Skip to comments.[Tech] The X Window System Turns 30 Years Old Today
Posted on 06/19/2014 11:45:43 AM PDT by re_nortex
It was on this day 30 years ago that the X Window System was first announced.
Back on 19 June 1984, Robert Scheifler announced a window system for the VS100 that was based upon the W system at the time. The initial X performance on a VS100 was about twice as fast, the code was in development for a few weeks and already showing signs of stability, and developers at MIT were startiing to build applications to run on X.
(Excerpt) Read more at phoronix.com ...
* Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, Microsoft Windows
* POSIX, C89, C99, C++, Java
* the World Wide Web
* the GPL and the FSF
X was one of the first major open source software projects, years before the terms Free Software and Open Source Software were commonplace. Celebrate with us, for without X, the desktop would not be what it is today.
I've read some really good screeds against X over the years, but ultimately it all boils down to a very simple question: does it work, nor not?
Overall, I'd say that it has held up rather well over the years. You can do a lot of really cool things with X, working through tunnels (ssh of course). I used to occasionally open up Firefox (or whatever it was called that week) remotely using SSH to test how a website looked from outside a corporate firewall. It was cool, secure and useful. Biggest drawback was speed, but that wasn't my primary concern at the time. X still has speed issues but there is a lot you can do to optimize things. I still think it is cool that I can open up a gui application on a computer on the other side of the planet, and aside from responsiveness, not have any real issues at all.
As a developer, I like X because it's just another application. If the X server gets wedged (a very rare occurrence nowadays), everything else just keeps on ticking along. Simply kill the Xorg process and all is well.
Exactly so - the separation is clean and stability benefits. It’s a pain having to restart your X session but easier than doing a kernel reboot. MS with DirectX went the other way - to optimize performance (read games) the DirectX calls went right into kernel space so there is no separation.