25 Nov 2002 sej   » (Master)


ivtools is now available as a fink package on Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar), thanks to Ben Hines. Fink is an interesting cross-breeding between Debian's apt-get and the more fluid community of OS X developers/packagers. It proved to be an incredibly slack way of acquiring ghostview and gimp for OS X.

the lost city of Fresco

Once upon a time there was a resolution-independent cross-platform X11 toolkit called Fresco that lost a standards battle with the entrenched Motif forces. Then there was a built-from-scratch replacement for X11 called Berlin that got nowhere until a fresh group of developers reused the Fresco sources to make their CORBA driven high-level windowing system.

Then after a few more years in the wilderness they decided to change the project name to Fresco, to honor the original sources (which are still available, and still work). It is, above all, an interesting experiment in windowing systems. Elevating the protocol to the level of the original Fresco class hierarchy drastically alters throughput and footprint requirements, while resetting the social foundation of the application space.

And building in anti-aliasing and alpha-transparency from the start might have certain advantages over the X11 extension process. Though not to the extent claimed in a recent slashdot post, where the Keith Packard's approach of grabbing the background to do alpha-transparency on top is ridiculed. I'm quite sure that Fresco (and its renderers) have to rely on an intermediate pixmaps for that as well. And as long as the pixmaps are local to one process (or in shared memory), "grabbing" them is as simple as reading local memory.

(p.s. not to brag too much, but I did scoop the Fresco name change here)

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