|is The X Window
It is the only common windowing environment for virtually all
platforms. It is one of the most successful, collaborative technologies
ever developed and is the de facto graphical and input device engine
for UNIX and Linux.
X is free software which is used by tens of millions worldwide. Applications built with X are inherently practical and, by their very nature, are the most versatile on our planet. They harness the robustness of 30 years of UNIX development and the Internet's protocols. X is also a network protocol based upon TCP, the Internet's transmission control protocol; X displays deliver to each user the full power of the network and the full usefulness of the network's resources.
Long regarded as simply a graphics display protocol for UNIX workstations, X is a cross platform application display protocol. It supplements the operating system, providing the foundation for graphics, graphic event handling and input handling. X is responsible for much of the stability, ease of use, versatility and abstraction that many people mistakenly ascribe to the operating system.
X has been an industry standard from its inception in 1984, it is free (as in not proprietary) and it is universally available. It allows users of virtually any platform to share applications. It's is a multi-user, network based, graphical environment which sits on top of virtually every operating system, including all the major variants of Unix as well as Linux, Windows and Macintosh. X is the body of network centric building blocks upon which ViewTouch is built; it has been adopted by all the major players in the computer industry. Here's the quick and dirty of what X is and is not (and what ViewTouch is and is not in relation to X).
X was built to support arbitrary interfaces, that is, interfaces which have customized designs. Such interfaces are easier to use, less confusing, easier to learn and more versatile than interfaces which are designed with no particular effort to accommodate users in any particular situation. ViewTouch is an arbitrary interface. In other words, it is is, an application specific interface.
X provides the base technology for developing graphical user interfaces like ViewTouch. X draws the elements of ViewTouch on the display. X is ideally suited for remote application deployment and Internet application hosting. X lets you work directly with an application running on a remote server, even on many remote servers at once, even if those servers are half a world away, even if they are in different locations. Because of X, applications like ViewTouch are served up independently of the underlying operating system and hardware.
A major strength of X lies in its operating system and hardware independence. While found predominately on UNIX and Linux hosts, X operates on personal and super computer platforms and on every major operating system. X's strength is its inherent network transparency. It is designed to operate effectively in a heterogeneous networked environment, allowing users to display information from remote applications while producing a minimum of network traffic.
X is a distributed, transparently networked, device independent, multitasking windowing and graphics system. It enables the user to display multiple applications in windows on the same screen, and it lets one application use multiple windows and multiple screens. ViewTouch's X programs interoperate with all other X client applications and other display servers running on platforms.
X can service multiple clients simultaneously, each having one or more windows. It can distribute user input and events to its various clients. Client applications never draw the display, or GUI. They communicate with the server via the X Protocol messaging system, thus minimizing network traffic. X provides a rich, object oriented GUI development environment but does not impose any particular look and feel upon the display.