[racket-dev] drafting the v5.1 release announcement

From: John Clements (clements at brinckerhoff.org)
Date: Wed Feb 9 16:03:59 EST 2011

On Feb 9, 2011, at 12:37 PM, Matthew Flatt wrote:

> Let's get the ball rolling on the release announcement. Here are draft
> bullets for the drawing and GUI libraries:

I feel like we're missing the forest for the trees: there's a great big rewrite here, with many benefits. 

* PLT has completely rebuilt the graphical underpinning of Racket. The PLT 
packages now use idiomatic platform-specific libraries, and we've dumped
more than 200K lines of C code. DrRacket is now faster, and better looking.


> * The `racket/draw' library --- which implements the drawing half the
>   GUI toolkit --- is a new implementation built on top of the Cairo
>   drawing library and the Pango text-rendering library.
>   The `racket/draw' library can be used independent of the
>   `racket/gui/base' library and without a graphics display (e.g.,
>   without an X11 connection).
>   The new library has one small incompatibility with the old GUI
>   toolbox: 'xor drawing is no longer supported. The new library has
>   many additional features: rotation and general affine
>   transformations, PDF and SVG drawing contexts, gradients, and
>   alpha-channel bitmaps.
> * The `racket/gui/base' library is a new implementation built on top
>   of Win32 under Windows, Cocoa (instead of Carbon) under Mac OS X,
>   and Gtk (instead of Xt) under Unix/X.
>   Unix/X users will see the biggest difference with this change.
>   DrRacket and all Racket GUI programs take on the desktop theme for
>   menus, buttons, and other GUI widgets.
>   The GRacket executable is no longer strictly necessary for running
>   GUI programs, because the `racket/gui/base' library can be used from
>   Racket. To the degree that a platform distinguishes GUI and console
>   applications, however, the GRacket executable still offers some
>   additional GUI-specific functionality (e.g., single-instance
>   support).
>   The new library includes small incompatibilities with the old GUI
>   toolbox: the `send-event', `current-ps-afm-file-paths', and
>   `current-ps-cmap-file-paths' functions have been removed. The
>   `racket/gui/base' library re-exports `racket/draw', so it includes
>   the same drawing functionality as before (except for 'xor drawing).
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