World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Windowing system

Article Id: WHEBN0000151967
Reproduction Date:

Title: Windowing system  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Compiz, Window manager, X Window System, Wayland (display server protocol), Window decoration
Collection: Windowing Systems
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Windowing system

Typical elements of a window. The window decoration is either drawn by the window manager or by the client. The drawing of the content is the task of the client.

In computing, a windowing system (or window system) is a type of graphical user interface (GUI) which implements the WIMP (windows, icons, menus, pointer) paradigm for a user interface. Each currently running application is assigned a usually resizeable and usually rectangular shaped surface of the display to present its graphical user interface to the user; these windows may overlap each other, as opposed to a tiling interface where they are not allowed to overlap. Usually a window decoration is drawn around each window. The programming of both the window decoration and of available widgets inside of the window, which are graphical elements for direct user interaction, such as sliders, buttons, etc., is eased and simplified through the use of widget toolkits.

Contents

  • Technical details 1
  • List of windowing systems 2
    • For Unix-like operating systems 2.1
    • For Windows NT-family operating systems 2.2
    • Web windowing systems 2.3
    • Other 2.4
  • See also 3

Technical details

The main component of any windowing system is usually called the display server, although alternative denominations such as window server or compositor are also in use. Any application that runs and presents its GUI in a window, is a client of the display server. The display server and its clients communicate with each other over a communications protocol, which is usually called display server protocol, the display server being the mediator between the clients and the user. It receives all the input from the kernel, that the kernel receives from all attached input devices, such as keyboard, pointing devices, or touchscreen and transmits it to the correct client. The display server is also responsible for the output of the clients to the computer monitor. The output of sound is usually not managed by the display server, but the sound volume, is usually handled through GUI applets and it is the display server who decides which applications are on top. A windowing system enables the computer user to work with several programs at the same time. Each program presents its GUI in its own window, which is generally a rectangular area of the screen.

From a programmer's point of view, a windowing system implements graphical primitives. For example: rendering fonts or drawing a line on the screen. It provides an abstraction of the graphics hardware for use by higher-level elements of the graphical interface such as a window manager.

A display server protocol can be network capable or even network transparent, facilitating the implementation of thin clients.

List of windowing systems

For Unix-like operating systems

For Windows NT-family operating systems

Web windowing systems

Other

Commercial systems such as Microsoft Windows (XP, 9x and earlier), Mac OS (version 9 and earlier), and Palm OS, contain a windowing system which is integrated with the OS.

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.