I'm feeling somewhat stupid. I sat down tonight to have a look at writing a basic fire/flame demo thing under X (the sort of thing people used to write in 3 bytes of x86 assembly 10 years ago). See, I'd quite like a funky xdm/login thingy for my laptop, so random people who see me use it on the train think "Woah, cool". I'm sad like that. Anyway, my idea is a ring of fire with the login prompt in the middle. This seems simple. Except when I try to get involved with programming X.

Now, I'm not a graphics programmer by any stretch of the imagination. But all I want is a nice simple framebuffer I can store pixels of 24 bit colour into. Or 8 bits with a colourmap is fine too. If the functions for dealing with the colourmaps are decently documented. This isn't much to ask, is it?

Perhaps the issue was that I assumed Xlib would just provide me something that could do this. Or that I'd be able to find decent docs easily. Or that I had more than 2 braincells to rub together. But I've given up now. I really don't understand how to get Xlib to just let me XSetForeground to a 24 bit colour and then XDrawPoint. I tried to fight XAllocColor. I even accepted defeat and had a quick look for a simple X framebuffer library. No joy.

So, can someone point me at the right docs to inhale for this sort of thing? Or a really lightweight C library that'll make it all really easy?