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GTK/Gimp Coming to Be? 75

Adrian Ziemkowski sent us a link to a BeNews article where you can read an interview with Richard Hess (the man in charge of the BeZilla project). He discusses porting GTK and the Gimp to BeOs. Several interesting comments in this one. Its worth reading.
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GTK/Gimp Coming to Be?

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  • It's hardly the Open Source community's fault that Creative (as well as other hardware manufacturers) refuse to listen to reason. People do not buy hardware because of the drivers, they buy it for the hardware. And even if they don't want to release the driver source, releasing the specs would be unlikely to hurt. Noone is going to clone your hardware interface anyway, people aren't writing to specific hardware anymore, they write to libraries.
  • Exactly what is "user-transparent multithreading/multiprocessing"? Linux supports both SMP and multithreading. SMP is completely transparent (once you have a kernel compiled for it), though of marginal use if you have only one single, single-threaded process that makes heavy use of processor power. Multithreading is transparent to the user, though not to the programmer. Does BeOS have some sort of magic multithreading that the programmer doesn't need to know about?
  • I don't believe in that. If it really worked that way, I think you would have apps deadlocking all over the place. If you don't explicitly write for multithreading, it will not work reliably.
    From what I have understood, the BeOS has a separate thread for each window (widget?), but that is not the same thing. It might improve responsiveness, but it does not really improve performance for CPU-bound tasks. To do that, you have to take multithreading into consideration when you design your program.
  • Posted by Soco:

    I don't think it even gets close to the 80% line of photoshop functionality. I don't even know all of the features, but of what I've used of each, only general functionality of photoshop is present in GIMP. Its photoshop looking and feeling, but like you said its not meant for professionals printing majors. Linux doesn't have great color matching for printing and such... I think MacOS still rules the world on that one.

    As for helping, as cool as gimp may be. I don't like writing UI code in C++. Instead Im working on a program for Be in C++ that will use GIMP plugins...
  • Posted by Soco:

    I don't think he ever said it was the OSS communties fault. I think he just said that because they release the source, the companies who produce the cards won't release the information /source on them. Kinda Creative originally, who charged for their hardware SDKs. For some reason, they don't want people to know the internal architecture of their chips and how their programmed. Thus meaning that the OSS community is going to have a much harder time getting drivers than a commerical company like Be. Which you could then draw the line (using some fuzzy pencil that doesn't quite draw in a straight line) that an OSS OS would receive similar criticism. Its harder for them to get the information...

    Which in terms of an OS it almost makes senese to not have it Open Source just to get hardware support from these shady companies that dominate markets like the low end Sound car market.
  • BeOS is a little different from Windows, sure, but I've been following the GNOME list (among others) for a while and still don't get the "why don't we port * to platform *?" argument.

    The BeOS has nothing in common with MS Windows--not merely "a little different." Since you seem to know little about the BeOS, go to www.be.com and examine it for a bit. If you're still nonplussed, you may have to just accept it that some of us still don't really like UNIX, and prefer simpler solutions.

    Usually, the platform to which people want to port linux apps is somehow not up to the standard of quality that linux has established, so I always have to wonder, why not just run linux?

    Because Linux doesn't have as efficient SMP scalability as the BeOS.

    Because Linux is not for computer novices, and the BeOS is.

    Because the "standard of quality" you mention as belonging to Linux has nothing to do with running the sort of apps the BeOS already has available for it--apps which are not available for Linux (like Cinema 4D XL: c.f. http://www.maxon.de/)

    GIMP already runs on some of the best os's out there, including commercial and free unices alike. I understand BeOS is new and different and is aimed at the creative market more than the technical market, as most Unices are, but as it seems to have (thus far) failed to attract this market, the point of this port still utterly escapes me. From the article, all I pick up is that there are too many cons, no clear pro's for all the effort going into this project.

    If there are no apps, there are no users, a plight Linux users should be more than aquainted with. As a graphics professional, I don't believe using GIMP is a reason to break with, say, the Mac OS, no matter how 'superior' Linux is for networking purposes.

