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June 19, 1984: X Window System

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X Window System
X Window System
1984 – Jim Gettys and Bob Scheifler announced collaboration of a new operating system in the X Window System. This gives the basic framework for a GUI. Currently, it is refered to as X11, R7.7.
I’ve spent the last couple weeks writing a window system for the VS100. I stole a fair amount of code from W, surrounded it with an asynchronous rather than a synchronous interface, and called it X. Overall performance appears to be about twice that of W. The code seems fairly solid at this point, although there are still some deficiencies to be fixed up. We at LCS have stopped using W, and are now actively building applications on X. Anyone else using W should seriously consider switching. This is not the ultimate window system, but I believe it is a good starting point for experimentation. Right at the moment there is a CLU (and an Argus) interface to X; a C interface is in the works. The three existing applications are a text editor (TED), an Argus I/O interface, and a primitive window manager. There is no documentation yet; anyone crazy enough to volunteer? I may get around to it eventually. Anyone interested in seeing a demo can drop by NE43-531, although you may want to call 3-1945 first. Anyone who wants the code can come by with a tape. Anyone interested in hacking deficiencies, feel free to get in touch.
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