Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 28th Apr 2004 17:34 UTC
X11, Window Managers There is a three day X Developer's meeting from Wednesday, April 28, through Friday, April 30, 2004, at the Cambridge Research Laboratory (CRL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ximian's Federico Mena-Quintero was there and outlined the talks of Keith Packard & Jim Gettys regarding where X11 should go.
Order by: Score:
Damn Dead On!
by Myren on Wed 28th Apr 2004 17:54 UTC

Praise be brother!

my big pet peaves on X, stolen direct from the article:
1) XInput. network display but no networked input, what were they thinking (make it work)? "hot-plugged devices, DBUS/HAL integration," also good.
2) application startup & huge # of round trips required (teh suck on 9600 network).
3) Xlib needs to handle loss of connection properly - screen like functionality. i think this could be done with xmove and userspace daemons to a decent degree, if you can pickup and interrupt a disconnect...

PS: how do you tell what input device an input event is coming from?

and, not an X issue, but very very close to my heart, particularly the last breath:
We need network audio. Current audio servers all suck. Need low latency for VoIP; need synchronization facilities for audio/video.
sycronization is the lynchpin for computers DOMINATING home theater / AV space.

oooohhh nice
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 17:59 UTC

Theres a live feed. ;)

AND
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 18:39 UTC

Something to compare with the Microsft RDP implentation ?
It's really nice, low bandwith usage and nice response. T

status of things?
by raskolnikov on Wed 28th Apr 2004 18:41 UTC

does someone know what the status of the composite extension and the ARGB visuals are at the moment. how far away are they from the average user?

Really makes you think
by Nathan O. on Wed 28th Apr 2004 18:45 UTC

It makes you wonder, how awesome could X be if it wasn't dominated by a group of do-nothings all these years? X is so futuristic when compared to a lot of other platforms' graphics methods, but at the same time, it all sounds very, very realistic. In fact, sites like this make me wonder why no one's done it at the quality / potential they're talking about yet.

@Myren
by Rayiner Hashem on Wed 28th Apr 2004 18:53 UTC

In reference to #3: have you tried NX? It seems to drastically cut down on the roundtrips required for networked connections.

http://www.nomachine.com

improvements
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 18:56 UTC


". In fact, sites like this make me wonder why no one's done it at the quality / potential they're talking about yet."

thats because development has just opened up after the xfree86 fiasco

X is outdated
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 18:59 UTC

Network transparency is not needed anymore. Who the hell wants to run graphics in user space communicating over tcp/ip? Its like having every app in a web browser for christ's sake! I don't like these kinds of 'emulated' technologies like X11 or Java. I think direct graphics rendering like Windows and MacOS is the way of the future. Just compare Windows font quality and graphics effects to X11... theres no competition.

RE: X is outdated
by Rll on Wed 28th Apr 2004 19:07 UTC

Well, I really like Xorg Server's fonts, they are so much better than windos' [XP with AA etc...] Actualy i find them more... er... readable

RE:X is outdated
by Bryce on Wed 28th Apr 2004 19:22 UTC

The network tansparency that you speak of is not for running applications in a web browser and is in fact very usefull. I setup a terminal server in linux and it was very easy to do for the simple fact that X11 is network transparent. So you may think that the future of desktop technology is in direct rendering most people that wish to have dumb terminals would dissagree.

RE: RE: X is outdated
by TLy on Wed 28th Apr 2004 19:23 UTC

To Anonymous: http://www.directfb.org

@Anonymous
by Rayiner Hashem on Wed 28th Apr 2004 19:32 UTC

Network transparency is not needed anymore.
Right now, I've got an X-Windows session running on my laptop at home, while I use a lab computer half a mile away. I could walk back and get my laptop, but that would require moving...

Who the hell wants to run graphics in user space communicating over tcp/ip?
On a local connection, X doesn't use TCP/IP, it uses a UNIX domain socket. Those are very fast.

Its like having every app in a web browser for christ's sake!
How so?

I don't like these kinds of 'emulated' technologies like X11 or Java.
How is it 'emulated'?

I think direct graphics rendering like Windows and MacOS is the way of the future.
Direct graphics rendering is so mid-1990s. Modern graphics cards don't like having their frame-buffers touched by anybody but themselves. That's why OpenGL implementations use a command-stream. Clients don't touch the card directly --- the GL library batches up all the operations into a command buffer, than processes the buffer then DMA's it to the graphics card. Sounds a lot like X, don't it? That's because both X and OpenGL were designed for networked rendering from the start.