    Clear Pros: Be gains an app a lot of people seem to like, possibly gaining a few more users, and more firmly establishing it as a media OS.

    But as you (obviously) aren't a user of the BeOS, I can't really expect you to understand that.

    Ergo, there are no benefits for you. Just us users.

    I sure would like to see Mr. Hess working on bringing some of the user-friendliness of the Mac OS, BeOS, or NeXTStep to the more featureful Linux or BSD, rather than porting _down_ to platforms lacking major features like networking robustness or true multi-user capability.

    It's really a pity professionals like yourself have such malformed opinions of our actual needs. Perhaps you should consider spending more time talking with those of us who have no use for another platform, or a multi-user platform, or those of us who just don't want to deal with the hassles and inconsistencies Linux presents to those of us who are used to dealing with a different UNIX (IRIX in my case) or simpler, more task-oriented OSs.
  • This isn't satisfactory. If Linux runs SMP just fine, can you provide an appropriate technical article that contradicts the testimony I keep hearing regarding the inefficiency of Linux's SMP implementation?

    And just how close to being 100% user transparent is it? Can a user install Linux from a standard distribution without needing to do anything else?

    What about adding processors to the hardware? Is that, too, transparent, or should I expect to be required to recompile the kernel for further support?
  • gtk is just way too f'ugly to go on BeOS and GIMP needs a much more intuitive interface beofre it thinks of moving to a system that has a GUI that ISNT some grand hack

    HotsOS home http://hotsos.8m.com/
  • That's about all there is to say. Linux is far from being a perfect OS (I'm not saying BeOS is perfect either). Sure, everyone could work towards improving Linux, but why? Diversity is a good thing you know - or do you want to just turn the whole Windows situation on it's head and have Linux be the only OS in the world with no competition? Perhaps you do, but I assure you it would be a bad thing.

    Linux still (and possibly always will) lacks in the usability arena. I know everyone says that's not true any more, but I assure you it is. Take for example I had to talk my brother in law through permanently mounting his Windows drives (from another machine) on his Linux box. Currently this goes like:

    mkdir /mnt/othermachine/c
    mkdir /mnt/othermachine/d

    add othermachine to /etc/hosts (fun in pico/vi/whatever).
    smbmount //othermachine/C /mnt/othermachine/c

    Check that worked.

    smbmount //othermachine/D /mnt/othermachine/d

    Check that worked.

    Add the above to /etc/rc.d/init.d/samba
    Add smbumount also to the above file.

    This is just one example among many config options of problems with Unix style systems. See the "Unix haters handbook" for others.

    And before you bite my head off - I love Linux. It's my only OS now. But that's because I can, not because it's easy.
  • Another platform to play FreeCiv on ;)

  • what I want to know is, how easy is it to make a platform-agnostic GTK app, or, in other words, one that will run on linux, win32, and other platforms.

    AFAIK, any application which just uses calls from GTK+, GLIB, and GDK can be ported to any platform which has those libs without modifications. That doesn't guarantee what happens if you use Unixisms or Winisms in the rest of your code though.. ;-)

  • You haven't answered the question. What is this magical wand that Be has waved? Every time someone tells me about the BeOS they say "multithreaded multithreaded multithreaded" and if I ask them what they mean, I get a puzzled look. I'm really curious to find out because it sounds like a nifty feature and I want to know more about it. But everyone just says, "Your app automatically gets muitithreaded". Multithreaded apps have a significantly different structure, both logically and programmatically, from singlethreaded apps; the only thing I can think of that wouldn't cause tons of deadlocks and races is that Be does all non-blocking IO and GUI stuff asynchronously in another thread. So what is the incredible architectural change that couldn't be replicated by building a real GUI for Unix that actually has multithreaded libraries, and then multithreading the widget sets (and rewriting them to spawn lots of threads ;) )? I just don't get it either. Could someone explain to me explicitly how this magic feature works?

    Actually, I guess one obstacle to this in Unix would be the limited number of threads on a lot of systems..

