Feeds

X is now free of XFree86

What's on the end of this Fork?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.