Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 2nd Jun 2009 17:15 UTC, submitted by lemur2
X11, Window Managers FSM has an article about improvements coming our way in X.org. "There's more coming our way than 'mere' graphical goodness: Xorg developers are about to unleash upon us more performance and ease of use than X ever knew before. Not only that, the work being done now will allow older hardware to perform better and new hardware to be supported faster."
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RE[4]: a fun read.
by ba1l on Fri 5th Jun 2009 14:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: a fun read."
ba1l
Member since:
2007-09-08

You're making the assumption that X uses networking on local clients, which is wrong. Connecting to a local X server uses a local unix domain socket, and much of the bulk data transfer between the client and the server is done using shared memory. Those are pretty much the fastest IPC mechanisms available on a Unix system.

The X protocol is a little chatty, and often requires rather more round trips than you might otherwise need. This is improved with newer X extensions and libraries (XCB, for example, handles this better than Xlib).

None of this is a fundamental design problem.

By the way, Windows works the same way. The display server process (which resides in the kernel in Windows XP, and as a separate process in Vista) communicates with applications using local IPC mechanisms and shared memory. Any impression the API gives that you have direct hardware access is an illusion, and always has been on Windows NT systems. It may have been true on 16-bit Windows and Windows 9x, but it has never been true on Windows NT based systems.

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