Last modified on 15 December 2010, at 05:17

X Window Programming/XCB

IntroductionEdit

XCB (X C Binding) is a C language binding for the X Window System. It aims to replace XLib. The project was started in 2001 by Bart Massey.

Xlib/XCB provides application binary interface compatibility with both Xlib and XCB, providing an incremental porting path.

Aims of XCBEdit

The main aims of XCB are:

  • reduction in library size and complexity;
  • direct access to the X11 protocol.

Secondary aims include making the C interface asynchronous, facilitating better multithreading and making extensions easier to implement (via XML protocol descriptions).

The core and extension protocol descriptions are in XML, with the C bindings created via XSLT. A tertiary aim is to repurpose these protocol descriptions for the creation of protocol documentation, further language bindings, and server-side stubs.

Massey has worked to prove XCB formally correct, using Z notation. (Xlib has long been known to contain errors.)

ExampleEdit

/* Simple XCB application drawing a box in a window */
 
#include <xcb/xcb.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
 
int
main (int argc, char **argv)
{
  xcb_connection_t *c;
  xcb_screen_t *s;
  xcb_window_t w;
  xcb_gcontext_t g;
  xcb_generic_event_t *e;
  uint32_t mask;
  uint32_t values[2];
  int done;
  xcb_rectangle_t r = { 20, 20, 60, 60 };
 
  /* open connection with the server */
 
  c = xcb_connect (NULL, NULL);
 
  if (!c)
    {
      printf ("Cannot open display\n");
      exit (1);
    }
 
  s = xcb_setup_roots_iterator (xcb_get_setup (c)).data;
 
  /* create window */
 
  mask = XCB_CW_BACK_PIXEL | XCB_CW_EVENT_MASK;
  values[0] = s->white_pixel;
  values[1] = XCB_EVENT_MASK_EXPOSURE | XCB_EVENT_MASK_KEY_PRESS;
 
  w = xcb_generate_id (c);
  xcb_create_window (c, XCB_COPY_FROM_PARENT, w, s->root,
                     10, 10, 100, 100, 1,
                     XCB_WINDOW_CLASS_INPUT_OUTPUT,
                     s->root_visual,
                     mask, values);
 
  /* create black graphics context */
 
  mask = XCB_GC_FOREGROUND | XCB_GC_GRAPHICS_EXPOSURES;
  values[0] = s->black_pixel;
  values[1] = 0;
 
  g = xcb_generate_id (c);
  xcb_create_gc (c, g, w, mask, values);
 
  /* map (show) the window */
 
  xcb_map_window (c, w);
 
  xcb_flush (c);
 
  /* event loop */
  done = 0;
  while (!done && (e = xcb_wait_for_event (c)))
    {
      switch (e->response_type)
        {
        /* (re)draw the window */
        case XCB_EXPOSE:
          printf ("EXPOSE\n");
          xcb_poly_fill_rectangle (c, w, g, 1, &r);
          xcb_flush (c);
          break;
 
        /* exit on keypress */
        case XCB_KEY_PRESS:
          done = 1;
          break;
        }
      free (e);
    }
 
    /* close connection to server */
 
    xcb_disconnect (c);
 
    return 0;
}

Old ExampleEdit

 /* Simple XCB application drawing a box in a window */
 
 /* note that this is old code, modern XCB has dropped
  * CamelCase, eg XCBConnection -> xcb_connection_t
  */
 
 #include <X11/XCB/xcb.h>
 #include <stdio.h>
 #include <stdlib.h>
 
 int main()
 {
   XCBConnection   *c;
   XCBSCREEN       *s;
   XCBDRAWABLE      w;
   XCBGCONTEXT      g;
   XCBGenericEvent *e;
   CARD32           mask;
   CARD32           values[2];
   int              done = 0;
   XCBRECTANGLE     r = { 20, 20, 60, 60 };
 
                        /* open connection with the server */
   c = XCBConnect(NULL,NULL);
   if (c == NULL) {
     printf("Cannot open display\n");
     exit(1);
   }
                        /* get the first screen */
   s = XCBSetupRootsIter( XCBGetSetup(c) ).data;
 
                        /* create black graphics context */
   g = XCBGCONTEXTNew(c);
   w.window = s->root;
   mask = XCBGCForeground | XCBGCGraphicsExposures;
   values[0] = s->black_pixel;
   values[1] = 0;
   XCBCreateGC(c, g, w, mask, values);
 
                        /* create window */
   w.window = XCBWINDOWNew(c);
   mask = XCBCWBackPixel | XCBCWEventMask;
   values[0] = s->white_pixel;
   values[1] = XCBEventMaskExposure | XCBEventMaskKeyPress;
   XCBCreateWindow(c, s->root_depth, w.window, s->root,
                   10, 10, 100, 100, 1,
                   XCBWindowClassInputOutput, s->root_visual,
                   mask, values);
 
                        /* map (show) the window */
   XCBMapWindow(c, w.window);
 
   XCBFlush(c);
 
                        /* event loop */
   while (!done && (e = XCBWaitForEvent(c))) {
     switch (e->response_type & ~0x80) {
     case XCBExpose:    /* draw or redraw the window */
       XCBPolyFillRectangle(c, w, g,  1, &r);
       XCBFlush(c);
       break;
     case XCBKeyPress:  /* exit on key press */
       done = 1;
       break;
     }
     free(e);
   }
                        /* close connection to server */
   XCBDisconnect(c);
 
   return 0;
 }

XCB has a comparable, but slightly lower-level API than XLib, as can be seen with these examples.

ReferencesEdit