Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 27th Jul 2002 18:04 UTC
Gentoo Gentoo Linux, perhaps the fastest growing new linux distribution, has taken the linux world by storm. Comming out of obscurity only a short time ago, it has leapt into the mainstream of the community and has become one of the top ten distributions. TinyMinds recently got a chance to interview Daniel Robbins, founder and Chief Architect of the project. Daniel speaks of the new installer they are working on, gcc 3.1, LinuxWorld, Portage and more.
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gnustep
by Anonymous on Sat 27th Jul 2002 18:40 UTC

Nice to see that he believes the future is gnustep.

re:gnusetup
by Will on Sat 27th Jul 2002 19:12 UTC

I dont belive he ment in that way, I think he just meant it would be a nice thing to have.

ditch X
by liberte on Sat 27th Jul 2002 22:55 UTC

TM: What are some of the things you'd like to see GNU/Linux accomplish in the future?

DR: No offense to any Xfree86 developers, but Xfree86 is just not competitive performance-wise with Windows or MacOS X graphics drivers. You can't compete with Windows on the desktop when Linux video on the same card is 5 times slower.

Second, can we puh-leeze find someone to write some excellent free font smoothing technology?

Oh, and a true free OpenGL implementaion rather than Mesa.

-------------------------------------------

Interesting interview for sure!

where do I get gentoo in France ??
by liberte on Sat 27th Jul 2002 22:59 UTC

After reading the interview, I'd like to give Gentoo a try. It already appeared to be *the* distro to run, but more than that, I like the openness and vision of DR.

I know I can d/l burn, but I'd like to donate....

Re: where do I get gentoo in France ??
by Eugenia on Sat 27th Jul 2002 23:14 UTC

All the info you need is on gentoo.org. You will need to download it from the web rather than trying to buy it though if you are in France.

KDE vs. GNOME vs. GNUstep
by rajan r on Sun 28th Jul 2002 00:35 UTC

I think he is right on the money with this one, not because GNOME, KDE is cloning Windows, or Window Maker is cloning NeXT, but for my 2 weeks of Window Maker usage, it is very simple, almost no brainer. But they aren't done..
- they should have a file manager. gworkspace (spelling?) is not all that good, in terms of ease of use.... and even speed.
- GNUstep have to stop cloning something else, and start pushing it's own Cocoa in its own direction.

The usage of Objective C isn't a big thing. Most apps (GUI) are written in C++, so it is easier to port them to Qt/KDE than to port it to GNUstep (there are good C++ bindings for GTK+).

GCC version
by Any Nonmouse on Sun 28th Jul 2002 01:07 UTC

Will the GCC version be 3.1.1 in the new release? Is there any chance they will wait until GCC 3.2 to create the new release? It seems that it would be best to wait the week or so it will take to release, and another few weeks for verification of stability.

Has Mr. Robbins heard of DRI?
by J. J. Ramsey on Sun 28th Jul 2002 01:17 UTC

NVIDIA is not the only card designer that provides graphics drivers accelerated in kernel-space. DRI drivers from ATI, Matrox, and a few others also provide drivers. It's just that NVIDIA drivers aren't completely open-source.

As for the whole "X is slow" bit, this is again more rot. For 2D-graphics, the major slowdown is in using a misconfigured or unaccelerated driver. For 3D (esp. with gaming), X does not by default hook into kernel-space to accelerate graphics, so yes, unless DRI is set up, it is slower than Windows, whose graphics drivers do run in kernel-space by default.

OpenGL implementation? Guess what the fancy gamer graphics cards like NVIDIA and ATI have--a hardware-accelerated OpenGL implementation. That's one of the things DRI accesses to speed up the 3D graphics.

The main advantage that Windows graphics have over Linux is a slim speed advantage (not the 5x advantage Robbins said) and a far more painless driver install, so the user never has to explicitly muck around to get DRI to work.

Re: Has Mr. Robbins heard of DRI?
by Eugenia on Sun 28th Jul 2002 01:28 UTC

I have all the DRIs of the world on my XF86Config file, fully accerated, the needed extensions added, and still X11 feels clunkier and more heavy than Windows XP. I believe this is what Daniel trying to say. I do not think he was specifically talking about 3D, but for 2D.
Denying that 2D is clunkier on X11 than on WinXP, it would be a blatand lie. I run 3 linux distros on this machine, WinXP and BeOS. BeOS 5 is the fastest on UI responsiveness and overall UI speed, WinXP second, Mandrake Cooker 3rd (the one that has everything compiled with gcc 3.1), Gentoo 4th and Red Hat Linux 7.2 is 5th. If you don't believe me, come and check it out yourself if you are living in the Bay Area. My house is open for everyone. Beer and food is on me too.

