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Re: Why Images Bother People (or, at least me)

Paul Prescod wrote:

> Brent Fulgham wrote:
> But desktop software and operating systems are just not properly written 
> to run at weeks at a time. You need to reboot to get the system back to 
> a "clean state". And in fact you actually need to re-install the 
> operating system once in a while to really clean out your state. This is 
> part of what makes me nervous about the "image" concept. When the 
> abstractions start breaking I need my data to be explicitly separate 
> from the corrupted environment. Traditional environments start from this 
> separation and try to emulate unification (e.g. IDEs that help you to 
> avoid dealing with file managers) whereas image based systems start from 
> unification and help you implement separation through import and export.

I think the old Interlisp-D machines had a good compromise on this.  There
was an image (a "SYSOUT") model but, at any time, you could run the 


and it would prompt you for where to put functions, variables, etc. 
(i.e. which
files to put them in...).  It would then pretty print all the elements out
to the specified files (even dealing with circular references via the 
section :-).

The two systems worked quite well together.  You'd work in your image,
saving a SYSOUT every now and then and when you reached some kind of 
point you'd run MAKEFILES.

BTW:  It also used a syntax tree editor.  DEDIT (later replaced by SEDIT 
I never got around to using much) had you manipulate list structure with
the mouse.  I liked it a lot.

This was all 15-20 years ago now.  It's nice to see that we've come so 
far :-)