  • Because, as shocking as this may be to some, the average artist doesn't care whether or not his graphic development workstation can also be a robust multiuser network server.

    Because despite your implication to the contrary, more graphics applications have been delivered or announced in the last year for BeOS than for Linux. In addition to Unix ports like POV-Ray and netpbm, there's Gobe Productive, ArtPaint, Becasso, DTPicView, ImageElements, Anime, Boo, Natural Paint, BeREND, BackLight, and the in-development Cinema4D, Tave Mozart and a replacement for BeStudio.

    See,the shocking truth is that it's possible for someone to actually--hang on to your mouse, now--want to run BeOs *for the applications!*

    So why consider porting GIMP to BeOS? Because some BeOS users might find it nice to have a free, open source program out there as an alternative to some of the commercial programs.
  • Productive accepts GIMP plugins; it doesn't use GIMP code. There may be legitimate questions over whether this is kosher under GPL (since GIMP plugins are standalone programs, my understanding is that it is, whether or not it's appreciated), but make sure you're asking the right question--Productive itself != GIMP. And I'll stand by my assertion that there are more 'advanced' graphics creation applications for BeOS now than there are for Linux. (By 'advanced,' I mean to exclude programs like 'Sketchpad' on BeOS and 'Xfig' on Linux. Nobody try and defend Xfig as a powerful program, either. Its ability to export TeX figures is cool, but beyond that it sucks rocks.)
  • by larsd ( 4310 )
    It also bothers me that BeOS finds it necessary to borrow most of its Apps and development tools from the OSS community. If you are going to benefit from the OSS community efforts, than you should give back to that community.
    And if Be wouldn't use the OSS development tools, you would bash them as well for re-inventing even more wheels and using substandard tools (and you'd even be correct).

    I am always astonished that 'the community' has no appreciation for the fact that a commercial company demonstrates enough trust into the OSS tools to use them for their development. How many other commercial companies can you name which do the same in public? And all bugs found and fixed in these tools by Be engineers are reported back to the maintainers, so the community does profit here.

    I too would prefer to have the source of BeOS (for example too see where I could improve the memory allocator), but the blind OSS fanatism some people show here is really over the top.

    Oh well, nobody's going to read this anyway, not with all the new news.

  • it's not for network guru's (it's not multi-user),

    Nope.... It isn't. That's why it is the MEDIA OS, and not the "NETWORK SERVER OS".

    it's not for the standard media users (Photoshop is a standard tool in most companies I work with)

    Last time I checked, and I COULD be wrong, but are still images the ONLY media around? Be has 3D support ( Blender in a few weeks, Cinema 3D too), a *WHOLE* lot of audio support (they just announced 26 audio companies supporting BeOS), Video Editing/Capture support (MediaDV, MGI VideoWave)......

    It's not for the end user (they would scream "where's my Netscape").

    The Mozilla port is coming along nicely, and is in line for release with the rest of the Mozilla ports. (Including Windows and Linux).

    As a standard Linux/MacOS user (MacOS for work) I see that Linux needs only fix a few simple/major things to become great.

    -A standard GUI (not everyone has to use it, but it has to be considered "the standard". One in which the OS boots directly into. Many people would be happy with themes. (We have something to learn in this area from MacOS, BeOS, and even the evil M$!

    Before Linux even comes CLOSE to a normal enduser OS, it needs to be MUCH more easily configured..... No user is going to settle for fucking with runlevels, kernel recompiles, etc. Even things like XF86Config and WindowMaker are far too complicated for "Plug-n-Play Windows/MacOS users".

    They don't want to screw with stuff like that....

    -SMP From what I now understand of Linux, this is a more serious problem then I originally thought. I'm not a serious programmer, but talk to programmers frequently. BeOS has us licked here (fortunately, there aren't many multiple processor machines out there YET!)

    But even if the SMP performance is improved to a point closer to BeOS', it still has a major problem.... Lack of multithreaded applications... Sure, all the different processes move towards the same goal, threads would have better performance.

    Be's real SMP power is that the OS is SO multithreaded... Not to the point of excess (It still runs great on single processor machines), but to the point where the OS scales amazingly.

