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Thread: What does X do, exactly?

  1. #1
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    What does X do, exactly?

    As far as I can tell, X does everything and nothing. It draws stuff, I guess. I doesn't actually do windows or rendering or anything like that... thost are handled elsewhere, and then X draws them or something.

    But then it's all tied up with input and keyboard mapping and dbus and whatever. Your touchpad or touchscreen isn't going to be to be doing anything without X, that's for sure.

    And it's, like, a dependency for everything except "ls" and whatever.

    And when you try to configure stuff (espeically keyboard stuff, which I've done more of than I care to talk about) it's really complex and crufty. One of the current heads at X.org was talking about how it looks like it was designed by someone on drugs. X is like a some kind of insane micro-kernel unto itself.

    So, what was X originally supposed to be, What is X today, and when do we get to dump this weird crufty system for Wayland or something that isn't terminally handycrapped by a legacy of feature creep?

  2. #2
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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    This article could be of help.

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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    It's one of those questions, like what is the full relationship of dpkg and apt, and aptitude, or what's the correct pronounciation of YHVH.

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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by el_koraco View Post
    It's one of those questions, like what is the full relationship of dpkg and apt, and aptitude, or what's the correct pronounciation of YHVH.
    I can actually offer an informed and profession opinion on the last of those questions, as Hebrew and semitic linguistics is my area of specialization, if anyone is ready for a real humdinger. A personal friend of mine is writing his PhD. on that very topic at the moment.

    /facepalm @myself

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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    Oh dear, someone mentioned Wayland again. Can someone reassure me that the world will not end in fire and client-side windecs?

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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    Marks the spot
    This account is not active.

  7. #7
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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    In before the close. X has been around a long time, since 1982 I believe. It was supposed to be better than the "W" window system that eventually became Windows. It ran on Unix workstations and it's core capabilities have not changed since them (such as the ability to share a mouse or run multiple mice and keyboards, run remote desktops, multi-user X-sessions--the list is quite extensive. If you wanted buttons and graphical widgets, you used the Motif widget system. That gave you open and close buttons and there were several window managers to choose from. Most looked like simple versions of OpenBox.

    So although I agree that it's probably time for a replacement, it would be hard to replace the quirky goodness that we call X.
    Last edited by tgalati4; October 2nd, 2011 at 01:25 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    I don't know, but who needs it?

    screenie.png

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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjaaron View Post
    I can actually offer an informed and profession opinion on the last of those questions, as Hebrew and semitic linguistics is my area of specialization, if anyone is ready for a real humdinger. A personal friend of mine is writing his PhD. on that very topic at the moment.

    /facepalm @myself
    Yeah, but tell it to the Witnesses!

  10. #10
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    Re: What does X do, exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by ninjaaron View Post
    As far as I can tell, X does everything and nothing. It draws stuff, I guess. I doesn't actually do windows or rendering or anything like that... thost are handled elsewhere, and then X draws them or something.
    I think you're confusing DE (desktop environment) with HAL (hardware abstraction layer). Gnome is a typical DE, X Window System is a part of HAL. X is actually quite remarkable because it uses the client-server model and has a network protocol. Which means, as you probably guessed, that you don't need a desktop sharing application to get a remote GUI for a system that runs X.
    Last edited by prodigy_; September 30th, 2011 at 01:39 PM.

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