In a pre-show demonstration of the Longhorn graphics subsystem at the WinHEC trade show in New Orleans Monday night, I saw for the first time some of the advanced video effects that Microsoft will enable in the next Windows version. Longhorn, due in late 2004 or early 2005, includes a completely new desktop composition system that replaces the model used in previous Windows versions with one that is more technically advanced, visually appealing, and scalable. The early test versions Microsoft is showing at WinHEC include amazing animation effects, smooth window scaling, and advanced window translucency”. Read the article at WinInformant.
WinHEC 2003: First Look at Longhorn Graphics
2003-05-06 Windows 39 Comments
I have WinXP, I like it. Nothing bad to say about it. Stable for me, fast & applications plenty. And heck, in 20042005 it’ll have some of those cool OS X features too…
Quartz turned out to be entirely useless from an enduser perspective. Sure it was very useful at generating hype so Apple could sell their product, OS X. I don’t plan on using directfb, and so don’t see the point in these features either.
What we are really failing to hear about is much architectual changes Microsoft has made with their OS. It’s still the same old unreliable Windows OS, just with more bloat if you ask me.
This is a critical time to develop free software because once everyone has to deal with “palladium” I beleive we will see an influx of open source adoption. This includes Linux, Gnu, and BSD.
My motto: “Longhorn OS. Are you lemming enough?” Get it? Longhorn. Cattle. Lemmings. Oh, lighten up. It’s only the driving force of the New World Order.
Read the WinSuperSite review we linked the other day if you want to know more what has changed.
And remember: this version is an ALPHA. The final is coming out late 2005. Not all components are in yet. And the graphics update itself is an interesting and welcoming update to the OS.
I hope they spare a thought for those of us whose first task on installing windows is to spend about an hour removing and disabling features. (killing auto update, irritating menu re-organisor, fade in/fade out menus, shrink/grow window animations, removing advertising links+icons etc etc etc).
What’s funny is many of the features they describe are concepts and things that Linux desktop environments have been using for years. Oddly enough, Enlightenment .17 uses a 3d accelerator and does hardware acceleration of window management, etc. with transparency, visual “snapshots” of windows and more, just like M$ is trying to do…hrm….
Well, competition and innovation are always good, regardless of who does it. Good luck to ’em.
While it is obvious that the appeal level certainly rises with the beauty of the overall desktop but what about the underlying GUI ideas that are part of the fundamental workings of the desktop itself? Personally, I do NOT like the way the desktop for MS Windows is setup at all. I think it’s kludgy, very non-intuitive and still needs to be improved in order to rid the fear of computers for the end user. I find the trend of *nix desktops following some of the features of MS disturbing and discouraging at best.
First of all, I think you meant Quartz Extreme. Quartz is their windowing system, Quartz Extreme refers to off loading graphics to the 3D card. And it is very useful because it speeds up the GUI and keeps CPU usage down. How is that not useful?
goes way ahead of Quartz Extreme, but not necesarily ahead of Quartz itself.
Quartz Extreme is about offloading window compositing to the graphics card, not graphics in general. The Quartz2D API is still done via 2D.
QE is pretty useful, it speeds us some things on OSX. It would be lovely to have the technology on Windows and Unix too.
BTW, Rayiner and Bascule, did you receive my email yesterday?
Microsoft has the “Freedom to Inovate”. They only thing they invented was the Paperclip!
This is only your opinion.
Does anyone know if Longhorn will have this feature that is on MacOS X, BeOS Dano, and Zeta? Is the “smooth window scaling” something different?
Exactly what usability do we gain from see through windows. All OS X managed to do is make the OS slower, which is a main reason that all the mac-addicts are demanding faster specs on their machines. I have used Quartz and I find that it is just annoying. You may not. One thing is for sure: it sells. It sells very well. It makes beautiful screenshots for apple.com. However I stick by my belief that what we need is education and communication, not new metaphors, more control, and less choices.
Transparent Term windows are very usefull. When your coding in a window, and have a web-browser up with the api, you can keep your term up, and read through it to the web-browser, without have to switch back and forth.
Quartz may seem useless but it’s got some things to it that you just don’t see as a user. Unfortunatly.
Quartz gives the developer many things for free, like text scaling. Which may not be so ‘amazing’ to the user but it makes things like printing much easier.
