Feb 232007
 

I’ve tried to post this message 3 times this morning and three times I’ve lost the post. First it was IE7 sucking and then it was my hosting company sucking worse and finally I’m starting over again. This time I’m keeping it short. Here’s my morning thoughts.

  • VIsta looks freakin’ amazing!
  • Looks aren’t everything, but help make life nicer
    • I can’t run Beryl or Compiz on my desktop because of ATI support – sucks – so linux still looks horrible even with the best theme available and hours of tweaking.
    • Even with Beryl or Compiz, X windows sucks because of the networking code at the bottom. OpenGL, FB, DRM, DRI, whatever should really be at the bottom of X and the rest of it can go. It sucks a lot anyways.
  • Vista sucks for developing. No shell with completion, no virtual desktops, you have to install everything by hand and it sucks to find good free software.
  • Linux has so much good support now, that even though it looks like butt, it is still better for developers. Any developer that say they are more productive on Windows has been smokin’ some serious crack.

  3 Responses to “Vista morning ponderings”

  1. I simply can’t believe that Vista doesn’t support cygwin: http://nevali.wordpress.com/2007/01/28/cygwin-on-vista/

    Cygwin is the first thing I install when I get a new Windows box, and I feel it makes developing on a windows box almost as nice as on a linux box.

    (Sure there are still linefeed issues and other inconveniences, but at least you have a valid shell.)

  2. Not sure I understand your comment about X; yes, it has networking capabilities, but it doesn’t really add any noticable overhead whatsoever; think of those sockets connected to your own computer as just another form of interprocess communication….

    Besides, the idea of Compiz/Beryl is that it builds on top of X and acts as a drop-in replacement for current WMs; you can’t do that if you get rid of X support.

  3. The networking in X has severe implications for 3D rendering because what you are doing is rendering a scene on the 3D card of the XServer and then piping a bitmap across the wire. This is really just a waste of resources. The idea behind Beryl/Compiz is that there is direct communication with the GL driver that talks directly to the card. There are two ways of accomplishing this, Xgl and AIGLX. Xgl is a complete XServer that allows applications to access the graphics card directly bypassing most of the Xlib stack, including the network. AIGLX is similar but is part of Xorg and allows applications to access the graphics by going through a thin layer of Xlib code. This too eliminates the network. The reason the network just doesn’t make sense in these situations is that the graphics card should spit out directly to the monitor. GPUs and modern GL graphics cards have enormous power and piping that back into main memory and then across a network essentially makes these graphics cards no better then VESA. Eventually we’ll see either AIGLX or Xgl win, but the truth is that the network will never be touched in the modern Xwindows systems, making them more like a direct FB or GL device and almost nothing like an XServer. This is the only way to correctly take Linux graphics to the next logically evolutionary step.

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