Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 5th Dec 2012 16:56 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
X11, Window Managers "For two decades, X has been the foundation for Linux graphics. Ubuntu's decision late in 2010 to switch to Wayland shakes things up all the way to those roots. Just over a month ago, the official 1.0.0 release of Wayland appeared, as well as its associated Weston project. How will these milestones affect working GUI programmers? What will happen to all the existing toolkits - Qt, wxWindows, Tk, and others - on which so many graphical applications already depend?"
Thread beginning with comment 544341
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[2]: X's era is in the past
by jonsmirl on Wed 5th Dec 2012 22:57 UTC in reply to "RE: X's era is in the past"
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm no Mac expert so I don't know what they are up to. The basic concept is to download TTF fonts (probably preprocessed) into the GPU. You then give the GPU a string of text and a rectangle in your coordinate system. As that rectangle is transformed by the display system the GPU would generate the best text possible (including subpixel rendering) without application involvement.

This is not giving the GPU a texture with the glyphs on it and then scaling. The GPU has the equations for the fonts, transforms those equations and then draws with subpixel antialiasing.

The problem being addressed is that apps can't do the antialaising if the window is going to be transformed in any way. Slightly transform the app's antialiased window and all of the antialiasing gets broken. We need a scheme where the drawing system does the transformation based antialiasing without application interaction.

There have about ten papers written on this subject but I didn't know anyone has deployed it.

Edited 2012-12-05 23:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: X's era is in the past
by Morgan on Thu 6th Dec 2012 00:00 in reply to "RE[2]: X's era is in the past"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Okay, that's definitely a different concept. I think what Apple does is render text as images and then performs transformations using the GPU and CPU. But again, it's not something I know a lot about.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: X's era is in the past
by zima on Thu 6th Dec 2012 09:32 in reply to "RE[2]: X's era is in the past"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Reading "One technology that hasn't happened yet is GPU based glyph generation. When that happens it will likely have a large impact on the desktop" reminded me about Matrox Parhelia - though it was much simpler ("Glyph acceleration, where anti-aliasing of text was accelerated by the hardware" from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrox_Parhelia )

But still, what "large impact on the desktop" do you envision?

Reply Parent Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Reading "One technology that hasn't happened yet is GPU based glyph generation. When that happens it will likely have a large impact on the desktop" reminded me about Matrox Parhelia - though it was much simpler ("Glyph acceleration, where anti-aliasing of text was accelerated by the hardware" from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matrox_Parhelia )

But still, what "large impact on the desktop" do you envision?


I don't know what he meant with it, but well, glyph acceleration would mean higher-quality text rendering even when the text is in motion (think of e.g. during scrolling up or down, various window transformation-effects and such) leading to a smoother experience. Also, rendering text is somewhat of a heavy task and it only becomes heavier with the ever-increasing display resolutions, so the decrease in resource-usage is always welcome.

Still, I don't see it being THAT much of a large impact.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Re:
by kurkosdr on Thu 6th Dec 2012 10:06 in reply to "RE[3]: X's era is in the past"
kurkosdr Member since:
2011-04-11

There was a great post detailing why exactly X.org sucks and why it holds Linux Desktop back big time and needs to be replaced by something better. Too bad it was on linuxhaters blog and nobody is aware it exists. Here it is if you want to read it http://linuxhaters.blogspot.gr/2008/06/nitty-gritty-shit-on-open-so... (just don't read the comments, it feels like having your head drilled with a cheap drill)

Long story short, support for even basic stuff invented 15 years ago like pbufffers (at SGI -1997) is missing from X.org. Nvidia had to replace the 1/3 of X to get their closed drivers working and fully supporting OpenGL. I think X.org has played a MAJOR role in the flamewars surrounding Linux.
User with a Nvidia card: Linux is good
User with ATI/Intel: WTF is this crap!

Edited 2012-12-06 10:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

jonsmirl Member since:
2005-07-06

GPU glyphs are the final piece needed to allow apps to draw resolution independently. Currently apps are forced to query the display resolution and do all kinds of calculations involving anti-aliasing. All of that platform specific code would disappear.

HTML is an example of something that is partially resolution independent.

Reply Parent Score: 2