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XFree86.org: A New Rendering Model for X

May 08, 2000, 08:38 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Keith Packard)

"X version 11[SG92] was originally designed and implemented in 1987. In the intervening 13 years, there have been advancements in both applications and hardware, but the core of the X Window System has remained largely unchanged. The last major X server architecture changes were included in X11R4. The last wide-spread functional enhancement exported by the X server might well be the Shape extension[Pac89], designed (in the hot tub) at the 1989 Winter Usenix in San Diego."

"The rise of inexpensive Unix desktop systems in the last couple of years has led to the development of new user-interface libraries, which are not well served by the existing X rendering model. A new 2D rendering model is being developed to serve this new community of applications. The problem space and proposed solutions are discussed."

"While a window system is more than a collection of rendering routines, the available rendering primitives constrain the capabilities of applications more than anything else. The X rendering model was developed to match the abilities of workstation hardware developed fifteen years ago and has significant limitations when applied to application development today."

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