Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Oct 2008 22:32 UTC, submitted by Eric Masson
X11, Window Managers Most of you will be familiar with Silicon Graphics, Inc., once the proud leader in the graphics workstations market with their high-end MIPS workstations, running the UNIX System V based IRIX operating system. The company has been in steady decline for a long time now, and two years ago it put an end to its MIPS product line, favouring processors from Intel. Back to IRIX - it has many assets and good features (XFS, for instance), and the IRIX Interactive Desktop was certainly one of them. Sadly, it never properly made its way out of IRIX, but this is now being worked on, with the full support from SGI.
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kinda cool
by poundsmack on Wed 8th Oct 2008 23:28 UTC
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I am not terribly thrilled though. i can think of a lot of interfaces that i liked more that would be considered unique. NEXT's interface, BeOS's interface, os/2's interface, QNX's Photon interface, actualy there are quite a bit of others. admitidly i never did get a chance to use IRIX, I did used ot use Maya but it was never on an SGI machine.

so since most of the site is still under construction, can someone tell me what makes this interfact so unique that it is worth bringing into the modern world? is apears to be a Motif looking interface like CDE from the screen shots. any IRIX experts here that can highlight some of IRIX Interactive Desktop's unique and exciting features for me?

Reply Score: 4

RE: kinda cool
by helf on Thu 9th Oct 2008 14:20 UTC in reply to "kinda cool"
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Reply Score: 2

RE: kinda cool
by itomato on Fri 10th Oct 2008 16:44 UTC in reply to "kinda cool"
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Keep in mind that this is mid-90's technology!

- Scalable, vector-based desktop icons
- Multimedia (read: Webcam, Audio and Video I/O (CDROMs are still neat-o, remember?)
- Standard X11 toolkit access (Motif) with all the 4dwm-specific stuff from SGI
- No CDE
- A comfortable UNIX Desktop environment (Circa 1994)

It's no BeOS, and certainly no NeXTSTEP/Openstep, but Indigo Magic has it's "magic".

Reply Score: 1

Fond memories
by braddock on Thu 9th Oct 2008 00:13 UTC
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Brings back fond memories of my old Indigo2 Extreme.

IRIX may not have been particularly innovative, but it really did have an appealing style. A certain je ne sais quoi....

Reply Score: 1

just performance
by bhuot on Thu 9th Oct 2008 00:16 UTC
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I think this quote from the screenshot page explains it. It is about performance, not about style.

"Here is a recent screen shot from a QuadCore x86_64 bit Ubuntu 8.041 system running MaXX Desktop DR2 with a NVidia Quadro 1700FX. What is amazing to notice on that system is that no CPU is used when interacting with the 5Dwm window manager. Even when XComposite and our XCompMgr composition manager is enabled… This is really what MaXX Desktop is all about…."

Reply Score: 2

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SGI may be facing hard times financially. But there is definitely a degree of technical prestige associated with being the reporter of Linux kernel bugs such as these:

Edited 2008-10-09 01:35 UTC

Reply Score: 5

by jptros on Thu 9th Oct 2008 02:53 UTC
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I personally have been waiting on this release for a while and I'm really excited it's finally here.

Reply Score: 2

Yet another comment
by Bringbackanonposting on Thu 9th Oct 2008 04:50 UTC
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I am on the the same side of the fence as the others wondering what the fuss is all about.
Is someone serious/game enough to tell us all that a quad core machine will perform worse with the other hundred window managers like fluxbox/blackbox/wmaker etc that look similar and have similar goals? Would anyone tell the difference? Even on a P4?? There better be more to it than performance because nostalgia isn't going to cut it with me.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Yet another comment
by jptros on Thu 9th Oct 2008 12:10 UTC in reply to "Yet another comment"
jptros Member since:

For me it's not so much about the performance though that is important. Some folks like gnome, some folks like kde, some folks like tiling wm's and some folks like using a different *box window manager every few weeks. Me, I like CDE and the Indigo Magic desktop. I don't see a lot of fuss about it but a few of us geeks are excited about this project. I think this is really cool and I'm happy it's out there and supported by SGI. It also helps the Indigo Magic experience to live on and not die off with IRIX. And last but certainly not least, a little more variety and choice is always a good thing.

Reply Score: 2

interesting gamble
by poohgee on Thu 9th Oct 2008 05:46 UTC
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I really like the idea of a very snappy lightweigt full desktop environment - i.e. a fast powerful lightweight version of GNOME ,KDE or Xface .

I hope for them ,that there is a demand for what they are offering & developing .

They talk of high reliability - I do not know how SGI put IRIX together - but the reliability of this new desktop environment also depends on the reliability of the X Window System ,the drivers & the rest of the kernel .. etc. .

These three parts of the system are currently not developed with ultimate reliabilty & snappyness in mind ,which SGI on IRIX had more control of .

Reply Score: 2

What inherits the most from XFS
by mmu_man on Thu 9th Oct 2008 08:42 UTC
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would probably be BFS, which brought extended attributes to a desktop-targetted OS.
Dominic Giampaolo worked at SGI before Be...

