Cherrypicking system-config-xfree86 from redhat

Simon Edwards simon at
Sat Dec 24 09:48:12 GMT 2005

On Friday 23 December 2005 18:45, Erast Benson wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-12-22 at 23:28 +0100, Simon Edwards wrote:
> > FWIIW. I'm working on an X configuration utility which will hopefully be
> > in  
> > good shape for Kubuntu's Dapper release. 
> > The project is called Guidance:
> > 
> Nice!
> why not just to use system-tools-backends which is part of
> ? And build Python/KDE GUI on top of that?

I've looked at these backends in the past and quickly realised that they don't 
solve any problems I have. At least not in an economical way...

> And besides, it provides initial backend for Xorg configuration...

...reading and writing xorg.conf is the easy part. This is all that 
system-tools-backends seems to offer.

I started out with the read/write code that Red Hat is using (really just 
Python bindings on the XFree86 C parser). I then had some issues with it and 
quickly wrote my own version in Python over the course of a few evenings. 
This code is current under 700 lines.

Now, ignoring the GUI code, the place where most of the work has gone to is 
creating a sane layer for dealing with Xorg configuration, hardware 
detection, gfx card and monitor databases, and things like on the fly gamma 
changes and resolution chances (using the Rotate and Resize X extension). 
Basically all of the messy stuff. (about 2500 lines now and growing). Almost 
all of this code is Xorg specific. The API that this exposes tries hard *not* 
to be Xorg specific.

If system-tools-backends offered a working X configuration API like the one 
above, then it would be a lot more interesting. But right now I don't see the 
point in dealing with IPC systems and backends which only seem to add 
complexity without moving me closer to my goal.

(Personally I don't see the point in having seperate out-of-process backends, 
what is wrong with just creating a library for handling things that an 
application can call directly?)

I don't want to sound all negative, that's just the way it all looks from 

> I could help you with STB backends and Guidance KDE/GUI integration in
> some ways since I'm currently working on Nexenta OS GNU/Solaris
> ( of system-tools-backends port.

If Nexenta uses Xorg as their X server, then porting 'displayconfig' probably 
wouldn't be all that hard.


Simon Edwards             | Guarddog Firewall
simon at       |
Nijmegen, The Netherlands | "ZooTV? You made the right choice."

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