Just compare Windows font quality and graphics effects to X11... theres no competition.
I don't see how. I'm sitting on a Windows machine right now, and the fonts don't look like anything special. No different from when I used KDE on a CRT. As for graphical effects, the only thing Windows can do that X cannot is transparent windows, and until Longhorn comes out, that is a very big hack.

RE: X is outdated
by shaunm on Wed 28th Apr 2004 19:33 UTC

Network transparency is not needed anymore. Who the hell wants to run graphics in user space communicating over tcp/ip? Its like having every app in a web browser for christ's sake! I don't like these kinds of 'emulated' technologies like X11 or Java.

X11 is not an 'emulated' technology. It's built to be a client-server architecture from the ground up. Is HTTP an 'emulated' technology? How about IMAP? I guess the whole Internet is just a big emulator to you.

I just love how people scream that network transparency isn't needed. But at the same time, Microsoft and Apple are both running around trying to graft remote displays onto their architectures.

I use remote clients all the time, as do a lot of people in a corporate environment (read: where work gets done, not playing Quake). People in X land just launch a remote client, and it Just Works(TM). Because the protocol is designed to do this, it's way faster than if you had to push all the pixels across the wire.

I see people in Windows land opening up complete remote desktops just to run a single remote application. And that remote application, of course, is then stuck inside the window for the remote desktop. Drag and drop and clipboard and other stuff don't work correctly between the remote application and the local applications. Not very transparent at all. X solves the problem correctly, and it did so long before anybody else even attempted.

And thin clients are only going to become more common. Small, appliance-like computers are starting to take off. A small display on your stereo setup to play music. A small display in your kitchen to view your recipes. These things just scream for remote clients.

I think direct graphics rendering like Windows and MacOS is the way of the future. Just compare Windows font quality and graphics effects to X11... theres no competition.

And this stuff can be had while still maintaining the network transparency. And that's exactly what these people are talking about doing. No other system even comes close to being able to do what X has been able to do for years.

Re: X is outdated
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 19:45 UTC

Argh not again. You're either a troll or heavily uninformed.

First of all, X (at least, the XFree86 and XOrg implementations) do not use TCP/IP for everything on localhost! Pixmaps are transferred using shared memory, and normal X requests (very small amounts of data) are transferred using Unix Domain Sockets (not TCP sockets! On Linux, Unix Domain Sockets are almost just as fast as shared memory).

Seconds, Windows and MacOS do not render graphics directly! In fact, no modern multitasking operating system lets apps write to the graphics hardware directly. They all go through an abstraction layer. Windows NT's graphics subsystem sends commands to the kernel via IPC, very similar to X!
Abstraction is the future, not direct hardware access. Computers are becoming faster and faster, the overhead created by abstractions will be less and less visible, while the advantages of the abstractions will become more and more apparent. Every modern OS moves towards more abstraction and less direct hardware access!

And your "network transparency is not needed anymore" is completely rediculous. You've obviously never seen a large setup with tens of computers. Hooking a hundred thin clients on a big server is much cheaper than buying 100 normal desktop PCs.
X's network transparency is also what makes my old Pentium 233 usable again: my dad runs large programs that are on my (fast) computer, and sees the output on his X server display. If it wasn't for X, he would have to run the app locally, which makes the system crawl like hell.

The point about fonts is even more rediculous. You've obviously never used the high-quality Bitstream Vera fonts. Bitstream Vera Sans is even better than Arial! You can even use Windows's TrueType fonts if you really want to!
Blaming the font rendering subsystem for the quality of the font files itself is a sign of ignorance.

sound server ?
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 19:59 UTC

sound server ?

MAS (R) ???

RE FONTS
by DSF on Wed 28th Apr 2004 20:03 UTC

Just compare Windows font quality and graphics effects to X11... theres no competition.


actually he is right.
X11 is far superior than the XP fonts

screen to screen, my desktop is far better than those jagged looking XP fonts.

not a troll, just how it is.

smooth fonts
by rsk on Wed 28th Apr 2004 20:27 UTC

DSF,
What about right click on desktop, appearence (or effects, I forget where) and check "Smooth screen fonts"?

Re: smooth fonts
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 20:28 UTC



thats fuzzy hell

How about Avalon?
by D on Wed 28th Apr 2004 20:41 UTC

It seems that Avalon will be good in remote scenarios.

X11 fonts
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 20:43 UTC

"X11 is far superior than the XP fonts

screen to screen, my desktop is far better than those jagged looking XP fonts.

not a troll, just how it is"


Exactly, I agree 100%. The subpixel anti-aliased Bitstream Vera fonts on my Linux box look *much* better than the fonts in Windows. Arial looks ugly compared to Bitstream Vera Sans.

