"A Political History of X" - Keith Packard (LCA 2020)
5 months ago
5 months ago
Nice and informative video; my incomplete summary:
The reason X exists is because Sun had a dominant and proprietary windowing system, and other Unix vendors wanted to “reset the market” on another standard. (This makes a lot of sense, but somehow I wasn’t aware of this history.)
X started as a student project but eventually evolved into the X Consortium at MIT, where the speaker Keith Packard worked
They happened to work in the same building as Richard Stallman, and he would harangue them about using the GPL. Packard found Stallman to be an offputting person, but concedes that in retrospect he was right.
This is because vendors did bad things to X in the name of preserving their proprietary advantage, and as a result the Unix market collapsed in the early 90’s. Instead, Microsoft Windows was a relatively stable platform for GUI applications. We got a decade of Windows. X is still suffering decades later.
(This is narrative is perhaps a little too neat. I’m sure there is a lot more subtlety, including hardware. But it’s not surprising to me at all that the lack of cooperation destroys a market.)
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A Political History of X
2 years ago
| 8 points