Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 4th Feb 2009 14:11 UTC
Linux With Linux traditionally coming in many, many flavours, a common call among some Linux fans - but mostly among people who actually do not use Linux - is to standardise all the various distributions, and work from a single "one-distribution-to-rule-them-all". In a recent interview, Linus Tovalds discarded the idea, stating that he thinks "it's something absolutely required!"
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RE: Multiple Distros? Yes, but...
by Delgarde on Thu 5th Feb 2009 07:13 UTC in reply to "Multiple Distros? Yes, but..."
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

I'm supportive of Linux having multiple distros, HOWEVER, I believe it's time to ditch X and go a much slimmer way of doing all things windowing. It would be nice to see a standardized GUI as part of a loadable module for Linux.


You might consider that there are many other people out there who have thought this a good idea, some of which have even tried doing it. Most of them never get anywhere, because it's not an easy thing to do, and honestly, it's really not all that useful.

X11 is here now, and it works. Even if you successfully write a replacement, how do you expect to get people to use it? Your new desktop isn't much use if people can't run anything under it, so you're going to have to get applications from somewhere. Will you write some sort of X11 compatibility layer? Or maybe port existing toolkits like Gtk+ and Qt? But that's hardly going to give you a standardized GUI, if you're just running all of the existing non-standardized software. So congratulations, I guess you'll be writing your own web browser and mail clients, your own photo-editing tools, your own media player, and all that.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it? What was the benefit, again?

Reply Parent Score: 5

silix Member since:
2006-03-01

You might consider that there are many other people out there who have thought this a good idea, some of which have even tried doing it.
you might also consider Kristian Høgsberg's Wayland project ;)

Most of them never get anywhere, because it's not an easy thing to do, and honestly, it's really not all that useful.
you have forgotten the most likely and common cause, lack of time and developer manpower...

X11 is here now
it's been here for over a decade, and its overall architecture hasn't changed much from the time it's beeen conceived - which was a very different time from today, from the point of view of functional requirements for interactive gui systems..
interestingly, high end unix systems that focus on interactive high performance graphics, did / do not use X, plain or at all (), and sometimes have it as a legacy compatibility option - there must be a reason...

and it works.
really, does it?

Even if you successfully write a replacement, how do you expect to get people to use it?
simple, by writing a replacement that doesnt enforce new application level APIs

Will you write some sort of X11 compatibility layer? Or maybe port existing toolkits like Gtk+ and Qt?
actually the best choice is to port toolkits to a "common denominator" graphics library like opengl (even better if leveraging openvg for primitive rendering and antialiasing), and this has already been done - AND to redesign the graphics subsystem around a streamlined optimized component for the local, composited UI, plus an *optional* service that would support legacy X11 server side stuff for applications needing it, while being layered upon the previous component)

But that's hardly going to give you a standardized GUI, if you're just running all of the existing non-standardized software.
the point is not (not primarily) standardization (assuming you mean consistency in applications' look and feel), because standardization would still be attained by using the same toolkit ( or maybe a common theme library will be possible, now that code sharing between qt and gtk+ will be easier thanks to the lgpl licensing of qt...)
the point is having a more compact and efficient system that can better exploit the capabilities of today's hardware

So congratulations, I guess you'll be writing your own web browser and mail clients, your own photo-editing tools, your own media player, and all that.

what's required to perform the aforementioned is the ability to render the application's widgets and work area to opengl surfaces - this requires the toolkit being ported, not writing an entirely new application
and makes your guess sound like fud...

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it?
less than one may expect, and some of it has already been done

What was the benefit, again?
optimization and bloatware removal, anyone?

Reply Parent Score: 1