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Re: [OT] Why does X need so much CPU power?

Feel free to hit 'd' now, if you like, what follows is an opinion piece
that apparently no one at all agrees with, given the state of the

On Tue, Sep 02, 2003 at 12:20:24AM +0200, Nicos Gollan wrote:
> IMO the whole X(free) system needs a healthy kick in the butt. It's one of the 
> main factors in keeping Linux away from the desktop, not just lacking in 
> performance and features, but also a royal PITA to configure with new 
> problems cropping up every five minutes.

Uh, no, what's keeping Linux away from the desktop is the lack of
APPLICATIONS.  Joe Public couldn't care less about X, or anything else, as
long as it works.  The idiot gamers aside, X is plenty for what Joe Public
needs in a graphical environment as long as he can move windows around and
open and close them when he needs to.

The gamers, of course, will never be satisfied until things have come
full-circle and they're writing directly to the hardware again, without any
abstraction layers at all in the way.

But as long as there aren't equivalents to Photoshop (and I'm sorry, but
Gimp ain't it, not while it doesn't do something basic like CYMK), InDesign
or the equivalent (and TeX ain't it either), Office (yes, OOo may be there
someday, but it isn't NOW), and an easy to use database (and the SQL server
of your choice CERTAINLY isn't it), along with many other applications...
Linux will be incredibly useful to the geeks and not at all to Joe Public.

Never mind the programming tools, the umpteen scripting languages, and all
the rest.  Joe Public doesn't need or want any of that.  For crying out
loud, we actually push the fact that Linux ships with gcc and Windows
doesn't as a *benefit*!

And I count myself among the geeks.  I use Linux in my home because I want
to, and I'm willing to jump through quite a number of hoops to create an
environment that exactly fits ME.  To change things to fit ME.  To adapt
things that weren't necessarily intended for what I want to use them for
to, well, do what I want them to do.

Joe Public isn't.  No, worse... he WON'T.  And you can't make him.  And all
the rants about how Linux is about to take over the desktop, should take
over the desktop, would take over the desktop if only MS wasn't out there
sticking a knife in people's back... won't change that.

I'm sure that now I'm going to be gifted with umpteen slashcrap-esque rants
about how wonderful Linux is, and how everyone's lives are immesurably
enriched by it, and how they've been "MS-free" (like that's something worth
worrying about) for just, well, forever, and how many people they've
personally saved and led to Linux.  Well, forget it.  It's irrelevant.

Oooh, oooh, Windows, so evil, never ever ever use it, after all Joe Public
might get some work done without having to worry about how the box is put
together.  Much better for Joe Public to spin uselessly in a corner trying
to glue tools together and understand arcana.

Yes, I'm sure.  I must absolutely hate open-source, and all it stands for.
I must be an evil tool that can't think for himself.  How DARE I suggest
that using our baby is anything less than religious nirvana?  Save it...
you're wrong and I'm not interested anyway.  Do you advocates ever LISTEN
to yourselves?  <spit>

Forget it.  Our opinions don't matter.  We're already part of the hive.
Man on the street, HIS opinion matters.  He doesn't want our next whiz-bang
window manager, he doesn't want to know how technically advanced Gnome is,
he doesn't want to know how much eye candy he can pump onto the screen with
KDE.  He wants to get the work done.  And he wants to be able to share that
work with OTHER PEOPLE.

And as an example, the fact that he can take TeX, and produce absolutely
beautiful output (and I'm learning TeX now, and it certainly can) is of no
relevance to him as long as he has to learn to speak gibberish in order to
use it.

<sigh> I *actually* got told the other day that Linux didn't need anything
like Word, because it had TeX.  Amazing.

 Marc Wilson |     "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  - Bert Lantz
 msw@cox.net |

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