Windowing system


Windowing system

A windowing system (or window system) is a component of a graphical user interface (GUI), and more specifically of a desktop environment, which supports the implementation of window managers, and provides basic support for graphics hardware, pointing devices such as mice, and keyboards. The mouse cursor is also generally drawn by the windowing system.

The term windowing system is sometimes used to refer to other elements of a graphical interface such as those belonging to window managers or even applications. While on some operating systems the distinction between applications, window managers, and their supporting technologies are blurred, strictly speaking, a windowing system does not include windows themselves.

From a programmer's point of view, a windowing system implements graphical primitives such as rendering fonts or drawing a line on the screen, effectively providing an abstraction of the graphics hardware from higher level elements of the graphical interface like window managers.

A windowing system enables the computer user to work with several programs at the same time. Each program runs in its own window, which is generally a rectangular area of the screen. Most windowing systems have basic support of re-parenting which allows windows to overlap, however the ways in which windows interact is usually controlled by the window manager.

Some windowing systems, like the X Window System, have advanced capabilities such as network transparency, allowing the user to display graphical applications running on a remote machine. The X Window System takes a strictly layered approach, and does not implement any specific policy regarding the look and feel of the graphical user interfaces, and their behaviour, leaving that to the X window managers, widget toolkits and desktop environments.

List of windowing systems

Windowing systems for Unix-like operating systems

* 8½ and rio for Plan 9
* Fresco/Berlin
* FBUI
* ManaGeR (MGR)
* Metisse
* NeWS / Xnews
* NeXT DPS
* Qtopia
* Quartz Compositor integrated into Mac OS X
* Twin (Text WINdows)
* X Window System (free-software, de-facto standard on Linux and other Unix-like operating systems)
* Xynth
* XFast
* Y Window System

Other

* DM
* GEM
* Intuition
* Microwindows
* MiniGUI
* OOHG

Operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Mac OS (version 9 and earlier), and Palm OS, contain a windowing system which is integrated with the OS. Windows Vista integrates the Desktop Window Manager.


=Web windowing systems=

* Dojo
* ExtJS
* [http://www.tibco.com/devnet/index.html TIBCO General Interface] an open source Ajax Rich Internet Application Toolkit with more than 100 components for making Ajax apps with the paradigms of a windowing system's GUI
* WebWM, Web Window Manager

ee also

* History of the graphical user interface
* Widget toolkit
* Desktop environment


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DM (windowing system) — DM (Display Manager) was the windowing system used by Apollo Computer Inc. for its Apollo/Domain line of workstations running the AEGIS operating system, later renamed Domain/OS. Apollo s DM, first shipped in 1981, was the first commercially… …   Wikipedia

  • mux (windowing system) — mux was a windowing system developed by Rob Pike at Bell Labs for the Ninth Edition Research Unix. mux is a predecessor of the Plan 9 windowing systems 8½ and rio, which retain its minimalist user interface. See also X Window System External… …   Wikipedia

  • Mux (windowing system) — mux was a windowing system developed by Rob Pike at Bell Labs for the Ninth Edition Research Unix. mux is a predecessor of the Plan 9 windowing systems 8½ and rio, which retain its minimalist user interface. See also *X Window SystemExternal… …   Wikipedia

  • Windowing — may refer to: *Windowing system, a graphical user interface (GUI) which implements windows as a primary metaphor *In signal processing, the application of a window function to a signal *In computer networking, the quantity of data that a machine… …   Wikipedia

  • windowing — noun a) The windows of a building; fenestration. NeWS was an early windowing system. b) The use of a graphical user interface divided into windows …   Wiktionary

  • X Window System — X11 redirects here. For other uses, see X11 (disambiguation). A historical example of graphical user interface and applications common to the MIT X Consortium s distribution running under the twm window manager: X Terminal, Xbiff, xload and a… …   Wikipedia

  • Genera (operating system) — Genera Company / developer Symbolics OS family Lisp Machine OS Initial release 1982 …   Wikipedia

  • Y Window System — Infobox Software name = Y Window System logo = caption = developer = Mark Thomas latest release version = 0.2 latest release date = February 21st, 2004 operating system = Any SDL compatible OS genre = Windowing system license = GPL (server) LGPL… …   Wikipedia

  • Operating system — Operating systems …   Wikipedia

  • IBM AIX (operating system) — Infobox OS name = AIX caption = developer = IBM source model = Closed source kernel type = Dynamic Extendable supported platforms = ROMP, IBM POWER, PowerPC, IBM PS/2, System/370, ESA/390 ui = Common Desktop Environment family = UNIX System V… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.