RE: X11 fonts
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 20:53 UTC

We have already had this discussion. We decided that Windows XP and Mac OS X were very close, depending on how much anti-aliasing you prefer. Linux in its default configuration is usually far, far, away from either. It can be configured, manually, to be competitive, but results vary.

thats just your opinion
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 20:57 UTC

"Linux in its default configuration is usually far, far, away from either. It can be configured, manually, to be competitive, but results vary."

not anything conclusive

@Anonymous
by Rayiner Hashem on Wed 28th Apr 2004 21:06 UTC

not anything conclusive
Precisely. My two cents on the issue:

- MacOS X: Not even close. It doesn't hint nearly enough taking into account how low-res all of Apple's LCDs are. Good shapes, but even weight across lines and rather blurry.

- Windows without AA: Very sharp, but unusable on very high-res displays.

- Windows with Cleartype: A bit blurry on moderate-res CRTs, but very even weight across lines and extremely good kerning. At higher resolutions, looks rather forced and mechanical, because it distorts letter shapes unnecessarily.

- Freetype: Identical to Windows without AA (if bytecode hinter is on). Anti-aliased output on moderate-res CRTs has some kerning problems (less noticible with a font like Vera), and has problems with italics on 'tight' fonts like Times New Roman. Anti-aliased output on a high-res CRT is absolutely gorgeous, with much more natural letter shapes than Cleartype.

X11 fonts
by Lumbergh on Wed 28th Apr 2004 21:14 UTC

Windows fonts and XFree fonts are about equal to me. I'm on a 1600x1200 UXGA notebook screen and when you enable cleartype the windows fonts looks good, and maybe just a tad better than XFree fonts.

And by the way
by Lumbergh on Wed 28th Apr 2004 21:16 UTC

You've all been trolled by a very old "X11 is outdated" slashdork troll that has been around for years.

speak for yourself
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 21:54 UTC

Hi

"It is not currently dominated by do nothings, this is a myth perpetuated by slashdot and idoits that think directfb and the like are useful"

We got a pretty big project dependant on directfb. no its not idiotic

No need for the audio, it all ready exists, check into jackit, it runs on freebsd, linux, and probally a few other unix clones/derivatives/work-a-likes/whatever...

It is aimed at being low latency.

Yeah, it has it's occasional useful, such as uber lower end embedded and the like, but even with the embedded stuff I've messed with I've not really seen a need for any thing like it as of recently.

in other words...
by Anonymous on Wed 28th Apr 2004 22:36 UTC



its NOT a do nothing

please dont feed the trolls
by Myren on Wed 28th Apr 2004 23:16 UTC

just ignore the AC trolls on network transparency. anyone with the power to change it realizes it doesnt hurt performance and is ungodly useful. probably just a troll anyways, if not, one day soon enough they'll understand. ;)

MAS is AWSOME! I found it about two hours after posting. Still hacking apart my media server, but I'm excited to test MAS. They even mention syncronicity as important. It really looks stellar. I had to check a couple times to make sure it really was free. ;)

i dont think jack actually looks at latency and tries to counteract agaisnt that. but the problem is more symptomatic than even that, even if your multicasting on a hub, unless each system has identical hardware, odds are they'll start playing at different times. lastly, even fi they all started, each system will slowly fall out of skew. in the occasional situation where i can get Icecast to start "simultaneously" on every system, ( wrong tool for the job like whoa ) the systems slowly move out of skew. What was once acceptable sycronicity falls into decay. Problem is non-trivial.

I'll check out NX. I use DXPC for low latency connections mainly. Thanks for the recommendation Rayiner.

@V. Velox
by ThanatosNL on Wed 28th Apr 2004 23:27 UTC

jackit would be a great backend, but I think what Getty's was originally getting as was the need for a network-transparent audio server, and jackit is client-side only, isn't it?

I could be wrong, though.

JAVA INSTALLATION OF GODDAM ORACLE (<- screaming CAPS mode)

yeah guys, thats one of the X11 network forward things I need.
Other examples here:

gkrellm, where I don't have a gkrellmd installed or where I when I want to forward gkrellm for whatever reason.
rdp to run in our network to my box outside
whatever x forward stuff I sometimes need from somewhere.

I don't want to miss that. I don't want to go back to the windows world. I don't need that. I don't want to forward perhaps the whole display when I just want one program, etc ...

And now for the final blow:

Terminal Services. Yeah they are here, they come back and they are great. So whoever says there is not networking needed anymore in X actually should just sit down and be silent.

