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Comment: Re:How (Score 1) 337

by jbolden (#48190665) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

As far as the init system goes, the vast majority of packages are not daemons. Only daemons require init support.

I agree. Most packages aren't a problem. But many packages depend directly on indirectly on daemons. Which is how chains of dependencies form.

But the task of maintaining a couple hundred init scripts wouldn't be hard for a small committee of volunteers.

That's easy. But that's not the task. systemd does process monitoring. Systemd has ties to PaaS. Systemd handles power management and alerting applications to be responsible regarding their power usage... All that code needs to be maintained. This is where it gets to be serious programming.

For the non-init stuff, the trick is to convince upstream developers to support diversity, which can be done by continuing to embrace open standards and APIs.

How? The fact that upstream developers liked the features of systemd and kept wanting to use them is what drove Debian to feel that they had to make the switch in the first place. Sure if the world were different Debian would have made other choices. But how do you convince developers to embrace "open standards". Especially since FreeDesktop has put out a systemd spec, there exists a systembsd which is implementing this spec so systemd is arguably an open standard.

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 220

by jbolden (#48190603) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

So somebody else's problem with X11 means that my own use case gets trampled? That really sucks.

And it sucks for that your use case tramples their use case. These things are symmetrical. There are choices. Some are helped and some are harmed.

. I'm sure I'm not alone here in using network transparency.

You aren't. But you are of the 3 main cases (local, LAN, WAN) the least common.

If you want Windows Remote Desktop why not just use Windows?

They could say the same thing to you. If you want 1990 Unix why not use a 1990 Unix?

What I do really really care about in Ratpoison is the tiling I like... Can tiling be done with Wayland?

There are tiling compositors for Wayland since 2012. The algorithms for tiling are standard programming exercises there are easy to implement so they should be in the major compositors once larger issues get resolved.

Comment: How (Score 1) 337

by jbolden (#48189655) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

Let's ignore the issue of whether the fork is a good idea. How are they going to accomplish this? Debian has thousands of packages. Upstream developers mostly like systemd. At least a few dozen packages are becoming hard dependent on systemd. Assume this number doubles every year (not unlikely). What is the Debian fork going to do? Assume that about 200 or so already have reduced functionality without systemd, again let that go up 50% per year for the next few years. How are they going to fix this?

This sounds like hundreds or not many thousands of man years of work per year every year trying to keep up. How is the Debian fork possibly going to make it? The best they can do is release a traditionalist subdistribution which uses init. OK that's easy, but that's not a fork. And frankly if they start patching a few things, why not just roll those patches either upstream or into Debian?

How is this fork going to work and what are they going to do?

Comment: Re:And this is why Linux will never win the deskto (Score 2) 337

by jbolden (#48189375) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

Linux works out of the box in the same way that MacOS or Windows does.

Not really. It is has gotten worse at this in the last decade. 10 years ago I'd say Linux is likely easer to install on random hardware. Today the relentless desire to hack up drivers has dried up (understandably a ton of work that never stops). The better desktop distributions went broke. Mandrake is gone. Caldera (pre SCO) is gone. RedHat makes a server but not an OS. YellowDog (PPC) gone.... Xandros gone. It is getting harder and harder to get Linux to install and work on the desktop.

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 220

by jbolden (#48189239) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

I was using XTerms (the real thing not emulators) starting in 1988, and was using as my primary computer by late 1992. I know what XTerms are. The LTSP was just a way in the early 1990s to get Linux boxes, primarily cheap old PCs that couldn't run Windows 3.1 / 95 anymore to run XTerms. I've been familiar with that project for two decades. I'm not failing to understand you. But you were being a bit unclear about what you wanted before.

Check out the Linux Terminal Server Project Can something like that be implemented in Wayland?

If by that you mean a dumb system giving you near real time performance, no it can't. That's what network transparency means, and that's what Wayland doesn't support.

X-terminal can be a truly cut down device with little more than a kernel and X. Boot time is super fast because all you are loading is a kernel plus X.

It doesn't even really need anything as complex as a Windows kernel. You can cut it way below that. X11 ran on DOS. You can easily create a dumb X-term which would be done booting before you could move your arm from the power switch to the keyboard. The NCR used an 88100 @ 20MHz and could boot in under 5 seconds.

By X11 having that do you mean PulseAudio?

There are lots of solutions. The X11 protocol is extendable one extensions that's been implemented multiple times is sound. Anyway to setup Pulse Audio:

I want a terminal that is basically a dedicated second head to the main machine.

