Subject: Re: xterm v. xterm-old
To: Thomas Dickey <>
From: Greywolf <>
List: current-users
Date: 02/08/2001 16:20:42
On Thu, 8 Feb 2001, Thomas Dickey wrote:

# On Thu, Feb 08, 2001 at 05:27:12PM -0500, M L Riechers wrote:
# > > what about the .Xdefaults?
# > 
# > The .Xdefaults files are still there, but, I believe I'm correct in
# > stating that the only time the .Xdefaults come into play is when the X
# > server, or xdm, or xinit starts, it dumps the contents of .Xdefaults
# > to the X server. This, I believe, happens about one time per
# > initiation of the X window system.
# no - unless you did something like an "xrdb -merge", the .Xdefaults
# file is loaded dynamically for each application as it is started.
# Equivalently, you can set $XAPPLRESDIR to point to your own app-defaults
# directory (so you can maintain resource files individually).

I don't know what system you find that does this but it is incorrect:  
.Xdefaults/.Xresources (the latter is preferred) is loaded once per session
and ONLY IFF THE DEFAULT SESSION, however it is started on your system,
happens to call xrdb -merge $HOME/.Xresources.

In addition to this, you can have files such as XTerm-ad or whatever
(is it .${applname}-ad?) in your home directory, and from THERE, resources
may be loaded on the fly but ONLY IFF the properties in question are
not available from the server.  Reading from the X server is likely to
be faster than constantly loading from disk.

# Some of the pre-packaged window managers do use xrdb (I noticed this a few
# weeks ago for TurboLinux, which did that to break my backspace/delete
# key).

Windowmanglers should not be using xrdb.  They should be either reading
the .Xresources file directly (if they MUST do something like that),
or they should (preferably) be using XGetDefaults() and friends.

OR they should have their own damn (set of) config file(s), and not
be paying attention to the resources (mwm and gwm bug me for this reason).

*BSD: We Suck Less