mwolson.org Blog - /Tech

Wed, 06 Aug 2008

The next big thing: sharing GUI windows

I think that the next big thing in GUI apps should be the ability to take the exact contents of a window and send them to a remote machine. The use case for this is: you start an app at home, go to work, ssh (with X forwarding) into your home machine, and realize that you need to use that app again. Normally you'd kill the app and restart it. But what if you could just "clone" the window so that it appeared on your work machine, responsive to new input? I'd love to see functionality like this being added at the toolkit level (i.e. GTK, Qt) so that application developers would not have to do any work to activate it.

One of the nice things about running many apps in Emacs is that I already have that ability. I can just use the multi-tty support in Emacs 23 to open up either a terminal window or a new GTK frame, and then switch to the buffer that contains the app.