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osOpinion: X Windows Must Die!

Jul 14, 2000, 08:20 (49 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Monty Manley)

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"I have always been exasperated that Unix systems chose to standardize on X Windows. X was a decent solution in the days when computers used low-color unaccelerated frame-buffers for graphics, and needed to communicate over low-bandwidth links; but X's time is long past. It survives mainly because no one is willing to throw it away -- there's too much software now that depends on it."

"X Windows, even with the yeoman work done by the XFree group, is a huge rat's nest of code which can't compete with most other graphics systems performance-wise. It can only use vector fonts with great difficulty, and anti-aliased fonts (which have been staples of both the Mac and Windows for years) is still a dream on X."

"But X cannot live on its own: it needs a Window Manager and a widget toolkit to do anything. More millions of lines of code, layered on top of an already overweight system. GNOME, KDE, even Motif exact a huge performance hit and add further complexity. Worse yet, no one in the Unix community seems to be able to agree on any kind of GUI standard, so you have an explosion of window managers, desktops, file managers, and widget toolkits which are mostly inoperable with each other."

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