0963: "X11"

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Sebastian
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Sebastian » Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:17 pm UTC

Moin

It's great that the new system "just works" for you. But I'm damned sure it doesn't "just work" for quite a few people. Your post basically says, "I don't have a problem, so you shouldn't have a problem," which is pretty much like saying, "I had a three-course meal last night. I don't see why you should be hungry!"


My first linux box still had XFree86, but all the configuration I applied to it was stuff I copied from my books. (Didn't have internet access at home back then.)
The first time I really configured an Xserver was with X11.
I installed a bunch of public internet terminals for a library, back in 2006.
Somebody thought it might be a 'good' idea to give them big wide-screen flat screens.
I took me all most 3 weeks to get them working with something else then 1024x768.
Figuring out the correct modeline was real pain.

I'm totally not the guy who says default works for me screw the rest.
I've been in this situation many times, mainly because of really exotic hardware or configuration scenarios that simply no one else has tried yet.
All I'm saying is that stuff got a lot easier, in the past 5 years.
The screen that costed me 3 weeks of my live back then, works fine out of the box with a recent X11.

If there was only X11-automagic an no way to overwrite it with manual config settings I would agree.
But since it is still possible to do stuff manually as well, the new system is a great improvement in my opinion.
I saved me a lot of headaches so far.

Also to my mind X need two things:
1) A lot of old stuff like the serial x clients mentioned before shouldn't be a part of the standard X11.
You should not rip them out totally since some guy might depend on them.
I don't know much about the inner magic of X11, but maybe it's possible to have some kind of legacy modules for those corner cases.

2) The automatic, configless part and the documentation need to get better.
Not needing to configure stuff is great help to linux newbies, but there will be always scenarios where it won't work out of the box.
That's what the documentation is for.
Also a switch to turn the automagic off for the real powerusers might come handy some day.

Greetings
Sebastian

PS: My favorite hate config file is still sendmail.conf
I'm just a poor german student triyng to improve my english.

bigjeff5
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby bigjeff5 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:38 pm UTC

Tub wrote:(Seen the 24-monitor demos made to promote eyefinity? Guess why they weren't done on windows!)


Could you elaborate on this? Windows has been capable of up to 64 monitors since XP's release (arbitrarily locked at 10, but by-passable - Redmond can be so dense sometimes!), and I think that was more of a card/memory limitation than a hard limit, so I can't imagine what that has to do with anything. All you need is the right video card(s); Colorgraphic specialized in these high quantity monitor setups.

Unless you were implying something that I totally missed?

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chasesan
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby chasesan » Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:00 pm UTC

I agree, Waylander is the way things are moving at the moment.

Though I wouldn't mind a system capable of delivering 16-24-32 bits per color per pixel. I know amazing applications like Photoshop can do this, but most systems are jammed in the 8 bits per color world (most image formats are like this too).

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adaviel
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby adaviel » Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:20 pm UTC

Hey, come on, be fair...

When I first used X11 (XFree86 back then), if I wanted to tune my graphics card so that the electronic pixels matched the phosphor dots and I didn't get Moiré patterns, I had to calculate dot clock rates, porch lengths etc. and essentially design the video waveform by hand (it looked pretty good when I'd done, too - much better than Windows 3.1 or 95 could do on the same hardware)

Now, with LCD monitors, I don't even need Xorg.conf. X11 reads the parameters from the monitor and automatically sets the graphics card to the native resolution. Even with multiple mice and keyboards, I don't need to touch it.
If I want multihead on an Nvidia card, I use nvidia-settings and click "merged mode".

http://tldp.org/HOWTO/XFree86-Video-Timings-HOWTO/framesizes.html

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Copper Bezel
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:59 pm UTC

Well, yeah, and if you're on an integrated Intel card and using a reasonably user-friendly DE, you plug in the monitor and the desktop expands to fit, the same as in Windows.

On the Wayland stuff, I don't see it happening any time soon. It's highly dependent on the graphics card drivers being rewritten to be friendly with it, and they're already desktop Linux's greatest weakness; the manufacturers themselves aren't supporting the move, which means that Wayland wouldn't have the support of proprietary drivers at all. Then the window manager has to be rewritten as a plugin for Wayland. Wayland's a better way of doing things, sure, but there's a reason that X11 has been around longer than Linux itself.

Edit: Well, "the greatest weakness" of desktop Linux is a bit hyperbolic. "A weakness." "The greatest weakness" would have to be "no one writes apps for it."
Last edited by Copper Bezel on Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

joek
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby joek » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

willpellmn wrote:...a flat decade-and-a-half? (three-halves of a census cycle - okay they probably didn't do censuses...censi? censae? who knows....the same way back then.)