Hmm
by Spark on Sun 28th Jul 2002 04:01 UTC

"Next, I don't know if KDE and GNOME are going in the right direction. I think they are too focused on replicating the look and feel of other operating systems."

"I'd like to see the GNUStep project really take off and start replicating MacOS X's complete API."

Hmmmm. *cough* ;-)


Ramsey: While I'm very satisfied with DRI and NVidia drivers (those closed) performance, the 2D performance of XFree really isn't up to par... And it doesn't even feature half as much fancy stuff as Mac OS X.
I'm not incredible worried about this anymore though because speed really isn't everything that matters and it's mostly fast enough. I just whish they would finally finish the rendering extension! DirectFB might also become a neat choice when they get broader hardware support (I still can only get the vesafb driver to support my Geforce 4 Ti).

UI responsiveness
by Spark on Sun 28th Jul 2002 04:08 UTC

"BeOS 5 is the fastest on UI responsiveness and overall UI speed, WinXP second, Mandrake Cooker 3rd (the one that has everything compiled with gcc 3.1), Gentoo 4th and Red Hat Linux 7.2 is 5th."

Well, the weird thing is when I tried BeOS and then read somewhere that "everbody would immidiatly feel the increased UI responsiveness", my first thought was "no, I didn't".
I don't doubt that the multithreaded UI might lead to shorter response times but I really can't feel any difference anymore between Windows (2000 in particular), BeOS or Linux/XFree with preemtible kernel. And I'm one of those freaks who craze out when Quake runs only at 60 FPS so I doubt that my eyes or senses are too forgiving.
Add to this that computers are becoming faster, not slower, I don't really see a lot of importance in 5mu faster responsive times anymore.

Rendering speed is a different story though...

Spark...
by Martin on Sun 28th Jul 2002 06:31 UTC

""Next, I don't know if KDE and GNOME are going in the right direction. I think they are too focused on replicating the look and feel of other operating systems."

"I'd like to see the GNUStep project really take off and start replicating MacOS X's complete API."

Hmmmm. *cough* ;-) "

Unfortunately I can't tell by the wink whether you are sarcastic or whether you are serious.

I'll assume you are serious and explain to you what DR means.

He says that KDE and Gnome focus too much of replicating the _look and feel_ of other operating systems.

His comment about replicating the OSX API (which makes perfect sense) means something completely different than replicating "look and feel." It is also in a completely different realm.

Cheers.

Oh, and Eugenia, I'll see you next week. Be sure to stock up on brews. ;O)

BeOS was amazing for UI responsiveness
by Michael on Sun 28th Jul 2002 07:32 UTC

On my old dual P3-450 box, BeOS 4 could run an amazing number of windows all at once, all painting the screen.

On one CPU, because the broken boot code could not recognize the second processor properly (on a 440BX motherboard).

Running all these windows at once and having a responsive mouse and file system is impossible on any other OS.

Instead of all this effort on Syllable, AtheOS, etc., why not form a company to free BeOS?

#m

Re: Ditch X
by Brian on Sun 28th Jul 2002 07:57 UTC

I wonder what he thinks of the architecture of something like PicoGui
http://www.picogui.org
Looks like an interesting and more novel approach to replacing XFree86. Of course the lack of overlapping window support seems to really limit it...

Re: Ditch X
by Spark on Sun 28th Jul 2002 09:47 UTC

Isn't Pico just a lightweight GUI for embedded devices? There are a lot of graphic systems in development that strife to be as small and fast as possible for new embedded devices but just because they are small and fast doesn't neccessarily mean they are the best choice for a desktop.

Micheal?
by Evan on Sun 28th Jul 2002 11:55 UTC

I really really do not understand this comment:

"Instead of all this effort on Syllable, AtheOS, etc., why not form a company to free BeOS? "

Is this trolling of some sort? I thought people who read this site in particular would understand the idea of different operating system projects? Im having an extremely hard time not getting miffed about such a statement. Do you not understand that palm will not open up the source for free? Do you not understand hobbyists?

