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>The PARC conception of a GUI (later emulated by Niklaus Wirth/ETH Zuerich's Oberon, as well as Rob Pike's 8 1/2, rio, help and acme) really had this knack for actually enforcing composability.

Sounds really interesting can you point to some resources where I can read about this in greater detail?

Installing plan9 is about as close as you can get without reading but actually using those concepts. There is quite a strong link between all those projects.

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