X circa 1992

Robert Heller heller at deepsoft.com
Sun May 5 04:23:56 PDT 2013

At Sat, 04 May 2013 20:53:37 -0700 Alan Coopersmith <alan.coopersmith at oracle.com> wrote:

> On 05/ 3/13 11:20 PM, Geruva Publications wrote:
> > Gentlemen,
> >
> > I am looking at the adaptation of a fairly sizable software package to a more
> > modern (Linux) environment. The package in it's present state is configured to
> > use X for graphics, but it appears to date from about 1992.
> >
> > In some of the release notes, it is stated that for the system will only work
> > with "variants 31 - 39". Troubling, but I have no idea what this means, but one
> > of you might.
> Sorry, but I've never heard of such a reference to X like that either.
> Are you sure that's not a reference to some aspect of your application?
>  > In any event, I would like to have some idea about what would be
> > needed to move to contemporary X11. If you could provide some kind of guidance
> > or starting point for my inquiry, I would be most appreciative.
> I'd suggest just trying to build it.   The libX11 library just celebrated 25 
> years of maintaining backwards compatibility, and it really hasn't changed
> that much - mainly X evolves via adding new extensions to provide new features.
> If you can benefit from some of the new extensions, like Xrender or Xrandr,
> you may want to look into them later, but I'd start with just seeing how close
> it is to just working now.   Some extensions have been dropped over the years,
> like PEX & XIE, so ancient applications may hit some roadbumps with those, but
> without knowing anything about your application, it's hard to guess what it
> may have used.

Just to give the OP an idea:

xeyes still works, an application that probably *predates* 1992.

So does xterm.  Probably the *oldest* known X11 application there is.  I 
expect twm is still available, should anyone really want to go there.

Yes, the *core* X11 library has been unchanged for a very long time.  It is 
like the wheel -- nobody has really updated the basic shape (round) in 
*thousands* of years.

The OP is more likely to get grumblings from the C compiler, mostly relating 
to the migration from K&R C to ANSI C and modernizaions of the C library 
(things should still compile, just all sorts of anoying warnings).

The only other issue would be imake (is that still used?) and Motif (but there 
is OpenMotif).


Robert Heller             -- 978-544-6933 / heller at deepsoft.com
Deepwoods Software        -- http://www.deepsoft.com/
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