X-Windows hell

I've spent the last few days learning more about X-Windows in the ongoing saga to bring pgEdit to Linux. As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, right now Motif is my only option. So I have been spending what seems like endless hours fiddling with X-Windows resources in an effort to make pgEdit look presentable.

I can't get over how much effort it takes to make something look good. With the Macintosh and Windows versions, the default fonts and styles for things generally worked fine with some minor tweaking. But take a look at this screenshot which shows were I'm starting from in Motif when I don't make any resource customizations.

The scope and complexity of X resources are pretty mind boggling. This page sums it up well: X is "Customizable"... And so is a molten blob of pig iron. I discovered an X utility called editres which helped to understand the resource hierarchy. This was the best link I found for understanding the resource specification syntax.

I'm still hoping for KDE or Gnome sometime in the near future. But this Motif screen shot shows a great deal of improvement over the uncustomized version, so there is hope to release something sooner rather than later.