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<HTML><HEAD><TITLE>Wily FAQ</TITLE></HEAD>
<BODY><H1><A HREF="index.html">Wily</A> FAQ</H1>

<DL>
<DT>What is wily?<DD>
See the <A HREF="intro.html">introduction</A>.

<DT>What does "wilydiag: File exists: can't open fifo" mean?<DD>

Wily opens and listens on a fifo in /tmpin case some program tries
to communicate with it.  If you're not doing anything tricky like that,
it won't get used at all.  Ordinarily wily cleans the fifo up when it
exits, but if something dire happens Wily may not get a chance to clean
up.  The fifo will be named $WILYFIFO if that is defined, otherwise
/tmp/wilyUSER$DISPLAY, where USER is your login name.  Just remove it
and restart wily to be able to use wily messages.

<DT>"Why does my compiler/editor/whatever complain about illegal
characters?  The line looks fine to me."<DD>

Chances are that you've managed to enter a control character
accidentally, and the font you're using doesn't display control
characters. The easiest way to check is to select the line (or other
text) that's causing the complaint, and click on "|cat -v" (or some
other program that can display control characters, such as vis or od). I
find ^A the most common offender.
</DL>

<H2>The Wily Window Manager?</H2>

<P>Window management is probably the biggest open problem with Wily,
probably because there's no real <I>solution</I>, only heuristics.

<P>The first iteration of Wily creatied a bunch of separate X windows
and let the window manager handle arranging them.  This seems a more
modular, tool-based approach.  However, bitter experience showed that
most existing window managers just don't cut it when you're quickly
creating and deleting lots of windows.  Acme's window management,was
much better.

<P>The logical solution then would be to write an X window manager that
works like the window management in Acme.  However:

<UL>
<LI>Writing a window manager requires knowing a _lot_ more about X than
I ever want to know

<LI> Either the wily windows would need to be separate processes,
communicating probably via some sort of X IPC (more arcane X'ery), or
libXg would need to be modified to allow multiple windows (O who will
save me from this plague of X?)

<LI> This sort of window manager would probably _not_ be appropriate
for managing the other windows normally on the desktop.
</UL>

<P>So Wily is designed to be run in one big window, and it does its own
window management within that.  It's a bit of a hack, but probably the
best solution for the moment.

<P>Still, I hope it shouldn't be too hard to remove the "Wily is managing
all the windows" assumption from the code if some brave soul solves the
problems mentioned above.

<H3>Funky B3 expansion allows some letters, not others?</H3>
To quote rob (it was originally rob's comment, wasn't it?): "Hard to
get absolutely right." The problem is that you can have pretty much
everything in a filename apart from \0, but usually you want it to
pick sensible strings. It's not just filenames, after all, but also
identifiers in programs. After all, Acme is primarily a programmer's
tool, because there aren't any other kinds of Plan 9 user. :-) Plus,
most of them are shell metacharacters (in rc).

<P>The set you want to match varies from instance to instance, so it's
pretty much an arbitrary choice. Sometimes you lose. Some justification
would be good for the docs, though. Anyone know why "*" is considered
a valid character? Hmmm. Ones not in the above list are "#$^*_-:~,./".
Of these, "~./" are parts of common filenames (~steve/x.c), "#$-:,."
are part of the syntax for expressing an Acme address, and "_" is a
common identifier character. That just leaves "^*". I suspect these
are allowed because they're commonly used as part of a regexp search.
<P><TT>Steve Kilbane</TT>

<H3>Why does it take so long to load my [mumble]-meg file?</H3>
Blame steve.

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