Rohr (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Mar 09 2000 - 11:59:59 CST
At 03:40 AM 3/9/00 PST, ArcadePreserv Center wrote:
>Would it at all be possible to port AbiWord to Linux, using only the
>frambuffer for output? (Which would make it possible to have a full
>wordprocessor with very few MB HD space).
In theory, yes, but it might be a *lot* of work.
AbiWord was designed to take advantage of the types of desktop services
typically offered by any modern GUI operating system, such as:
- 2d graphics and font-handling,
- image blitting and stretching,
- overlapping windows,
- pop-up menus,
- multi-button mice,
- keyboard input methods,
The preceding list is not comprehensive, but helps suggest the kinds of
assumptions made by our XP (cross-platform) code. As you probably know, we
already have ports underway for the following platforms:
Most of these ports are of similar levels of complexity, since the
underlying GUI primitives provided are roughly comparable.
Obviously, starting a new port all the way down at the framebuffer level
would be a *lot* more work, since you'd have to build implementations for
all those GUI services yourself. You'd probably be better off starting with
a higher-level toolkit, as Tamas suggests. Even here, you may still find
yourself implementing widgets (such as toolbars) which aren't provided by
the underlying toolkit.
One final suggestion -- instead of porting AbiWord to another toolkit, you
might consider porting one of the *toolkits* already supported by AbiWord.
For example, are there any projects to get the GTK APIs running on a
*lightweight* non-X core? (I already know about the GTK on Win32 and BeOS
projects, neither of which is relevant here.)
You have a lot of choices here. The AbiWord codebase is heavily XP-centric,
and we'd love to have ports to more platforms, including ones we've never
While it's not clear that the AbiWord UI will ever be useful on handheld
devices with ultra-limited displays, this *is* the age of non-PC devices,
and there are lots of interesting possibilities where having AbiWord as an
option could make a lot of sense.
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