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Keith Packard's Xfree86 Fork Officially Started 578

Posted by timothy
from the fork-yeah dept.
Reivec writes "I was having a discussion with Keith Packard on IRC about the current developments in the XFree86 Saga and politics already discussed here earlier, and I learned many interesting things. The project has a new website, xwin, and things are getting underway. 'We're in the process of building community, from that we can construct a government. It's a hard process to construct a representative system from what we have now, so it will take a bit of time. Weeks, not months. --Keith'" Read on for some more details. Update: 04/13 03:30 GMT by T : Reader Khalid points to this informative interview with Packard at Linux Weekly News, too.
" The site is has only been up a day or so and there isn't a lot on it right now, but he would like to see a lot of community involvement on the site and many user submitted stories to get conversation rolling. A french site has already taken notice and posted some information on xwin as well. Since such a fork could make a large impact on many *NIX users, I felt the need to ask, 'assuming you had an active fork under development, how interchangable would you expect it to be with Xfree (assuming release builds). Do you think distros would be quick to change if it offered improvements? Or could they provide both and have the user choose upon installation?' Keith replied, 'Given that distros will have input into how it gets built, I expect they'd be interested in a version closer to what they need. And, given that RH and Debian maintainers are both actively encouraging changes, it's hard to see how they wouldn't want to follow. (or lead).' So if you have had any interest at all in the XFree86 development, this is definitely a community site you should take advantage of."
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Keith Packard's Xfree86 Fork Officially Started

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  • So, what now? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dspeyer (531333) <dspeyer@wa m . u md.edu> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:08PM (#5719081) Homepage Journal
    Wow, It's been a long time since something comparable happened. I guess the glibc/libc split is probably the closest. That settled out reasonably quickly, (though it left some freakish version numbers that still cause trouble). I suppose one can hope for something similar here.

    X development has been somewhat slow, but it seems like the really big issue has always been drivers -- is there any way that new leadership can help get specs from manufacturers?

    Editors: can we get Keith for a /. interview?

    Oh, and, FSP? (first substantive post)
    • Re:So, what now? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:13PM (#5719111)
      X development has been somewhat slow, but it seems like the really big issue has always been drivers -- is there any way that new leadership can help get specs from manufacturers?

      On previous discussions of the (then) possible fork right here on slashdot, I remember reading how ATI had sent the drivers to the XFree86 fellows. Months passed, and the drivers hadn't been incorporated yet (and if memory serves still aren't). And doesn't that just discourage manufacturers from supporting linux?

      • Re:So, what now? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Cyno (85911)
        Manufacturers? What about us consumers who have to deal with the lack of drivers or features? X isn't some trivial linux package, it is the heart of my system. Today without a video card with good X support Linux is basicly worthless as a desktop system.

        I heard ATI had good X support, but half the cards I tried I couldn't get working properly, half the time I needed to use the vesa driver and get no video or 3D acceleration from a 3 year old video card.

        This is just crazy. Its rather difficult to suppo
    • Re:So, what now? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BJH (11355)
      The gcc/egcs split was more recent, and more acrimonious. Thankfully, that panned out in a way that benefited gcc, rather than hindering its development.

      I just hope the same thing happens in this case. Keith Packard has been doing some very good work in XFree86 lately, but there have been accusations that he's too 'corporate-controlled' (I have no knowledge as to the truth of these accusations one way or the other).
      • Re:So, what now? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by inode_buddha (576844)
        I have no idea either way ath the moment, but being "corporate-controlled" might just be a good thing for people who need video drivers. After all, video card manufacturers *are* corporations.
      • Re:So, what now? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RichiP (18379) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @02:21AM (#5720052) Homepage
        Nothing wrong with being corporate-controlled, per se. Regardless, Keith's suggestion for governance seems to shift the choice to the community (or, at least to those people who'd care enough to participate).

        Besides, it's not about ideology or even the type of government. More important are the characters of the leaders. All the different ideologies did well and poorly depending on the leaders of those bodies. In this case, I believe Keith Packard, Jim Gettys and the whole gang forming xwin to be honorable and community-oriented people.
    • Re:So, what now? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Soko (17987) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:27PM (#5719190) Homepage
      X development has been somewhat slow, but it seems like the really big issue has always been drivers -- is there any way that new leadership can help get specs from manufacturers?

      Getting drivers for X doesn't seem to be a problem, as long as those drivers are binary. I know, I know, Free Software, blah blah - however, if we're to turn these people to our side, we have to be sensitive to thier needs. In that vein, if xwin comes up with a clean, consistent API (perhaps even one that's linked into DRI or some other interface in kernel space) that all the video harware vendors can write to, without spelling out to thier competition how to trouce thier products in the next rev, they'll do much better I'm sure.

      Editors: can we get Keith for a /. interview?

      Please!

      Soko
      • Re:So, what now? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nathanh (1214) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:18PM (#5719391) Homepage
        Getting drivers for X doesn't seem to be a problem, as long as those drivers are binary. I know, I know, Free Software, blah blah - however, if we're to turn these people to our side, we have to be sensitive to thier needs.

        If we accept binary drivers then we haven't turned these people to our side. They have turned us to their side.

        • Re:So, what now? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Soko (17987) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:52PM (#5719526) Homepage
          How can we turn someone to our side who would be in essence - by opening up thier drivers - giving thier R&D budget to the competition?

          Hey, I'm all for drivers provided in source too, would preffer that and I do say to hardware makers "Source, please!!!" every possible chance I get. The reality of doing business for these vendors dictates otherwise, however. IMHO, binary video drivers for OSS projects are still better than none at all. They'd still be - in a way - supporting Free Software, while keeping thier shareholders happy. 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

          Soko
          • Re:So, what now? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2003 @12:25AM (#5719668)
            All of the special stuff that specific vendors can do is in the hardware itself, while the drivers just provide an interface to that hardware. Any special tricks that the drivers have are probably either just specific parts written in assembly to make them faster or cheats like turning off certain features at certain times to make the frame rate higher while hoping the users won't notice the difference in quality.

            Both nVidia and ATI have done this kind of cheating, by the way, which makes sense since both of them are very hesitant to give out open source drivers. Perhaps they are ashamed of their code. I wouldn't be surprised if the managers ask the programmers if they should open source it, then the programmers think, "Oh crap! My code looks like shit and has all sorts of vulgar comments! Uh, no boss, open sourcing is bad. Yeah, thats it."

