Why isn't Kansas X11?

Randy Smith Randall.Smith at Eng.Sun.COM
Wed Jul 31 17:48:53 UTC 1996

Your guesses were correct: it seemed clearly heavier weight and complex
to have each morph associated with a subwindow, (outliners can have
hundreds of morphs) and things like arbitrary polygon morphs, hollow frames, 
line morphs, and shadow casting are awkward at best in X.

However, we've had to start down this road to handle video
morphs. Video morphs act almost like regular morphs, but they are at times
relatively sluggish precisely because of all the subwindows you end up


> From rainer at physik3.gwdg.de Wed Jul 31 04:06:55 1996
> Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1996 12:32:03 +0200
> From: Rainer Blome <rainer at physik3.gwdg.de>
> To: self-interest at self.sunlabs.com
> Subject: Why isn't Kansas X11?
> Content-Length: 1341
> Dear Kansas developers,
> I am wondering whether it is feasible to use X11 to handle the
> morphs.  The advantage would be integration with and use of
> services of the rest of X11.
> Cons I could think of are so far:
>     You want lots of relatively small windows.  If X windows are
>     too heavy-weight, they won't do.  GWM (at least) uses
>     subwindows to implement decorations, menus and so on, so they
>     can't be too heavy, or are they?
>     To get arbitrary shapes, in particular `arrows', the WM must
>     allow undecorated, transparent windows with no border.
>     The WM must communicate with the clients.  If down-mouse-1,
>     then dragging should move the object, the object has to react
>     to the received X events by sending movement requests to the
>     WM.
>     The WM must be able to handle multiple screens, in particular
>     share windows between screens.
>     Shadows (think of the animated gas tank) might be hard to
>     implement and slow.
>     Problems with thread and event scheduling.
> As far as I know, X11 can handle the above, at least in theory
> (shared windows I'm not sure about).  What were your reasons to put
> morhs /in/ X windows?  Is it because X lacks any other fundamentals
> you needed or `just' that you wanted your system to run with an
> arbitrary window manager (in particular dreaded olwm ;-)?
> 	  Rainer

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