[geeks] X Window System...
Charles Shannon Hendrix
shannon at widomaker.com
Sat Jun 18 15:09:08 CDT 2005
We were talking about X recently.
A paper called "The (Re)Architecture of the X Window System" by Jim
Gettys and Keith Packard is fairly small and contains bits about X
problems and its future.
In particular you can see how *some* of Gnome/KDE's problems are
actually X, and can only be fixed by X.
Note: that doesn't in any way excuse the rest of Gnome/KDE problems.
In taking screen writing away from programmers, and having the
compositor handle that, you eliminate a lot of programmer bugs which
cause things like flashing, redundant X event handling, and other
related issues (or so it would seem, this work isn't done yet). It also
seems like this would be a benefit for remote X applications.
However, that's only true of the compositing system is made to work well
remotely. Right now it seems pretty much dependent on a local display.
Of course, it is all very new code.
Another interesting idea is divorcing X completely from the hardware,
and making it an OpenGL application. Then you don't have to constantly
update your X drivers and custom accelerations for various primitives.
It also allows the team to fix problems with X's 2D primitives without
worry about drivers.
Right now it is the opposite... sort of... OpenGL is kind of on top of
and to the side of X right now.
Making OpenGL the drawing foundation of X makes sense (I think... it's a
big change to think about) and is cleaner than how things are done now.
Also, what about 2D-only graphics adapters? How would they host X and
the new applications? One thing the paper talks about is doing things
so that existing code doesn't have to change, but this stuff seems
shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["We are all of us in the gutter, some of us
looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde]
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