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developerWorks: Create a VNC System with tclRFB

Aug 14, 2003, 07:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Cameron Laird)

[ Thanks to Idean for this link. ]

"First, let's review VNC technology, which developerWorks has explored several times before. Most readers are familiar with VNC's basic operation: put a VNC server on a central machine, then VNC clients hosted remotely can view the central machine's graphical display. Now, that description sounds a bit like the X11 windowing system with some of the labels changed. As with X, VNC traffic can be encrypted, tunneled, wrapped, and so on. As with X, VNC helps exploit 'compute servers' that can be centrally maintained while graphical results are visible 'where users live.'

"Unlike X, however, VNC 'multiplexes:' your graphical applications continue to run unaffected even without a client desktop watching them, or even if several clients are watching simultaneously. VNC is also admirably portable; good implementations are freely available for a staggering range of hardware and operating systems, including mainframes, telephone handsets, and a surprising number of decades-old machines.

"These features make VNC a solution for several development challenges. Suppose you have a graphical application running on a Linux box, and you've been instructed to port it to a Windows desktop or make it into a Web application. A nearly instantaneous answer is to feed the application display into a VNC server on the Linux host and rely on Windows- or Web-hosted VNC clients to view the application remotely. That achieves in an afternoon what might otherwise take weeks to port at the level of source code..."

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