xmosaic experience

Bill Janssen (janssen@parc.xerox.com)
Thu, 25 Feb 1993 11:54:49 PST

I had an unsettling experience last night. I wanted to look at the
latest draft of an Internet RFC, and thought to myself, ``Why not use
this nifty xmosaic tool to fetch it?'', since I had recently discovered
xmosaic. So I typed in a URL, and it core-dumped on me. Well, it's
only version 0.8, and probably doesn't know everything yet, so I tried
going through a gopher gateway (still using xmosaic) and accessing it
that way. Well, I got through to the RFC -- and suddenly my X server
started chewing up CPU. After chugging for several minutes (X11R5 on a
Sparc-2 with 48MB of RAM), xmosaic puts up the text of the RFC, marked
``page 1 of 5''. Huh? Surely this document has about 50 pages?

Turns out xmosaic has this (to me, fatally flawed) design decision I
hadn't suspected. Instead of using a text widget (I'm not familiar with
the capabilities of the Motif text widget, but perhaps it does not
handle multi-font, multi-color text), xmosaic seems to *paint* text
strings on a window, and then pan the window around when the user
scrolls, rather than re-drawing the text.