Use of X colors

Maloney, John J.MALONEY at AppleLink.Apple.COM
Fri Nov 3 16:37:00 UTC 1995

Self doesn't used shared colors because it recycles color map entries as
necessary. Self doesn't used a fixed palette of colors; you can pick colors
from the entire range of available colors. You can also use transient colors
(in an animation, for example). In short, the user's model of color is that the
entire 24-bit color space is always available. The system multiplexes the 256
color-map entries to maintain this illusion as best it can.
On the other hand, color-map flashing is annoying. Self tries to avoid this by
allocating only as many color-map entries as it needs from the globabl color
map. As long as the total number of colors in use by Self and all other
applications is under 256, Self will share the global color map and no flashing
will occur when moving the cursor between windows. However, if Self need more
colors than are available in the global colormap, it creates its own private
one, resulting in color-map switching when moving between applications.
Unfortuntately, the implementation does not handle multiple Self windows on the
same screen as well as it should; every Self window gets its own set of colors
instead of sharing them with the other Self windows on that screen. Multiple
Self windows are likely to quickly exhaust the color map and force some of the
windows to start using their own private color maps.
By the way, what kind of X server are you using?
    -- John

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