10.9 Exposure Events

The X protocol does not guarantee to preserve the contents of window regions when the windows are obscured or reconfigured. Some implementations may preserve the contents of windows. Other implementations are free to destroy the contents of windows when exposed. X expects client applications to assume the responsibility for restoring the contents of an exposed window region. (An exposed window region describes a formerly obscured window whose region becomes visible.) Therefore, the X server sends Expose events describing the window and the region of the window that has been exposed. A naive client application usually redraws the entire window. A more sophisticated client application redraws only the exposed region.
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Christophe Tronche, ch@tronche.com