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GraphicsMuse: XFree86: Past, Present, and Future

Oct 28, 1999, 21:55 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael J. Hammel)

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"According to Dirk, X11 was born in 1986. It was an offshoot of two earlier projects, V and W, whose histories I'm not familiar with (although Dirk did discuss them briefly). There were also some earlier releases of X, although the only one I remember was X10. He noted that "after 13 years the basic protocol has not been made incompatible with the original release". That means programs which ran back then still tend to run (albeit with relatively minor API changes)..."

"It wasn't until the release of X11R6, sometime back in 1994 or 1995, that XFree86 was incorporated into the X11 distributions. The 3.1.x releases came in late 1994 and 1995. In 1997 3.3 was released and introduced XAA (XFree86 Advanced Architecture). The current public release is 3.3.5 and was released August 30th, 1999. Most current Linux distributions ship with 3.3.4 or 3.3.5. A developers series of snapshots, versions 3.9.x, are also available..."

"Some of the things Dirk mentioned about 4.0 included:

  1. Multi-head support was still in development.
  2. Some older cards are no longer being supported because its getting hard to find those cards and few people are still using them (he didn't mention any particular cards, however).
  3. The planned TrueType support may have to be pulled due to either licensing or patent issues. Apparently this is kind of a sticky issue. It would be nice if TrueType support could be added directly to the server, but even without it there are still some font servers that support it.
  4. Better font code support has been added, supporting different encodings.
  5. A 2nd generation of DGA has been added."

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