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GUI Software X

Y Window System Project Started 512

Posted by michael
from the just-in-time-development dept.
cuppm writes "Y, Mark Thomas's final year project for his masters degree, is back in active development (outlined here). Here is the email I received: '...Y development is about to start up again. If you are interested in participating, the website is at: http://www.y-windows.org/. There are links to mailing lists there, and you can download the latest development snapshot, which should compile this time :o). I apologise if I did not respond to your email personally. I was on holiday in Japan when the story broke, and by the time I got back I had over 80 emails about the subject, many of them in depth. If you had specific points that you'd like to raise, I suggest re-raising them on the y-devel mailing list.' So for all those who think it's time for a X replacement, here's your shot. And for those X lovers, use Y's extensibility to make it X compatible." See our previous story for more background.
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Y Window System Project Started

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:06PM (#8327910)
    Sounds like a good reason to switch to Y Windows!
    • by twoslice (457793) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:26PM (#8328189)
      Abbot and Costello...

      Abbot: Are you using X Windows?

      Costello: No, Y

      Abbot: I just want to know

      Costello: Y

      Abbot: Look, All I want to find out is what controls your display?

      Costello:: I just told you?

      Abbot: Told me what?

      Costello:: No, "What" is the name of the window manager....

      Abbot: I am not talking about the window manager!

      • Oblig (Score:5, Funny)

        by FatalTourist (633757) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:52PM (#8328459) Homepage

        Skinner: Not the interrogative, but rather a windowing system with the unlikely name of "Y".

        Chalmers: Well that's just great, Seymour. We've been out here six seconds and you've already managed to blow the routine.
        [storms off, muttering] Sexless freak.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:41PM (#8328346)
      Yeah, I've been using XY for years, and I'm really glad. Sure, XX looks nice, but it's really whiny.
  • Amazing.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by XCorvis (517027) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:08PM (#8327944)
    The Y-windows site was Slashdotted 30 seconds after it was posted! A new record! Go Team!
  • Stuff (Score:3, Funny)

    by g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:08PM (#8327946) Homepage Journal
    Why windows? Whats wrong with the command prompt?

    (aahhadabahahah why windows)

  • Y-Not? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DecimalThree (524862) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:09PM (#8327952)
    I find it highly unlikely that I would consider another future desktop additions. It would be more prudent to patch and hack on the labors that have already been provided ensuring both stability and security before adding other extensions. The whole damn planet has gone desktop happy.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:10PM (#8327972)
    And for those X lovers, use Y's extensibility to make it X compatible.

    So basically it's "Y-XFree86", right? There might be prior art here, I've heard people say that for years.
  • Countdown (Score:5, Funny)

    by CaptainAlbert (162776) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:11PM (#8327994) Homepage
    3... 2... 1... Trademark infringement lawsuit from The Open Group!

    Quickly followed by a name change to "Y-windash".
  • Yawn.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by djh101010 (656795) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:15PM (#8328051) Homepage Journal
    Wake me up when we get to Z-windows...
  • by zapp (201236) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:17PM (#8328072)
    1: Do you use X on linux?
    2: No. Y.
    1: I was just wondering, what do you use?
    2: Y!
    1: I'm just curious, now will you please tell me what you use if you don't use X?
    2: Y!

    ok, that was sorta lame, how about...

    tech Support: What desktop environment do you use?
    user: ummm why?
    tech: You use Y? Ok, so what you wanna do is...
    user: What? I don't know what you're talking about.

  • Call to Programmers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by illuminatedwax (537131) <<ude.ogacihcu.inmula> <ta> <egnardts>> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:18PM (#8328085) Journal
    Thank God. Finally, someone has decided to quit bitching about X Window and finally implement a system of their own.

    For any programmers out there that are even remotely interested in getting Linux On The Desktop, consider this a call. A super-awesome rock solid kernel cannot be the end-all be-all for Linux. We need to have a good windowing system, one that's faster and more reliable than the competition. From what I know, X Window could use a great amount of improvement in those areas. This is your chance to make things better, and Get It Right The First Time.