            No special things would be lost by open sourcing drivers. No development would be handed to the competition. The competition would still have to develop their own silicon, which the drivers don't help with at all. If someone really wanted to copy your design, they could, *gasp*, look at the white papers if they exist, or use a myriad of other high-tech techniques to look at it and figure out how you did what. And even then, almost every cool trick on silicon is already patented, and protected that way.

            There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO NOT OPEN SOURCE DRIVERS. Get that into your head.
            • Re:So, what now? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Soko (17987) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:27AM (#5719886) Homepage
              All of the special stuff that specific vendors can do is in the hardware itself, while the drivers just provide an interface to that hardware. Any special tricks that the drivers have are probably either just specific parts written in assembly to make them faster or cheats like turning off certain features at certain times to make the frame rate higher while hoping the users won't notice the difference in quality.

              Drivers describe in software what the hardware is capable of. Do you know for sure that ATI wouldn't be giving the farm to NVidia with OSS drivers? I agree likely not, but I can't say for certain.

              Both nVidia and ATI have done this kind of cheating, by the way, which makes sense since both of them are very hesitant to give out open source drivers. Perhaps they are ashamed of their code. I wouldn't be surprised if the managers ask the programmers if they should open source it, then the programmers think, "Oh crap! My code looks like shit and has all sorts of vulgar comments! Uh, no boss, open sourcing is bad. Yeah, thats it."

              Or maybe they've optimised it for Windows, and would expose in some way the IP one of thier business partners. Fun? Yes! Good business? No.

              No special things would be lost by open sourcing drivers. No development would be handed to the competition. The competition would still have to develop their own silicon, which the drivers don't help with at all. If someone really wanted to copy your design, they could, *gasp*, look at the white papers if they exist, or use a myriad of other high-tech techniques to look at it and figure out how you did what.

              They I guess we can do the same and write our own drivers, right? Seriously, even if the competition does that, they part with a big chunk of change in doing so - which re-evens the field. An OSS driver could significantly reduce this cost, un-evening it again

              And even then, almost every cool trick on silicon is already patented, and protected that way. There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO NOT OPEN SOURCE DRIVERS. Get that into your head.

              OK, OK, no reason to yell,I actualy agree with you. I'm trying to build bridges and allay fears, not beat people into submission, though.

              Soko
              • Re:So, what now? (Score:3, Interesting)

                by nathanh (1214)

                I'm trying to build bridges and allay fears...

                But you're building those bridges with binary drivers and closed source. What's the point? You might as well use free software on Windows because the end-result is the same. You're still using a closed source system. Why do you think Linux has a greater marketshare than arguably better systems like MacOSX, BeOS, or QNX? It's not the price because BeOS didn't get any attention even when they made it cost-free. It's not the applications because MacOSX has ma

                • Re:So, what now? (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by JimDabell (42870) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @04:51AM (#5720382) Homepage

                  But you're building those bridges with binary drivers and closed source. What's the point?

                  I would have thought that was blindingly obvious. It makes the system far more viable and attractive for many people. Video drivers are often a make or break deal - Linux doesn't support your graphics card? Linux doesn't get installed.

                  It's not the price because BeOS didn't get any attention even when they made it cost-free.

                  As I recall, the primary complaint against BeOS was that it lacked drivers. When they made BeOS free, I would have tried it out, but it wouldn't even have been able to connect to my ISP (it lacked CHAP authentication, I think). You want the same complaint levelled against Linux too?

                  The primary reason why Linux is winning is because Linux is open source. That's the distinguishing feature of Linux. It's the whole POINT of Linux.

                  No. People don't install Linux so they can fire up their favourite text editor and look at the source. They install it to get something done.

                  Now, the open development model greatly increases the rate at which Linux improves - which is responsible for the features people use to get something done. But the second Linux doesn't get things done for people, it'll be thrown out for something that does.

                  If you take a look at Linus' policies, you will find that he is essentially pragmatic. He recognised the need for binary-only kernel modules, he also made it clear people using them were on their own, and the kernel hackers will not touch tainted bug reports.

                  Much better to let the vendors know our rules up front.

                  ...and you think companies like NVidia are going to turn around and say "Oh my God! We'll get right on that, because we can't possibly afford to lose our primary market of Linux geeks"? Get real.

                  If they decide that their specs and/or source are more important than selling their hardware, doesn't bother me, Linux will do just fine without them.

                  It might not bother you, but video drivers are a make or break deal for a hell of a lot of people.

                  Another vendor will always appear who is willing to release the code or the specs.

                  ...and this may shock you, but those people aren't going to go out and buy a new graphics card to run Linux either.

                  Pragmatism is all well and good - it gets the job done - but a pragmatist has no ideals.

                  Bollocks. They are just ideals you don't like in this situation. Namely, it's better to have a system that is 99% Free and works very well for people, rather than a system that is 100% Free and works adequately for a small number of people.

                  But if you want Linux to win then you'll demand code for your drivers.

                  Demand away. And what's this about Linux "winning"? What a juvenile attitude. It isn't a competition.

            • US Patents! (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Fefe (6964)
              Actually, there is a great reason not to open source drivers: the fact that you can't write a graphics driver today without infringing on a top of phony US patents.

              Both Nvidia and Ati can't open source their drivers because they would open themselves up to countless frivolous lawsuits. Heck, even trivial stuff like drawing a b&w mouse cursor by XORing is patented! Do you have any idea how much of the rest of obvious ideas relevant to graphics programming are patented?

              As long as the preposterous US
          • Re:So, what now? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by nathanh (1214) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @12:49AM (#5719757) Homepage
            How can we turn someone to our side who would be in essence - by opening up thier drivers - giving thier R&D budget to the competition?

            I'm not asking them to. I'm disputing the claim that you can "win" by using closed software, when the whole purpose of free software is to NOT use closed software. I see no reason why I should ignore the ideals of free software in order to be "sensitive to their needs". I would much rather not use their product.

            IMHO, binary video drivers for OSS projects are still better than none at all.

            IMHO, no drivers at all are better than using binary drivers. I would rather Linux loses if winning means becoming non-free. Better to die on your feet, and so on.

