[TUHS] RIP J.F.Ossanna

Noel Hunt noel.hunt at gmail.com
Fri Dec 1 06:43:51 AEST 2017

If you want to see a nice use of a restricted subset of C++,
that is, code written in the early days before the accretion
of hideous excrescences, I highly recommend Tom Cargill's
'pads'. You will find it in the 10th Edition distributions.
It is a typical blit-style program, with a 'terminal' and
'host' portion, the 'host' portion being written in the said
restricted, earlier form of C++.

The 'terminal' part is in C (this is the graphics front-end)
but written for the blit. There was an OpenLook port by Dave
Kowolski, and I have a version that runs under Plan9 (via
Russ Cox's plan9port)---there is a straight-forward mapping
of blit graphics operations to the Plan9 model.

Noel Hunt

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 2:44 AM, Steffen Nurpmeso <steffen at sdaoden.eu> wrote:

> Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
>  |On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 08:00:55PM +0100, Steffen Nurpmeso wrote:
>  |> Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
>  |>|On Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 07:06:51PM -0500, Ron Natalie wrote:
>  |>|> 1977 marks my entry into the world of UNIX.   I've always stated \
>  |>|> there was
>  |>|> only one person who truly understood nroff and he was dead.
>  |>|> I mourn the fact that of all the UNIX greats I've met, I missed out
> on
>  |>|> Ossanna.
>  |>
>  |>|I think one could argue that James Clark has a pretty good handle on
>  |>|roff (having written the GNU version of nroff/troff/tbl/eqn/pic etc).
>  |>
>  |> And Werner Lemberg, who carried the torch for the last almost two
>  |> decades.  He brought in some really great improvements, like
>  |> arguments for strings, which allows to write pretty much TeX like
>  |> a.k.a. inline if you want to (as in "this is \*[I talic] text").
>  |
>  |Yep.  James exited stage left and Werner stepped in.  I mean no
> disrespect
>  |to anyone, I was just saying that James has a really good handle on roff,
>  |he redid it all.  I admire him for doing so (even though I curse the fact
>  |that he did it in C++).
> The original source was no free code back then, so he did it for
> the free and open software world.  Thankfully.  And i do not know,
> i mean C++ was in 1989-1992, when he did most of the work as far
> as i can tell from a shallow look, a class, later template
> extension layer for plain C, not that overly huge stands-by-itself
> monster that i call it now.
> I am absolutely in favour and a of classes and objects, the
> encapsulation they provide, the method-on-object rather than
> object-on-function that you have with C.  (Multiple) Inheritance
> including automatic upcasts (to the given parent).  Virtual
> function pointer tables, automatically managed.  And "simple"
> templates.  For example, myself, in the process of creating my own
> fork, can write (globbering the global namespace)
>    color &assign_rgb(rf_ui32 r, rf_ui32 g, rf_ui32 b){
>       m_scheme = scheme_rgb;
>       return set_red(r).set_green(g).set_blue(b);
>    }
>    color &set_red(rf_ui32 c){
>       rf_ASSERT(scheme() == scheme_rgb);
>       m_comps[0] = rf_min(c, max_val);
>       return *this;
>    }
>    ...
> instead of
>   rf_color *rf_color_assign_rgb(rf_color *self, rf_ui32 r, ....){
>     self->c_scheme = rf_COLOR_SCHEME_RGB;
>     self->c_comps[0] = rf_MIN(r, rf_COLOR_MAX_VAL);
>     ...
>     return self;
>   }
> and programming all that out over and over again.  (Or using
> macros with side-effects.  Or relying on inline functions.)
> And that is a simple object with a short name.
> References are unfortunate in my opinion, but you will not see any
> light if you try doing C++ without them because they are
> omnipresent for core functionality like standard copy constructors
> etc.  Like many other things, including the complete departure
> from an underlaying C standard.  C++03/C99 or so i would have
> appreciated.  But as long as -fno-rtti -fno-exceptions is possible
> i can somehow live with it.  (Let aside the fact that i have to
> live with it no matter what bloat the C++ standard introduces
> next.)  And then C is not what it was no more, too, and
> unfortunately the usage-makes-fun guideline from what Plan9
> documents and extends onto ISO C89 was not what the ISO C people
> looked at when they did.  Well.
> Maybe if he would have known what C++ ends up as he would have
> used C instead?  That would be an interesting question.  Myself
> i currently appreciate coming back to a C++ codebase, however,
> because thinking in objects is my personal way of dealing with
> programming, that is how i really got used to it, anyway.
> --steffen
> |
> |Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
> |der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
> |einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
> |(By Robert Gernhardt)
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