That Wayland doesn't do. You have your choice: smart networking or application and video card on the same bus. Someone might figure out some way to get that to work by running virtual machines on either side and hacking together a virtual bus that is running over the network but what you want is what X11 is optimized for. Keep running X11 as long as you can and see where the world is in 2030 or so.

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 220

by jbolden (#48189013) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

See, that's my point. Wayland is taking away something that was core to X11. Wayland is a regression.

No. Wayland is a different architecture and for some use cases that different architecture is worse. For most it is better. Given any two reasonable architectural choices A and B there must be definition of reasonable be cases X where A is better and cases Y where B is better. The set of cases where Wayland is better is much larger than the set of cases where X11 is better. Remote over a LAN (lots of bandwidth, around 1ms latency) is what X11 is designed for, X11 is much better in the case it was designed for.

Your specific case, of two machines in your home will be worse with Wayland. Your either going to have to boost the other machine up to being a full desktop or accept an experience which won't be much different from what you would have over a WAN.

I'm using Ratpoison. I like frames.

Ratpoison is an X11 Windows Manager. For a lightweight window manager changing this architecture is close to a rewrite from scratch. I'd assume Ratpoison will likely never be ported to Wayland. But if you like X11 Window managers Enlightenment has ported over to being a Wayland compositor.

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 220

by jbolden (#48188555) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

No, don' t try to tell me that X is too bloated to run on an embedded device.

It's not. X11 works wonderfully on mode on X-terms which had 8mb of RAM and CPUs under 100mhz. The problem with X11 is latency due to round trips not resource usage. The CPU / memory resource usage is too low to compensate for network complications the problem is not that it is too high.

That means that sooner or later I and every other Linux user will have to switch! The only thing left for disagreement is when.

Yep. Exactly.

Also, X as a Wayland client might be useful for running an individual application remotely. I like to run the whole desktop remotely, from xdm to the window manager.

Well the RDP mode of Wayland will work for Wayland applications that aren't using X11, and of course X11 will still work for those that are using X11. The RDP stuff might work for the X11 applications making it seamless or it might not, I'd assume it won't and you'll have two networking sessions.

How will something like LTSP exist with Wayland?

You mentioned you liked VNC. VNC works. But excluding VNC something like LTSP won't work. Wayland demands a smart client it won't use a dumb client. And the reason for that is because you and everyone else who does X11 in 2014 are sitting at a smart client using it as if it were a dumb client. You aren't sitting at a dumb X-term, you are sitting at a computer with lots of CPU, RAM and HD. So Wayland takes advantage of that. your computer will have to do some of the rendering. This means your computer will need graphical objects that correspond to GUI you are running. So for example if you are running KDE5 (or 6 or whatever) remotely you will need a at least KDElibs on the local machine. Otherwise you can use something like VNC (which you said you liked).

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 220

by jbolden (#48186329) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

Meanwhile all the various editorials make it sound like Wayland's replacement of X is right around the corner.

It depends on the use case. For Tizen applications (smart watches, appliance terminals..) it already is in use. Moving up complexity it is being used in a high end mobile phone for the Kazakhstan market (i.e. better performance allowing saving money on hardware...) I'm thinking 2016 is when early adopter end users (on desktop) will be trying it out for daily use rather than something to screw around with. By 2020 absolutely the switch will happen, but not next week.

I know X will still be around for a while but chosing the non-default option on something that fundamental to a distro will probably suck.

Remember you won't really have to. Wayland runs X11 now. I think this transition is going to be rather smooth. It is being planned well upstream getting everything coordinated. Mostly desktop is going late because with the exception of gaming their isn't much urgent need. It is when applications switch from being X11 on Wayland to directly on Wayland that new bugs get introduced and you'll notice. But then you will still be able to run the application either way (for a short period of time till they drop support for X11).

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 220

by jbolden (#48186185) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

What I (and I think other people who are concerned about having remote display) am interested in is knowing I will be able to keep doing what I do now in the future but still with future, upgraded tools. For example, 10 years from now I am not going to want to run a 8 year old web browser because 2 years from now the last ever version to support X is released. You can increase/decrease those numbers as much as you want to make it fit your guess of reality. Also, even if main, important tools are available for X forever, surely there will be some developers that chose to only support X. How do we run those applications remotely? Will we get a Wayland server that runs as an X client?

