XPC Halts Work on
Xlib Playback Benchmark (XPB);
Tools Available for Free to Public

Citing a lack of industry interest in more detailed X benchmarks, the X Performance Characterization (XPC) project group voted unanimously to discontinue work on a record and playback benchmark for measuring X-server performance.

The benchmark, called the XPB (Xlib Playback Benchmark), is a set of recording and playback tools designed for standardized measurement of X-server performance. The decision to discontinue work on the XPB was based on two principal factors: the perception of XPC project group members that X performance has reached acceptable levels, and the group's intention to focus on application-level benchmarks.

"The time and effort involved in developing a standard benchmark that would operate across different hardware platforms was much greater than we originally anticipated," says Gary Wiseman of IBM, chair of the project group. "During the time the XPB was in development, there were major shifts in priorities for vendors involved in this effort."

Although it is not an official benchmark, the XPC project group has made the XPB tools, in their current state, available for free to the public via ftp. The readme file provides a guide to the contents of the five compressed tar files, which include documentation, source and small sample XPD files, pre-built executables for Solaris 2.5, pre-built executables for AIX 4.2, and a large XPD file for Frame Technology Corp.'s FrameMaker software.

XPB tools can be used to measure performance for the two platforms under which the XPB runs: IBM AIX 4.2 and above, and Solaris 2.5 and above. For application-performance tuning, the XPB can show how a given application is using Xlib, including what Xlib calls are being made and in what sequence. Regression testing using the XPB would allow X-server developers to determine if new versions of software are performing up to expectations.

The XPC project group will not provide technical support for the XPB, but those interested in such services may contact the XPB's developer, David Kelly of Computing Clarity (541-686-2375).

XPC project group members will continue to report performance numbers under Xmark93 during 1997.

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