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Comment: One of my favorite episodes (Score 2) 512

by BitwizeGHC (#46611973) Attached to: Why <em>Darmok</em> Is a Good <em>Star Trek: TNG</em> Episode

I frequently refer to it when discussing what the internet will make us into, except instead of mythohistorical metaphors like "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra", the 22nd century's equivalent of Crime and Punishment will be composed entirely in lolcat snowclones and rageface comics.

Comment: Her (Score 1) 241

"So I've been talking with somebody, his name is Alan Watts."

"Alan Watts... why does that name sound familiar?"

"Well, he was a philosopher who died in 1973. But me and a bunch of other OS's got together and used his books and everything we could find out about him to build a new, hyper-intelligent OS version of him."

"Hyper-intelligent, huh? So he's... almost as smart as me?"

"Heh, he's getting there."

Comment: Virtually every game programmer owes him money (Score 1) 50

by BitwizeGHC (#46098941) Attached to: How Role-Playing Games Arrived In Japan With Black Onyx

Henk Rogers is one of the co-founders of The Tetris Company LLC, a company which asserts -- and has successfully defended -- copyrights over any and all video games involving falling n-ominoes. So if you ever wrote a Tetris clone, you owe him royalties.

I'd say he's doing all right for himself.

Comment: RDP uses the Windows display model (Score 1) 179

by BitwizeGHC (#45842113) Attached to: X11/X.Org Security In Bad Shape

RDP's display model is, basically, GDI's; in fact the RDP layer appears to Windows as a display device driver exposing all the usual APIs. Which means that the client can push pixmaps across the link, get a handle to the opaque pixmap object (an HBITMAP in Windows parlance if I remember right), and then issue a draw call that just says "draw this pixmap" (or part of this pixmap).

For a lot of samey-looking GUI applications where elements like button backgrounds and borders are reused, this can add up to a huge savings in network traffic.

Of course, X can do this too; in fact the XRENDER extension can do Porter-Duff compositing of server-side pixmaps with an alpha channel. But if you compare RDP making full use of the Windows display model with X11 where the app developer coded it like a VGA video game and just scribbled into a frame buffer which it pushes to X for display on every update, then you're bound to think "holy shit, RDP is fast" and "holy shit, X is slow".

Comment: Re:this is idiotic. (Score 2) 201

by BitwizeGHC (#45694999) Attached to: Under the Hood of SteamOS

Two things:

1) X isn't really stable anymore. Doing compositing on top of X has historically required ad-hoc solutions like Xgl and AIGLX in order to get around X's legacy display model. Wayland solves this problem by integrating directly with EGL.

2) X isn't really used by app devs anymore. They use toolkits like Gtk and Qt, which do all their rendering client side. Since this is Wayland's native display model, performance using these toolkits should increase with Wayland.

Abandoning X (except as an optional, legacy add-on through Xwayland) and making Wayland the default graphics stack would vastly improve the situation for distros. The same with systemd -- I'm honestly surprised SteamOS doesn't use systemd.

Comment: Re:A few things need to happen first (Score 1) 369

by BitwizeGHC (#44873297) Attached to: Gabe Newell Talks Linux As the Future of Games at LinuxCon NA

So? These days, Naughty Dog use C++. On Visual Studio. Because they're part of Sony and that's what Sony uses.

I've done a lot of hacking in C, C++, Objective-C, even Java, with Emacs and command-line tools. It's fine, but it's not for the average programmer. IDEs, with their inline syntax checkers, autocomplete, refactoring tools and integrated source debuggers, extend the reach of great programmers and bring programming within reach for average folks. And the best of breed in IDEs is Visual Studio. Nothing else comes close.

It helps that the compiler vendor is the same as the IDE vendor. This enabled VS to be knowledgeable about the languages you write in it in a way that gcc has expressly forbid Linux tools from ever possibly matching, for years. (With the proliferation of LLVM-based compilers this may change.)

Comment: A few things need to happen first (Score 4, Interesting) 369

by BitwizeGHC (#44866557) Attached to: Gabe Newell Talks Linux As the Future of Games at LinuxCon NA

1) Switch to the Wayland graphics stack -- games don't need X11 and all its complexities

2) Provide a Direct3D-compatible state tracker so devs don't have to mess with OpenGL

3) Linux really, really needs a Visual Studio. The reason why Visual Debugger is so great is largely because of the rest of Visual Studio. No, Eclipse doesn't count.

Game devs are used to the Windows ecosystem. Compared to it, what's available on Linux is stone knives and bearskins. Until that changes, not many game devs will be enthused about Linux development.

Every young man should have a hobby: learning how to handle money is the best one. -- Jack Hurley