I dont want to come off as flaming, but I at least try to think from multiple perspectives when I post here and I cant really think of any reasonable ones that would say such a thing.

Re: Ditch X
by Brian on Sun 28th Jul 2002 14:58 UTC

About PicoGui, it has some interesting ideas that may help solve some of the problems that X has.

Even though PicoGUI is primarily for embedded devices it is designed to be network transparent (IMHO that this is totally necessary for any possible successor to X).

Probably the most major idea is to store all theme and widget information on the server side, and the server enforces widget layout, placement and sizing, not the client.

However, I'm not really sure about how well the thing is implemented, nor how stable the API will remain over time (esp if someone "invents" some new sort of widget).

I've tried it out
by John on Sun 28th Jul 2002 15:18 UTC

I like Gentoo, I would never install linux if not for gentoo. Gentoo is fun, and that is all I have it for, for fun, to play with. I still run my main machine on XP and loves it.

So quick review of Gentoo:
It is _VERY_ easy to install. Yes, it takes time, since you have to follow the instructions. But geez, they are incredibly easy to follow and understand. If you have trouble with following those instructions (if something breaks on the other hand, is another matter) you will have a lot of problems running Linux for sure. If you are not interested in OSes, this is more trouble than it is worth.

portage/emerge is spiffy, but needs time to evolve. Beats all the other distros AFAIK.

I used to run Win2k daily on the machine I installed on, with a slightly slower GFX card. I have upgraded the machine to twice the memory (256MB) after I installed Gentoo and now I run KDE. I have a dual P200mmx and have compile the whole lot (X, KDE, etc) with -O3 etc. It is slooow, dead slow. XFree is real slow in the 2D department, and was a true pain to set up. I just don't care for this at all. I want to choose resolution, screen depth and refresh rate. That is it, end of story. I very much agree with Robbins that XFree needs to be replaced (I have other ideas about with what though).

Friends who have installed Gentoo report a slight or no speed improvements in KDE. Both went the optimized road and both have much faster CPUs than my Gentoo machine.

All in all, do you like Linux? Take a look at Gentoo, heck install it now. Play with it, you might end up liking it a lot, and I would really like more people working with this exciting distro.

Big "good job" to the Gentoo developers, they are really nice.

alternative windowing system
by Norman Feske on Sun 28th Jul 2002 17:49 UTC

I am currently developing an alternative windowing
system. It is primary meant to be the user interface
of the rt operating system 'Drops', developed at the
technical university of dresden - but it runs under
linux, too.

Some preview screenshots are available here:
http://os.inf.tu-dresden.de/~nf2/dopescreens.html

As far as now, the sourcecode is not available for
the public. When the first stable version is ready
it will most probably be released as gpl.

bye bye x11
by Andy on Sun 28th Jul 2002 19:32 UTC

the future is http://www.directfb.org/

...
by rajan r on Mon 29th Jul 2002 04:17 UTC

Instead of all this effort on Syllable, AtheOS, etc., why not form a company to free BeOS?

Funny, cause Syllable nor AtheOS have any plans to clone BeOS. Sure, they are using A LOT of Be OS ideas (who doesn't?), but they aren't cloning BeOS.

I wonder what he thinks of the architecture of something like PicoGui

It is made for embedded devices like smart phones and PDAs.

Even though PicoGUI is primarily for embedded devices it is designed to be network transparent (IMHO that this is totally necessary for any possible successor to X).

Fresco has a higher degree of network transperancy, closer to X11, plus it is made for workstations, so if that is your reason, there is not reason to pick Pico over Fresco.

As far as now, the sourcecode is not available for
the public. When the first stable version is ready
it will most probably be released as gpl.


GPL may not be a good idea. There would be non-GPL compatible software that would need to link with the graphics server, thus creating a legal problem. LGPL is a better choice, if you are in the copyleft side. However, make sure you know the implications of your choice of license.

Besides, your site is void of any information (technical ones). I couldn't care less about the looks, for that could be changed.

the future is http://www.directfb.org/

That would be hard... DirectFB only runs on Linux, shuting out FreeBSD and other important OSes out...

server version
by Centinel on Tue 30th Jul 2002 09:25 UTC

when is gentoo going to release its more stable server-only version?