Problems with X
by omnivector on Thu 29th Apr 2004 01:50 UTC

wow. this is an easy list:

1) build a toolkit into the X server. the toolkit wars are meaningless, and wasteful. this also allows you to do remote-widgets without having to ship paint commands over the wire like X currently does
2) built in compression. NX is nice. lets make it standard
3) GPU acceleration with composition. mac started this in 2002, and look how well it works. this by definition includes transparency effects
4) screen with X. we got it with terminals, why not with X?
5) SANE configuration. i never, ever, ever, ever want to see another XF86Config file in my life. make everything work flawless in gnome/kde (resolution changing, adding monitors, changing fonts, etc, etc) without having to restart X. you should be able to do anything from gnome/kde config panels without root, short of changing the video card driver (which should just autodetect and get it right!). i shouldn't have to know my freaking monitor's horizontal and vertical scan info.

Problems with X: part 2
by omnivector on Thu 29th Apr 2004 01:52 UTC

oh yeah. and fix COPY PASTE for god sakes! make a standarized X based copy/paste system that allows rich text copying, image copying, or anything, from kde and gnome and motif, java, etc, apps.

Re: X is outdated
by Kurt Pfeifle on Thu 29th Apr 2004 02:24 UTC


--> Network transparency is not needed anymore.<--


Ha!

Tell this to Microsoft, please!

Why, do you think they are investing in Citrix? Why, do you think, they are improving and making efficient their "Remote Desktop Protocol" (RDP)? Why, do you think, they are pushing their "Windows Terminal Servers"? Why, do you think, they have bought "Virtual PC"? Why, do you think, they are trying to make Virtual PC a VMWare ESX Server competition? How, do you think, they are pushing towards data centers with "Application Server" offerings?

I trust Microsoft's business sense more than I trust your "outdated" statement....

--> Who the hell wants to run graphics in user space communicating over tcp/ip? <--

I do.

A lot of people do.

I want to have my home desktop with me. All the time. Everywhere. No, I don't want to carry my complete machine with me. I want to have *access* to it. I want it from my Laptop. I want it from all computers I use. I want it from my PDA. I even want it from my Mobile Phone! I want to read my mails using *my* mail client. I want to have access to *my* address data base. I want to access and modify and create *my* data and documents. But I don't want to carry them with me. I want to use TCP/IP to get to them. All the time. From everywhere.

In fact, I can do this already. I use a Knoppix. Knoppix CeBIT edition and Knoppix 3.4. These versions do include the NX Client [ http://www.nomachine.com/download.php ] from NoMachine [ http://www.nomachine.com/ ]. That, and a TCP/IP connected computer which lets me boot it, is enough to let me get to these data on my own desktop at home. It only needs an modem or ISDN line. It is fast. It is efficient. It is responsive. It rocks.

Now, I know: people who are used to remote X sessions across the internet don't believe this. The know from experience that even a 384 kBit/sec ADSL line is not "fast" enough to get a fluent workflow going. They are right.

Plain vanilla X sucks, if run across TCP/IP. (Well it is not the X Protocol -- this is in fact highly efficient. It is more the X applications, which are often programmed in a very unefficient way, and the toolkits they rely on. These make remote X connections much more sluggish than they need to be. But NX from NoMachine now rectifies this in a revolutionary way.)

I know you don't believe me. OK - your problem.

NX is the saviour for X remote connectivity. You, my anonymous friend, would probably have some more supporters with your verdict "X is outdated" if there was no NX here. But it is. And it is here to conquer the world of network desktop computing. Across many platforms: Linux, Windows and Mac OS X and even Embedded System!

5 years ago no-one believed me that CUPS represents the future of Linux printing. I don't think I am wrong if I say this future has happened by now. I don't intend to err in regard to NX's future.


Kurt Pfeifle,

Author of CUPS documentation pieces [ http://www.cups.org/cups-help.html ].
Author of the Official Samba HOWTO Collection printing chapters [ http://samba.vernstok.nl/htmldocs/howto/CUPS-printing.html ].
Co-Organizer of the KDE Community World Summit [ http://conferenc2004.kde.org/ ]

Check out ttp://jackit.sourceforge.net/ ...

AFAIK it is effectively the same thing as artsd and esd, but better. Never really looked into it myself, becuase I've never had any need for a sound server before. The only thing I am away of is that it exists in the freebsd portstree and there are a few ports that need it.

