by Darius Kazemi, July 10 2019

In 2019 I'm reading one RFC a day in chronological order starting from the very first one. More on this project here. There is a table of contents for all my RFC posts.

Split screens

RFC-191 is titled “Graphics Implementation and Conceptualization at ARC” and authored by Charles Irby of SRI Augmentation Research Center (ARC). It's dated July 13th, 1971.

The technical content

This is a conceptual overview to supplement the technical information in RFC-190. There is some stuff of interest in here, for example the author describes the display area that a program writes to as "much like [...] a file which it has opened with write access". Strings written to the display are given unique identifiers, so that those strings can be manipulated (moved, deleted, replaced, changed) in-place.

A display can be subdivided into multiple display areas, so for example you could have a split screen view of text from different files at one time. Commands include things like “hortizontal split”, “vertical split” and “jump focus to display area”, which modern programmers who use programs like GNU Screen or tmux might be familiar with.

Further reading

Check out these very 1970s photos of Charles Irby.

How to follow this blog

You can subscribe to this blog's RSS feed or if you're on a federated ActivityPub social network like Mastodon or Pleroma you can search for the user “@365-rfcs@write.as” and follow it there.

About me

I'm Darius Kazemi. I'm an independent technologist and artist. I do a lot of work on the decentralized web with ActivityPub, including a Node.js reference implementation, an RSS-to-ActivityPub converter, and a fork of Mastodon, called Hometown. You can support my work via my Patreon.