Ask HN: Resources to learn how GUI libraries were/are made?

7 points by debanjan16 2 months ago

I want to go deeper into things that amaze me. Modern GUIs amaze me. I want to know about the topic in detail. More detail that using a GUI framework like Qt to make an app.

I know the processor operates in machine/assembly code. Very early on computers were operated using punched cards and tapes and the outputs were printed out. Then came console based black and white GUIs. Then came color GUIs and after that more sophisticated things.

I want to know and study (maybe make my own project) about how a processor can make something appear on a display and how the very first GUIs were made.

Are there books, courses or projects I can look at?

richardjam73 2 months ago

GEOS is an early GUI system for the Commodore 64 computer.

That manual contains some detail on how it works.

Source code for GEOS

Quickdraw is the graphics library for the Apple Macintosh

Digital Research GEM is another early GUI used in that Atari ST line of computers and later PC systems. Source code is available on the following page.

ofalkaed 2 months ago

The Xlib Programming Manual and Reference Manual would probably be of interest, they are getting a bit old now but xlib has not changed much and they are still useful.

  • richardjam73 2 months ago

    You can access those manuals here They are the O'Reilly Ones

    • ofalkaed 2 months ago

      Shame that Volume 1 is missing, it is the most important one and the only one that is really still relevant. Luckily these are not hard to get, I got Volume 1 & 2 for $6 used not too long ago and there were plenty more copies, oddly package deals of both Xlib volumes were cheaper than than just Volume 1 on its own. Have learned a good deal from it.