Ars Technica's Evan Jenkins takes a look back at the X window system and the modern Wayland Linux graphics stacks.
"X is the oldest lady at the dance, and she insists on dancing with everyone," Jenkins said. "X has millions of lines of source, but most of it was written long ago, when there were no GPUs, and no specialized transistors to do programmable shading or rotation and translation of vertexes."
And now there's Wayland.
"The Wayland Display Manager, if we can call it that, leverages the GEM execution manager, evdev (input drivers) and kms (kernel mode switching) that are already in the Linux kernel," Jenkins said. "Wayland has its own compositing manager, which is in direct contrast to the X architecture, because X relies on an outside compositor to handle memory buffer changes."