July 4th 2020 - Release Day for MaXX Desktop v2.1

Today is a very exciting day... After so many months of pain, sweat and sometimes frustration, here it is, our new version of the MaXX Interactive Desktop v2.1, code name : Indigo MAX IMPACT.

Background...

We call this release, a foundation release, because it will be the foundation from which we build an exciting, fast and modern interpretation of the IRIX Interactive Desktop. aka Indigo Magic Desktop. What we mean by foundation release is that all efforts were focused on the foundation components of the Desktop like libraries, window manager, toolchest, look and feels, performance, correctness and user experience consistency through out the Desktop. We also went  with future-proofing some of the key components. design and start implementing new ones, to finally optimizing to bug fixing. A lot of them.

We have also focused on preparing and documenting what are the next steps, so that we can move forward without been distracted by too many unknowns. In the construction world, it's called fast-tracking, where the plans and logistics for let say demolish and rebuild a new building are done in an iterative way but with enough forward vision/thinking so that we can still make new decisions or adapts what doesn't work anymore without stopping everything... 

Finally, this release will be the last release supporting this installation mechanism.  It simple and it works, but we aim at providing a nicer user experience with a new graphical installer that do the grunt work behind the scene. We have selected Java for that and GraalVM native image. It means that we code in Java and generate a native binary executable at the end. It's fast to develop and better bang for the buck.

More on that in the What's Next page.

 
What is part of version 2.1
  • All foundation libraries have been updated to their latest version including security fixes.
  • A complete SGI Motif Modern look and feel with also some latest fixes.
  • Fast and robust look and feel switcher. Meaning you can dynamically switch from Classic SGI to Modern look with only one click of the mouse. No restart.
  • Unicode, UTF-8 and Anti-aliased text support in 5DWM with user customizable settings.
  • Japanese support for 5Dwm added.
  • Improved Xinerama support for solid multi-monitor support experience.
  • SGI style window move-resize feedback with special optimizations that uses pretty much no CPU at all.
  • Reducing further memory foot-print of all components and applications.
  • New Scheme/Theme Selector tool.
  • Improved Desktop settings.
  • Revised version of xsettingsd while waiting MaXX Settings introduction (due in September 2020).
  • New horizontal layout for Toolchest.
  • Toolchest validates executable path and reflects the status.
  • Updated Terminal with UTF-8 and Anti-aliased text rendering.
  • Countless bug fixes and improvements.
  • Preparing for the integration of MSettings Configuration Management Service and the addition of the Configuration Panels into the next release due in one-two months.
  • Introduction of MaXX Launcher to better managed the startup of desktop applications.
  • Introduction of ImageViewer, a super fast and lean image viewer.  a la SGI
  • New features were added to tellwm and 5Dwm.
  • Improvements on HINV.  That's right!
  • More robust and snappier overall user experience.
  • More Documentation and Help via the Desktop.
  • Refresh of all other applications.
  • The Legacy SGI Motif v.2.1.32 library is no longer part of the standard Desktop, but will be available as a separate download to allow older Motif based applications to run. Like older Maya for example.
  • The GLUT library is no longer part of the Desktop.  FreeGlut can be installed as a drop-in replacement.

Refer to the Installation Guides for get started.