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GUI Graphics Programming Software IT Technology

Qt On DirectFB 417

Ashcrow writes "The feasibility for DirectFB to replace XFree86 just a little stronger thanks Maurizio Monge very first alpha release of Trolltech's Qt library for use in DirectFB. You can check out some screenshots or go straight to the source. And yes, it has been released as Free Software."
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Qt On DirectFB

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  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:31PM (#6495415) Homepage
    The X Window System is at version 11, release 6.6.

    XFree86 is the one that's at version 4.0. Restrictions on smoothness and responsiveness to user input are due more to driver and kernel performance characteristics than issues with X itself.
  • by DreadSpoon ( 653424 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:33PM (#6495429) Journal
    DirectFB has a multi-application core, and also a specialized X server that runs on it. You can run GNOME on it already, adding Qt/KDE to the mix only _increases_ the number of apps that can be run on it natively.

    And so far as the "features" of X... the only feature X has that DirectFB doesn't is network independence, which very few users need, and those who do can use VNC or the DirectFB X server.
  • Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by keesh ( 202812 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:36PM (#6495450) Homepage
    Site is kinda slow... one [], two [], three [], karma please?
  • by Jahf ( 21968 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @08:56PM (#6495572) Journal
    Ya know ... most people here "get it". It doesn't change the issue of applications. It is going to be harder to get the (li|u)n(u|i)x world to switch off of X than it is to get the Windows world to switch to Linux.

    Switching from Windows to Linux still provides you with probably 95% application parity (MS Office -> OpenOffice, etc). Switching from X to DFB is probably going to be along the lines of 20% application parity.

    It isn't that everyone loves X (although many do), it is that DFB is not currently a viable alternative for folks who need ready-made applications.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:06PM (#6495625)
    Hmm wonder how X does it?


    ~>ps u -C X
    root 1261 19.3 4.5 173160 23220 ? R Jul20 365:26 [X]

    By running as root, perhaps?
  • by ispeters ( 621097 ) <ispeters&alumni,uwaterloo,ca> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:08PM (#6495633)

    There's also an implementation of GDK, or something. (I don't completely understand GDK vs. GTK.) Take a look at the GTK+ [] link on DirectFB's homepage. Apparently we can also run GNOME apps on DirectFB.


  • by stab ( 26928 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:11PM (#6495648) Homepage
    In OpenBSD, Matthieu Herrb patched XFree86 to use privilege separation [] so that the main X process can drop root privileges and run as a normal _x11 user. The privileged portion just grants it the ability to open devices it needs and send certain signals.

    There's no reason why these guys couldn't do the same if they care about security ... it's not hard, just requires the OS to support descriptor passing.
  • by RelentlessWeevilHowl ( 451367 ) <weevilhowl&celia,serv,net> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:12PM (#6495651)

    Your X server also needs root access, and for much the same reasons. X needs to muck with the registers on your video card, for example. Nowadays, there's a little setuid program called "XWrapper" that gets access to everything it needs, then drops its privileges and loads the main X server on top of itself.

    There is at least one project (KGI) that attempts to rationalize all this. It puts the privileged functionality in kernel space, then exposes it all in a safe manner. Linus has not been receptive to this design in the past, preferring the X mechanism.

  • Re:Background (Score:3, Informative)

    by tnak ( 163802 ) <mlibby.4geekscomputing@com> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:32PM (#6495752) Homepage
    That pic is the second most popular download from the site

    I'm betting that means I'm not the only person who saw the first screenshot and said, "to hell with the graphics, where'd he find the girl?"

  • by halightw ( 539485 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:34PM (#6495758)
    >>Have you ever tried to write portable code with
    >>only one machine to test it on? It isn't easy.

    Try using VMWare [] and it becomes very easy to write and test code for multiple OS and configurations.
  • Re:Good. (Score:3, Informative)

    by macemoneta ( 154740 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:34PM (#6495760) Homepage
    Absolutely true -- I'm running X on a 25MHz 486SX with 8MB of RAM, and X is very responsive.
  • by Svartalf ( 2997 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:48PM (#6495831) Homepage
    X is available as a feature on DirectFB- it's called XDirectFB.
  • GDK vs. GTK (Score:4, Informative)

    by roystgnr ( 4015 ) <roystgnr&ticam,utexas,edu> on Monday July 21, 2003 @09:50PM (#6495843) Homepage
    I think GDK is a replacement for XLib (draw line here; draw pixmap there), and GTK is all the higher level stuff (draw button here and hook it to this function; draw and operate spinbox there).
  • by DaCool42 ( 525559 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:10PM (#6495982) Homepage
    1) As many have said over and over, XFree86 is not slow. It runs great on a 486. Try using a faster WM.

    2) Transparancy/hardware rendering. For some reason people think XFree86 needs to be tossed out completely in order to get this. Check out this interview statement from David Dawes (XFree86 developer):

    David Dawes: There has been some work on a new rendering model for XFree86 that provides some more advance composition techniques (including transparency), this currently being implemented in software. For XFree86 5.0 we'll be investigating this as part of our review of rendering models, and seeing if a hardware implementation would not be more appropriate.
  • by mwa ( 26272 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @10:48PM (#6496170)
    Like when you want to log into another system and run GVIM.

