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Fedora Prepares For Xorg Instead of XFree86 491

ZuperDee writes "I noticed in the development branch of Fedora today that they appear to be in the process of creating new xorg RPMs, and from the looks of the changelogs in those RPMs, it looks like their ultimate plan is to switch from XFree86 to the XOrg Foundation's implementation of X11. Anyone else here think this could signal the beginning of a new trend in Linux distributions, and that XOrg could end up becoming the new de-facto X11 implementation?" (See this earlier story,too.)
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Fedora Prepares For Xorg Instead of XFree86

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  • drivers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by prockcore ( 543967 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:20PM (#8592885)
    I don't know enough about Xorg to know if this is good or not.

    Is the driver support there? Will NVidia's and ATI's binary drivers work with the Xorg server? It could be a real problem if FC2 won't be able to do accelerated 3d under NVidia or ATI cards.
    • Re:drivers (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:22PM (#8592917)
      That is what I am wondering as well. Supposedly, if their drivers are built to the X11 spec, then I would think they would be easy to port over without much trouble. If, however they have all kinds of hooks into XFree86 specific libraries, then there might be problems.
    • Re:drivers (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lussarn ( 105276 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:23PM (#8592920)
      The server is basically a branch from Xfree just before the licence change. They should be very similiar at this point.
    • Y-Windows (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bonch ( 38532 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:00PM (#8593353)
      I'm waiting for Y-Windows [], personally. They've been making great strides on their core widget set. They plan an initial X compatibility layer, but other than that it's a completely rewrite abandoning X all together.
      • Re:Y-Windows (Score:5, Informative)

        by d3vi1 ( 710592 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @05:48AM (#8596877)
        Why abandon one of the greatest technologies ever created in computer world?
        X-Windows is, just as it says, a server.
        One of the greatest things about it is it's network transparency. X-Windows, is still ahead of it's time. Microsoft introduced Terminal Services back in 97 or 98 for Windows NT Server TSE, long time after X-Windows existed, and it still is not as powerfull as X11, it only draws the whole screen through a pipe, compresses it and sends-it to a client. X11 does a lot more than that, it has security is a number of forms (e.g. ACL based), it has support for extensions - which is soo great, and it tells the client which extensions it supports, it has speed (when not over the network) using UNIX Sockets instead of TCP. Even over the network it's fast. If you think that running mozilla remotely on a 56k is slow, think of the alternatives.
        Also XFS is great. Imagine you're in a DTP office. You need hundreds of fonts, an UNICODE font can have 20MBytes, or more, why should those fonts be copied on all the stations? One central station for all of them is enough.
        You want remote desktop? Just thing XDMCP.

        X11 should NOT have an integrated widget set in it. That is because, it's multi-os, multi-platform, you can't expect all the platforms to have the same widget set, toolkit, just think embeded devices here. Not to mention that there is already a standard widget set as defined by IEEE(or was it ISO?) standards: motif. Unfortuantely motif is getting kinda old.
        • by bonch ( 38532 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @12:42PM (#8599697)
          Why abandon one of the greatest technologies ever created in computer world?

          It's not one of the "greatest technologies ever created in computer world." You've got to be kidding me. Then you go into a long advertising spiel on X11.

          Anyway, here are the reasons listed in Mark's paper:

          "The X Window System [23] is the de facto standard graphical user interface (GUI) system on UNIX and UNIX-like platforms such as GNU/Linux. However, as X approaches its 20th year, signs of its age are beginning to show. Commonly cited problems with X include:

          • X is too slow. This is commonly dismissed as nonsense due to high throughput that tweaked implementations of X have been proven to achieve. What this does not take into account is that in the general case it is latency that matters more than throughput [6]. Unfortunately, the design of X does not facilitate low latency.

          • X places too much burden on the programmer. The X protocol, and its corresponding library Xlib, provide very low level operations. As a result, programming directly with Xlib is very difficult. For this reason, programmers usually choose to use a toolkit library.

          • X has no standard toolkit. In 1984, before GUIs were common-place, not providing a standard toolkit was the best way to achieve enough flexibility to create all the applications that had not yet been conceived. However, these days, with the benefit of the last two decades of experience [16, 25], it is much better ot provide a complet eset of standard user interface components that look and behave consistently.

