Linked by lopisaur on Fri 25th Jun 2010 22:21 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Based upon a recent email to the X.Org developers' mailing list, Canonical is nearing the point of one of their goals for Ubuntu 10.10 of a rootless X Server, or being able to run the X.Org Server without root privileges.
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RE[3]: Big deal...
by Zifre on Sat 26th Jun 2010 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Big deal..."
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

I don't claim to love X (in fact I am programming my own window system similar to Wayland), basically all the things you said about it are wrong.

It's slow

Well, its architecture is not the greatest, but pretty much any computer can handle it fine. (By comparison, Windows Vista and 7 and very slow, even though their graphics architecture is fairly well designed.)

it kills all apps when it crashes

No, apps decide to kill themselves when they crash. And guess what, if Windows crashes, all your apps crash too!

its standard widgets (Motif) haven't been updated for ages

Motif isn't really the "standard widget toolkit". It was in old toolkit used many years ago that got replaced with much better things.

leading to appearance of a bunch of incompatible toolkits...

By a bunch, I think you really mean two. Gtk+ and Qt. However, they both cooperate pretty well, and can be themed to look the same very easily.

However, I do agree that we should only have one standard toolkit: Qt. Gtk+ is simply technologically inferior in every way. I would be very happy if GNOME was rewritten in Qt...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Big deal...
by Neolander on Sat 26th Jun 2010 14:59 in reply to "RE[3]: Big deal..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Well, its architecture is not the greatest, but pretty much any computer can handle it fine. (By comparison, Windows Vista and 7 and very slow, even though their graphics architecture is fairly well designed.)

Try to play with it when some heavy calculation is running in the background, and see if it remains responsive ^^ Though you're right that "slow" is not the good word. In terms of performance, X is acceptably fast, except for demanding things like games where I think that crappy drivers and compositing are more likely to blame.

No, apps decide to kill themselves when they crash. And guess what, if Windows crashes, all your apps crash too!

Wrong. If windows' graphic layer crashes, and I've seen it crash many times, the desktop disappears for a moment, then reappears with all your apps on top of it. You can safely save your work before rebooting your computer and investigating what's wrong if crashes happen again.

By a bunch, I think you really mean two. Gtk+ and Qt.

There's also the Enlightenment toolkit which is slowly getting popular lately, but you're right that the UI toolkit mess on Linux is not nearly as complicated as the media API mess...

However, they both cooperate pretty well, and can be themed to look the same very easily.
I know, QtCurve is one of the first things which I install on my Linux boxes. However, it's just about looks. Things like open/save dialogs are still inconsistent...

However, I do agree that we should only have one standard toolkit: Qt. Gtk+ is simply technologically inferior in every way. I would be very happy if GNOME was rewritten in Qt...

Well, I agree that QT looks much better for the most part, but developers are lazy (tm). Properly rewriting GNOME in QT would take a long time, during which people would continue to complain that the Gnome desktop stagnates. The result of the rewrite would be extremely buggy. Do you think the Gnome devs would ever take this risk ?

Edited 2010-06-26 15:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Big deal...
by Zifre on Sat 26th Jun 2010 15:39 in reply to "RE[4]: Big deal..."
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Try to play with it when some heavy calculation is running in the background, and see if it remains responsive ^^

I've never had a problem with it. X is designed to be able to do that, but I'm not sure how good the implementation is.

Wrong. If windows' graphic layer crashes, and I've seen it crash many times, the desktop disappears for a moment, then reappears with all your apps on top of it. You can safely save your work before rebooting your computer and investigating what's wrong if crashes happen again.

Well, maybe it can do that in some special cases, but I know that I've had Windows 7 and XP crash and bring down everything. My point is, in any OS, if a critical system component goes down, everything will go down. And Windows in general is more prone to this since it is more tightly integrated. Also, I've never had X crash, but I use only Intel hardware, which has very good drivers, so I understand that I'm not in the majority...

There is certainly nothing in X that prevents apps from not killing themselves if X crashes. The main problem is that right now, the toolkits leave a lot of state on the server. However, if you look at the design of Wayland, there is really no server state. The kernel stores the window surfaces. This means that it would be trivial for apps on Wayland to reconnect. The nice thing is that the same method is entirely possible with X too, toolkits are just lazy.

There's also the Enlightenment toolkit which is slowly getting popular lately,

I don't think so. Enlightenment is gaining some usage with Samsung's Bada thing, but other than that, my guess is that its usage is declining.

the UI toolkit mess on Linux is not nearly as complicated as the media API mess...

This is just a myth popularized by Adobe (which is just using the myth as an excuse to be lazy). It's actually really simple. If you are writing anything to do with playing or editing videos/music, you use GStreamer. If you just want to play some simple sounds in your app, you use libcanberra. If you are writing a game, you use SDL. That's pretty much it. Those libraries will handle all the low level things that you don't need to know about. It's really not complicated...

However, it's just about looks. Things like open/save dialogs are still inconsistent...

True, it's not perfect. It still beats Windows, where every other app decides to draw its own ugly, unthemable widgets. Linux is certainly way more consistent in this regard. However, Mac OS X beats them both by miles.

Well, I agree that QT looks much better for the most part, but developers are lazy (tm). Properly rewriting GNOME in QT would take a long time, during which people would continue to complain that the Gnome desktop stagnates. The result of the rewrite would be extremely buggy. Do you think the Gnome devs would ever take this risk ?