@omnivector
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 29th Apr 2004 02:49 UTC

1) build a toolkit into the X server. the toolkit wars are meaningless, and wasteful.
The toolkit wars have been very fruitful. Without competition, I doubt Qt and GTK+ would be moving as fast as they have. For example, when GTK+ got accessibility support via ATK, Trolltech was quick to say that Qt4 would have ATK support too.

this also allows you to do remote-widgets without having to ship paint commands over the wire like X currently does
This isn't actually as much of a win as you'd think. The prime problem is that the really demanding apps don't use built-in widgets, but rather they use custom widgets. For example, web-browsers, media apps, word-processors, programming IDEs, etc. You'd have to build all those widgets into the server, or just fall back to how things are now. The other problem is that often, the data required to feed a widget is greater than the data required to display the widget. A large Slashdot page weighs in at 200KB. You could ship this all to the server for a in-server HTML widget to display, but it'd be cheaper to just send the drawing commands.

2) built in compression. NX is nice. lets make it standard
Yep, this would be nice.

3) GPU acceleration with composition. mac started this in 2002, and look how well it works. this by definition includes transparency effects
Well, that's what FD.O is doing ;)

5) SANE configuration. i never, ever, ever, ever want to see another XF86Config file in my life.
X does a pretty good job of autodetecting your hardware today. XFree86 5.0 was supposed to be completely XF86Config-less --- hopefully the X.org guys should be able to keep that goal intact.

make everything work flawless in gnome/kde (resolution changing, adding monitors, changing fonts, etc, etc) without having to restart X.
You can already do most of that except adding monitors.

you should be able to do anything from gnome/kde config panels without root, short of changing the video card driver (which should just autodetect and get it right!). i shouldn't have to know my freaking monitor's horizontal and vertical scan info.
I haven't needed this inawhile. One of the nice things about using an LCD ;)

Well looks like it is troll feeding time again ^_^

Check out XF4.4. Despit all the whinging done by some FSF loosers, it is taking steps towards it. It is sad some Linux distros where dumb enought not to take it and make use of this new power. It has better autoconfiging than the previous, set you settings one and carry then between cards and machines... that is if I understand the docs correctly ^_^

A tool was added, like XFree86 -configure, that does the same thing, but uses a file for some of the variables.


Just one toolkit? You are aware, that there is no OS that this is true for? Look into windows, you will find more than one and far more than there are for X.

Why do you want X running on more than one terminal on the same machine? BTW you can do this. I got board and tried befor. Heck, if you want you can get two USB mice and keyboards, a two vid cards, and two monitors and have two different servers going both using a dif monitor along with a using serperate mice and KBs. ^_^ But using seperate terminals and this dual setup and the like are wasteful... the proper way to do this is to use workspaces. I have mine setup for 20 work spaces... I switch by pressing alt(1-0) for 1 to 10 and alt+mod4(1-0) for 10 to 20. ^_^


BTW GPU accel is used. Get a good card and see. BTW S3 cards and the like will suck no matter what. What a good card? Well those you have to pay for. Matrox cards are nice. But if you don't have the money for a workstation card, then you can all ways get a game card, such as a ATI or NVidia. These work nice and much faster than bad video cards. BTW check out the drivers from nvidia, they make a massive difference. The problem comes down to X is set up to do hardware accel, it just that it requires getting all that into the card drivers... which you begin running into documentation problems as well as problems with time.

X11 rocks
by azazel on Thu 29th Apr 2004 03:10 UTC

I'm running an app from home over dialup using compressed ssh thanks to X11. No I do NOT have to export an entire desktop, just the one app. And it runs in my local X11 environment on KDE as though it was local (minus drawing lag because of dialup).

X11 is brilliant. It just needs modernising, and I can see that is happening now it is out of the hands of XFree86 (the ball and chain of Linux all these years).

Btw, the remote server I'm running the app on is Solaris/SPARC, and the local computer is Linux/X86.

Re: omnivector , "Problems with X"
by Andrew Ego on Thu 29th Apr 2004 03:16 UTC

Move #5 to #1, and #3 to #2, and I agree completely ;) Ease of use and responsiveness (locally, anyway) are features most home users are going to appreciate more than network-transparency features. Although, it should be noted that I completely agree with the SANE people here - network transparency is a must-have!!

Hey!

Give the XFree86 ppl some credit!

They did more than is often acknowledged. Yes, there where some slow times. But this is a massive project and that things like that take time. Things where really picking up when some of the Linux distros went lame and got pointlessly whinie about 4.4. Some reorging was going on around that time too among how it is governed too.


