November 1, 2004
A Firm Foundation for the Linux Desktop
The X Window System, which is the foundation of graphical displays on Linux, Unix, BSD, and Mac OS X, has long stayed submerged in the public consciousness just as it has been submerged under window managers and heavyweight desktops. (In fact, the desktops bear much of the guilt for torpid response and lavish memory use that observers like to heap on X.) Recently, X as a technology has received more of the attention it deserves, on this site (see Edd Dumbill's "What's Next for X?") among other places. Yet no one has talked about the organization that makes these advances possible, the thorough makeover it has received in the past year, or the financial neglect that holds desktops back from even greater things.