Feeds

X is now free of XFree86

What's on the end of this Fork?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A new version of the X11 windowing system, used by Unix-like operating systems including Linux, will become generally available in ten days time.

This is significant as it's likely to be the version that will face most users in future distributions. Known as X11R6.7, it's the first release from the XOrg consortium. This was originally founded to steer the specification in May 1999, but only recently decided to do something about it, citing the glacial pace of development by the XFree86 consortium.

XOrg created the XOrg Foundation which is backed by IBM, Sun and HP and blessed by Jim Gettys, one of the authors of the original X11 specification, 20 years ago. XFree86 continues to be supported by a clutch of smaller Linux distributions, including Conectiva and Slackware, although the big players, including Novell and Red Hat, have thrown their weight behind XOrg's efforts.

New licensing terms from XFree86 have finally convinced the power brokers to endorse a XOrg's fork, although XFree86 maintainer David Dawes says the new terms are no more onerous than the previous license. But politics has played no small part in the adoption of competing systems. X11 owes its success to a backlash against the superior PostScript-based NeWS system from Sun Microsystems.

Meanwhile, the To-Do list for the new branch is choc-ful of patches and proposed extensions, including work that may eventually lead to X11 getting a modern compositor, as seen in Apple's Quartz display system, and promised in Microsoft's Longhorn. You can see a glimpse of what might emerge here, from Keith Packard.

Users will be able to download X11R6 from 25 April. ®

Related story

Gosling on C#, why X Windows sucks, and asparagus

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.