Home > Window Managers > SGI Indigo Magic Desktop for Linux Beta 1 Available SGI Indigo Magic Desktop for Linux Beta 1 Available Submitted by Gil Bates 2003-07-04 Window Managers 35 Comments The first beta of SGI Indigo Magic Desktop has been uploaded and is ready for testing. The IMD project reproduces the 4Dwm desktop, as found on SGI’s IRIX operating system, running under Linux. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 35 Comments 2003-07-04 7:41 am 4dwm was pretty cool, but is based on Motif, and is downright ugly compared to KDE/GNOME and practically all the other WMs out there. I think its great they are creating ports of SGI APIs, but why bind them to a Motif-based toolkit and wm? That might be the way SGI did it all those years ago, but the ‘state of the art’ in UNIX GUIs has moved beyond Motif, thankfully. I understand that its nice to have choice, but why they don’t use GTK/GNOME/Metacity with customisations for the window manager and widgets is beyond me. 2003-07-04 7:42 am a nice change from most of the linux windows managers 2003-07-04 9:28 am “4dwm was pretty cool, but is based on Motif, and is downright ugly compared to KDE/GNOME and practically all the other WMs out there.” Opinions on taste are like a**holes, everyone has ONE. Some people actually like 4Dwm. I for one used, and still use SGIs because I like working with Irix and 4Dwm. KDE/GNOME are slow and bloated IMHO, so no need to fix something that ain’t broken. Granted most PeeCee fanboys need plenty of color candy to get even less done between case mods. “I understand that its nice to have choice, but why they don’t use GTK/GNOME/Metacity with customisations for the window manager and widgets is beyond me.” Because they did not feel like it, and they would not be getting the same feel and functionality that 4Dwm offers. Same as the people who try to have “aqua” themes, it looks a bit like aqua, but it sure at hell it ain’t aqua. There is this whole “look and feel” not just “look” you know? 2003-07-04 9:40 am wow something serious 4 linux it looks boring but who cares if it does the job I can think the same thing of the perl as being old and boring but it does the job well (compared with c# for example). This is for people who actually do work (engineers) and don’t care about being eye-candy (medical env? 3d graphics for mooovies etc) and who want a tool and not to impress people … ps: my 2 lei 2003-07-04 10:34 am when this page gets linked on slashdot the servers are toast 2003-07-04 11:03 am I’ve always liked the Motif style window decor and widget set. always preferred it to openlook, at least. it seems simple, distinctive and functional, and it doesn’t distract like some gtk/qt themes. the only possible problem I have with the look is that the window borders are a little thick, but maybe I’m just used to tweaking the width under kde. looks pretty solid, think I’ll give it a test. 2003-07-04 11:04 am All U*ix GIUs (except the new Gnome & KDE) look like a bad GUI design from the early eighties. Why? Does the people have no taste? Even the color-schemes are ugly. Compare one of the 4Dwm screenshots with a shot of OS X. It’s like night and day. Sure, in X11 I can customize every single pixel on the screen, but why? Why isn’t there just one good-looking default style. Wasn’t SGI once a company with a big graphics/design background? 2003-07-04 11:20 am I guess it depends on whether you want to look at the OS or work. OSX is cool, but I still prefer mac classic, simply because it takes so much real estate and the overhead of all the new features is just too much. it’s definately pretty, but I still find it hard to work with it. it’s weird that Apple took two of the most elegant GUIs ever and after smushing them together, only came up with what is currently OSX 2003-07-04 11:27 am … but we have year 2003 not 1998. 2003-07-04 12:33 pm >> Does the people have no taste? True, (most) programmers have no taste. 2003-07-04 12:36 pm “Opinions on taste are like a**holes, everyone has ONE.” I believe the full quote is… “Opinions on taste are like a**holes, everybody has one and nobody is particularly interested in yours.” 4DWM looks just fine for working in, at least as good as Windows 2000 does… http://www.nekochan.net/gallery/ 5DWM will be very valuable for serious work involving ports of GUI apps from IRIX to Linux and for platform co-development. 2003-07-04 12:54 pm “Opinions on taste are like a**holes, everybody has one and nobody is particularly interested in yours.” How about cliches are like a**holes. once you heard one, you heard them all. 2003-07-04 1:07 pm 5dwm has been out for a while, though the site has been up and down.. and looks very different now than it used to. ( http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.5dwm.org ) My question is, has the code significantly changed in the last year or so? or this just a play to get some new attention on an old project? Oh, and what’s with including Netscape 4.80 ? 2003-07-04 3:01 pm that is truly ugly as hell. *shiver* 2003-07-04 3:26 pm I believe a good deal of work has been done on the code over the last 6-12 months. Yes, there was a hiatus period with Eric Masson when nothing got done for awhile and the project was in suspended animation. The fact that SGI’s lawyers have just finished working out a written agreement with the project seems to indicate that it is very serious. Also, 5DWM, when it is released, is intended to be a commercial product according to Eric. RE: Motif GUI Hey, you can always change the colors, you know. A straight greyscale color scheme looks fine. It’s not Eric’s fault that SGI’s engineers are color-blind. 