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The Rebirth of X Window?

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Software

At the end of last year, just in time for Christmas, a technological child was quietly reborn. A GUI technology that was largely supplanted by the Web, Web Services, and a whole lot more has experienced its first major version release in more than a decade. What is the Christmas rebirth you ask? The X Window System X11R7.0 and its companion X11R6.9. Of course, you already knew that. Alex, I'll take obscure 1990's technology for $400. The two releases use the same source code but the X11R7.0 features a modularized and autotooled source code whereas X11R6.9 takes the traditional path with the imake build system. The latest releases are the work of more than fifty volunteer contributors working under the release management team of Kevin Martin (Head), Alan Coopersmith, and Adam Jackson, with the support of Red Hat and Sun Microsystems.

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What do people mean by the word, 'open', when talking about open systems or open source? Why do they so often treat it as the opposite of the word, 'proprietary'? Are they right to do so?

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