xmove and xpra are the alternatives to xscreen (followup to "What is the status of xscreen? Will its development ever be resumed?")

Jason Spiro jasonspiro4 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 18 14:55:23 PST 2008

A year ago, Jason Spiro <jasonspiro4 <at> gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Ori and xorg list members,
> Ori, you told me last year about the project you were working on: xscreen,
> a program similar in functionality to Gnu Screen, only for X
> applications [1], done for Google Summer of Code.  I am interested in
> running Xscreen: I would like to try using it to prevent my
> applications from aborting when I kill X (e.g. by accident[2].)  I
> also might like to try using it to share single applications, not
> entire Xorg displays, between me and others.
> Ori, gitweb shows that you checked in lots of code to the orib-soc-2006
> branch of xorg [3], but that it was not merged into HEAD.  Did you
> manage to finish implementing xscreen?  If not, what was finished,
> what was not, and what would need to be done to get xscreen working?
> Xorg people: Do you think it's likely that you will resume development
> of xscreen in the future, either by yourself or by finding more Summer
> of Code students to work on it?  ( I would not volunteer though.  
> )  Or is VNC good enough that it wouldn't be worth it to develop
> xscreen further?
> Regards,
> Jason Spiro
> [1] http://code.google.com/soc/2006/xorg/appinfo.html?csaid=73A89F18E7770493
> [2] Btw, Ctrl+Alt+Backspace is a pet peeve of mine.  See my feature
> request https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=10507 -
> "Ctrl-Alt-Backspace should request confirmation before killing Xorg".
> [3] http://gitweb.freedesktop.org/?p=xorg/xserver.git;a=shortlog;h=orib-soc-2006

There are two alternatives to xscreen.

-  xmove (unmaintained since 1997; see http://wikipedia.org/wiki/xmove for more
info on what xmove does)
-  xpra

But xscreen is not a good choice, because it isn't done.  I spoke with Ori on
MSN Messenger this April.  He told me (I have edited his words slightly):

"I don't think Xscreen will even compile.  At the end of the summer I was
working on Xscreen, a whole bunch of APIs it was depending on changed: both
XCB's API and Xorg internals.  And in general, I was inexperienced and clueless
at the time: Xscreen still needs major cleanups.  There are lots of issues with
global resources, etc. that I'm not even sure how to approach now today.  It's
harder to write a _good_ X proxy than it looks.  I'll make an announcement if I
ever find time to pick it up again."


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