    --Stephen
    • Not to be pedantic, but since X exists, this would have to be getting it right the second time, at least...
    • Finally? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kaisyain (15013) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:44PM (#8328385)
      Don't DRI's GEM, XEROX Star, GEOS, DesqView, NeXTStep, BellCore's MGR, Sun NeWS, MultiTOS, AmigaOS, Plan 9 rio count, and Berlin/Fresco count?
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:23PM (#8328144)

    Three points:

    a)it looks like the only reason development started again was because of all the Xfree86 licensing hubbub(which isn't going to be around much longer, because Xfree86 will most likely cave). If the project did not have the merits to succeed before, I do not see how things have changed in such a way that it will be successful long-term, and this was a blatant "look at me" attempt. Y was dead, FreeDesktop was humming along quietly.

    b)Most of the "I'm going to replace Xwindows" projects are doing so because its supposedly "slow" and "bloated", and we see a large number of posts in every Xwindows-related story on slashdot claiming the same thing. Most of them are wrong.

    c)We already have an interesting, viable alternative(FreeDesktop)...and it's got heavy involvement with the major developers of Gnome and KDE, the two most popular desktop systems. Everyone is playing Chicken with Xfree86, while hedging their bet(and strengthening their position with Xfree86) by starting work with FreeDesktop. Y is nowhere to be seen in all of this, especially if it's only got one guy- versus a whole group of some of the best Linux programmers around.

    • by Avumede (111087) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:38PM (#8328317) Homepage
      Your point (b) is wrong. Most of the complaints I've heard, and I have, is not that it is slow and bloated. The complaints are that it is old and doesn't have the features we expect in a modern windowing system.

      My pet peeve is antialiasing. You don't get it at the X-windows level, you have to build it into your app! That's why, shamefully, things like emacs look much better on Windows than on Linux.
    • by ndogg (158021) <the DOT rhorn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:40PM (#8328340) Homepage Journal
      Would you people please stop seeing this project as a X replacement (by which I mean that it is yet another X implementation, much like the freedesktop.org implementation)? By taking simple cursory glance at the website, I've easily determined that the relationship between X and Y is more like the relationship between *nix and Plan 9 [bell-labs.com]. This is an evolution of the graphical subsystem on *nix, not a replacement for X. It frees itself from the limitations of the architecture and mindset of X to take advantage of new hardware and ideas for graphical interfaces.
    • a)it looks like the only reason development started again was because of all the Xfree86 licensing hubbub(which isn't going to be around much longer, because Xfree86 will most likely cave). If the project did not have the merits to succeed before, I do not see how things have changed in such a way that it will be successful long-term, and this was a blatant "look at me" attempt. Y was dead, FreeDesktop was humming along quietly.

      Did you read the bit at the top? "I was on holiday in Japan when the story b
    • by David McBride (183571) <david+slashdot.dwm@me@uk> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:47PM (#8328404) Homepage
      Howdy.

      You make some reasonable points.

      A development restart has been planned for months; the only reason it hasn't happened sooner is that we've all been settling into new jobs and simply haven't had the spare time to get this going properly until now.

      X Windows *does* have issues; I think we can all agree on that. But by the same token, we're not trying to argue that X is not useful; I'm using XFree86 on my production machine right now to good effect. But we think it can be done better.

      Linus was just one guy when he started work on Linux. Other people then joined in, and made Linux what it is today.

      Mark, myself, and the other chaps who were in the room when the Y concept was born are doing this because we enjoy it. Whether lots of people will join in on our little project remains to be seen.

      Sure, it'll be gratifying if we become popular, but that's not what we've set out to do -- write good code.

      Cheers,

      David
  • About Y (Score:5, Informative)

    by scishop (622414) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:23PM (#8328150)
    Taken from their site:

    About Y

    I've got tired with the state of desktop GNU/Linux. Most of the problems that I see with it can be traced back to the underlying window system, X. So I decided to write its successor...

    Y was my final year project for my masters degree at the Department of Computing, Imperial College, London. I set out to design and begin the implementation of a modern windowing system. The Y design has the following features:

    Network Transparency

    Contrary to popular belief, supporting network transparency does not reduce the speed of the window system on local hosts. Further, with Y's in-server knowledge of widgets, applications run over a slow network can appear almost as responsive as local applications (especially when compared to an X application).

    Modularity (plug-in style: dynamically unloadable and reloadable)

    Unload an old video driver, load a new version. On the fly. No restart in sight.

