Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Feb 2006 12:22 UTC, submitted by Rahul
X11, Window Managers Updated: Fedora was right in the middle of announcing all this properly, so here is the updated item containing the official names. Videos included, as well as the inevitable 'Why not Xgl?'. "AIGLX is a project that aims to enable GL-accelerated effects on a standard desktop. We have a lightly modified X server (that includes a couple of extensions), an updated Mesa package that adds some new protocol support and a version of metacity with a composite manager. The end result is that you can use GL effects on your desktop with very few changes, the ability to turn it on and off at will, and you don't have to replace your X server in the process." This is part of Fedora's Rendering Project, and instructions on how to install all this are available too.
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RE[3]: Huh?
by sbergman27 on Mon 20th Feb 2006 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Huh?"
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

It is my opinion that much of X's perceived slowness and much of Gnome's perceived slowness is really Firefox and Thunderbird drawing performace on X. (I can't speak for the Windows version since I don't have a Windows machine.)

Firefox and Thunderbird are *very* popular applications and run on many people's desktops.

Try this experiment:

1. Open up 2 Gnome apps.

2. Move one window around while overlapping the other and observe the performance.

3. Now open up a Gnome app and move it around on top of a Firefox session. Observe the major difference in performance.

4. Substitute Thunderbird in the same experiment, if you like.

My intent is not to criticize the Mozilla guys; I'm sure they have good reasons for doing things the way that they do.

Anyway, I imagine there is room for performance improvements in Gnome. (Can't speak for KDE as I'm not as familiar with using it on a day to day basis.) I've been hearing very good things about Gnome 2.13/2.14 performance.

Anyway, I run a lot of my users on xdmcp Gnome desktop sessions into a central server at 100mbit. The hardware I use is usually either old or very inexpensive. For reasons of standardization, I leave the X driver set to vesa, which means no hardware acceleration. And interestingly (to me anyway) I have never gotten a complaint about redraw speed from anyone. It's just not an issue for my users.

When I hear people complaining about X's slowness, I sometimes wonder if it's like people who trash transistor amplifiers because vacuum tube amplifiers are so superior. Maybe they are superior and maybe they aren't, but how many non-audiophiles people are going to notice or care?

Edited 2006-02-20 19:50

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Huh?
by chris_dk on Mon 20th Feb 2006 20:10 in reply to "RE[3]: Huh?"
chris_dk Member since:
2005-07-12

Windows versions of Firefox and Thunderbird are faster. On Linux they are so slow.

On Windows I think they are using the native widgets.

On Linux the widgets are drawn by GTK, I think. It is just weird because other GTK apps are faster (e.g. epiphany).

I would like to know why they are so slow on Linux. Does anybody know?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: Huh?
by someone on Tue 21st Feb 2006 04:25 in reply to "RE[4]: Huh?"
someone Member since:
2006-01-12

Actually, all Mozilla apps use XUL as their toolkit. This is even true on windows. The reason why you don't notice any substantial difference between the native widget and the XUL version is because of their use of the native theme APIs to render parts of the XUL widgets.

As for performance, Gecko 1.9 (the rendering engine used by Fx and Tb for HTML and XUL) is set to revamp the underlying graphics layer and use Cairo instead for all rendering. Gecko 1.9 will also feature reflow re-architecture which will speed up the rendering engine further.

If you are interested, you might want to test some of the experimental nightlies (at the moment only available for windows and linux)

Reply Parent Score: 2