One nice thing that quartz gives to the user is that you can save all printouts as PDFs. And when you want to print it out later it looks exactly the same. Under windows you have to buy acrobat and the printout might not look exactly the same. Quartz renders everything to PDF internally, then to the display device.
No, quartz is not the most amazing thing ever, but where windows promises to go in two years, Apple has been for two. At least as far as the GUI goes.
Quartz on OS X. I could be wrong, but this longhorn feature sounds a lot like A blending of quartz and quartz extreme..am I wrong?
I wasn’t the one who said QE was useless I merely pointed out that it’s much more limited than many would want to believe.
>> Transparent Term windows are very usefull. When your coding in a window, and have a web-browser up with the api, you can keep your term up, and read through it to the web-browser, without have to switch back and forth.
Personally i don’t buy it.
I’d rather buy another monitor for documentation browsing rather than have to read between the lines…
[quote]All OS X managed to do is make the OS slower, which is a main reason that all the mac-addicts are demanding faster specs on their machines. I have used Quartz and I find that it is just annoying. You may not. One thing is for sure: it sells. It sells very well. It makes beautiful screenshots for apple.com.[quote]
This is so true, my bro is a mac user, and he’s always boasting how pretty his mac looks, but he also always complains how slow is mac is too.
Do you remember how slow Windows 95 was on a 486? Apple just got too far agaid of its hardware. If Motorola was up to speed they would have been fine. By the way, NEXT OS used a post script display system and it wasn’t slow. Go figure.
The All Mighty Whopper: ” I have used Quartz and I find that it is just annoying.”
Yeeees… there’s nothing more annoying than realizing that you’re stuck with xfree86 while others get to play with quartz and “longhorn graphics”.
😛 pfffffff and have a nice day.
YEAH AWESOME!!!! This is great, yet another Microsoft innovation….
Oh wait there have been at least a few system level graphics API’s developed to handle most, if not all plus some, of those features in the new Windows graphics layer.
However as usual the Windows using community and the media at large will gloss over that fact. Display Postscript anyone? Man when was that? 1989?
I won’t be surprised if they call it “Ruby Max” or something…..
Quartz gives the developer many things for free, like text scaling. Which may not be so ‘amazing’ to the user but it makes things like printing much easier.
oh, that’s just l33t. Windows does this since 1.0 (so they didn’t have support for TTF back then? big deal – the design allowed any font format to be used). Before you say they copied it from MacOS, remember that the Windows GDI was formerly the graphics engine of a DOS program for image manipulation
Under windows you have to buy acrobat and the printout might not look exactly the same.
nope. There’s this handy printer driver (freely redistributable, comes with source) that outputs Postscript, and with a minimum effort it can be modified to output PDF too (and the “might not look exactly the same” is bullshit). And with exactly the same code but a different driver you can draw to any other format
I mean, this isn’t rocket science. All printing systems on Earth work even vaguely like this – I don’t see why, just because Apple did it, it becomes the best thing since sliced bread
[…] At least as far as the GUI goes.
I don’t think you’re informed enough about Windows or MacOS X to comment
And Micrsoft has been doing this since mid/late 90’s with Task Galleries.
By the way, you want to show some proof that E17 does this?
” oh, that’s just l33t. Windows does this since 1.0 (so they didn’t have support for TTF back then? big deal – the design allowed any font format to be used). Before you say they copied it from MacOS, remember that the Windows GDI was formerly the graphics engine of a DOS program for image manipulation ”
Must be why Windows 1.0 was so popular with the graphic design crowd…
” nope. There’s this handy printer driver (freely redistributable, comes with source) that outputs Postscript, and with a minimum effort it can be modified to output PDF too (and the “might not look exactly the same” is bullshit). And with exactly the same code but a different driver you can draw to any other format ”
What handy printer driver? All PDF is the same? how about x1a? Time magazine doesn’t say so and neither does Perry Judds, Brown or RR Donnelley.
Sorry KJK::Hyperion. Some of the things you are saying are just not true. Not all PDF compositing/creation and postcript generation is the same. Press PDFs and screen PDFs are totally different despite looking the same on the screen and will print out differently.
I found this cool little eye candy thing the other day actually, it sounds like it already provides some of this functionality (specifically, minimizing windows by slanting them over to the side, or to the top or bottom of the screen in a 3D fashion)
There is an English translation a weeny bit of the way down the screen.