            The difference here is that you are being pragmatic and I am being idealistic. If I wanted to be pragmatic I wouldn't use Linux in the first place. I'd just use Windows.

            • Re:So, what now? (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Soko (17987) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:11AM (#5719831) Homepage
              I'm not asking them to. I'm disputing the claim that you can "win" by using closed software, when the whole purpose of free software is to NOT use closed software. I see no reason why I should ignore the ideals of free software in order to be "sensitive to their needs". I would much rather not use their product.

              I would rather as well. If there were 2 nearly functionaly equivilent products, but once used Open Source drivers and the other not, I'd take the vendor supporting Open Source without question. Unfortunately, we don't have this choice (at present), since all video card drivers seem to be binary only. We can't "win" them over if they're regarded as the enemy, though.

              IMHO, no drivers at all are better than using binary drivers. I would rather Linux loses if winning means becoming non-free. Better to die on your feet, and so on.

              To each thier own. I'd rather they get to know us and like us. Maybe then they'll be more receptive to providing a more open solution, rather than keeping all of thier specs under lock and key.

              The difference here is that you are being pragmatic and I am being idealistic. If I wanted to be pragmatic I wouldn't use Linux in the first place.

              I said - if xwin comes up with a clean, consistent API (perhaps even one that's linked into DRI or some other interface in kernel space) that all the video harware vendors can write to, without spelling out to thier competition how to trouce thier products in the next rev, - which mentions nothing of binary drivers. Perhaps I should of separated that a bit more. You see my idea, here? Or would you go all the way to the gates of hell in order to prove yourself right?

              I'd just use Windows.

              I have my answer. ;^)

              Soko
            • Re:So, what now? (Score:3, Interesting)

              by el_oso (37003)
              I consider myself a pragmatic person. And I definitely use Linux because is better for my needs than Windows, I am also idealistic, but that is not my main reason. Is quicker to type a 'for' in bash than click 50 times (you know how to do it,though). GNU/Linux is faster, modular and you can do much more without a GUI (like calculations in a cluster).

              It's true that finding drivers or supported hardware can sometimes be a pain on the neck. Also, some niceties like DVD and video playing could be hard (or il
          • Re:So, what now? (Score:3, Informative)

            by Catiline (186878)

            The reality of doing business for these vendors dictates [closing driver source code], however.

            Quoting from Eric S. Raymond's essay "The Magic Cauldron":

            If you are a hardware vendor, you may fear that open-sourcing may reveal important things about how your hardware operates that competitiors could copy, thus gaining an unfair competitive advantage. Back in the days of three- to five-year product cycles this was a valid argument. Today, the time your competitor's engineers would need to spend copying a

      • In that vein, if xwin comes up with a clean, consistent API (perhaps even one that's linked into DRI or some other interface in kernel space) that all the video harware vendors can write to, without spelling out to thier competition how to trouce thier products in the next rev, they'll do much better I'm sure.

        Uh, hasn't this already been done, as of XFree86 4.0?

      • Re:So, what now? (Score:5, Informative)

        by be-fan (61476) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:37AM (#5719908)
        Why does nobody know anything about X? X has had a stable binary driver API since 4.0. The API is even OS independent!
    • Re:So, what now? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Chops (168851) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:43PM (#5719259)
      I guess the glibc/libc split is probably the closest. That settled out reasonably quickly, (though it left some freakish version numbers that still cause trouble).

      The libc/glibc difficulty wasn't, precisely speaking, a fork. Linux used to use its own C library ('Linux libc' or 'libc'), and after a while the Linux developers decided to switch to using the GNU C library ('GNU libc' or 'glibc'), and Linux libc was abandoned.
      • Re:So, what now? (Score:4, Informative)

        by rsidd (6328) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @12:01AM (#5719565)
        The libc/glibc difficulty wasn't, precisely speaking, a fork. Linux used to use its own C library ('Linux libc' or 'libc'), and after a while the Linux developers decided to switch to using the GNU C library ('GNU libc' or 'glibc'), and Linux libc was abandoned.

        It's more complicated than that. Linux libc (libc5, and earlier libc4) were derived from GNU libc1 (1.07.4 according to this site [uclibc.org]). Linux libc then evolved separately while people worked on glibc2, and when glibc2 became usable, first Red Hat, then the others, started to use it as the default libc, and libc5 was abandoned. So, yes, libc5 was a fork, a purely utilitarian one which eventually became a dead end (unlike egcs which became the new gcc).



    • Why dont they accept project specific donations? Hell even freenet accepts donations and Xfree the most important of all the current linux projects wont accept donations?!

      Ok, so they complain theres not enough developers, development seems to go at snail pace, I see the project and only Carl and Keith are working on it, so while they work on that what happens to Xrender?

      See whats going on here? We need more developer power to build Xfree at the same speed KDE and Gnome are being built. When freenet devel
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:08PM (#5719082)


    > We're in the process of building community, from that we can construct a government. It's a hard process to construct a representative system from what we have now, so it will take a bit of time. Weeks, not months.

    Meanwhile, have patience with the looting and plundering...

  • http://xfree86.org/pipermail/forum/2003-April/date .html#1 [xfree86.org]

    Maybe we'll finally get a decent version of X instead of these whiny "don't criticize things even though we put this stuff out for the public" volunteers ignoring patches and stagnating things.

    I know there are people who will reply saying nothing is wrong with X, or making long lists of excuses justifying things about X, or saying they've never had problems with X and that all these "sheep" who say X is bad are stupid and ignorant. I simply disa
  • xwin- Quartz (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:12PM (#5719105)
    It seems to me that if they are going to fork they might as well do something right from the ground up. They could build something like Quartz Extreme and then add the old version of X11 on top of it like Apple has done with OS X. Lots of possibilities!
    • Re:xwin- Quartz (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Enahs (1606) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:18PM (#5719140) Journal
      The DirectFB project has 2D going nicely, and is working on 3D. It's Linux-only at the moment, but that can change. :-D
    • Re:xwin- Quartz (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Overly Critical Guy (663429) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:27PM (#5719188)
      This is so what we need. Starting over. Nobody wants to do it and hides behind the excuse of a veil of "volunteer work" that somehow implies nobody can criticize even if what you put out is inadequate.