Not trying to nitpick, but it is possible trought terminal services to export just one thing, but not as nicely thought. /me has seen this mistake made a few times on here and would just like to see jabs at windows properly placed ^_^

RE: V. Velox and Rayiner
by omnivector on Thu 29th Apr 2004 04:37 UTC

os x uses one toolkit. it's quite nice. it means everything, and i mean everything, is totally consistent and integrated well. unlike windows and linux. it's one of the reasons mac software is higher quality. it's not about competition, it's about usability. having multiple look and feels, skinning apps, etc, reduces usability. if you want competition, get it in the desktop arena with different desktop environments but stop trashing my desktop with 15 toolkits making it impossible for the average user to learn 15 different look and feel styles/interface quirks/toolkit functionality differences.

yes i know that a lot of times widgets are custom rayiner, but this doesn't mean that you can't do things the right way. one of the current problemx with x11 forwarding is theming isn't preserved. if i run bluecurve locally but thinice remotely, i see a mix of bluecurve and thinice. it looks tacky and crappy. this would be fixed with a unified widget set built into the xserver, as this would be handled at the xserver level, not the protocol level. this could probably be fixed with current x11 implementations, i'm not entirely sure.

as far as auto-configing goes, you're sorely mistaken. the console program is inadquate. the moment you say the word console, 95% of the population doesn't care anymore. make it easy, and make it default. i should just have to install Xfree on a machine and run it, and magically get 1600x1200 24bit color with my dual monitors working. no magic. and rayiner, i've used gnome and kde. you cannot do all these things i speak of yet easily like you can in windows and os x. have you seen os x's ability to switch monitors, resolutions, etc from the display manager preferences pane? it's a thing of beauty. i drag one monitor and drop it where i want it.. and it magically appears there! i want monitor 1 on the left and monitor 2 on the right? just drag it. want to switch the resolution of monitor one? oh what's that.. you don't have 1600x1200 listed in your XF86Config file's list of supported resolutions? too bad. gnome doesn't account for this. it's not done, and correct, until it's all automatic and until i never have to touch a config file or know a single spec about my monitor, including the name or model of it.

x11 DOES NOT USE GPU ACCELERATION to do compositing. get this into your thick skulls people. that means you don't get true transparency. you don't get fast vector scaling effects (like os x windows minimizing.. the shrink effect or like expose). you don't get fast shadows (like os x puts behind windows) you don't get the ability to take screenshots of a movie while it plays (try this sometime with mplayer/xine. you'll notice it doesn't show up in the screenshot). these are all things the GPU based compositing engine gives you that x11 does not use yet. if you want an example of how awesome gpu acceleration can be just take on look at this screenshot, and i should stress the fact that i did nothing special to take this screenshot in os x: http://otierney.net/images/quartzextreme.jpg

and to raynier

i know that fd.o is working on these things, but i sure as hell don't see them today in X. X is at least better off than window's display model. as it currently stands, the only thing X11 can't do that windows can is transparency, but it's a cheap hack compared to quartz extreme's compositor. windows has the same problems as linux with 15 different look and feels. at the very least, they are similar though. that's one thing windows does have over linux in the toolkit dept. but it's not by much.

BAH!

Funny, I never said any thing about compositing...

The thing is, that this actually easy to solve for X... I am working on it, out of boredom. The thing is the ppl that can solve it, generally don't give a rat's. BTW what are these 15 toolkits it needs to be solved for on X?

I can think of only two that count... gtk and qt... which are easy to solve for...

ACK! everything important happens at console level. If it can't be done there, it is not worth doing every where. The trust is most ppl are idiots with out a proper understanding of the console. BTW look at wtf X is and you will quickly find why it defualts to what it does. /me probally would have set those lower if it was his choice. The program just being present is enought to make your arguement that it can't bull. It is present, thus and decent package system has the ability to make use of it...

BTW why are you speaking to me about KDE and Gnome, both of which I detest as examples of how not to do a desktop. /me feels the same way about Windows and OS X... OS X is getting close to offering actual usability, but it is not quite there yet... better than most thought...

BTW cute screen shot, but I really don't see why this is so impressive, yes, nice accomplishment, but the ability to do that offers me nothing.

