Say hello to XGL and AIGLX

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XGL and AIGLX (Accelerated Indirect GL X) are the latest technologies being developed by Novell and Fedora respectively. They are determined to give you much better eye candy for your Linux desktops than what the current systems provide.

XGL is built on GL primitives it gets the benefit of hardware acceleration. This translates to a faster desktop with better eye candy. Xgl is an X server architecture, started by David Reveman, layered on top of OpenGL via glitz. It takes advantage of modern graphics cards via their OpenGL drivers, supporting hardware acceleration of all X, OpenGL and XVideo applications and graphical effects by a compositing window manager such as Compiz. It is, as of February 2006, in the early stages of production and in need of lower-level OpenGL drivers.

Read more about XGL here.

AIGLX stands for Accelerated Indirect GLX. There are two ways that a windowing system can allow an OpenGL implementation to talk to the graphics card. The first is to specify the OpenGL command stream in a portable network-neutral manner using a client/server implementation similar to the X11 drawing routines. This is the indirect route as the drawing commands are sent to the X server and then the xserver sends them along to the graphics card. The second way is to open a window and then allow the OpenGL library to send commands directly to the graphics card. Accelerating the indirect opengl path is orthogonal to how the X server itself is implemented, but it has the side effect of allowing the OpenGL command stream to be more easily captured and redirected to a texture. This allows Compiz and similar 3D window managers to be built on top of a traditional server with a small GLX extension rather than requiring a full Xgl server. Given that AIGLX also accelerates remote viewing and has some other nice applications (like splitting OpenGL streams amongst multiple graphics cards and monitors) it is most likely that AIGLX will be integrated into Xgl. However it could be the case that AIGLX and the extension replace Xglx with the latest NVidia drivers for which they are implemented.

Read more about AIGLX here.

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About synapse
Programming, motorcycles and photography. Want to do more, but only have time for so much!

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