    And in Linux's defense, SMP performance is improved drastically in the v2.2 kernel... It still isn't where it should be, but it is MUCH better.

    -Distribution Why in the NAME OF GOD do we not get linux burned onto the CD's that go out with magazines! We are retarded! Joe blow isn't going to download 100+ megs for an OS that he doesn't understand. I bet we would get it on more machines if they had the CD and a nice

    article about it to help them.

    I think before you start worrying about how well distributed Linux is, you need to make it more user friendly, especially the Installation.... Redhat installs quite nicely, I got it on with no problem.. But it still requires too much technical knowledge...

    Linux has PLENTY of press, and the people who feel able to try it out, will... They can get their hands on it from a ton of sources... The people who aren't eager enough to go hunt down a distro for themselves, aren't ready for Linux...

    BeOS isn't open source, I don't feel it's a solution for anything NOW, but once they implement multi-user (sometime this year I hope), things are going to change. I hope it's not the price

    Pssst.... Open Source isn't the end-all solution.... There is plenty of Free/Open software for BeOS. I personally don't see any advantages in Be going Open Source. It is very rapidly developed as it is now (a 6-9 month development cycle for new major rX.0 releases, you don't see that ANYWHERE else, not even Linux), and Be is VERY open to suggestions for change.

    And as far as Multi-user goes, I acknoledge that some people (including me) REALLY want multi-user, it isn't going to break the back of any of the users they are currently aiming at. It is on its way........

  • As long as it doesn't duplicate any ugly "look-and-feel" crap from Windows or what I've seen of GTK+ applications under X11. BeOS's GUI is simple and clean; don't ruin that please.
  • Agreed. Gimp is a decent program, but until the interface is cleaned up, I can't use the damn thing.
  • They mentioned my package PyGTK, which was a nice surprise. Overall a pretty good article. I hope they are successful in their GTK port to BeOS.
  • This is very good.
    For BeOS its a must, since the big problem is the lack of software, and there are many GTK+ apps.
    For GTK+ is a benefit, since it will allow their apps to be used on BeOS too.

    Also, since GTK+ is being ported to Win32 and (maybe) OS/2, it will be a new standard,
    and there wont be more "only for windows, sorry" programs.

    Viva la revolution. :-)
  • Linux runs fine on anything from one to sixteen processors. With kernel 2.2.x, this has gotten better. Linux handles SMP just fine.
  • Every one seems to think that We need a standard GUI for Linux. Nothing could be farther from the truth. What we need is a Common Object Request Broker :) With CORBA, any desktop will do as long as it supports common objects. This would give the same drag and drop support for all desktops. As for a standard GUI that ships with your Distro, try either KDE of Gnome. Most major distros come with at least one. KDE is a little more 'cooked', but GNOME is looking good. As for Be, I have tried it , and I didn't see the point. It's GUI is marginal, KDE is much nicer, and it has little to no software support. If I am going to run Linux apps, then I am going to run Linux.
    This brings me to this point. The only reason Linux has garnered so much attention from the developers and the press is because it is Open. Developers find it much easier to develope if the source is available, and the tools are open. It will be hard to attract OSS developers to Be, if the developers feel that they are developing for a proprietary OS, and one companies profit. If a developer writes code for Linux, he feals that he is writting for everyones benefit, at least that is how I feel. If I were to write specifically for BeOS, I would feel that I am writing for BeOS's benefit only. In that case, I would want the big bucks. Since BeOS is so marginal, that wouldn't happen. It also bothers me that BeOS finds it necessary to borrow most of its Apps and development tools from the OSS community. If you are going to benefit from the OSS community efforts, than you should give back to that community. SHOW US THE SOURCE.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't intend to bash on Be developers, or even the OS itself. Instead, I question the philosophy of the company behind BeOS. Take the leap of faith, open the source, you
    will be glad you did. We OSS developers would love to contribute to BeOS, if only we were given the right environment to do so.
  • The articles mentions that the GTK libraries have been ported to win32 and OS/2 as well... what I want to know is, how easy is it to make a platform-agnostic GTK app, or, in other words, one that will run on linux, win32, and other platforms.