Hey, that is a pretty cool program. Thanks for the link
I would like to correct some guys here, because they talk a lot, but they don’t really what quartz is.
Well quartz is a graphic engine, which provides a large set of functions to the user and to the developper. Quartz is an API, that allow the developper to have access to fast and real time drawing, complex geometric fuctionss ( Bezier curves for exemples), perfect drawing, color managing, transparency, effetcs, pdf based format, etc, etc…. So the developper has can use all the powerful functions available to implement it in their applications without rewriting the wheel. Any application can access to Quartz Api, to manage fonts,draw, manage color and son on.
Aqua is not quartz, qua is based on quartz, it means that aqua uses the quartz APi to manage the interface amd allows what we see in aqua.
Some people have said that quartz in not 3d, and what? of course its a 2d engine, the 3d elements are manages by opengl, which come to the Quartz extrem.
QE is a technology that allow the complex calculation tasks involved to draw the interface to be done by the GPU. At yhis time QE doesn’t take in consideration the content of the windows. So every object in the finder is considered as a 3d object with textures, etc…. All the action in the interface, windows moves, blending, transparency, effects are done by QE, not by the cpu any more. And i think that the next version of QE will accelerate the contents of window. So its usefull because the cpu are not used to process a lot of calculations, and in this case the os is FASTER.
And i want to say that quartz runs quite well even in very old machine, its quite impressive to see such graphics engine runing in a G3 233 with ati rage cards. Of course its not as fast as the recent machines,there is no magic in computers, but it runs very well. On the recent machines quartz is of course very fast, and it will become faster as Apple is doing the optimization process.
But Os x allows as well to put 3d objects in the interfece, as a part of the interface, not in a separate window, but really as an icon for exemple. In the WWDC of Apple laste year!! apple has shown such things, it was amazing. Every 3d object was calculated in realtime, with reflection for exemple of a movie on the 3d objects, it was again amazing. So the 3d, well my friends osx knows already how to do it, apple has not just gave us a real application of it. Apple has shown it to us to underline the futur possible directions in the interface.
So i don’t think that longhorn is far away of osx, as some people has said in this forum or at WinInformant. OsX has already all technologies that longhorn is supposed to bring, and apple has for sure already something more big to show. And in any case its incredible to see how Microsoft copies or follow, as you want, Apple.
And i would like to add that all the OpenGL extensions that Apple has developed for creating QE are available for the developpers, by using the headers. Pretty cool!!!!!!
The romans once said “as long as there is bread and circuses they wont notice whats really going on”. Wow its really pretty rush out buy it today! Look people, the idea is good, somewhat, offload some CPU time to the graphics card. But MS is offering you eye candy to divert your attention from: palladium, or concepts similar to it. You will need digitally signed drivers. You will need to run MS software. I could go on, but the point is you get eye candy to divert attention.
Exactly, it is just a carrot to get people on to the system.
The introduction of Palladium will be subtle and in the background. Most people wont notice until Microsoft is extracting just too much money from them, by then all their precious documents and data will be next to impossible to get off of their OS onto a different one.
This sort of crap happens everywhere. Notice the children-aimed McDonalds ads? They often don’t even mention food. They mention toys and fun and bright colours. The greasy, fatty, nutrient-deficient, environmentally/animal unfriendly food is what is really being sold. But the kids and the parents are too blinded by the distraction to notice the truth.
Everybody is living in the Matrix, but some brains aren’t ready to handle the truth.
Perhaps you should actually read up on what Palladium actually is rather than just spreading FUD about it.
I thought I would reiterate how little I actually need or want this new GUI technology. I personally like living in the real world. I don’t need a new metaphor to live by and more abstraction in my life. A computer is a computer. Stop trying to make it do things it’s not supposed to do and start living instead.
i agree with you there, but without taking it so seriously wouldn’t just be a little easier on the eyes?
Longhorn is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around. What do you see. Business men, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to quit the program. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on Windows that they will fight to protect it. Were you listening to me Neo, or were you looking at that fancy new red icon?
Looking back on Usenet archives at comp.os.mac.advocacy on debates between NeXT and Mac fanatics, NeXT doesn’t seem all too fast either… 🙂 Besides, I agree, it isn’t the postscript that is keeping the speed back. It is the utterly useless gee-whiz effects.