X Window System Protocol, version 11: Alpha update April 1987
RFC - Unknown
(June 1987; No errata)
||RFC Editor Note
RFC 1013 (Unknown)
||Send notices to
Network Working Group Robert W. Scheifler
Request for Comments: 1013 June 1987
X WINDOW SYSTEM PROTOCOL, VERSION 11
Copyright (c) 1986, 1987 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
X Window System is a trademark of M.I.T.
Status of this Memo
This RFC is distributed to the Internet community for information
only. It does not establish an Internet standard. The X window
system has been widely reviewed and tested. The internet community
is encouraged to experiment with it. Distribution of this memo is
unlimited (see copyright notice on page 2).
M.I.T. [Page 1]
RFC 1013 June 1987
Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this document for any
purpose and without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above
copyright notice appear in all copies and that both that copyright
notice and this permission notice are retained, and that the name of
M.I.T. not be used in advertising or publicity pertaining to this
document without specific, written prior permission. M.I.T. makes no
representations about the suitability of this document or the
protocol defined in this document for any purpose. It is provided
"as is" without express or implied warranty.
Author: Robert W. Scheifler
Laboratory for Computer Science
545 Technology Square, Room 418
Cambridge, MA 02139
Dave Carver (Digital HPW)
Branko Gerovac (Digital HPW)
Jim Gettys (MIT/Project Athena, Digital)
Phil Karlton (Digital WSL)
Scott McGregor (Digital SSG)
Ram Rao (Digital UEG)
David Rosenthal (Sun)
Dave Winchell (Digital UEG)
Implementors of initial server who provided useful input:
Susan Angebranndt (Digital)
Raymond Drewry (Digital)
Todd Newman (Digital)
Invited reviewers who provided useful input:
Andrew Cherenson (Berkeley)
Burns Fisher (Digital)
Dan Garfinkel (HP)
Leo Hourvitz (Next)
Brock Krizan (HP)
David Laidlaw (Stellar)
Dave Mellinger (Interleaf)
Ron Newman (MIT)
John Ousterhout (Berkeley)
Andrew Palay (ITC CMU)
Ralph Swick (MIT)
Craig Taylor (Sun)
Jeffery Vroom (Stellar)
This document does not attempt to provide the rationale or pragmatics
required to fully understand the protocol or to place it in
perspective within a complete system. Knowledge of X Version 10
will certainly aid in understanding this document.
M.I.T. [Page 2]
RFC 1013 June 1987
The protocol contains many management mechanisms that are not
intended for normal applications. Not all mechanisms are needed to
build a particular user interface. It is important to keep in mind
that the protocol is intended to provide mechanism, not policy.
This document does not attempt to define precise formats or bit
M.I.T. [Page 3]
RFC 1013 June 1987
SECTION 1. TERMINOLOGY
Access control list
X maintains a list of hosts from which client programs may be
run. By default, only programs on the local host may use the
display, plus any hosts specified in an initial list read by
the server. This "access control list" can be changed by
clients on the local host. Some server implementations may
also implement other authorization mechanisms.
A grab is "active" when the pointer or keyboard is actually
owned by the single grabbing client.
If W is an inferior of A, then A is an "ancestor" of W.
An "atom" is a unique id corresponding to a string name.
Atoms are used to identify properties, types, and selections.
When a server maintains the contents of a window, the
off-screen saved pixels are known as a "backing store".
When a window is resized, the contents of the window are
not necessarily discarded. It is possible to request the
server (though no guarantees are made) to relocate the
previous contents to some region of the window. This
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