    In-server implementation of widgets

    Y specifies a core set of widget classes. Objects of these classes are stored in the server, where they are closer to the user and thus more responsive from the user's point of view.

    Consistency and Themeability

    Y widgets use the currently loaded theme to render themselves. Since all server widgets are using the same theme, all widgets appear consistent throughout the desktop. Client applications can also use the theme's drawing operations, allowing specialised widgets to make themselves fit in with the look-and-feel.

    Support for hardware acceleration

    The Y design can make use of hardware acceleration to speed up rendering operations. This can even include the use of 3D-accelerators' textures to draw windows with (someone has already implemented a prototype of this which is very smooth).

    Better internationalisation, localisation, and accessiblity

    In-server widgets means there can be exactly one current language, one complex input method system for languages that require them, and one set of accessibility features.

    Some more information can be found in my individual project report. If you have any more questions, ask them on the appropriate mailing list.

    The current implementation is, however, very basic. It needs a lot more work before it will be usable on a day-to-day basis.
    • Re:About Y (Score:5, Funny)

      by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@gma ... inus threevowels> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:59PM (#8328557) Homepage
      was my final year project for my masters degree at the Department of Computing, Imperial College

      Bah, those are the same people who designed the Death Star. Won't Y have the same design flaws?
    • Re:About Y (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BeerMilkshake (699747)
      One extra thing to consider would be configurability. My XF86Config file is a beast, since I have a laptop with three pointer devices, and S-Video and RGB connections out to the tv and projector. I can't reconfigure my video on the fly like I can with Windoze. Help!

      >... Further, with Y's in-server knowledge
      > of widgets, applications run over a slow network
      > can appear almost as responsive as local
      > applications (especially when compared to an
      > X application).

      Great idea - is this the same th
      • Re:About Y (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Qzukk (229616) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @06:54PM (#8333248) Journal
        This may be an SFQ, but shouldn't the application choose its own look and feel?

        I suspect that the outcome of this is a little less worrisome then you think. I really have no idea what this means, but I've been thinking of something along these lines with X for a while now, which may or may not be what Y is doing.

        Currently to draw an input box in X, at the protocol level there is a lot of work -- lines must be drawn, areas filled with color, a font must be selected, and any existing text must be entered in. Subwindows for accepting user input are defined, events to control focus, mouse, and keyboard are captured and transferred back and forth. GTK hides this from the programmer by defining a function to call to do all that for the user, but all of this is done on the local GTK library in the client, either by rendering into a pixmap and transmitting the whole pixmap to the server, or by breaking it down into the above mentioned components and transmitting those instructions.

        Now, imagine if the X server itself was linked to GTK. That entire protocol stream of traffic can be reduced to a single command "draw a gtk text box here of this size with this starting text in this font" many of which can be defaults. Beyond just the savings in that initial display of the widget, the number of events can be drastically cut down as the server-side gtk library now handles the events that deal strictly with the operation of the widget. The end result is something like HTML and javascript. You could define a dropdown box which only has one event with the client software after the initial construction: "onchange". All of the clicking and picking items could be done within the server itself.

        The biggest issue with this is making sure that the existing protocol never changes, only grows by adding new items (thus gtk-client 1.1 will work with gtk-server 1.2, just not use all the 1.2 features), otherwise versions everywhere must match or the thing goes down in flames.
  • by nsayer (86181) <nsayer@kfCOWu.com minus herbivore> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:24PM (#8328156) Homepage
    For the folks asking "What's wrong with X?", I suggest you seek out the X windows chapter of that seminal work on the subject, "The Unix Haters Handbook" by Simson Garfinkel, et al.

    Me? I take a cue or two from the output of 'xdpyinfo'. When something requires more than 20 different extensions to fit in the modern world, it's perhaps time for a re-think.

    But if Y is going to work, the some level of backwards compatibility might be reasonably expected. Personally, I would suggest library level shimming rather than protocol level (that is, Y windows should come with a libX11 that implements the X API but talks to a Y server).

    I'm a little surprised, in fact, that Apple didn't do such a thing for OS X. Rather than toss in an X server, they could have supplied a libX11 that simply implemented all of the calls in DPDF. One less bell to answer, one less egg to fry.