    Slightly OT, but in GVIM

    • :e scp://remotehost//path/to/file
    Same with http, ftp, rcp. Try :help scp

    Great when you don't want to maintail gvim for Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, ....

  • X in itself is very fast and pretty slick. Try yourself by kicking gnome/kde and trying OpenBox or some other fast WM. The difference on slower machines is pretty big.

    I have a feeling that some n00bs confuse X with their Window Manager and Docks and Panels etc.

  • Re:GDK vs. GTK (Score:5, Informative)

    by ambrosius27 ( 251484 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @11:06PM (#6496281)
    Not exactly. GDK is an *abstraction* layer with multiple backends, the X11 one being the most prominent. To quote from the GTK/GNOME developers' website: "Instead of directly building on top of the X Window System, GTK+ introduces an intermediate layer, GDK, which isolates GTK+ from the details of the windowing system. This simplifies things for the programmer and increases portability." See the webpage []. Through GDK backends, GTK has been ported to MSWindows [] as well as DirectFB [](see also here []).

    I hope that helps.
  • by jonsmirl ( 114798 ) on Monday July 21, 2003 @11:25PM (#6496402) Homepage
    >There is no reason why you can't run a X server
    >over the top of a directFB desktop. This would

    X server on top of DirectFB has already been written...
  • by John Meacham ( 1112 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:03AM (#6496564) Homepage
    um. actually X selections are more powerful than other systems at allowing cut-n-paste and drag-n-drop of non-text. X selections let the pastee and paster negotiate on a prefered file format based on what they have to offer and what they can accept.

    Just because people who write apps for X don't seem to use this functionality, don't blame X11. if the app writers are too lazy to use the power of X selections, I don't see why they would suddenly for some new system.
  • by kwerle ( 39371 ) <> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:10AM (#6496580) Homepage Journal
    I'm in a situation where I don't have physical access to macs, but I have to develop on them. Well, since I'm not on console, most of the OS is useless to me - particularly development and debugging tools like MallocDebug. I wouldn't be in this situation if it used X11.

    Unless you used some other remote display tech like VNC. Which is freely available for OSX. Apple has some remote display stuff too, but I've never used it.
  • by PotatoHead ( 12771 ) <doug&opengeek,org> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @04:21AM (#6497407) Homepage Journal
    just like the UNIX underneath.

    Personally, I consider the true multi-user nature of UNIX systems to be their greatest strength.

    Getting rid of X means giving that up. It also means making our OS just like the other multi-tasking, but not mulit-user ones out there.

    It is just not worth it.

    I use X every day. For gaming, remote support, and various other things. The current XFree works better than any other X server I have used.

    Look at OS X. It has a frame buffer. It also can have a rootless X server. All the apps for the machine target the frame buffer. None of them work well over the network.

    Sure you have VNC, but that just moves the ONE desktop around.

    In an X environment, you get to move anything anywhere you want to. This is where the strength of UNIX is.

    Multi-user computing is valuable. It makes older hardware continue to be useful. It also allows for different computing models and resource usage.

    The other Operating systems do not do this. Linux / UNIX does and it is our killer feature.

    What happens when a win32 server has trouble? You get a few admins looking at the machine while one operates it. With UNIX, you get a few admins all poking at the machine at the same time working together to work through the problem!

    X is not slow. DRI has fixed the 3D part of things. 2D has always been fast. The transparent windows are nice, but do we really need them more than we need to continue to build on the software base we have now?

    Look at Open Office. It runs nicely over X. One machine can serve many others. Install one copy of the software, setup the environment for the end-users once and you are done! No local installs, no hassle. Upgrade once and everybody is done.

    If we do a frame buffer, it needs to be truely multi-user or it is not work doing. VNC is not the same as remote application display.

    For those who say most people do not use the features of X, I say you are right. Why? It's because they don't know better, not because the tech sucks.

    I have several machines that all perform their various functions. Some are Linux, some are IRIX and one other one is win2k. On my Linux desktop, the IRIX and Linux are perfectly intergrated. All the machines act as one. The odd man out is win2k. I have to bring up a silly VNC window for it.

    Things are getting faster in a hurry folks. X is there already. The toolkits and window managers and desktop stuff is progressing nicely.

    Choice is a big part of what OSS is all about. X provides more choice and power than any other display system ever has. That is why it is still around. That is also why it should stay.

    Anyone who really wants to replace X does not understand just what it does. They just want the simple system their old OS had without realizing it is part of the problem.

  • by chowells ( 166602 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @06:22AM (#6497696) Homepage
    While that is true, some parts of KDE do depend heavily on X11 and its API. One large part of this kscreensaver, KDE's screensaver engine. There are much smaller dependencies on X11 scattered around the rest of KDE.

    Quite frankly I haven't got a clue how kscreensaver could be implemented without X11 yet, the DirectFB authors would have to implement something equivalent to the Xidle or MIT Screensaver extensions, or allow direct polling for information about the open windows/current mouse position (what kscreensaver does if Xidle or MIT Screensaver extensions aren't available).

    Chris Howells
    (kscreensaver maintainer)
  • by SailorBob ( 146385 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @08:26AM (#6498143) Homepage Journal
    For anyone who doesn't understand why you would use anything other than X, take a look at ByzantineOS [], which uses DirectFB [] for rendering in low powered Internet and home entertainment appliances.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972