      Yes, people realize it's volunteer work. But there need to be results, or just keep everything on your private network and never publicly release anything for fear that people will criticize it. The time for endless projects with lofty goals and ideals but substandard output is over. We're in that phase where we need to just get shit finished and done, and get it done right the first time.

      There will be the standard "So where is your project?" replies. They are no less ineffective and pointless than they have ever been. I'm simply stating an opinion, and as "volunteers" you can choose to disregard it. But that simply means the stagnation will continue, and criticisms like mine will continue.

      There are entire open source 3D engines, kernels, raytracers, and more that are excellently designed and work well, but we still don't have a decent graphical user interface desktop solution for Linux.

      "Either shit or get off the pot." - Randall, Clerks
      • Re:xwin- Quartz (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Jameth (664111)
        One: X is not a GUI. That's the field of KDE and GNOME. You can't blame X just because they suck.

        Also, it doesn't necessarily need starting over: That'll just kill its potential on one front for the sake of more ease at reaching another. X has a lot of good features (don't bash remote Xwindows) and totally pulling out of it could screw up what support is already there. If it's fixable, it should be fixed, and I still think it is fixable.
      • Re:xwin- Quartz (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Man In Black (11263) <.ac.wahs. .ta. .or-ez.> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:56PM (#5719537) Homepage
        This is so what we need. Starting over. Nobody wants to do it and hides behind the excuse of a veil of "volunteer work" that somehow implies nobody can criticize even if what you put out is inadequate.

        Don't forget that it's a freakin' buttload of work to do! X has been around for decades now... working to replace it isn't going to happen overnight, or probably even over the course of a year. Just look at Berlin (or whatever it's called now, I forget). It's been in the works for as long as I can remember, and as far as I know, the user base isn't exactly noteworthy.

        Replacing X is like abandoning the Earth to terraform Mars just because cleaning up the Earth is too much work....
        • Re:xwin- Quartz (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Metrol (147060) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:23AM (#5719867) Homepage
          Don't forget that it's a freakin' buttload of work to do! X has been around for decades now...

          I don't believe the notion behind the xwin site is to replace X by starting over from scratch. This is more along the lines of where Berlin is headed.

          Based on the various linked articles, this will be a code fork, not a ground up rewrite. Take the stuff that works, then split it up into bite size chunks that individual developers can manage more efficiently. This isn't reinventing the wheel. Sounds more like trying to make it round again.
      • Re:xwin- Quartz (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ozan (176854)
        This is so what we need. Starting over. Nobody wants to do it and hides behind the excuse of a veil of "volunteer work" that somehow implies nobody can criticize even if what you put out is inadequate.

        No, nobody wants to rewrite X because writing an X-Server is a freaking shitload of work and in every piece of software there are large portions of code which can be reused.

        The process of developing is "see problem -> fix problem without causing any new ones", not "see problem -> write a complete new
    • There are tons of windowing systems/graphics layers out there. Starting over has been done already. And no one cared.
    • Re:xwin- Quartz (Score:4, Informative)

      by be-fan (61476) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:42AM (#5719935)
      Say it with me: Quartz Extreme is nothing very cool. It's just software rendered PDF composited via OpenGL to the framebuffer. It's not an actual hardware accelerated drawing API. Far more interesting would be to do what Microsoft is doing (with D3D instead of OGL), and fully accelerate the GUI via OpenGL. EVAS is already a hell of a good HWGL Canvas, so by far the smartest thing to do would be to build of that instead. I really hate how Apple's marketing department has done such a number on users...
  • Not a surprise. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrsam (12205) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:17PM (#5719131) Homepage
    If I were to guess, several months ago, what fundamental OSS project would fork next, I would've picked XFree86. The signs were all there. Slow pace of development. Closed inner development core. Bugs left unfixed.

    I'm about to upgrade my machines. The new release comes with XFree86 4.3.0. I'm already aware of some stuff that works in 4.2 but is broken in 4.3. There was no response to a couple of bug reports that I sent in last year, so it's not a surprise to me.

    I'm waiting the obvious forthcomming trolling, from the peanut gallery, about the fork, and how its going to be fodder for the OSS lobby. I do not find it a problem. I see it as a natural evolution of things. It's just like 4-5 years ago, when RMS was dragging his feet on gcc development, egcs got forked, and eventually became the new gcc. Right now, gcc 3.2 is a damn good compiler, and I doubt that we'd have it, without that fork.

    • I, think, it just, may be, possible, that you are, overusing, commas. ;)
    • Re:Not a surprise. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 13, 2003 @02:01AM (#5719993)
      Uhm.. Is there any software that RMS doesn't drag his feet with? So far as I can tell, all the FSF/GNUware over there except for some with corporate connections like gcc and glibc are nice dust collectors with a few devoted GNUers who can't keep up.

      IMO he's also really lucky that the egcs people were such nice folk and willing to re-merge under the 'gcc' name. I sure as hell wouldn't have, with the new restrictions it's imposed.

      Things are much better now but GCC is still widely unappreciated and receives far too little resources. I've got bugs in there that are YEARS old, and I've even sent patches to fix some of them that have been flat out dropped into a void.

      Just browsing the lists lately, it appears they are just NOW, after around 14+ goddamned fucking years, going to start using ANSI/ISO C89/90 in GCC instead of K&R C. Ugh, what a waste of their piddly resources.
  • by rossz (67331) <ogre@geek b i k e r.net> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:24PM (#5719168) Homepage Journal
    I went to xwin.org but could not find any type of list of what they hope to achieve. Not a good start for a project. Perhaps they haven't quite got around to posting the list.

    Here's what I'd like to see done:

    1. Performance. There needs to be some serious performance boosting. Rip out a whole lot of fluff. Honestly, how often do you need remote xwindows? Yes, there is a use for it, but that should be a seperate build altogether.

    2. Standardization. Flexibility is nice, but having every damn program do things differently is annoying. It's also a very bad thing if you are trying to break into the mainstream.

    3. Easier configuration. It can be a real bitch to get xwindows running properly. Considering the huge amount of differing hardware in the wild, I'm not so sure it would be possible to simplify it too much. Oh, well.

