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That gathering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology of the great and the good of the workstation world last Thursday was indeed, as we suggested (CI No 598) called to announce that those present would support and promote the MIT-developed X Window System set of primitives for building windowing applications. The nine companies named last week were joined by two more, DEC and Adobe Systems – and although it was not represented, IBM is believed to be backing X Window as well. X Window is a network-transparent, portable windowing system that allows applications to work seamlessly across different architectures and is designed to support different hardware. It’s written in C and is implemented in Unix as a set of user mode processes. Porting the machine-independent part of X Window to a new machine involves just recompilation; building a new driver for a display system is more involved. The 11 want to extend X Window with high-level tools for developers designing environments and interfaces and persuade standards organisations to adopt X Window – which is bad news for NeWS from Sun Microsystems Inc.

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