BTW I don't see what is that about video matters... it works nicely, so why should I care if I have to switch over to x11 or not if I want to capture a screenshot... since I rarely do this... actually never... I don't see why that should matter to me in the least... you like OS X, nice, but it does not offer me any thing of interest

Re: V. Velox
by omnivector on Thu 29th Apr 2004 06:04 UTC

it doesn't matter whether or not you think it's important, it's important to many users and to developers. we will never get anywhere saying "i don't need, that, why should anyone else." lets take all this advanced hardware and keep pushing the limits of it. eventually we can do amazing things.

that screenshot is just an example of what's POSSIBLE in os x. can you do that in linux and windows yet? NO. just because you don't think that's important doesn't change the fact that linux is behind os x. so quit being smug.

gnome and kde aren't the best ever, i agree, but they're the most feature-complete desktop environments for the linux world so they do matter currently, and we should focus on them.

there's a whole lot more than qt an gtk these days ya know. gtk, qt, fox, fltk, motif, swing, xul, swt, are some just to name a few. and that doesn't even count the gtk1/qt2 apps still floating around.

the video matters because it's transprent (not visually, but metaphorically) to the user. why the heck doesn't screenshot work in linux with movies? or windows for that matter? heck if i know or care, but i still want to take a picture of it! the average user doesn't say "oh well, i don't ever need that" once they actually DO try and do it. they say "why the heck doesn't this work?." again, don't be so smug. this is a problem, and it needs to be addressed.

@omnivector
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 29th Apr 2004 06:09 UTC

os x uses one toolkit. it's quite nice.
Partially true. Cocoa and Carbon use the same underlying appearance manager, but there are diffences and a lot of unshared code. These were much more apparent in earlier OS X releases, until Apple polished things up. Now, at the L&F level, it should be mentioned that OS X does have the Aqua vs Metal schism.

it means everything, and i mean everything, is totally consistent and integrated well.
To a degree. You can still notice lots of differences. Office X, for example, doesn't opaque resize while other OS X applications do. OS X also lacks certain integrative features (eg: transparent remote file access via something like KIO), that Linux has. The look and feel in general is very integrated, but when you go deeper you start to seams.

yes i know that a lot of times widgets are custom rayiner, but this doesn't mean that you can't do things the right way.
What is the *right* way? The X developer say that client-side widgets is the *right* way, because the benefits of server-side widgets are not really that helpful in practice, for the aforementioned reasons. It should be noted that neither Windows nor OS X build the widget set into the windowing system --- Aqua is just another library drawing into window buffers as far as the OS is concerned.

as far as auto-configing goes, you're sorely mistaken. the console program is inadquate. the moment you say the word console, 95% of the population doesn't care anymore. make it easy, and make it default. i should just have to install Xfree on a machine and run it, and magically get 1600x1200 24bit color with my dual monitors working. no magic.
95% of the population doesn't even know what XFree86 is. Nobody installs XFree86, it comes with your distro. You install the OS, and the OS sets up XFree86. I installed RedHat 8 on a bunch of machines at work last summer, and never had to touch a console program. Is there a specific configuration that's giving you problems?

and rayiner, i've used gnome and kde. you cannot do all these things i speak of yet easily like you can in windows and os x. have you seen os x's ability to switch monitors, resolutions, etc from the display manager preferences pane?
What are you talking about specifically. In KControl -> Peripherals -> Display: I've got my resolution/refresh and multiple-monitors tabs. What's missing?

want to switch the resolution of monitor one? oh what's that.. you don't have 1600x1200 listed in your XF86Config file's list of supported resolutions?
The only resolution I have listed in XF86Config is 1600x1200, but switching to 640x512 just now worked fine.

too bad. gnome doesn't account for this. it's not done, and correct, until it's all automatic and until i never have to touch a config file or know a single spec about my monitor, including the name or model of it.
I didn't have to know anything about my monitor either. Debian set it up for me at install time, and I just picked the defaults.

you don't get the ability to take screenshots of a movie while it plays (try this sometime with mplayer/xine. you'll notice it doesn't show up in the screenshot).
Actually, this is an indication that OS X *isn't* using your card's dedicated acceleration. The reason Xine windows don't show up in screenshots is because Xv uses the hardware overlays on the video card, which don't get copied to the framebuffer.

@omnivector
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 29th Apr 2004 06:13 UTC

there's a whole lot more than qt an gtk these days ya know. gtk, qt, fox, fltk, motif, swing, xul, swt, are some just to name a few. and that doesn't even count the gtk1/qt2 apps still floating around.
Nobody actually uses fox, fltk, or swing apps. People use Motif apps, but motif apps tend to be high-end ones that use their own toolkit on all their platforms. And XUL and SWT usually do their widgets through GTK2 on Linux. The only toolkit that matters for the mainstream other than GTK+ and Qt is VCL (Open Office's toolkit), and these days with the native widget framework, it looks close enough to a KDE or GTK+ app that most users won't notice. Not any more users than the number that notice that MS Office uses its own toolkit on Windows...

