Wily FAQ

What is wily?
See the introduction.
What does "wilydiag: File exists: can't open fifo" mean?
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.
"Why does my compiler/editor/whatever complain about illegal characters? The line looks fine to me."
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.

The Wily Window Manager?

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Funky B3 expansion allows some letters, not others?

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).

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.

Steve Kilbane

Why does it take so long to load my [mumble]-meg file?

Blame steve.