[rescue] "bloated pig X11" (was: OpenLook/Openwin WAS: CDE)

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Wed Aug 8 17:56:14 CDT 2012

>> [...] (it's still atop the bloated pig X11, after all) [...]

> If you have some sort of specific criticism of X11 and you have some
> alternative design that achieves the same goals, I'd love to have
> that conversation.

One does not necessarily have to have a solution in mind to notice
there's a problem.  X11 _was_ a bit of a bloated pig when it was first
created.  It's less so these days, not because it's gotten slimmer but
because the "bloated pig" bar has gotten higher - /netbsd on the
machine I'm typing to right now is over ten megabytes; I own a machine
with less RAM than that!

Part of that bloat is inherent in its design goals (network
transparency, fully precise rendering rules for clients that care
enough to take advantage of them) and tradoeffs (eg, accepting larger
code size for the sake of rendering speed).  Part of it, back in the
day, was less mature software technology.  Part of it now is all the
additional cruft that's accreted around it; while X11 proper is little
if any worse now than it was then, what a lot of people think of as
`X11' it includes a crapload of stuff that is not actually part of X11,
such as "desektop environment"s.  And then there are attempts to
support the madness that is peecee video hardware without heeding the
original design (which would have used a separate server for each
sufficiently-different video interface, instead of the current design
of bundling them all into the same server).  And the extensions....

Of course, whether that's bloat or justified support for important
facilities is a judgement call.

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