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

At Mon, 1 Sep 2003 19:32:19 -0700,
Marc Wilson wrote:
> 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 community....

I'm sorry. I pressed the wrong key.

> 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.

Some ex-X coders have already forked XFree86.  There's already an
established dri project at sourceforge which is responsible for
creating the more bleeding edge 3D support for X (note the use of the
relative "more").

> 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.

True.  All those people doing meaty 3D work with Linux are using
proprietary applications that are so expensive they can afford to
be cross-platform.

> 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.

Indesign, a program for Joe Public?!  Come on, how many Joe and
Jane Public's are there who would be interested in doing
high-quality layouts for outputs to color-separting film setters?
We don't need In-Design.  We need (gasp) M$ Publisher!

BTW there's already WYSIWYG DTP under *n*x.  Scribus.  I say it's
already achieved parity with PageMaker version 5.0 (or at least
4.0).  That would be something like 8 years behind bleeding
edge.  But for most users willing to learn the language of
professional DTP that would be enough.

> 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*!

But it is.

> 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.

No, I think the message is that over-priced, one-vendor fits-all
software is, as far as Joe Public is concerned, on the way out.
You miss the mark with OpenOffice.org.  There are actually more
M$ users of OO.o than users in a *n*x environment (you can
include the proprietary Unices in the mix)

Why should it be Linux?  It could be Openoffice.org plus one or
the other free OS's around.  And Debian is attempting to support
at least three kinds of them.

> 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.

I don't think Linux is all that wonderful.  After all, it's just
the kernel.  Gnome and KDE can both run under BSD.  There's a
Solaris port of Gnome.

> 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.

There are actually several studies which show that a properly
configured Gnome or KDE environment is as easy to use as, at the
very least Win9X.  And most users are still stuck on that
technologically inferior Windows version.  So what's preventing
the switch.  I suspect it's the plain inertia.  You use what
you're used to.  This is the same reason most people still insist
on an Intel inside, when they can have the Intel experience at a
fractiona of the cost.

> 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.


It seems that the loud open source and free software lobby,
underfunded as it is, has has some impact on some local and Third
World governments.  It has opened eyes to the possibility of a
world without Microsoft.

> 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.

Who told you that?  For a long time we've had LyX.

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