    My 2 cents.
    • by AtrN (87501) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:35PM (#5719226) Homepage
      how often do you need remote xwindows

      Every day.

      • by rsidd (6328) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @12:10AM (#5719604)
        how often do you need remote xwindows

        Every day.

        Absolutely. People who don't need it everyday are people who only use one computer (eg, home users with only one machine) or people who never realized how easy it is to run a program on another machine and display it on your desktop. Remove this ability, and you remove a huge reason for using unix/linux on the desktop in the first place.

      • Yep! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Skreech (131543)
        I use it every day too. I had a decision to make. I wanted to play games that came out and run misc Windows programs reliably. I also wanted to have a stable platform where I could store my email, have xchat up, have various persistant processes running (for 120+ days of uptime now).

        So what was I to do? Get Linux and install wine? If I enjoyed pain, sure. Or: Get Windows and run a webserver, mail-fetching programs, Python for windows, xchat for windows, blahblahblah for windows? No, I need a Linux environm
    • Remote X is a lot faster than comparative solutions for Windows. VNC is horribly slow, almost unusable on a 100 Mbit/s LAN. It's alright if you drop your colors to 8bit or bgr233, but it is still horrid. X flies across my network at 24bpp and runs as smooth as the remote processor allows. Perhaps some decent compression would help here? I find remote X far too valuable to just throw out the window.
    • by Dunkalis (566394) <crichards.gmx@net> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:41PM (#5719251)
      And here are some rebuttals to your points.

      1. Performance. XFree is pretty fast for me, and while it could be faster, its still very usable. And I don't think network transparency really affects speed if you aren't using it, either. Locally, you're just using Unix sockets. It may add to the binary, and sit there and collect dust. I say that they add an option to disable network transparency, which is probably what you are talking about.

      2. Standardization. This is not the point of X. Its a windowing system, not a toolkit or window manager/desktop. Everyone should use Qt, however :)

      3. Easier Configuration. Most autoconfig tools like DrakXConf (or whatever it is) configures most hardware in a snap. And while the config files can be simplified, remember, its massive, complex and not some small project with two or three options. Its a freaking windowing system. Besides, how many times do you have to configure X, anyway? I just copy my XF86Config and replace it when I install a new distro.

      • by arkanes (521690) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {senakra}> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:05PM (#5719340) Homepage
        Some rebuttals to YOUR points:

        1) This isn't about XFree being fast for you. And if it performs as well as (say) Windows 2k or XP on modern hardware, then you've spent alot of time tweaking X, and probably your kernel. X should be decent out of the box, and it isn't. "Works good enough" isn't something that I personally like settling for.

        2) Standardization is absolutely a point of X. I don't know how you can think otherwise. One of the biggest objections to this port is the possible breaking of the X standards.

        3) There is no reason whatsoever that XF86Config needs to be the monster that it is. A logical hierarchy of settings would be a good first step. Alot of the crap in XF86Config is handled by drivers using a standardized interface in Windows - this is a reasonable model to copy. That would help eliminate the need for every distro that's trying to be user-friendly to write it's own hardware detection program.

        • 1) This isn't about XFree being fast for you. And if it performs as well as (say) Windows 2k or XP on modern hardware, then you've spent alot of time tweaking X, and probably your kernel. X should be decent out of the box, and it isn't. "Works good enough" isn't something that I personally like settling for.

          But what do you consider "decent". This is entirely subjective. Look, there are platforms out there that kick Windows butt very, very badly when it comes to performance. Some carry a premium ( Irix

          • Look, there are platforms out there that kick Windows butt very, very badly when it comes to performance. Some carry a premium ( Irix/MIPS )

            And on the whole X speed thing, I'd like to point out that the GUI on SGI's Irix machines is X11, and it's certainly fast enough. A couple of years back I remember a day when I used a then-ancient SGI Indy (133mhz cpu) running X11, a Sun workstation running X11, and a Win2K box in the space of a few hours, and the X11 boxes wiped the floor with Win2K on GUI responsi

    • 1. If you're sure that remote xwindows slows down local xwindows, what's your data?

      2. This is not xwindows' job. Gui differences are at a higher level than X.

      3. I agree with you here.
    • by g4dget (579145) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:25PM (#5719410)
      1. Performance. There needs to be some serious performance boosting. Rip out a whole lot of fluff. Honestly, how often do you need remote xwindows? Yes, there is a use for it, but that should be a seperate build altogether.

      There is no "fluff" there. X11 runs as a separate user-mode process from applications. That means that commands to it need to go from the user process to the display process. X11 uses an asynchronous protocol and a mixture of shared memory and UNIX-domain sockets. And for games and other applications, there is DRI.

      It happens to be the case that the X11 protocol and semantics are well-enough defined that the same protocol works over fast networks, but you don't pay anything for that.

      Macintosh (as far a I can tell) works the same way: a display server, user mode applicatins, and some IPC mechanism connecting them. The only reason remote display for the Mac doesn't work like X11 is because it lacks some high-level primitives.

      Windows used to start out as a frame buffer library, but it, too, works pretty much like X11 these days: asynchronous communications between user-mode processes and a display server running in a separate address space. The only thing NT/XP do differently is that the display server runs i the kernel. You could put an X11 server in the kernel, but it probably wouldn't make a big difference in performance (and it would be a headache).

      When a particular X11 implementatin is slow, it's usually because of bad drivers or bad configuration. With comparable drivers, X11 performance is top-notch--usually better than Macintosh and comparable to Windows. And many X11 applications are slow or inefficient because their developers assumed they were programming a frame buffer--an assumption that is wrong on all major GUI platforms these days.

      In short, this "X is slow because of network transparency" is wrong in multiple ways. First, X11 is not slow compared to other popular windowing systems. Second, nobody has ever been able to describe a way in which X11 could be made faster by choosing a different IPC mechanism. People who criticize X11 for using IPC usually assume incorrectly that other systems don't use IPC, but they do.

      2. Standardization. Flexibility is nice, but having every damn program do things differently is annoying. It's also a very bad thing if you are trying to break into the mainstream.

      X11 is standardized. What is not standardized is GUI environments and toolkits. But there is a reason for that: people are still figuring it out. It's software evolution in action. And it's not like Windows or Macintosh have figured that one out either: on Windows, people use dozens of different toolkits, several of which come from Microsoft Similarly for Macintosh. Gnome and KDE are making an effort to interoperate, and that's all you can ask for.

