[nSLUG] Re: X11 is not X-Windows

Donald Teed donald.teed at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 13:11:40 ADT 2005

I don't get why "X Windows" is hooked with a negativity.
Is it because it was mentioned in the Unix Haters Handbook?

I think that once you have software that is used widely in
user land, the proper names go out the window.  If X
was purely a server thing, you'd likely see it referred
to by the technical or nomenclature names.  But non-techies
have used it, and when they need a term to reference it
by, they use what is useful and simple.  Perhaps they picked
X Windows to distinguish it from MS Windows.  Calling
it X11 in that context could cause someone to wonder
what on earth they are talking about.  If you think about
it, X11 sounds about as corny as Plan 9.

I've seen people reference software by the machine name
where it runs in a local context.

Another common misuse of names is to call the software
by the vendor.  You wouldn't call Websphere "IBM" for
short, but there are many one product companies
where the company name is easier to say and type
than the product name.

I don't complain about it - I just work with the terms of
reference that allow us to get from A to B.  As long as
there is no ambiguity, I'm happy.

On 6/16/05, Ben Armstrong <synrg at sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca> wrote:
> On Thu, 2005-06-16 at 11:02 -0400, Crawford, Andrew (IT) wrote:
> > The fact remains though that as long as people a) call it "X Windows",
> > and b) understand what is meant by "X Windows", the wishes of the
> > project originators are irrelevent for all practical purposes.
> No, not for all practical purposes.  You have only illustrated that the
> *meaning* of "X Windows" is clear, regardless of the project's wishes.
> So if this thread were about meaning, I'd have to agree.  But since it
> is about courtesy, the practical consequence of their expressed wish is
> that two kinds of people who call it "X Windows" remain:
> 1. those who are ignorant
> 2. those who are discourteous
> Personally, I don't want to be considered either.  You said you call it
> X anyway, so maybe you feel the same way?
> Ben
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