X configuration paradigm, and a proposal

Jim Gettys Jim.Gettys at hp.com
Sun Nov 7 17:50:50 PST 2004

In fact, much/most of the configuration should be outside of the X
server's direct control.

For example, input devices should be handed to the X server by the
operating system: this is a property of the operating system's desktop
policy (input devices might be used for other things than the window
system).  This and hotplug implies that they should not be configured
into the window system statically at all.

One can argue similar things about even graphics hardware and monitor
resolution, though it isn't quite a clear cut situation.

So yes, we're planning on major changes in this area indeed...

If you have time, talent and energy to put toward the engineering tasks
ahead of us in this area, it is a very good area to work in.
				- Jim Gettys

On Sun, 2004-11-07 at 17:03 -0300, Avi Alkalay wrote:
> Currently is not easy to configure an X server. You have to know the
> xorg.conf configuration file format, and know what to put there.
> So when you buy a new commodity video card, the manufacturer have to
> ask you to edit xorg.conf manually (when he asks...), instead of
> shipping together some program that makes the new configuration
> automatically. I think this happens because the manufacturer doesn't
> want to write an xorg.conf file parser and an editor to insert its
> textual piece in the global configuration file.
> Same for monitors, multi-monitor desktops, special mice, modules,
> screen resolutions (1024x768, 800x600) etc. Everything have to be done
> by hand, or entirely regenerated by some distro-specific script, which
> also makes you loose manually-edited stuff.
> The proposal is to upgrade the way X handles configuration (human
> readable xorg.conf) to some hierarchy of configuration atoms
> represented by key-value pairs. Something similar to GConf, but not
> GConf because this one is not available when X needs to read its
> configurations.
> A key-value pair paradigm will let a video device installer change
> preciselly only the configuration atoms vital to him. The same for a
> monitor, mouse, modules, filepaths, etc.
> And with time, this will make X way more easier to configure, and user-friendly.
> I'd like to hear comments about this.
> Regards,
> Avi
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