      Also, there are plenty of programs that need to "o things differently". X11 is not just a desktop window system, it's used for scientific and engineering applications, customer terminals, ATMs, banking workstations, embedded systems, and lots of other applications. Those environments should not look like a regular desktop.

      3. Easier configuration. It can be a real bitch to get xwindows running properly. Considering the huge amount of differing hardware in the wild, I'm not so sure it would be possible to simplify it too much. Oh, well.

      I think people are doing as well as they can, given limited information from manufacturers.

      But because X11 is standardized, you can always buy a commercially supported X11 server. Those usually run very well on the latest hardware. If you are using XFree86, you are using something that's both free and experimental.

      As far as I can tell, "the split" is over none of these issues. Both branches will remain network transparent window systems, they will remain compatible, and they will continue not to force toolkits or desktop software on users. If they tried to, they would cease being X11 implementations. What Keith probably will do is accelerate bug fixing and bringing extensions into the X11 server. And that's what really matters.

      • yeah, I loved the "rip ot the fluff" comment. Like there has been this pile of un-needed code that nobody ever noticed.
        "Hey guys, look at this, there has been flight similator code in here!"

    • I disagree here. I think what needs to be done is simply to clean-up the mess that is XFree86.

      Look at the nasty way that remote X works, just for an example. To tunnel remote X over some other protocol, you have to do some serious programming to support it's unusual methods. Meanwhile, with something like VNC, or Citrix, all you have to do is tunnel a single port. Also, it would be nice if X had a higher-level interface to it, so that you don't have to, essentially, send a video over te network to disp
    • by lewp (95638) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:48PM (#5719510) Journal
      Honestly, how often do you need remote xwindows?

      Well, I'm typing this response courtesy of a remote browser window. I'd say less than half my applications are running on the machine I'm sitting in front of at any given moment, for various different reasons.

      The fact is, myself and the majority of people I know who have any sort of real UNIX desktop experience find ways to use remote X windows every day.

      We shouldn't lose functionality or have to jump through hoops just because someone decided without any sort of numbers to back it up that networking is X's "problem". Nor should we be inconvenienced when a bunch of whiny new Mandrake users buy into that bullshit and decide immediately that their machine isn't snappy enough.

      Bottom line: Any problems you have with the speed of your X desktop almost certainly have nothing to do with X's ability to spit out pixels. Until someone can disagree with that and provide numbers to indicate that X's networking is to blame, there's no compelling reason to rip it out.

      I'm not trying to pick on you individually, I'm just tired of seeing what appears to be completely groundless nonsense posted as if it's obvious fact.
    • by moncyb (456490) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:57PM (#5719548) Journal

      I went to xwin.org but could not find any type of list of what they hope to achieve.

      It looks like they want to achieve extreme openness. They even put up Wiki, which means they're so open and carefree, they must emulate the goatse.cx guy. ;-)

      I think the place to put your requests is WantonDesires [xwin.org]. I think you have to register, though IIRC some Wiki sites don't require it, so maybe not. (I haven't used Wiki much.) It may be a good idea to learn how Wiki works first though...in some ways it's easy to use, but there are specifics you should understand. For example, the formatting has different rules than html. The HelpPage [xwin.org] is a start.

      As to your ideas, here are my thoughts:

      1. It may be possible to optimize XFree some, but it sounds like you don't want XFree, but something else. Taking out the socket based communications would not only remove the remote abilities, but it would also reduce security.

        You are probably thinking something along the lines of DirectFB and XDirectFB. Programs use those libs to access the framebuffer device directly. From what I understand, you have to open the permissions on your framebuffer device or just run all your programs as root. Not good if you need decent security (or protection from a buggy program)--this is almost like running Win98. ;-)

      2. I think there are arguments for and against enforcing specific standards, but I think most of the problems are either caused by applications not using X properly (it seems too many developers don't understand X, Unix, or even makefiles at all) or are outside the realm of X itself. I also think GNOME and KDE are unnecessary for the most part. They have probably caused a greater rift in standards...

      3. Hardware configuration has always been a problem, not only for XFree86, but many other systems. PCI should help solve the problem. The PCI bus gives a vendor string, so determining the hardware you use should be easy. You'll need a massive database, but it should work. Same with USB. I wouldn't be surprised if they already have PCI and USB autodetect functions in xf86cfg, but I don't know because I manually edit my XF86Config file. I'm anal. ;-)
  • by fava (513118) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:33PM (#5719212)
    Ok, so lets start the most important part of any open source project.

    The licencing debate.

    Is it going to stay X11 or will it be moving to another licence?
  • what about VNC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by goombah99 (560566) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:34PM (#5719219)
    I'm not X-savy enough to say anything intelligent about what direction X should go. But I can make an observation about VNC and X.

    In my experience there are different situations that one wants an X-terminal. One is where one has a highly networked user space and one wants a high fidelity graphical experience no matter where the computer you are executing on is physically located as long as its a high bandwidth connection.

    In my owm personal world of some 600+ linux servers spread around the united states, I dont need nor can a support a decent X graphics experience. In fact W is intolerable even on many local connections. Instead I find I get much better performance using VNC as my remote graphical interface. Its fidelity is slightly lower but its lightning fast and works in all sorts of situations where X is painful (like double firewalls and high security environments). The crititical thing is the response time of the mouse when doing things like menu pulldowns, and for example draging a 3-D rendered object to rotate it on the screen.

    I dont know why but X is horrible for thos operations. while VNC is fluid. VNC is also more stable when connections close down unexpectedly or even expectedly (like I put my local computer to sleep).

    so my feeling is the existing X works damn well for high bandwidth connections and local stuff. if there's an argument over its direction its arguing over minutia. what really need to happen is to evolve an X for low bandwidth connections. In theory X should be much faster than VNC since it should be able to send less information than VNC has to. but currently its not up to par

    • Check out lbxproxy [xfree86.org] for low-bandwidth or high-latency links.
    • they're both needed. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kunta Kinte (323399) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:22PM (#5719398) Journal
      VNC, Microsoft terminal server, Citrix's framebuffer based remote desktop approach are very efficient on the network, which is the slowest part of getting a remote desktop to a user's computer. Their frames are rendered, compressed and encrypted then sent. The algorithm maybe optimized and only send changes/deltas to the frame.