Reply Score: 5

Comment by Vanger
by Vanger on Thu 9th Oct 2008 11:30 UTC
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Looks like mix of Awesome and KDE for me.
I really don't see anything on screeenshots except of ten-year-old aestetic and mess of icons on desktop.
IceWM is far cooler for "lightweight wm with icons" niche.
It's nice to have just another WM, though ;)

Reply Score: 3

Don't get me wrong ...
by inetman on Thu 9th Oct 2008 13:29 UTC
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... I'm not intereseted in starting a flame thread, BUT ...

Can somebody please tell me what is so special about "yet another wm for"?

I never used a SGI Workstation and when I'm looking at the screenshot I would call it a windowmanager clone.

It would be great if the article was telling me something about the product beside the fact that it exists.

Best Regards

Reply Score: 2

RE: Don't get me wrong ...
by tbcpp on Thu 9th Oct 2008 13:55 UTC in reply to "Don't get me wrong ..."
tbcpp Member since:

The thing that most of us like about MaXX, is that it isn't flashy, it's simple and it's fast. Plus, MaXX is GPU accelerated, not GPU enhanced like OS X, or Vista. It uses the GPU to off load the graphics processing from the CPU, not to add eye candy that ends up making the whole system just as slow as a non-GPU version.

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RE[2]: Don't get me wrong ...
by _txf_ on Thu 9th Oct 2008 14:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't get me wrong ..."
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As far as I'm aware all major modern window managers and toolkit offload operations in various degrees to the gpu.

The fact that they are using a compositing manager suggests that they too want a certain degree of "enhancing", because compositing involves extra operations so it will be slower than drawing pixmaps directly to the frame buffer. What compositing does is that makes it appear smoother i.e. no flashing when pixmaps update or pixmap tearing (because textures are updated off screen and then shown).

Edited 2008-10-09 14:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Don't get me wrong ...
by helf on Thu 9th Oct 2008 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Don't get me wrong ..."
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hell, even 2D operations in windows have been offloaded somewhat onto GPUs for 12 years or more.

Reply Score: 2

by madcrow on Thu 9th Oct 2008 13:50 UTC
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Looks like a good alternative for people who want something the looks good but uses very low resources. I hope that they eventually switch to a more standard licsense that allows for use on systems other than x86 Linux and that they stop distributing stuff with binary blobs and go "all open" but as it stands, it's a pretty good thing.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Cool...
by tbcpp on Thu 9th Oct 2008 13:52 UTC in reply to "Cool..."
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That's a restriction from SGI. Eric was only able to do this project and not get sued because he got permission from SGI first. They (for what reason I don't know) put these restrictions on him.

Reply Score: 2

by twm_bucket on Thu 9th Oct 2008 16:04 UTC
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MaXX Desktop exists because it can. It's not just another WM, it's a complete desktop. If you don't like the idea of another desktop/WM, well that's your problem. Some of us do.

MaXX has a clean and consistent UI. The window manager has been tweaked to give the optimal performance with the lowest CPU overhead. If you have an Nvidia card, Maxx flies.

This project may not satisfy anyone but if you are into OpenGL and object oriented programming, MaXX will fit the bill.

MaXX emulates 4Dwm and the Indigo magic Desktop. Other projects recreate NeXT or BeOS. Pick your favorite.

The code will be as free and open source as it can be, within the restrictions of the license. SGI has been very cool about all this and we don't want to spoil that.

And due to this license restriction, MaXX will only run on Linux x86 and this will not change for the foreseeable future,

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why
by fithisux on Thu 9th Oct 2008 17:13 UTC in reply to "Why"
fithisux Member since:

I would like them to sell it bundled with Debian-MIPS on Loongson desktops. A better SGI feeling!!!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Why
by merkoth on Thu 9th Oct 2008 17:13 UTC in reply to "Why"
merkoth Member since:

This project may not satisfy anyone but if you are into OpenGL and object oriented programming, MaXX will fit the bill.

Could you elaborate on that? I'm interested in both ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Why
by twm_bucket on Fri 10th Oct 2008 00:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Why"
twm_bucket Member since:

MaXX's apis will have OpenGL and QT tightly integrated (I think an early version was Java, don't quote me on that).

To repeat the point: MaXX will only run on Linux x86 (and x86_64) for the foreseeable future.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why
by inetman on Fri 10th Oct 2008 07:09 UTC in reply to "Why"
inetman Member since:

Thank you twm_bucket,

finally somebody answered by questions (even though you didn't replied to my comment). :-)

My conclusion: Linux is too much diversified, focusing the engagement of all this briliant (or less briliant but still motivated^^) programmers could fix the gap between linux and end user requirements. What I see in project like that is just the ego of the developers who want to show off, that they will do it better (again...). Kind of penis envy, isn't it? ;-)


Reply Score: 1

by DLazlo on Fri 10th Oct 2008 04:31 UTC
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I don't care how others feel about this, but I'm excited. I've been waiting a long time for this to be released.

Thank You!

Reply Score: 1

by reflect on Fri 10th Oct 2008 23:18 UTC
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What's the point of using such an old WM? 4DWM brings.. well, what, to the mixture?

I've used SGI's and I'm not sure if their WM really had anything to offer the modern WMs?

Reply Score: 1