Anti-X

Today had to be one of the best days I’ve had at work. Why? I don’t know really, but I went home feeling – satisfied. I went in to work and nailed down that the email interface problem was being caused by a bug in the sqlite backend. A move to bsddb/anydbm solved that. Then…halfway during the day I got everything mail related to just work. It was…beautiful. It was accepting incoming connections, relaying mail as appropriate, smoothly updating roundup – all of it was working. I felt good. Very, very good. Its a great feeling when all your work works out… I read about XFree86 throwing out Keith Packard today. His crime? Communing with other members about a fork of XFree86 with him at the head. Well – to be quite honest, its been a long time coming. The XFree86 time is not responsive to the needs of its users. Releases take forever, driver updates are shelved. There’s an anal retentiveness to keep changes out of the core in case it can damage something. Keith was trying to change this. Of all the X developers it is only his work that I can credit as being a big step forward in increasing X’s viability and usability. More power to him. Here comes _my_ jingoistic rant. I sincerely hope that XFree will improve significantly if Keith does fork (that is not known yet). I also would like to see improvements to the drivers so that other projects can use it, but I see no impetus for this. But you know what, over all, I just _don’t care_. A co-worker is worried about why this had to happen now, just when desktop linux was looking up. I say – can’t happen at a better time. This incident has made people think. It makes serious discussion possible without the (we love X) attitude that is so prevalent. Also, XFree86, despite claims to the contrary is stuck in a rut. Things _must_ change. They have to…otherwise, desktop linux will never go anywhere. In the long run I hope that projects like KGI and Fresco (or its successor) will be successful and replace X. Who knows however.

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