    An X server is still nice for remote display situations, but honestly: Who does that anymore (and could they not be accomodated with VNC)?
    • by mpk (10222) <mpk@uffish.net> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:46PM (#8328400) Homepage
      It's interesting that you choose X extensions as the primary thing to bang on. It could be argued that X extensions are somewhat akin to kernel modules, but I don't see huge numbers of people clamouring for a return to the days when all your device drivers had to be built and linked specifically into the kernel rather than dynamically loaded on demand when they were needed. My Linux boxes here need 20+ kernel modules to work properly, so how do X extensions differ? Yes, some of them are pretty much bags hung on the side, but the core functionality of X is still available without, well, nearly all of them.

      Oh, and plenty of people still display X applications remotely. Have you set foot in any universities recently? Plenty of sites have central UNIX hosts available for people to run stuff on and display via their PC or whatever, because not everybody can have (or indeed wants) a UNIX box on their desk.

      Finally, X has one thing going for it above all else at the moment - ubiquity. You can get an X server to run on more or less everything. Pipedreams about single-handedly replacing X are fine if you assume that every machine using X is a desktop Linux box, but when you take all those old VMS machines, PCs running eXceed, Suns, HP/UX boxes, and the zillions of weird applications that would still need to work properly across a wide variety of platforms, it's definitely more than "simply replacing X". You're talking about something that's more or less on the scale of replacing TCP/IP, and I don't see many people casually announcing that they're going to do that as a final year project.
    • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@@@ticam...utexas...edu> on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:50PM (#8328447) Homepage
      When something requires more than 20 different extensions to fit in the modern world, it's perhaps time for a re-think.

      When something designed 20 new ideas ago is so extensible that it still fits in the modern world, perhaps they did the thinking right the first time.
    • For the folks asking "What's wrong with X?", I suggest you seek out the X windows chapter of that seminal work on the subject, "The Unix Haters Handbook" by Simson Garfinkel, et al.

      Good to see those guys back together again. I wonder if "The Unix Hater's Handbook" will be as good as "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".

  • Common toolkit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tttonyyy (726776) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:25PM (#8328166) Homepage Journal
    Fantastic. New users find the selection of different toolkits for X confusing and inconsistent both in appearance and behaviour. One standard toolkit will help with newbie usability greatly - though whether it will stand the test of time remains to be seen. Windows seems to be doing just fine with it's standards though, so I rather suspect the same will apply to Y.

    There is nothing like a little competition to hot things up - perhaps this will also give the languid Xfree86 project the kick up the backside it needs.

    I wish the Y project the best of luck!
    • Re:Common toolkit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by __past__ (542467) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:44PM (#8328377)
      Fantastic. New users find the selection of different toolkits for X confusing and inconsistent both in appearance and behaviour.
      Year, nothing as good to fight inconsistency than creating another alternative from scratch...
  • by turgid (580780) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:25PM (#8328173) Journal
    So why is it going to succeed where these failed? :
    fresco [fresco.org]
    YAX [linux.org] (Y Ain't X)
    The Y Window System [hungry.com]
    Oh never mind. What's the point?
    • Interesting question. I believe that technology is not the decisive factor (otherwise X would have been replaced years ago). Maturity is and critical mass of end users is too. Historically, unix systems came with X-windows. So all unix gui applications are written to work at least on that. There is no incentive for the developers of these applications to support experimental alternatives.

      Consequently these alternatives rarely gain critical mass and are typically abandoned in a half finished state. Enough o
  • by Chuck Bucket (142633) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:30PM (#8328237) Homepage Journal
    YINX (y is not xwindows)

    CB
  • Encouraging (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DA_MAN_DA_MYTH (182037) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:36PM (#8328301) Homepage Journal
    I would encourage students to look through the source code. To grasp and understand what goes on behind the scenes for a windowing system, before the project gets enormous. Besides the tar file is pretty small, maybe you can contribute while the project is in it's infancy and not intimidating.
  • Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FreemanPatrickHenry (317847) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:40PM (#8328337)
    About a year ago, I had started work on something I called YX (yes, the pun was intended). It didn't get very far, I'm glad that someone is working on such a project. I definitely intend to help with this project, though.
  • IRC channel... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chuck Bucket (142633) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:42PM (#8328361) Homepage Journal
    hit #y-windows on irc.freenode.net if you want to chat about Y.

    CB
  • What license (Score:3, Insightful)

    by evilpenguin (18720) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @01:59PM (#8328562)
    The Y web site doesn't tell me what license this is to be realeased under. Anyone here know?
    • Re:What license (Score:5, Informative)

      by Phoenix Dreamscape (205064) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:11PM (#8328749) Homepage
      From the COPYING file:

      The Y communication library and the YC++ library, being the contents of the
      libY and libYc++ directories in this archive, are licensed according to the
      terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License, contained in the file
      COPYING.LGPL.

      The yiterm program, being the contents of the clients/yiterm directory in this
      archive, are licensed according to the terms of the Common Public License,
      contained in the file COPYING.CPL.

      The remainder of the files in this archive are, unless otherwise stated in the
      file, licensed according to the terms of the GNU General Public License,
      contained in the file COPYING.GPL.

      (C) 2003 Mark Thomas
  • OpenGL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sbaker (47485) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:01PM (#8328593) Homepage
    For Y to be remotely usable for me, it would need good support for OpenGL on nVidia and ATI graphics cards...for which (annoyingly) we only have binary drivers.

    So - my questions would be:

    1) Can Y use GLX protocols and work with existing (binary only) OpenGL drivers?

    2) There is mention that Y can use hardware accelleration on 3D hardware. My concern about this is how much of the valuable 3D resources such as texture map memory it consumes. Generally, X runs plenty fast enough without using those resources and I wouldn't want to impact my 3D capabilities in order to make the 2D windowing system run ten times faster than it really needs to run.

    Certainly X needs updating - it's old and it shows it's age.
    • Re:OpenGL? (Score:5, Informative)

      by samhalliday (653858) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:40PM (#8329213) Homepage Journal
      need good support for OpenGL on [...] ATI graphics cards [...] we only have binary drivers

      NO WE BLOODY WELL DON'T!! why dont people RTFM and find out that XFree86 have been writing their own accelerated (yes, 3D as well) drivers for ATI cards since time began... as they release the specs. sure, ati also make their own, but XFree86 also make them. and they also work on FreeBSD. also, incase you didn't notice, the linux kernel even ships with the radeon and ati Direct Rendering Modules.

      if i have to point this out ONE MORE TIME on slashdot, i swear to god i'm gonna explode...

      i wouldnt think for a minute that binary only drivers would work with Y... but i'd like to hear how different at the level of the source code, the drivers are from teh XFree86 ones... i.e., how hard will it be to port over XFree86 drivers? (assuming no license issues, which there will be since Y windows is GPL)

      this is one of the most exciting projects i have ever seen... and it has appeared at JUST the right time with the XFree86 team being assholes, and the FreeDesktop.org guys without a useable server... they are almost on a par.

      if someone could make an X11R6 compatibility layer on top of this thing... everyone oculd start using it (once drivers are made) and that is all the encouragement anybody needs to start porting their programs (or toolkits). but porting a toolkit kinda defeats the purpose, as this new implementation is trying to get rid of the need for multiple toolkit.

      but to be quite honest, the thing i am most excited about is the license... fully GPL (probably someone will advice them to go LGPL)... which means no more jokes about GNU/Linux needing to be called GNU/XFree86/Linux :-)

  • Y?!? (Score:3, Funny)

    by robson (60067) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:16PM (#8328831)
    It's premature. We're not even at X12 yet. Hell, we're not even at X11r7 yet!

    : )
  • *Sigh* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dasunt (249686) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:20PM (#8328919)

    Here I sit back, reading slashdot on a pentium 166MMHX, with 80M of memory, through Galeon and the X Windows System on a OpenBSD machine.

    I read the posts that say X is slow.

    X is currently using about 5% - 7.5% of my processor. It jumps up to about 15% when I change windows. MPG123 consistantly uses more CPU then X. Galeon tends to use more CPU then X as well.

    I read the posts that say X is bloated.

    X is currently using 15MB of memory/8MB resident. Galeon is using about 16MB / 27 MB resident.

    As for hard to set up, linux distros usually set up X for me. There are even several configuration utilities shipped with XFree86.

    I also tend to use the network transparency of X, which is easily accomplished through ssh -X.

    Don't know why you guys keep having problems, but may I suggest bloated OS installs and bloated WMs?