'Twould be census, actually. Census (like status) in Latin is a fourth declension noun, which means that the nominative plural also ends -us. Ordinarily, I would use censuses, though.

And on topic - I count myself lucky that I have not (yet) ever found the need to edit .xorg.conf

cvi
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby cvi » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:45 pm UTC

ormaaj wrote:The x-axis really should have read "Time since I last had to open an /etc/hal/*.fdi file."


This.

xorg.conf:

Code: Select all

Option "XkbLayout" "whatever"


/etc/hald/fdi/policy/NN-somefile.fdi:

Code: Select all

   <match key="info.capabilities" contains="input.keyboard">
      <merge key="input.x11_options.XkbLayout" type="string">whatever</merge>
   </match>


Give me xorg.conf over that any day! With everything in xorg.conf, it was at least bloody obvious which freaking file you're supposed to look at for X-related configuration options. With HAL? Not so much:

Code: Select all

$ locate -r '.*\.fdi$' | wc -l
68

linforcer
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby linforcer » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:52 pm UTC

So. true. Remember before X.org? It was xfree86.conf or xfree86r11.conf or some such.
Haven't really messed around in config files in a long time. Used to do it in Gentoo when it wasn't really a pain. In Kubuntu I don't have to, and for the past month I've only been using my girlfriend's macbook, so no need here either.

Meem1029
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Meem1029 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:35 am UTC

Well, just got arch going like I had mentioned earlier and didn't really have to mess with much of anything as far as config files go. The only thing I can think of post-installation as far as config goes has been getting grub to be nice with windows, and that was relatively painless. Now of course the fact that I can mess with config files means I undoubtedly will be quite a bit.
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:If it can't be done in an 80x24 terminal, it's not worth doing

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mowdownjoe
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby mowdownjoe » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:15 am UTC

*remembers fiddling with xorg.conf to get his RAT5 that he used in Windows for so long to work in Ubuntu*

...Not fun. Glad I don't have to do it again.

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Copper Bezel
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:29 am UTC

Huh. The question becomes - what were you using a gaming mouse in Ubuntu for? = )
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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cerbie
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby cerbie » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:33 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Huh. The question becomes - what were you using a gaming mouse in Ubuntu for? = )
DPI of bog standard mouse: 400.
Maximum DPI of gaming mouse: 1600-3600 (5000+ may be settable on some, but no current mice track well when set so high).
Acceleration is not a replacement for better sensors. Being able to change DPI on the fly is also a useful feature outside of games.
DSenette: (...) on the whole, even a trained killer cow is kind of stupid.

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BentFranklin
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby BentFranklin » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:32 pm UTC

All the talk of Linux *or* Windows is missing the point. Why not Linus *and* Windows?

Windows because my users, customers, and vendors all use it. Linux to do backups, rsync, local Webserver, private Wiki, ssh, etc.

And if someone wants to imprison themselves in a Mac they are free to do it somewhere else where I won't have to support it.

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Copper Bezel
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:20 pm UTC

Yeah, um, common ground in hating on a third party is generally a bad thing. Never mind that the one Linux distro that's getting much mention is Ubuntu, which is heavily Mac-inspired....

In any case, I don't think anyone is saying that. Several people are just questioning whether or not Linux is worth messing with at all; no question regarding Windows involved. = ) (And I'm saying that as someone from a happily Microsoft-free lifestyle, so don't take that as a dig or troll. I do generally find, personally, that when I have mind-bending configuration issues, it's usually because I'm trying to do something that wasn't actually intended - I've only really had to fix things because I've broken them in the first place.)

cerbie wrote:DPI of bog standard mouse: 400.
Maximum DPI of gaming mouse: 1600-3600 (5000+ may be settable on some, but no current mice track well when set so high).
Acceleration is not a replacement for better sensors. Being able to change DPI on the fly is also a useful feature outside of games.


Fair point. = ) I imagine that would be quite nice for anything graphic-design-related, particularly (especially when a drawing tablet is less useful, such as for 3D work or publishing.)
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

jhoff3ca
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby jhoff3ca » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:08 pm UTC

It's been awhile since I had to ctl, alt, backspace...life is good

npsimons
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When's the last time you had to edit xorg.conf?

Postby npsimons » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:32 pm UTC

I have to ask: when's the last time you've had to edit xorg.conf? I can't remember the last time I had to.

As for tearing down X11 and replacing it with something better, I'm all for that as long as a couple of things are understood:

    Network transparency is a must - this isn't just some toy, like your shiny 3D accelerated graphics for games, this is something plenty of people use everyday to get work done. Any system which doesn't support network transparency (and no, RDP and VNC don't count) is a no go.

