Why [not] X?

Gilbert Baumann gilbert@ma2s2.mathematik.uni-karlsruhe.de
23 May 1997 09:40:12 +0200

BRIAN SPILSBURY <zhivago@iglou.com> writes:
> PL> And the font architecture sucks...
> Well, it doesn't support antialiased fonts, true.

Do not thing, that this is anywhere specified in the protocol. No one
hinders you from implementing antialiased fonts in the server. What I
find more disappointing is that X does not offer kerning. Furthermore:
X does not support writing text in other orientations than upright.

But I do not think, that this is important; when coding a gui
framework you will anyway want to hide the X protocol from the
application programmer. I opt for considering X as the display driver.
I want to have a stand alone LispOS as soon as possible. And lacking
drivers for the graphics hardware should not hinder us from achieving
that. Simply use some vanilla X server on some other unix workstation
or put a poor 386 aside. I want to try new ideas on LispOS to have a
modern OS; I do not want to impress people by pretty antialiased
fonts, animated icons 3D-rotated windows and all this useless resource
hungry stuff.

> Again, I would look at using X to support linear frame buffer graphics
> while under development, which can be trivally moved to other
> linear frame buffer systems.

This is a feasible way to start implementating a 'native' graphics
driver. BTW you do not even need X for that, any sane graphics board
should support switching into a linear framebuffer mode by the VESA
BIOS. Simply set up the graphics mode while booting and still in real
mode. Then boot the LispOS and start writing into the frame buffer.