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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  September 1993, Week 3

COMMUNET September 1993, Week 3

Subject:

Re: XMosaic

From:

Jim Hart <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Communet: Community and Civic Network Discussion List

Date:

Tue, 21 Sep 1993 14:03:34 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (50 lines)

>You're planning to run XMosaic on a unix internet host, right?
 
Yes.
 
> And this
>will allow your dialup users to run XMosaic clients (without SLIP or PPP)?
 
No.  the X in XMosaic stands for XWindows, which is a
windowing-over-a-network protocol in which the traditional notion of
"client" and "server" seems reversed.  The "server" is the device which
manages the windowing and mouse-interface.  It could be an X-terminal,
available from several sources, or it could be some kind of computer
running software which understands XWindows functions and protocols.  The
"client"s are application programs running on computers attached to
networks which also know how to talk XWindows protocols in order to have
windowing functions processed or to receive mouse or keyboard operations.
In many cases, people run both the XWindows server software _and_ the
client application on the same computer.  In that mode, it doesn't look a
lot different than a Mac, or Windows or whatever.  But, unlike other
systems, XWindows-capable applications can run on a different computer than
the one that is doing the displays and mouse operations.  Thus, XMosaic,
which is an X-capable _client application_ would run on a powerful UNIX
machine which also has tcp/ip and is configured to talk to the InterNet.
The "servers" could be Macs or Windows machines running XWindows software
available from a number of companies, or X-terminals, or UNIX workstations
with XWindows server software from the OS vendor (typically).  They would
"talk" to XMosaic using XWindows protocols over some network.  They could
be on the same net and talk tcp/ip.  They could be CSLIP connections.  They
could be on a different network and reach in via routers.  With the right
permissions, someone in Japan with XWindows could run XMosaic on my host in
Auburn, Maine, USA.  I wouldn't speak for the response time, of course...
One thing to know is that XWindows generates a lot of network traffic just
to keep the application apprised of the mouse pointer location.  I watched
an idle workstation generate 3 packets per second.  So, it remains to be
seen whether a CSLIP connection, even at 56K/14.4K will be adequate.
 
   Anyway, the whole point of the exercise is that the user's terminal or
workstation is not talking to the InterNet.  It is only talking XWindows to
my host.  The host is talking to the InterNet.  So, I am not providing
"InterNet Service", by a strict definition.  I am providing host cpu cycles
and network bandwidth on _my own network_.  My service provider doesn't
care what I do on my network, as long as only people who work in my
organization have the ability for _their own workstations_ to appear on the
InterNet.  At least, that's how I understand it.  I suppose it would take a
computer lawyer or 2 or 3 to really wrangle it out.
 
I hope this helps everyone who is wrestling with this issue.  Again,
though, a warning:  it is an _expensive_ solution, in both computer and
network resources.

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