            Aside from the user interface inconsistency, the lack of standard components also makes internationalisation difficult, particularly for languages which require a complex input method.

          • X is reaching the end of its life span. XFree86, the most popular version of X that is in use, is now over 10 years old. Over the years it has been extended and modified many times, to the point where it is an incoherent mess.

            Although the X protocol supports extensions very well, some of the latest extensions have begun to interfere with each other. For example, when Xinerama (the extension which allows X desktops to span multiple monitors) was first released, it broke XVideo (the extension which allows X to use hardware accelerated overlays for video play back). The 'fix' for this was to allow XVideo to only work on the primary display. The latest extension, XRandR (Rotate and Resize), is also known to break many older applications which assume that the screen size will never change.

            Further, the internal design of X itself is outdated. Even adding a simple feature, such a stranslucent windows, requires large changes to the server [17]. Because of the requirement to be backwardly compatible, these features must be implemented for everything that X works on, including two-colour displays.

          • X is too complex. The years of extension and modification of the X protocol itself hav eleft he unfortunate legacy that X is too complex. Additional protocols like ICCCM which have been layered above X in an attempt to solve problems have caused additional problems when it comes to understanding what is actually happening [24]. The xine media player for Linux has to probe which window manager is currently running and guess at the best way to switch to full screen. The developers gave up trying to find a consistent way to switch off the screen saver, and switch to the ugly hack of simulating ht eleft shift key being pressed once every thirty seconds [7]."
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...the folly of relying on binary-only drivers.
  • RE: Drivers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Professor Cool Linux ( 759581 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:21PM (#8592895) Homepage
    this is a fork so it should be compatible
    • Re: Drivers (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rex Code ( 712912 ) <> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:06PM (#8593428)
      this is a fork so it should be compatible

      At some level, all distros are forks, so they're all compatible, right? My worry is they'll put some wierd X extension in it, and then make GNOME require that extension.

      Anyway, what was the big deal with the XFree86 license again? Buncha massive overreaction if you ask me, but I think certain groups were looking for any excuse to hijack XFree86.
      • Re: Drivers (Score:5, Informative)

        by dmoore ( 2449 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <eroom.divad>> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:19PM (#8593574)
        It was about more than the license change.

        The main problem was that many folks got fed up with the very closed nature of XFree86 development. Many decisions about the project were made by fiat in non-public mailing lists. These core group of developers were often unwilling to explore new features or allow new developers. The barrier to entry for obtaining CVS access to the source was high. Thus, many developers who were not part of the core group got annoyed and decided to stop submitting patches to XFree86. Thus, all these derivatives were born that promise a more community-oriented development process.

        The license change was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
      • A good explanation (Score:5, Insightful)

        by eean ( 177028 ) <<slashdot> <at> <>> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:45PM (#8593791) Homepage
        I good explanation for it that I read at was that the XFree86 and the Distros (commercial and community alike) started to increasingly have differences in priorities and culture. The license change was a like message from XFree86 to the distros that they didn't care one way or another for their support. The distros response is logical. Additionally while most of the distros have pleny of software incompatible with the GPL, it is not ideal to have something as central to an operating system as the X server to be GPL-incompatible.
        • by zenyu ( 248067 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @10:46PM (#8595027)
          [A] good explanation for it that I read at was that the XFree86 and the Distros (commercial and community alike) started to increasingly have differences in priorities and culture. The license change was a like message from XFree86 to the distros that they didn't care one way or another for their support. The distros response is logical.

          Yup, there is only one development team that is more of a pain in the ass than XFree86. But in mplayer's case they actually have kept up with the evolving needs of their users and developers. XFree86 seems to have been stuck in a timewarp for a few years now. That's not to belittle the past accomplishements, but standing still is not an option. The licensing change is just something concrete to point to when recruiting developers for your fork. I for one have been waiting for a good fork for a few years... um, now I gotta get back to coding... and then deciding which fork to patch...
  • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <[ten.lemmuhnhoj] [ta] [lemmuhj]> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:21PM (#8592898) Homepage
    Could somone go over the diffrences between X11 and Xorg? Is it just a license issue, or are there other differences?

    Thank you.
    • by DA-MAN ( 17442 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:28PM (#8592984) Homepage
      Could somone go over the diffrences between X11 and Xorg? Is it just a license issue, or are there other differences?

      X11 is the 11th iteration of the X protocol. XOrg, XFree86, and most commercial X servers speak X11R6 these days. Speaking the X protocol is key to interoperability from Unix to Unix.

      X11 as a protocol doesn't have a license issue that i am aware of. Did you by any chance mean the differences between XFree86 and XOrg?

      If that is what you meant, then the answer is simple, XOrg is a branch right before the XFree86 license change, so it's pretty safe to say that XOrg isn't too different at all at this point in time.
      • by Crispy Critters ( 226798 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:35PM (#8593070)
        "Speaking the X protocol is key to interoperability from Unix to Unix."

        How about "key to interoperability between X client and X server". Remember that X was implemented on VMS as well as on Unix, not to mention the version in X terminals and various emulators for MSWindows and Mac.

    • by Omnifarious ( 11933 ) * <(gro.suoirafinmo) (ta) (hsals-cire)> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:31PM (#8593026) Homepage Journal

      To expand more helpfully on the previous poster's comment...

      XFree86 and XOrg are both implementations of X11. X11 is technically a protocol, not a particular program. This is why X11 has persisted for so long despite repeated attempts to dislodge it. Everybody who tries to do something better forgets that X11 is a protocol, and that's actually why it's so popular. They usually end up implementing something that's an API, which is just all wrong.

      The XOrg implementation of X11 is a fork of the XFree86 codebase, just before XFree86 changed its license to be not quite free enough for most people to be comfortable using it.

    • Also, there has been some internal strife with the XFree86 organization. From my external viewpoint, it seems like the people own largely control the organization are somewhat slow about changing things or adopting new ideas into XFree86.

      XFree86, up to this point, has been a defining implementation of the X11 protocol. Most new things in the X11 protocol have come from the XFree86 project. But, I suspect that's no longer going to be the case.

  • De Facto (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Metallic Matty ( 579124 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:21PM (#8592899)
    That's one of the reasons I like the open-source market. There is no de facto, its pragmatic.

    At least, in theory.
    • Re:De Facto (Score:5, Funny)

      by normal_guy ( 676813 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:23PM (#8592928)
      One of the reasons I _don't_ like the open source market. Make a comment about one of the developer's favorite movies, and a new fork is started.
      • Re:De Facto (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mabinogi ( 74033 )
        There's nothing wrong with having hundreds of forks - usually it's pretty clear which one you want to go with.
        A fork started over a minor difference of opinion is unlikely to get much backing...and it's existance does not really affect the main project.

        The main difference between Free Software and Proprietry projects is that when a bunch of developers decide they don't like the way a proprietry project is being run - they either leave for good, or leave and start from scratch, with Free Software they can f
        • Re:De Facto (Score:5, Funny)

          by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:56PM (#8593888) Journal
          There's nothing wrong with having hundreds of forks - usually it's pretty clear which one you want to go with.

          Hundreds of forks?! And I have trouble remembering which one is for the salad.
        • Re:De Facto (Score:3, Funny)

          by Frogg ( 27033 )
          There's nothing wrong with having hundreds of forks
          there is no fork...
          ah, no.. i remember: it was a spoon
  • I'm confused (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mr. Darl McBride ( 704524 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:22PM (#8592916)
    Someone clear me in:

    Is this the same thing as Xouvert, or something new?

    Can someone give a ten second summary of the differences in the goals and developers of XFree86, Xouvert and Xorg?

    • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Informative)

      by Fourier ( 60719 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:45PM (#8593196) Journal
      Xouvert differs from the others in that it appears to be a dead project [].
    • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Informative)

      by a.ameri ( 665846 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:56PM (#8593319)
      X.Org is something very new. It is just a complete fork of Xfree86 4.4 rc2, which was the last version before the license change. X.Org's sole reason of existence, is the license change in XFree86.

      Xouvert is also based on Xfree86, but it is a bit different than X.Org. Xouvert was started when it became apparent that XFree86 guys were too reluctant to change, and to commit new codes and technologies. If I am not mistaken, the Xouvert project started in summer of last year, with the goal of being a more experimental branch of Xfree86 i.e: they would accept code more easily than XFree86 guys. They also stated that they want to seperate the drivers from other parts, so that one can add a driver of a new chip, to a old release of X. I don't know how succesful they have been in this front.

      And aside from all of these, is the Free's X Server. This X Server, mostly written by Keith Packard is not mature for every-day use yet, but I think of it as the future of Open Source X. It is mostly a complete rewrite, and it is not a fork of XFree86, though it has borrowed some libraries from the latter one.
      • Re:I'm confused (Score:3, Informative)

        by be-fan ( 61476 )
        There are two parts to the FD.O X server. The DIX (device-independent) layer is derived from XFree86. The DDX (device-dependent) layer is new. The libraries are derived from XFree86 too.
    • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Informative)

      by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:03PM (#8593394)
      Let's seperate the code-bases from the organizations. There are a couple of organizations:

      XFree86, Inc. - The old organization, mainly consisting of David Dawes at this point.

      Xouvert - Splinter group that forked X awhile ago, with the intention of being a cooperative competitor. - Formerly X Consortium. Bunch of companies and developers working on the X11R6.x reference codebase. - Umbrella project for various desktop-related Linux projects

      Now, there are some implementations:

      XFree86 - De-facto standard on Linux, by XFree86, Inc. Based on the X11R6.x reference codebase.

      Xouvert - Fork of XFree86 (circa 4.3?) by the Xouvert project. server - Don't confuse this with the reference codebase. This is a fork of XFree86 4.4-RC2 (before the license change). Now its under the umbrella, and is hosted on (that's the confusing part :)

      FD.O X - Keith Packard and friend's new, fancy X server. Development hotbed for new technologies like transparency, OpenGL-acceleration, etc.

      There are a couple of seperate sub-components to note here. The FD.O X server supports a number of DDXs (basically, driver layers). There is the kdrive-based DDX, the XFree86-based DDX (called Xizzle, theoretically compatible with XFree86 drivers).

      There will eventually be another DDX designed from the ground-up for OpenGL acceleration. The device-independent portion of the FD.O server is, IIRC, derived from an older version of XFree86.
  • De Facto Standards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:23PM (#8592924) Journal
    It's just become another standard - not the de facto one. De facto implies that it is, in fact, the standard, as opposed to, say, de jure, which is a legal standard (cf. "laws more honoured in the breach").

    Fedora switching just means we have more choice. This is a good thing, just like KDE vs. Gnome is a good thing.

    Most people will settle for whatever comes with their distro, so maybe this will give an impetus for the X group to clean up the licensing issue :-)

    • by Fourier ( 60719 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:42PM (#8593153) Journal
      De facto implies that it is, in fact, the standard, as opposed to, say, de jure

      In the case of open source software, sometimes I think it is more accurate to speak of "the standard du jour."
    • by Spoing ( 152917 )
      1. It's just become another standard - not the de facto one. De facto implies that it is, in fact, the standard, as opposed to, say, de jure, which is a legal standard (cf. "laws more honoured in the breach").


      A nit: Standards are based on specifications. Implementations of specs are called 'Standard' by convention but are implementations, not standards. The implementation can shape an existing standard or even create a de-facto standard.

      A popular de-facto standard is Microsoft's .doc format

  • by nonmaskable ( 452595 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:24PM (#8592933)
    I think the XOrg codebase is pretty much the last pre-license-change (4.4rc2) release, plus work done by the folks recently run out of XFree86 by Dawes.
  • by mahdi13 ( 660205 ) <> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:27PM (#8592974) Journal
    Anyone else think that these personal comments at the end of news posts are irrelevant and should be marked -1 Redundant?

    Of course this marks the start of a new trend, Red Hat just beat Mandrake to it. After the announcement last month about XFree86's license change and the very negative response for everyone, this was expected. It's only surprising because it happened so quick
  • De-facto? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nimrangul ( 599578 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:28PM (#8592986) Journal
    Why is it everyone insists there must be a de-facto standard for everything?

    It's X, X is for the most part X whichever X you run. If feature y on server z of X doesn't make it the standard, what make anyone think license clause w for server v will?

    Having two equally used Xes would be better I'd think, after all they follow the same X standard.

  • by molarmass192 ( 608071 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:29PM (#8593003) Homepage Journal
    XOrg could end up becoming the new de-facto X11 implementation

    It's a little early to make that kind of prediction. However, the key is compatibility. If XORG maintains full compatibility such that it's still X11 and we can just a recompile and go on our merry way, then anything is possible. Personally, I don't think people care which code base their X server uses so long as it's an X11 server. Reality is that the XF86 group will wake up an smell the coffee sooner rather than later, they're expendable, they just don't know it yet.
  • by n8willis ( 54297 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:42PM (#8593162) Homepage Journal
    OK ... for the benefit of those of us who don't hack X in our spare time: is the Xorg implementation the same as the "" implementation (at or are they separate and distinct? (Or maybe just separate?)

    Either way, how about brainstorming-up a better project name? I personally like "Product X" but that may already be taken.

  • OK listen up (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:44PM (#8593182)
    Alright, there's been a shitload of ignorant posts here.

    First off, this new server is a snapshot of XFree86 just prior to the licence change. Basically a fork.

    Second, it basically has nothing to do with - I don't know why they call it that, most likely due to the licence.

    Third, X11 is the protocol that X servers speak nowadays. X version 11 release 6.6 to be more precise.

    Fourth, nvidia and ati drivers will work.

    I hope this clears it up somewhat.
    • Corrections (Score:5, Informative)

      by Alan Cox ( 27532 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:53PM (#8593277) Homepage
      Umm ok

      First its based on XFree86 4.4 just before the change, with the non-contaminated further changes added and other stuff not in XFree 4.4

      Secondly it has a _lot_ to do with The wheel has turned full cicle from when years back OpenGroup/ tried to change the license and XFree basically told them to go away to today where is doing the same thing the other way around and keeping it free. X.orgi is part of this now.

      NVidia and ATI drivers may work. The Nvidia ones at least are reported ot do so, although they have chronic problems working with the preferred kernel build settings like 4K stacks.
  • by Supp0rtLinux ( 594509 ) <> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @06:56PM (#8593322)
    Funny, but it seems that really don't need bad reviews, freezes, or crashes to end the life of your software project. All you need it a sucky license.

    As I understand it, Xfree changed their license to make sure more credit is given to its developers. But who gives a crap when no one will use because of the license itself.

    The only thing necessary for Micro$oft to triumph is for a few good programmers to do nothing". North County Computers []
    • by RichiP ( 18379 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @08:15PM (#8594069) Homepage
      Please refrain from using overly simplistic arguments to support your cause. In my opinion, it wasn't JUST the license change that lead to this seemingly spiralling downfall, but the head developers of XFree86 itself (David Dawes, to be specific).

      I've read and re-read various threads on the XFree86 mailing list (please look it up in archives and past posts on /.) and the man strikes me as positively arrogant, with no respect for the opinions of others (unless he was actually majorly outnumbered, and sometimes not even then). He has repeatedly ignored input from other people including his own co-developers and loves to portray himself as the righteous leader. His posts are nothing short of antagonistic and he has very selective memory.

      Would that be sufficient reason for a project to fail? In this case, I would say so. He insists on having and keeping all control of the project to himself. If he had good sense, that wouldn't be a problem, but he's already shown that all he's interested in is recognition and retaining control over the project (rather than the project's welfare).

      Past posts have shown that several suggestions and patches had been ignored which led to the project's stagnation. You may argue that the project is successful and works even now, but the point is it could have been so much better under a different type of leadership.

      The recent license change is but one manifestation of how callous the head developers are.
      • by stor ( 146442 ) on Thursday March 18, 2004 @12:13AM (#8595509)
        I felt the same way about David Dawes: he seemed arrogant, obstinate and difficult to carry a meaninfgul debate with. He even admitted that he doesn't even run X anymore: he uses Windows. Therefore it seems reasonable to suggest that his opinion on X is of less significance now than it was a few years ago.

        But before jumping all over DD, have a quick look at the CVS commits for XFree86 over the years. He certainly has contributed a lot to the free X Server we have been using for years. Despite his abrasiveness I don't think it's fair for all his hard work to be disregarded.

  • by xot ( 663131 ) <fragiledeath@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:08PM (#8593456) Journal
    Ther is at least an option in the X marketplace, uptill now (or whenever) there was no option to Xfree86 for all unix based distro's.Now with the xfree86 messing up the license theres some hope for a Mandrake and his buddies, don't you think? ;-)
  • by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:14PM (#8593526)
    So how many developers are going to continue working on the newly licensed XFree86 project vs jumping to this new forked version?

    What distros will continue to use XFree86? Any?
  • by cjpez ( 148000 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:17PM (#8593549) Homepage Journal
    ... what the Linux world needs to conquer the desktop is even more fragmentation! Yay!

    (yes, I know that X is hardly Linux-specific...)

  • by jarich ( 733129 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:48PM (#8593814) Homepage Journal
    While the license matters to a lot of people, I care if it works.

    If it doesn't have accelerated support for video card X (and forking the tree will have that effect as development resources get divided), I don't care how open it is.

    Does is matter how far you can open the hood of the car? I'd rather be able to open it three quarters of the way open to see a nice eight cylinder 450 than to be able to open it compeletely and see the hamster and his wheel.

  • by dankelley ( 573611 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:55PM (#8593877)
    As a long-time unix/linux user and sometime x11 developer, and as somebody who has switched to Apple's OSX (for reasons unrelated to this thread), I wish open-source desktops would stop weilding x11 to imitate/extend the mswindows interface, and instead imitate/extend the OSX interface.

    For the user, OSX it is a dream. But for developers, it's a wet dream. Creating slick interfaces is simple, the PDF-inspired graphical model is a breath of fresh air, and the interfaces inherit impressive functionality automatically. Because its code-development process leverages effort powerfully, perhaps more so than for the comparable GNOME/KDE tools, I think OSX offers good potential for the open-source movement, given well-fashioned attitudes and licenses.

    I make these remarks with some trepidation, since I think the fragmentation across GNOME and KDE dilutes developer momentum. Also, I make these remarks to evoke discussion by those more technically-aware than myself.

    • by Jimithing DMB ( 29796 ) <> on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @08:39PM (#8594284) Homepage

      You must be looking for GNUstep then.

      It doesn't have many developers but it's just as well since although hoards of developers have made not one but two half-assed clones of Windows the small number of developers working on GNUstep are nearly finished implementing OpenStep true to specifications.

      What's exciting about GNUstep is that Cocoa is also an implementation of OpenStep with some additions. With a little spit and polish GNUstep running on Linux would make a great clone of OS X.

      However, OS X is not all about the GUI. OS X also has some kernel facilities and user tools to go with it which make the OS more suitable for desktop use. For one thing, Apple has a devfs so devices show up in a sane manner and there are no extraneous entries. There is also the automounter and associated tools (comamnd line and GUI) to go with it.

      Probably the most important thing about OS X that should be brought to Linux is the BSD style of an administrators group. On OS X you can have multiple admin level accounts which can sudo things as root. The root account doesn't even have a password and is entirely disabled. This makes it easier for joe user. Joe can run as an "administrator" which is actualy a fairly unpriviledged account which can gain access only if Joe enters his own password. That makes one less password for Joe to remember and prevents Joe from just giving up and running as root all the time.

  • What this means... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OneFix at Work ( 684397 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @07:56PM (#8593884)
    Most projects haven't even begun to support XF86 4.4 and since is is based on a release of XF86 4.4 prior to the license change, it is certainly going to be almost as easy to move from XF86 4.3 to as it would be to move to XF86 4.4...

    To be honest, the only difference between XF86 4.4 and (that I can tell) at this time is the new XF86 license...

    So, as to how all of this will pan will be left to the individual distros and developers. If they see promise and innovation in the project, they will go with it, and on they other hand, the new license shouldn't cause a problem for any distro that already includes Apache...because the change to the XF86 license is pretty much the same thing as the Apache license requires.
  • xorg-x11 works great (Score:5, Informative)

    by dpw2atox ( 627453 ) on Wednesday March 17, 2004 @11:29PM (#8595292) Homepage Journal
    I currently installed the rpms by Mike Harris from redhat/fedora on my Fedora Core 2 Test install and it works great. I simply had to reinstall my nvidia drivers, which work fine for everyone out there worried they won't work, and it runs fine. I for one am glad they are making this transition. It is time that X be open and maintained by a community with bugzilla. As more and more patches are sent and applied more companies may produce patches for their hardware since they are actually being accepted. This in my opinion is going to do nothing but help and improve a users experience with linux.

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