This isn't a will you. This is a right now. Today the Wayland client supports connecting to an X11 server and that's embedded by default. How long Wayland maintains an X is unclear but I'd assume well over an additional decade for compatibility. In fact what I would assume is going to happen very shortly is the hardware vendors are going to stop working with the X11 team on updates. So say by 2019 or so, Wayland is going to be the only way in any practical sense to get even halfway decent performance on X11.So your X11 applications will be find.

Now the rest of this is about a browser. I think you have the situation backwards. 10 years from now the browser is likely to be Wayland only with no X11 support. If you are running a browser that you want to run this remotely you would be using Wayland's RDP remote features. X11 wouldn't be anymore involved than Amiga Workbench

I want something where I can get a remote login and once loged in I see the remote desktop as though it were local. I also want the ability to run a service which allows me to connect from various remote devices to a persistant session. (Like VNC today).

    That's super easy. You like VNC, RealVNC already supports Wayland. A VNC is merged into the Wayland. That full desktop experience is getting better with the RDP.

I rarely display an individual application remotely but I bet someone does. That ability should exist too or it's a regression.

That's what the RDP does.

On my X terminal there is no noticeable performance hit at all!

I doubt that if you are on a WAN. Open up some graphics remotely and start rapidly shifting the location of your terminal and over the graphics forcing redraws. You'll see visible tearing

Unless Wayland is somehow going to get us remote audio too

X11 already has that. Wayland has enhanced video so that gets better.

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 220

by jbolden (#48186033) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

Is Wayland network transparent / does it support remote rendering?

No / yes respectively. Network transparency is a specific mechanism for remote rendering that works well on LANs and doesn't work well locally or over WAN. Wayland does not use network transparency. What most people mean by "network transparency" though is not "does it use mechanism X" but rather "can I run applications remotely in a way that is comfortable". And the answer is the RDP is more comfortable.

In any case they have no gone beyond "someone could do an RDP" like it was 4 years ago to there are multiple RDP's available and FreeRDP is good enough that they are bundling it in by default.

Comment: Re: I don't follow (Score 1) 359

by jbolden (#48185519) Attached to: Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

So customer that buys a brand new Air should just be happy that they get a bad experience for the next three years?

I doubt they actually will get a bad experience. I think the whole argument about fonts is nonsense. And even if it were it would be a slightly worse experience. That being said. But assuming it were true... this is what I went through when I bought a retina macbookpro day one. There was a rough transition. I had to hack Word's internal settings to make Word usable. Firefox was unusable for close to a year.

Defaults have to be aimed at low or the high. Apple has consistently pushed standards by aiming at the high. That's one of the things that Apple customers buy. They buy a world where hardware progress is forced by the OS which allows for more rapid progress. Those Air customers are getting insane battery that would be impossible on Windows because Apple was forcing application designers to focus on energy efficiency (coalescing) during periods when most people's machines didn't support it.

I am sure that someone will make a utility to change the default font on the Mac if it is not already available in settings.

It is. You can change that stuff easily.

Comment: Re:Some Sense Restored? (Score 1) 517

by jbolden (#48185459) Attached to: Debian Talks About Systemd Once Again

You are making a good point. I wish you would get an account.

And absolutely you are correct. Systemd is taking functions that were part of the PaaS and driving them into individual nodes which means the PaaS needs to be redesigned for systemd. The PaaS people all think this is a plus, the lower level hooks are an advantage.

Projects that want to work flawlessly on both xBSD, solaris, and Linux

That's a pretty obscure use case a cross platform daemon, running in a cluster (i.e. not virtualized hardware), that can't just use a low level daemon for Linux / systemd support. I'm going to assume systembsd or something similar is going to exist for BSD long term, but right now it does. So yes short term those projects get hurt by systemd. Either they are going to only work on obscure distributions or the are going to have to do some engineering. They are an obscure corner case that is going to get hit, but even then it doesn't sound too bad for them.

The benefits of the small lean pid 1 system that have been the norm for unix like system. are that they allow for a lot more local customization then a huge monolithic pid 1

I'm not sure that's quite true. It certainly isn't true for Digital Unix, HPUX, AIX. It was true for IRIX, SunOS.Solaris is a middle case on big hardware it wasn't true as well. It isn't true for OSX either on which systemd is based. But it certainly was true for Linux. And yes it is likely that as systemd becomes the norm people who want to customize are going to have to use more specialized distributions and lose access. OTOH systemd is very configurable so there isn't much reason to just not run the functionality of a component via configuration. The argument is not that systemd has 0 disadvantages but rather that on the whole the advantages so far outweigh the disadvantages that it was safe to just standardize.

Linux does have a healthy distribution ecosystem that allows for non-standard choices.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau