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X GUI Graphics Software Unix Upgrades Technology

X11 7.7 Released, Brings Multi-Touch Input 128

Posted by timothy
from the nostalgia-for-moderns dept.
First time accepted submitter Jizzbug writes "The X Window System made release X11 7.7 last night (June 9th): 'This release incorporates both new features and stability and correctness fixes, including support for reporting multi-touch events from touchpads and touchscreens which can report input from more than one finger at a time, smoother scrolling from scroll wheels, better cross referencing and formatting of the documentation, pointer barriers to control cursor movement, and synchronization fences to coordinate between X and other rendering engines such as OpenGL.'"
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X11 7.7 Released, Brings Multi-Touch Input

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  • i thought xorg buried x a long time ago. x is the cat with 11 lives. rimshot.

  • Wht not sound? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @10:24AM (#40274383)

    X virtualises user interface devices: mice, keyboard, display. Why sound has always been outside? Is not it another part of user interface?

    Why we have these incompatible "sound servers", if the X protocol could be used instead? Tunneling a video with sound through X through ssh through Internet? No problem.

    • THIS is a very important idea. Sound is blocked from the X protolcol by an Italian-Apple conspiracy funded by the Vatican and the CIA to keep X from its rightful place as the Queen of Multimedia Web 3.0 Compurtrterizining.

    • by Pecisk (688001)

      Why sound servers shoud be compatible? Just stick with PA and be set. Or JACK with plain ALSA, if pro sound is your thing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It was called 'NAS': Network Audio System. AFAIK it was output only, supported stereo audio, and had more or less died out by 2005. I used it a bunch prior to that as a much much reliable replacement to ESD/pulseaudio however. It just worked, allowed me to stream audio to remote X sessions, and did it with pretty low network overhead. As a bonus it used whatever your DISPLAY variable was set to as the remote end.

    • Re:Why not sound? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @11:34AM (#40274879)

      The X Consortium (the follow-on to the MIT X Consortium, i.e. the original x.org) started to do audio back around 1994.

      Nobody gave a toss then and the project died when the consortium folded at the end of 1996.

      And BTW, before that there were two competing audio extensions, one from DEC and the other from NCD IIRC, and neither one caught on.

    • by fikx (704101)
      X / desktop isn't the only thing that makes sounds....
    • X already handles too much, and you want it to handle more? Also, what if I want to use sound outside of X?

  • Only way I figured out it was X.org is clicking the link.
  • Wise words from a wise man

  • Coordinating with other engines? Isn't that the kind of thing that lets one use Wayland partially as a standalone server side to side to X? Is this the 'feature' of stepping down and letting other servers or engines develop?
    Maybe we'll evolve this way past the Xorg.conf and its documentation, good riddance, moving from a wrinkled legacy to a more sane and friendly approach. I love X when it works, it's unbearable when it doesn't.
    • Anybody know what is Wayland's status at the moment? When will it be ready to be bundled w/ the likes of FreeBSD, Debian, RedHat, Gentoo and other leading base Linux distros?
      • Re:Wayland (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @02:01PM (#40276085)

        Wayland's current status: it continues to be the vaporware windowing system that is the darling of people who have no idea about what X really does or what its problems might be.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Except one of the biggest contributors to Wayland is Keith Packard, the guy who forked X.org from XFree86. I'm pretty sure he has a good grasp on windowing issues. Not sure he's the person to write something from scratch, though, especially when all the low-level I/O details were already worked out decades ago; they don't have any experience with viable alternatives. The RPC mechanism in Wayland is truly horrendous.

        • by mitzampt (2002856)
          I don't know about problems with X windowing system, but I bet some of them will stick with Wayland even though it's supposed to be new stuff.Still I really hope I'll never have to dig trenches just to get it back running, or at least running it in some kind of fallback/safe/minimal mode.This is my only hope concerning vaporware and (may I add) pink unicorn glittering p(h)ony features
          Even though my sarcasm didn't climb this tree of comments, I'm happy I got to read a comment to he point. Thank you.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @10:56AM (#40274619) Homepage

    X has had multi touch for YEARS. It was a patch. it's only now that it's a part of the official.

  • Or can it also record things like multiple hovering events?
  • I've actually played around a bit with X Windows's remote windowing feature, which was around years before MS put similar functionality in Windows, but it was a pain to set up and get it working.

