Feeds

X is now free of XFree86

What's on the end of this Fork?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Profitless Twitter: We're looking to raise $1.5... yes, billion
We'll spend the dosh on transactions, biz stuff 'n' sh*t
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.