      This solution is terrible in the thin client scenario. And that may be one of the reasons that thin clients haven't taken off in places were using that approach would be a no-brainer ( call centers, college labs, etc. ). Large number of identical machines that wouldn't need maintaince other than to reinstall the OS and the remote desktop application.

      Framebuffer solutions place all the rendering, font handling, *everything* on the 'remote server' or 'RAS' ( you pick ).

      If you get a chance to observe a citrix or terminal services rollout, ask for the specs on their servers, and how many users can fit on those. It's almost not worth it.

      XWindows is much, much easier on the 'client' Without even trying, as much developers aren't taking into consideration X protocol Server/client roundtrip issues when designing/coding.

      If you just what to get to your computer, a framebuffer may perform slightly better than X, though X would still do a good job. But in the case of a large number of users connecting to a single server, each with their own session, X is *much* better.

    • Re:what about VNC (Score:3, Informative)

      by viperblades (576174)
      Try X forwarding with ssh. It;'s very fast. ssh -C -X 127.0.0.1 xterm
  • Excellent. Now I will have two graphical servers with which to become infuriated with when my Nvidia drivers won't load right. Seriously though, in the world of open source development, I find it advantageous to have multiple projects going, as each development team will have differing visions and thus produce products that have their own unique pros and cons.

    It sure beats having but one graphical server to choose from. It also beats having a bloated GUI tied into the kernel that you have no control over.

  • by bogie (31020) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:49PM (#5719283) Journal
    I couldn't think of a more capable person to do this.

    I was reading this paper that Keith Packard and James Gettys wrote and its plain he has a clue and are really interested in concentrating on performance.

    http://keithp.com/~keithp/talks/usenix2003/html/ ne t.html

    The paper deals with network performance, but it was the "lets be practical "methodology that impressed me and it seems they are really on the road it finding solutions for speeding up X and also in many cases the popular X toolkits themselves.

    Not to mention the "cool" stuff that Keith has done.

    This fork isn't bad, its about time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 12, 2003 @10:49PM (#5719287)
    As far as I'm concerned, all the innovation and things that were pushing XFree forward were ALL done by Keith Packard. With him gone all the XFree team can do is go back to whining nobody at ATI will write drivers for them.

    I predict in a years' time XFree will be pretty much stagnant at the codebase it's at now, but will have a couple of releases just to make themselves look like they're still relevant. Meanwhile we'll all be fighting with instructions in how to strip out XFree and replace it with KP's xwin, and the linux desktop movement becomes the big loser. Sigh.

    • I dont agree with the comment or the moderation. From reading KP's interview I get the sense he is keenly aware of the scope of his task. And even if his project ends up eclipsing the old x.org stuff, I expect great pains will be made to deal with compatibility issuses (loadable compatibility modules?) Forcing a dump of old stuff in the name of moving forward will then end up in the lose lose situation. Again I dont see that road being the one travelled.
  • by Sleeper (7713) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:22PM (#5719400)

    I noticed that both XCB and XCL [pdx.edu] and xwin are sponsored by Portland State University.


    For those who are too lazy to click on the link XCB stands for X C bindings and meant to replace Xlib. The main point is to make X clients to talk to X server asynchronously (unlike Xlib) which will beinifit the speed. For compatibility they still keep XCL (Xlib compatibility layer). In fact these projects created quite an excitement [sourceforge.net] on enlightment-devel mailing list. Well, at least Rasterman [rasterman.com] is excited.


    Overall, i think, this might turn out very poisitive for all of us.

    • by spitzak (4019) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:57AM (#5719989) Homepage
      Xlib already communicates asynchoronsly. What XCB is trying to do is reduce the amount of code that is executed on the client end before the communication happens, by changing the interface to one that almost exactly matches the X protocol. Xlib has a lot of overhead because it attempts to be a "toolkit" in it's own little way, this overhead is completely irrelevant because the real toolkits have to write their own code to manage things and can deal just as well with a lower-level protocol.
  • by starseeker (141897) on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:31PM (#5719432) Homepage
    Did anyone read the transcripts? It sounds like they are still attempting to work with the current X leaders. Granted I don't see much hope, but this isn't an official fork yet. It's the preliminary steps to see if they need one.

    Hopefully, whatever happens, X development will improve. We'll see if it winds up being something other than XFree86 in the end.

  • I want to donate maybe $30, but I want to donate my money to a specific projects development, in a democractic way.

    I think if X team is going to accept donations, it should work something like how transgaming works. Can you set it up so certain projects can accept donations, like maybe Xrender, and our money gets used to hire full time programmers to work on it?

    With donation money, there wont be such a problem finding developers.
  • by bahwi (43111) <incoming AT josephguhlin DOT com> on Saturday April 12, 2003 @11:56PM (#5719536) Homepage
    this doesn't turn into a bunch of bureacratic stuff. I think the project can go somewhere, but when he demands 'government' instantly, that is a bit much. It really is a huge project, I understand, but so is Mozilla, and they should take more from Moz's example than the example of countries.

    Just my thoughts, best of luck to the project!
  • fud fuel? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The only thing I'm worried about is Microsoft leveraging this
    to knock up the FUD factor another notch (bam). I've got visions
    in my head of 'can't trust those free software people, they've
    got personal agendas, major breakup, project may die, Microsoft
    has always been a wonderful unified blah blah blah'.

    I sure hope there's a prepared statement from XFree86 and Mr. Packard
    to counter this, should this become an issue.
  • by NZheretic (23872) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @12:31AM (#5719682) Homepage Journal
    The ECGS fork of the Gnu Compiler Collection ( GCC ) was formed in 1997, because many felt that developement of GCC was not going fast enough and that the then GCC developer were not accepting or adopting mnay freely contributed patches that radically changed the then stable GCC toolset.