    Are there any window managers/desktop environments that can utilize X's more esoteric features like these in a simple, uncomplicated fashion? Preferably without messing with the command line.

    • Re:Using X's power? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Hatta (162192) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @01:53PM (#40276003) Journal

      Despite your dig at the command line, it really doesn't get any simpler than 'ssh -X remotehost remoteapp'.

      • by rrohbeck (944847)

        I'm sure you can write a wrapper where you have to click at least a dozen times to select the remote host and app.

    • Re:Using X's power? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Greyfox (87712) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @02:22PM (#40276291) Homepage Journal
      It's so not complicated to export a window to another display. Just set an environment variable to tell it where to display and authorize the machine on the remote display. Nothing to it. Despite that, the companies I've worked at that have needed to do this just set up VNC and work on the machine remotely instead.

      If you want to do something like Sun, where you authenticate and it finds your session out there and pops it up on your machine, that's a bit more complicated. Pretty cool, but more complicated.

    • by Viol8 (599362) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @03:23PM (#40276803)

      "but it was a pain to set up and get it working."

      Yup, I mean look at these examples for how devastatingly complicated it it:

      "xterm -display [host ip]:[display id]"

      or if you're feeling even more l337:

      export DISPLAY=[host ip]:[display]
      xterm

      But I guess if you wet the bed at the thought of having to use a keyboard instead of a mouse then you're pretty screwed.

      • Maybe the OP is talking about enabling incoming X connections. This varies with the display manager and its release, and sometimes does require the edition of a non obvious configuration file.

    • by karzan (132637)

      'remote windowing feature'? That's like saying http has a 'remote web page download feature' because you can connect to an http server from another machine. The whole point of X is that it is a network protocol from the ground up. It's designed for environments where applications are run over networks; unfortunately nowadays the PC model of computing has won, which is why 'remote windowing' looks like an extra 'feature'.

      • by rec9140 (732463)

        'remote windowing feature'? That's like saying http has a 'remote web page download feature' because you can connect to an http server from another machine. The whole point of X is that it is a network protocol from the ground up. It's designed for environments where applications are run over networks; unfortunately nowadays the PC model of computing has won, which is why 'remote windowing' looks like an extra 'feature'.

        It MAY LOOK this way, but "cloud" computing is nothing more than the resurection of time share systems of the past on mainframe and minis.

        XDMCP and X via SSH will play an even more important role in this "new cloud" world.

        The fact that the developers of certain software, cough wayland cough, was not even alive when X and thin computing or using a TTY60 on a dial up modem, shows that forgetting history is just as applicable to computer/technology as it is to the real world.

        And NO the "PC model" has not won..

        • by Pseudonym (62607)

          It MAY LOOK this way, but "cloud" computing is nothing more than the resurection of time share systems of the past on mainframe and minis.

          Only if you define "cloud computing" as "running jobs on shared infrastructure with quotas". Mainframes and minis of the past didn't have replicated filesystems, didn't scale to multiple sites and certainly didn't let you run potentially untrusted code in a sandbox.

          Cloud computing is to car pooling as a mainframe is to mass transit. It's certainly cheaper and more efficient to send 1000 people from A to B by bus or train than to use the equivalent number of cars, but it only works if a critical mass of peop

  • Did Linux ever get an equivalent to DirectDraw? I know there is svgalib, but I thought that was equivalent to full screen DOS programs on Windows 98, since it could not share the screen. The news about coordinating rendering engines sounds neat, like you could safely get access to video memory and bypass any windowing systems, but still cooperate with a windowing system.

    • Did Linux ever get an equivalent to DirectDraw?

      Does DRI qualify?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Not exactly, but the concept of direct access to video memory became unimportant. There's really no use for it at this point. Graphics hardware is sufficiently complicated that there is no useful way to "just get a pointer to video memory." The concept really no longer exists. If it did exist, it would be completely different on different hardware. And, it would be horribly slow.

      Instead, you have OpenGL. You can make a texture on the CPU, upload it to the GPU, and draw it while "cooperating with the w

  • I remember a few years ago hearing that there were plans to incorporate NX technology into X, what's the status for that? I run NX sessions over a slow internet connection to a remote machine and it works well, standard remote X is unusable for me.
  • Maybe we will get some active development on compiz, or something equivalent again to take advantage of all of the cool things you could do with this.

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