    Mechanism, not policy (http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?MechanismNotPolicy) - X11 is all about this. What does it mean? For one thing, it means that you can basically drop-in replace your window manager with a plethora of options (http://xwinman.org), options which have made UNIX/Linux so appealing to a variety of people *and* allowed so much innovation.

The most popular "replacement" for X11 that I've heard of is called Wayland, and it breaks both of the above rules, but worringly seems to be getting a lot of traction. I'm hoping that Randall hasn't drank the Wayland cool-aid.

X11 runs on my servers, laptop and smart phone. I can export the display of applications to or from *any* of those computers, not to mention that I can run *any* type of UI I please, or not even run a GUI (such as on the server). Plus I can also export the whole desktop via VNC if I please.

I'm all for a *better* replacement for X11, but Wayland isn't it.

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cerbie
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby cerbie » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:27 am UTC

jhoff3ca wrote:It's been awhile since I had to ctl, alt, backspace...life is good
That's just because the anti-netbook Xorg devs changed backspace to sysrq :). Ctrl-alt-backspace does not work on a default Xorg config, these days.
DSenette: (...) on the whole, even a trained killer cow is kind of stupid.

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Copper Bezel
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:40 am UTC

I guess I technically edit my X config with every new install to re-enable that and disable Caps, but I don't think it counts when it's through a GUI settings manager. = )
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

Tub
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Tub » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:00 pm UTC

bigjeff5 wrote:
Tub wrote:(Seen the 24-monitor demos made to promote eyefinity? Guess why they weren't done on windows!)

Could you elaborate on this? Windows has been capable of up to 64 monitors since XP's release (arbitrarily locked at 10, but by-passable - Redmond can be so dense sometimes!), and I think that was more of a card/memory limitation than a hard limit, so I can't imagine what that has to do with anything. All you need is the right video card(s); Colorgraphic specialized in these high quantity monitor setups.

Unless you were implying something that I totally missed?

Getting 64 Monitors (or more) to light up your room is rather trivial, as long as you cram enough cards with enough connectors into your box. (There's some contention about resources like IRQs, DMA address space etc, but that shouldn't be a problem in this decade).

The problem is to get a single 3D application to render across 4 different GPUs with 6 Monitors each, without special support in either the application or the driver. You will of course need to retain 3D support and must avoid introducing any bottlenecks that'd turn your awesome 60fps 24monitor demo into a huge slideshow.

In Windows, this simply isn't possible. A huge part of the Eyefinity feature was to rewrite their windows drivers to solve the problem in the driver, exposing a secondary configuration UI, then lie to the OS to claim "There's only one monitor connected... and it's freaking huge!". This obviously leads to lots of duplication in driver code, because each GPU vendor would have to reimplement such features on their own.

On Linux, it was possible by simply combining X and X-related tools that any linux distribution aimed at the desktop market should contain. Rest assured, lots of xorg.conf's had to be written, but it worked, and doing so has been possible for almost a decade - at a time, where most computers only had a single CRT monitor that had cost more than two FullHD-TFTs today.


Wayland will take the windows route. AFAIK, there's currently no support for multiple GPUs at all, and they're not yet sure how (or if) they want to solve the problem in wayland's architecture.

Hafting
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Hafting » Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:07 pm UTC

jfriesne wrote:If we were to throw out X11, what would be the most viable candidate for its successor?


That would be "Y", or perhaps "Y1". X superseded a windowing system called "W"...

Tub
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Tub » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:23 pm UTC

Nah, the next step is X12. There's been an update on the wiki this morning:

http://www.x.org/wiki/Development/X12

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Jengajam2
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Jengajam2 » Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:48 am UTC

I am very thankful that the only thing I need to configure in my Xorg.conf is controlling fullscreen applications on my Nvidia Twinview setup. Sure, the binary blobs against the principles of GNU (and OSS for that matter), but I have never had a situation on any distribution where I could not install the drivers perfectly, and nouveau is not quite up to snuff on my GTX 570 yet.
Image

jhoff3ca
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby jhoff3ca » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:01 pm UTC

cerbie wrote:
jhoff3ca wrote:It's been awhile since I had to ctl, alt, backspace...life is good
That's just because the anti-netbook Xorg devs changed backspace to sysrq :). Ctrl-alt-backspace does not work on a default Xorg config, these days.


heh good to know. I would've assumed I had broken it somehow :D

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Copper Bezel
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Oct 18, 2011 1:35 pm UTC

It's an option, though, usually set through the GUI. Under Gnome, KDE, etc. your keyboard settings will have the option under your selected layout.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her


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