Yes, it's really not realistic. I'm probably going to start using KDE soon, because I'm tired of GNOME not doing anything interesting in the last 5 years, and I really don't like GNOME-Shell.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[5]: Big deal...
by vivainio on Sat 26th Jun 2010 15:42 in reply to "RE[4]: Big deal..."
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

I know, QtCurve is one of the first things which I install on my Linux boxes. However, it's just about looks. Things like open/save dialogs are still inconsistent...


QtCurve might suck, but QGtkStyle (the style Qt uses on Gnome desktop) looks just like the Gnome theme looks, and uses the native dialogs.

Properly rewriting GNOME in QT would take a long time, during which people would continue to complain that the Gnome desktop stagnates. The result of the rewrite would be extremely buggy. Do you think the Gnome devs would ever take this risk ?


I don't see a need to rewrite anything in Qt. Why rewrite a program in the first place? You just let the old program live on and write a new program.

Right now the innovation within Gnome happens on Javascript + Clutter...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Big deal...
by WereCatf on Sat 26th Jun 2010 16:26 in reply to "RE[4]: Big deal..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Try to play with it when some heavy calculation is running in the background, and see if it remains responsive ^^

Are you saying that X becomes unresponsive if you have heavy calculation in the background? If so then you're just talking out of your rear-end. I often compile stuff and as you should know compiling IS rather CPU intensive. And I haven't noticed any kind of lag or issues with responses from X.

Wrong. If windows' graphic layer crashes, and I've seen it crash many times, the desktop disappears for a moment, then reappears with all your apps on top of it. You can safely save your work before rebooting your computer and investigating what's wrong if crashes happen again.

True, indeed. And surprisingly many people insist that X and Windows act the same in this regards but they don't: I've had X crash several times and it took down everything I had open, including a coding session I hadn't saved for half an hour. But I've also had Windows graphics layer crash, in XP and in 7, and all that happened was that the screen went black for a moment and then got back, with all my apps still intact.

What does this mean? Well... that even the god damn old XP handles this thing better than X!

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Big deal...
by phoenix on Sat 26th Jun 2010 19:16 in reply to "RE[4]: Big deal..."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

"Well, its architecture is not the greatest, but pretty much any computer can handle it fine. (By comparison, Windows Vista and 7 and very slow, even though their graphics architecture is fairly well designed.)

Try to play with it when some heavy calculation is running in the background, and see if it remains responsive ^^ Though you're right that "slow" is not the good word. In terms of performance, X is acceptably fast, except for demanding things like games where I think that crappy drivers and compositing are more likely to blame.
"

Again, don't blame shortcomings of Linux on X11. Just because Linux has a horrible scheduler that can't handle background tasks without locking up the X interface layer, doesn't mean that's how it is for every OS that runs X11.

For example, FreeBSD can run a tonne of compilations and file transfers in the background, without affecting mouse/keyboard input in X.

There's nothing wrong with X11 ... just with some of the OSes that is runs on.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Big deal...
by Lunitik on Sat 26th Jun 2010 15:02 in reply to "RE[3]: Big deal..."
Lunitik Member since:
2005-08-07

In fact, no theming is even necessary. Qt treats GTK/Gnome similar to how it treats OS X and Windows these days: it assumes the widget styles of the system. To use a Qt/KDE theme on a Gnome desktop, you actually have to jump through hoops, which I think is a very good thing.

Whether GTK is or isn't inferior, there is no denying that it is faster to take advantage of native Linux features.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Big deal...
by Zifre on Sat 26th Jun 2010 15:17 in reply to "RE[4]: Big deal..."
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Qt treats GTK/Gnome similar to how it treats OS X and Windows these days: it assumes the widget styles of the system. To use a Qt/KDE theme on a Gnome desktop, you actually have to jump through hoops, which I think is a very good thing.

Yes, but the problem is that Gtk+ doesn't do the same. Running Gtk+ apps on KDE is still kind of painful.

Whether GTK is or isn't inferior, there is no denying that it is faster to take advantage of native Linux features.

No, I think you have that backwards. (And what native linux features are you talking about?) Qt is the one that jumps through hoops to look like Gtk+, while Gtk+ doesn't play very nicely on a KDE desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Big deal...
by spiderman on Mon 28th Jun 2010 09:02 in reply to "RE[3]: Big deal..."
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


However, I do agree that we should only have one standard toolkit: Qt. Gtk+ is simply technologically inferior in every way. I would be very happy if GNOME was rewritten in Qt...

I don't agree. First off, GTK solves less problems than QT. If doesn't integrate its how xml or svg parser, network tools and everything QT does. Gtk is just a widget toolkit and is lighter. Secondly, there is an at-spi bridge that works. QT with at-spi does not work yet. It's ready to work with at-spi over dbus (at-spi2) but at-spi over dbus is not finished. There is no C binding and applications will not be ported to python.
So yes QT is very good toolkit and superior to GTK in many ways, but not in every way.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Big deal...
by fanboi_fanboi on Wed 30th Jun 2010 14:11 in reply to "RE[3]: Big deal..."
fanboi_fanboi Member since:
2010-04-21

"And guess what, if Windows crashes, all your apps crash too!"

Really, FUD-boy? Not since Vista and Windows 7. What a tool.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Big deal...
by Neolander on Wed 30th Jun 2010 20:26 in reply to "RE[4]: Big deal..."
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

"And guess what, if Windows crashes, all your apps crash too!"

Really, FUD-boy? Not since Vista and Windows 7. What a tool.

It depends.

If "Windows crashes" = BSOD and the like, he's right.
If it means graphics layer crash, it's not been true since the very first releases of Windows NT ^^

Reply Parent Score: 2