    FVWM + XFree86 works for me!

    • It's the latency (Score:4, Informative)

      by SeanAhern (25764) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @06:16PM (#8332809) Journal
      I read the posts that say X is slow.

      One of the first sections in the original "Y Window System" paper listed the problems with X. It started off with "X is slow." However, it made a very specific allegation. It was not that X is slow per-se, but that it is highly sensitive to latency. Yeah, we all run X11 applications on our local desktop, and they're lightning fast. We can even run X11 applications from machines close by on the LAN. But very few people ever try to run X11 applications across 20 hops of the internet. Unless you have somehow ensured very low latency connections, you're gonna have lag city.

      The X Protocol is very verbose. It's one of the reasons that there have been projects to try to compress or otherwise remove redundancy from the protocol. But, at some level, it's the protocol itself which needs rethinking when it comes to speed.

      My two cents...
  • by corris (154178) * on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:44PM (#8329305)
    If they'll replace the default cursor with a Y instead of an X.
  • by cgreuter (82182) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @02:51PM (#8329441)

    Mine has a built-in web browser, MIME extractor, yEnc support and a display engine optimized for fleshtones.

    I call it "The XXX Windowing System".

  • Y runs on X! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:17PM (#8329866)
    If you run 'startY' within X, Y will appear as a Window on X. This is because Y dosent use its own graphics routines, it uses SDL. Hence it will run on any hardware SDL supports. I couldn't get any applications on it to work though :(.
  • by Slur (61510) on Thursday February 19, 2004 @03:50PM (#8330514) Homepage Journal
    Well, if there was ever a more clear-cut case where something should be developed in the D language [google.com] I've never seen it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 19, 2004 @05:33PM (#8332256)
    Y was designed to

    a) learn something about network programming
    b) implement a replacement for X11 of which Mark Thomas think that it is:

    1) too slow
    2) place too much burden on the programmer
    3) no standard toolkit
    4) reaching its software lifespan
    5) too complex.

    ad 1) It is correct that X11 is unusable on less than 10 Mbit connections (this could be changed, see below).

    ad 2) Unless you use the raw network protocol, it does not place burdon on the programmer. It is true that everything above Xlib was ill design (especially the Xt, and athena widgets), but this crap has been replaced long before. -- The only environments that still use Xt are Motif and KDE apps. In contrast GTK and GNOME use the raw Xlib.

    ad 3) It is true that the toolkit (Xt, Xaw etc) should have been implemented on the server-side. But this was not possible until now; what X11 indeed needs is a toolkit on the server-side. Of course this toolkit should be extensible, that means that it should be possible to dynamically add new widgets to the set of available widgets living in the address space of the X11 server. Moving the toolkit to the server would also reduce the network overhead thus addressing problem #1. Of course, this requires more memory on the server-side as the server must now be linked with an interpreter language such as Mono, Java, Guile.
    Another drawback would be that the actual widget-communication protocol would essentially be proprietary.

    Note that Y only defines a small set of widgets on the server-side and that there's no mechanism to dynamically extend this set. So the communication overhead with Y is almost the same as X11 (it may be better or worse in some areas).

    4) I think it's clear that this is a nonsense argument. For example no one would seriously argument linux, as it is 10 years old now, has thus reached the end of its lifespan.

    5) Yes, some functionality provided by the X11 client libraries and by certain X additions was complex. But most of this crap has already been thrown out, e.g.: Xprint, Xt, DisplayPostscript, the broken X11 I18N implementation.

    What Y promises to deliver is:

    1) A non-dynamically extensible object-based system on the server side implemented in raw C

    2) A message passing system that is as efficient as X11's (it may be better or worse in some areas, see the Clock example which has a huge overhead).

    3) Yet another toolkit implemented in C, but this time on the server-side

    4) Modularity. This is indeed a strong point for the Y system (compared to XFree86). However, the new Xserver [www.freedesktop.org] attempts to address this issue, too.

    5) A client library for C++. Whow. Ehm, what is wrong with Qt? Should all people throw away their work just because somebody thinks that some software has reached the end of its lifespan (whatever that may mean!)?

    Anyhow, I suggest to read Mark Thomas proposal anyway. It isn't that bad; at least Y has a theoretical background; in contrast to other attempts such as picoGUI [www.picogui.org]

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