Relocation of X
fedora at westexe.demon.co.uk
Fri Apr 28 12:01:56 UTC 2006
> I can understand the move away from /usr/X11... but why didn't it go
> to /usr/share/X11 or something like that, rather than straight into the
> root trees?
* Why shouldn't it? Why shouldn't X be considered a normal part of
Unix, rather than something strange that has to be kept away in its
own directory tree?
* It does use appropriate subdirectories (including /usr/share/X11) for
files that can reasonably be put in those places. (Remember that the
FHS standard says /usr/share can be shared between x86, x86_64 and
PowerPC machines, so you can't put *everything* there).
Run something like rpm -qfl /usr/bin/X : the commands are in
/usr/bin, but the modules are tucked away in subdirectories under
/usr/lib or /usr/lib64.
* Back when /usr/X11 was invented, it came from MIT, was *not* the only
windowing system for Unix (think X1 to X10, and NeWS from Sun), and
had ambitions to be the *complete* graphical interface. These days,
we don't use Athena widgets (much), we don't use twm (much), and the
scope of X has effectively fallen to being a low-level networking and
* Rpm and other packaging tools mean that mixing X in the same
directories as the rest of the system is no longer a problem for
* Directories containing a large number of files used to be a lot more
inefficient than they are now. So there used to be some pressure not
to expand directories too far.
So the reasons (independence, scope, convenience, performance) why X
was separate in the first place no longer apply.
* There are other subsystems (Gnome, KDE, and arguably OpenOffice,
Java, and the Mozilla camp) that can be just as large, wide-ranging,
and could argue that they deserve their own directory tree.
Hope this helps,
E-mail address: james | "My aunt's camel has fallen in the mirage."
@westexe.demon.co.uk | -- "Soul Music", Terry Pratchett.
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