I am not being smug, just calling it as I see it... btw you be surprised at how far you can get with a attitude like this... also btw I never said making use of GPU was bad, I just said stuff like OSX is a waste... or something like that... I forget and it is now late...

BTW what is happening with video there is actual means it is working nicely... and efficently... go and look at why it happens...

No, you should not fucos on KDE and Gnome when it comes to desktop developement issues, as they have both gotten it totally bloody wrong and you can make uber nice apps with out coding specifically for either.

BTW when the average user ask you how or why, take the time to show them how to do it, it is simple with mplayer and xine... and they will then be smarter and hopefully ask fewer stupid questions later on... point them to the correct resources and tell them to read or if you are bored explain what happens... since as end users it is their own bloody job to read up on what they use... a computer is a tool and like any other tool it has instruction manuals and should be treated as such

RE: screenshot movie
by LB06 on Thu 29th Apr 2004 07:19 UTC

you don't get the ability to take screenshots of a movie while it plays (try this sometime with mplayer/xine. you'll notice it doesn't show up in the screenshot).
This is very well possible. Just don't use the xv video output drivers, but one like sdl or gl2 or x11 or xover or something. Also see 'mplayer -vo help'

RE: X11 fonts
by Anonymous on Thu 29th Apr 2004 08:07 UTC

There is a fundamental BUG in the linux font rendering engine (Xft, pango/QT, whatewer), somebody do it long time ago and we all still spend lot of time to solve it wrong way. It is integer glyph positioning, with bitmaps in mind. Adobe Reader, Windows, XOS do not lose fractional part of the variable glyph width and kerning is far better. One example, compare mozilla pages on windows XP and Fedora (gtk build), Bitstream Vera or Arial - it is alwaws mach worse in Linux. Also, latest GNOME 2.6 screenshots do not show me any improvements ;) . Recently I download freetype2 2.1.8 and it does not change overall look. Hope somebody brave took X font rendering engine, gether all x/xft/pango/qt algs and write compact modern lib?
Second, there is no chip video hardware that can do correct compositing. Their can do simple calcs but do it in wrong color space - gamma corrected and result is really bad (is seem to be transparent window but some values too dark and some too bright). Wait some years, 16 bit per component video cards solve it.

"GNU Screen but for X servers"
by Damiano on Thu 29th Apr 2004 09:27 UTC


Jim Gettys's talk:

* Xlib needs to handle loss of connection properly; think of wireless networks. We should be able to preserve and migrate sessions, but we should then handle authentication issues. Think of GNU Screen but for X servers.


At least ;)
So I can leave my apps open and connect from anywhere and get my desktop as I left it !
Like an hibernate but for desktop.

"GNU Screen but for X servers"
by Kurt Pfeifle on Thu 29th Apr 2004 09:52 UTC

@Daniamo:

So I can leave my apps open and connect from anywhere and get my desktop as I left it !
Like an hibernate but for desktop.


The next or the one after the next version of NX [ http://www.nomachine.com/ ] will support this. I have it working here with a developer test release already.

RE: screenshot movie
by omnivector on Thu 29th Apr 2004 12:49 UTC

i'm well aware of this ;) that definitely consititues as having to do "something special" just to take the screenshot. and os x is just as accelerated as mplayer in linux when it comes to playing movies.

RE: screenshot movie
by tom on Thu 29th Apr 2004 14:07 UTC

@omnivector: maybe you don't know, but you can't take screenshot in OSX at all while DVD Player.app is running.

osx as fast aslinux on movie
by dizz on Thu 29th Apr 2004 16:01 UTC

well i must say that i thougth that movies did run more smotley under linux with mplayer than it did under osx on my powerbook g4 and on my powermac g4 867mhz. ofcourse only divx and mpg on dvds i didnt notice the same diffrence. maby quicktime movies do run more smotly under osx but i dont use that format so i couldnt tell.

ofcourse aqua was i bit nicer than gnome but that didnt matter when all the apps i used on osx was qt or gtk.

@omnivector
by Rayiner Hashem on Thu 29th Apr 2004 16:19 UTC

That's clearly not true. If you can take a screenshot in OS X, then you're not using the video acceleration hardware, its as simple as that.

MAS?? What is it??
by mattk on Fri 30th Apr 2004 15:21 UTC

Market Analysis System right,
http://eiffel-mas.sourceforge.net/

Got URL?

X futuristic
by j on Fri 30th Apr 2004 15:49 UTC

X is so futuristic when compared to a lot of other platforms' Check out plan 9.

IMO, X needs to be scraped.