😉 2003-07-04 3:53 pm I always did like the default Indigo Desktop. It’s arguable but I think it makes you relaxed when compared to other window managers. Not that uggly. I use it a lot in the MySQL ControlCenter, where you can choose several QT themes. Hope it gets distributed by Mandrake very soon. 2003-07-04 3:54 pm I also think this is not a recent development I remember to see it some months ago. 2003-07-04 3:59 pm The Beta that was announced previously was a closed beta only. This is the very first open beta of 5DWM. 2003-07-04 4:19 pm but last year I spent a short ammount of time playing on a SGI machine at a confrence, it was an older model too – and the thing screamed. For all its cosmetic warts 4dwm is damned fast, as is the underlying Irix. Glad to see it come to Linux, even if I’d never use it. 2003-07-04 5:54 pm why wasting our time on testing ? This desktop would be commercial anyway. And why use open motif which has a very strange licence. There re alot of free libraries that could be used. FOX Toolkit and Gtk+ are LGPL. FOX is cross platform and is very usable in windows, linux and other *Nix OS. Just look at foXDesktop. It also has Motif look. i just wish that more people can help them to complete this desktop environment. 2003-07-04 5:56 pm Why use motif? Because the key is to encourage applications to be ported from Irix/Unix based systems where Motif is the predominant toolkit. Plus the fact that motif is a very simplistic toolkit, suitable for a high performance interface and that has had years and years of testing. So it’s very stable, and very reliable. 2003-07-04 6:03 pm I believe the full quote is… “Opinions on taste are like a**holes, everybody has one and nobody is particularly interested in yours.” I always thought it was: “Opinions are like a**holes. We all have them, and they all stink.” 2003-07-04 6:57 pm Was looking through SGI site there today, they’ve started selling the Altrix 3000 with the “new” Itanium 2’s. Going by the Press Releases Intel must love them, the smallest system they mention in the following pdf had “only” 12 processors in it. http://www.sgi.com/newsroom/press_releases/2003/june/hpc_customers…. 2003-07-04 7:48 pm 4Dwm is designed to be friendly to OpenGL applications. For instance, it uses an overlay plane to draw rubber band, pop-up windows so that they don’t damage OpenGL windows. If they do, damaged OpenGL windows must be rendered again and the cost would be pretty expensive. 2003-07-04 10:00 pm There is a photoshop for irix ? There were some screenshots with a photoshop shortcut . Hmmm …maybe we gonna have a native Photoshop on linux in the future 2003-07-04 10:35 pm Yes, Adobe used to offer Photoshop for IRIX for many years now. 2003-07-05 12:28 am Yes, Adobe used to offer Photoshop for IRIX for many years now. Yes, they did. Although I’ve never seen an IRIX box except fot the old web hosting company that I used for some of my web sites in Verio, I do have an original copy of Photoshop 3.0 and another one of the 4.0 version that a friend of mine gave me to play around. Back in the time, I thought that I could make Linux run IRIX binaries (like it can do with some old Unices)… Silly me. 🙂 2003-07-05 1:23 am IIRC, isn’t the Photoshop that Adobe offers for IRIX a really, really olde version that hasn’t been worked on in ages (nothing at all like the current Windows or OS X versions, right)? I don’t know what Adobe is doing with Photoshop for IRIX these days, but I’m not even sure that you can get it from them anymore according to the last time I checked Adobe’s website. 2003-07-05 12:59 pm It looks a little bit like gimp (wonder why ) http://www.nekochan.net/gallery/irix/sgiphoto 2003-07-05 2:54 pm You can run latest Photoshop with wine as far as I know…. and NOOOOOO !! — You will not see a version from Adobe for Linux natively… when will you people get that finally..??!!! And just in case, you won’t see it for BeOS any time soon either :-p 2003-07-06 1:59 am Hey there, I didn’t know that you people down there read OSNEWS, but I’m glad:) Please give me an email at the link posted so we can have some talk, I’m also from Mures. Sorry for the of-topic comment, but here is something on-topic: I like this WM, I’ll give it a try:) Lets see how it works on Slackware 9.0. 2003-07-06 4:56 am I always loved 4dwm. Before I got to use OS X, I always considered IRIX and 4dwm to be by far the easiest to use Unix around. By far. It might not be as pretty as GNOME and KDE, but honestly I rather see those two groups get a better handle on usability, rather than making things that make for pretty screeshots. 2003-07-06 6:22 am all you puter super geeks are a bunch of cry babies!!! 2003-07-06 12:05 pm This would make me want to switch from OS X, if they had all the applications that come with IRIX and they are easy to use for digital video editing and 3d modelling. I hope it does go commerical – maybe the quality will be better than other Linux applications (the desktop GPL ones). 2003-07-06 3:05 pm “You can run latest Photoshop with wine as far as I know…. and NOOOOOO !! — You will not see a version from Adobe for Linux natively… when will you people get that finally..??!!! ” To be more accurate. When will adobe get it? Remember who’s in the business of making money? If they don’t fill the hole then a free, or pay alternative will fill it. Opportunity lost, never to be regained. Repeated often enough and fatal to a company it will be.  They’ve already demonstrated that they can do cross-platform.