    From the GCC FAQ
    In April 1999 the Free Software Foundation officially halted development on the gcc2 compiler and appointed the EGCS project as the official GCC maintainers. The net result was a single project which carries forward GCC development under the ultimate control of the GCC Steering Committee [gnu.org]

  • Lingo..... (Score:3, Funny)

    by telstar (236404) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @12:49AM (#5719758)
    "Weeks, not months."
    • Sounds like how this whole Iraq thing went down. Should we expect the shock and awe phase shortly after that?
  • X works great for me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by b17bmbr (608864) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:06AM (#5719809)
    what exactly does X lack? please. i have been using it for several years, and it has improved immensely, yes, but i have never had any problems with it. as forthe network thing, i use it in my classroom every day. i have a p3 serving up X to several boxes in my classroom, and not only has it never crashed, but it runs very fast over a 10/100 lan. why all the bitching? i don't get it.
  • by billstewart (78916) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:30AM (#5719894) Journal
    So how much effect is this split going to have on the KDE - vs - Gnome toolkits and the various window managers out there?
    • by be-fan (61476) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @05:07AM (#5720420)
      Check out their statement:

      A sizeable group of developers from the two leading free software
      projects developing desktops based on the X Window System, KDE and
      GNOME, have been discussing the current situation among themselves
      and decided to draft and release this document.

      We acknowledge the dedication of the XFree86 project in providing us a
      free and innovative implementation of the X11 industry standard,
      something we benefit from on a daily basis. Therefore, we want to
      share our joint point of view with the community.

      1. XFree86's recent technical progress, culminating in the 4.3
      release, brought significant advancements to the X desktop. Prior
      X Window System implementations were lagging behind the needs of
      modern desktop users.

      Cursor theming, simplified font configuration, dynamic screen
      resizing, and so on address long-overdue usability issues with X
      desktops. XFree86's robust solutions in these areas have been
      invaluable.

      However, the work is not done. Our goal is to provide the
      community with desktop systems far beyond what anyone offers
      today. We are ready to take advantage of an X Window System
      implementation that continues to innovate.

      2. GNOME and KDE have two interests in X:

      - We would like to have a single organization where X innovation
      occurs. By innovation, we mean the definition of new APIs,
      specifications, and features - new additions to the foundations
      that KDE and GNOME rely on.

      - We would like to have a frequently-released, robust, stable,
      open source implementation of these APIs, specifications, and
      features.

      We are explicitly distinguishing innovation from implementation,
      because standards should be adequate to allow multiple
      fully-interoperable implementations.

      Within the development organization responsible for defining and
      crafting new features to be adopted as standards, innovation
      should happen in the open, with all affected parties able to
      participate early in the process.

      3. We do not want to take sides on the recent political wrangling of
      who did what when and who should be in charge. Our hope is that as
      a community we can find a way to involve everyone in X's
      development and move forward with solving technical challenges.

      4. It makes sense to us if the organization responsible for X
      innovation also develops the most widely used open source
      reference implementation. This ensures an emphasis on working
      code, and provides a pool of active technical expertise.

      5. We would like to see this forum work toward a unified
      organization, governed by active contributors, that implements,
      deploys, and standardizes new X innovations.

      We do not want to take an a priori position on how this
      organization should be organized or governed - that is a
      conversation we're trying to start, rather than one we're trying
      to end. We trust and will support the X community as they work to
      address this issue. :: signatures clipped ::
  • by Lord Sauron (551055) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @01:48AM (#5719955)
    This is another American lie. Keith Packard, American official, is NOT free, he was easily subjugated by our dauntless troops. And he possessed not a fork, but a knife of mass destruction.

    Note: I rewrote this message because some infidelic moderator modded it as offtopic. But I have no fear. Will trench my post and resist to the negative mods.
  • Let's see... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Erik Hollensbe (808) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @03:55AM (#5720282) Homepage
    ....what happens first.

    Forks often rejoin the root tree once they've accomplished their goals, either intentionally or otherwise.

    I have a gut feeling that unless the xwin project really refactors (i hate that word) a LOT of stuff, it's not going to be something that people are dying to install, except for the bleeding edge/at-work beta tester (these guys really piss me off, they spend more time recovering from crashes than actually working) types.

    Wait it out - software development (especially in larger projects) is a meritocracy -- no one pays attention to you unless you accomplish something that makes a difference. Given what I've read about the reputation of this guy, he's probably going to bring a lot of good, but lets just wait for it to happen instead of getting all reactionary, eh? You're just wasting your time. Parade or throw tomatoes when something *really* big happens.
  • development guides (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BenjyD (316700) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @07:29AM (#5720718)
    One major thing that seems to be needed is a detailed, up-to-date guide on how to develop fast graphical apps for xfree86. So many comments here saying "X is slow" are followed by comments blaming the toolkit/app developers.

    A set of guidelines for modern xfree86 on how to get the best performance would help a huge fraction of the open-source world and improve the appearance of Unices on the desktop.
  • by squarooticus (5092) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @08:00AM (#5720775) Homepage
    ...what I would like to see is BOTH a local DRI (perhaps using SHM) AND continued network transparency.

    Aside from that first time running Linux Doom over the network back in 1994 just to see how slow it would be, I have never had the desire to run a bandwidth-intensive X application over the network.

    Yet, I still use X applications remotely, day after day---XEmacs, xmms, xterm, you name it---and I'm not about to stop.

    Come to think of it, we already HAVE the two things I've listed above, so in fact, I'm already happy. Half-life under Wine plays frickin' fast, as does the native version of Wolfenstein 3D, and I can still run my other apps remotely.

    I'd still be interested in seeing what Keith comes up with.

    Finally, it sounds to me (from the older article that was linked to above) like David can go fuck off: if he doesn't use X anymore, then he should give up his spot on the XFree86 steering committee to someone with a stake in XFree's future. At a minimum, this should be someone who uses the damn thing!

    Go, Keith! Some of the best applications in existence (XEmacs, gcc-3.x, and XFree86 itself) were adversarial forks.

    Cheers,
    Kyle
  • They Key Is.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tenchiken (22661) on Sunday April 13, 2003 @09:06AM (#5720960)
    Simplicity for users. Xfree86 has been perhaps the single biggest factor limiting Linux's wide spread adoption (I can not count the number of times I have almost put my fist thru the moniter simply because some setting out of hundreds is wrong in some random text file)...

    New technology is cool. Better configuration is manditory. I am looking forward to see how this plays out.

If it's worth hacking on well, it's worth hacking on for money.

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