What happens in Panther 10.3?

2003-09-30
2003-10-26
  • Mark Edwards
    Mark Edwards
    2003-09-30

    So, given that the 10.3 preview page (http://www.apple.com/macosx/panther/) says that X11 will be included as part of the OS, what is the game plan for XDarwin?

    Is it going to be just an app that installs as an alternative to Apple's X11 app?  Will it install a parallel X11R6 structure?

    Surely, it cannot stay as it is now, as it would overwrite a standard component of OSX 10.3.

     
    • Good question. The basic story is that Apple's X11 is just XFree86 4.3.0 with the following changes:

      - Modified GLX libraries to allow direct accelerated rendering. (XFree86 4.3.0 is only indirect although it is accelerated.)

      - A heavily modified Xserver known as X11.app.

      - A proprietary window manager to integrate smoothly with Aqua (quartz-wm).

      Most people will probably not want to install XFree86 4.3.0 over the top of this. However, future versions of Apple's X11 will be based on newer versions of XFree86. So people may want to install XFree86 4.4, for example, to try out new features well before Apple gets around to packaging it as an official Apple release.

      The goal is that everything will be merged and interoperate seemlessly. If you check out and build the current XFree86 top of the tree, you get almost all of the new features in Apple's X11, plus other changes made by the XFree86 project. The only thing that will remain special to Apple's X11 is the quartz-wm. However, the release version of quartz-wm works with the latest XFree86 source code. As an open source alternative to quartz-wm, I hope that something like OroborOSX will step in and use the same hooks quartz-wm is using to provide seemless interaction with Aqua.

      So to answer your questions, XFree86 will overwrite everything in /usr/X11R6 and /etc/X11 with newer but compatible versions of the libraries, etc. In the near term XFree86 will install its Xserver beside X11.app, and not displace it. Both Xservers will work and you can chose which one to use. (If the two are merged to become identical, one of them will likely be renamed so they will install over the top of each other.) Installing XFree86 will not remove quartz-wm, so you can continue to use quartz-wm with future versions of XFree86.

       
    • Mark Edwards
      Mark Edwards
      2003-10-04

      So, you're saying that you will restrict development to stuff that doesn't break Apple's config?  What if a new version of XFree86 is released that breaks Apple's X11.app?  Will you hold off on a release until Apple catches up?  It takes Apple a long time to catch up in the geekier areas sometimes.

      Would you consider making a standalone version of XDarwin.app available for those who don't want to alter Apple's setup, but simply want a fullscreen X environment?

      It seems like the possibility for total confusion is very real here.  Hell, its already pretty confusing to sort through dependencies and such between Apple X11, XonX 4.2, XonX 4.3, Fink, etc.

       
      • >Would you consider making a standalone version of
        >XDarwin.app available for those who don't want to alter >Apple's setup, but simply want a fullscreen X environment?

        Just FYI, Apple's X11.app version 1.0, as distributed many months ago on WWDC, has fullscreen. It even lets you switch between rootless and fullscreen while it is running.

         
    • Mark Edwards
      Mark Edwards
      2003-10-26

      Cool.  I have 10.3 now, and I see that.  Does anyone know how to issue a command-line statment that tells Xquartz to run fullscreen?

      I can run:

      Xquartz -query myhost.com

      And I get the login screen for my BSD server.  However, it runs rootless.

      I don't see a -fullscreen option.