[TUHS] X and NeWS history (long)

Jon Steinhart jon at fourwinds.com
Wed Sep 13 10:14:17 AEST 2017


Adam Sampson writes:
> Jon Steinhart <jon at fourwinds.com> writes:
> 
> > I think that I'm the only person to write an X server outside of the X
> > Consortium.
> 
> When I was doing my PhD a few years ago, one of the case studies I used
> was an X11 server that was written in occam 2 by Colin Willcock at the
> University of Kent at Canterbury. I managed to recover Colin's source
> code for the X server (in Transputer Development System format), which
> is dated November 1988, from a very dusty machine backup...
> 
> I also found the sources for Colin's 1991 report to the funding body on
> the completion of the project, and his 1992 PhD thesis which describes
> the same work. I rebuilt these in 2010 using a modern version of TeX, so
> the appearance is probably different from what Colin intended (and the
> cover-page dates are definitely wrong), but they're quite readable:
> 
> https://stuff.offog.org/cw3-report-rebuilt.pdf
> https://stuff.offog.org/cw3-thesis-rebuilt.pdf
> 
> Note in particular the motivation stated in the report: "The worst of
> these problems was the MEiKO C compiler, which (by mid-1988) proved
> incapable of making any significant headway when presented with the
> public-domain X-sources. [...] After consultation with the project
> monitoring officers at RAL, we took the decision to investigate the
> prospects for a complete re-implementation of the X-server in occam 2,
> making no use of the public domain C sources."
> 
> There have of course been other X server implementations more recently,
> but they're less historically interesting!

Cool, thanks for the info.  Based on the date, this was probably X10, not
X11.


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