    Ultimate goal here would be that I could develop and use the same programs as my less fortunate friends who are stuck using the win32 platform at this time. Also intertwined in that is the encroachment of open source software into the win32 platform, where even the (semi)free(in the beer sense) software is closed source. I would hope this could help open up win32, and perhaps replace the current closed source shareware and freeware environment.
  • Linux runs fine on anything from one to sixteen processors. With kernel 2.2.x, this has gotten better. Linux handles SMP just fine.

    The point is, it only handles it just fine. One of the major things about BeOS is it isn't just fine SMP support, it is excellent, thorough SMP support. Be will really shine on 16 processors, because the entire OS, and all standard applications, are heavily threaded. How many programs do you have to be running under linux before it can use all 16 processors at once?

    It will take a very, very long time for linux to ever acheive this. In fact, an OSS OS that is more modern, including features such as Be has, may be the OS that replaces linux a few decades down the line. (Yes, the implicit assumption is that linux is going to replace windows in between now and then. Both OSes are somewhat archaic, linux is better at adapting new features though, and has a much more sound foundation than windows.)

    Disclaimer: I've never actually used Be, just read about it... It looks *really* cool, but the price is outside my meager budget, otherwise I'd try it out on the 3rd partition on my machine.

    1. partition for WinNT so I can play games(WINE isn't good enough yet, espescially since it won't run starsiege tribes, a really really cool game that I've been playing lately), and so I can do my RealAudio broadcast, because the linux port of realencoder has trouble recognizing input devices(dunno why, but it doesn't even detect an available recording device with either of my soundcards under linux, though one is using ALSA drivers [alsa.jcu.cz]). What I'd really like though is open source shoutcast player and encoder for linux and windoze, my station would switch to shoutcast if we had that.
    2. partition with debian linux 2.1(slink) The OS I miss almost every time I go to that slow, ugly, unstable thing called windoze
    3. parition for trying out other OSes, except I never got around to using it, and am using it for additional storage for windoze, cuz 2 gig isn't enough. (would have installed win98 for playing games, but fucking 98 won't handle multiple real partitions on a drive(as opposed to extended partitions))
  • Check http://www.freeciv.org/ -- yesterday it
    was announced that the GTK+/GNOME client would
    be part of the upcoming stable 1.8.x releases.
  • For quite some time now I have been reading /. religiously. Up until now I haven't posted, but after reading the load of garbage posted here today, I'm just pissed off enough to post.

    The OSS community (of which I consider myself a part) has made great strides in recent years and especially in recent months using Linux as the great demonstrative work that OSS is a viable software development model. Unfortunately, the general feeling that I get from many OSS advocates (the OSS folks that seem, in a large part, to have their mouths attached to the wrong part of their anatomy) is an extremely arrogant greater-than-thou attitude. The only thing that does is to leave a bad taste in the mouths of people that may be wondering what OSS is all about. Understandably so. I know what OSS about, and the attitude still makes me sick to my stomach.

    BeOS is not open source. Be has repeatedly stated that they will not make it open source. Fine, leave it be. There is a large part of BeOS that actually is distributed completely with source. Sure, the kernel and libbe.so isn't given out in source form, but every single one of the demos and many of the applications that ship with BeOS have their source included as an optional install. How many of you repeatedly posting that 'until it is OSS it does not exist' would even bother to look at any of the source and/or understand what you were looking at if it were made OSS?

    I think that, to many, OSS is something of a religion that does little more than breed close mindedness. Where is it written that in order to develop open source applications for a platform, the platform itself must be open source? Where is it written that the only software of any value is open source? Get off your high horses, open your eyes, evaluate the software that is available, whether it is open or closed source, and take the software for what it is rather than what development model was used to produce it.

    I could go on ranting for hours, but the point is, that software should be evaluated for what it is, how it looks, how it performs. Not how it was made. BeOS, to me, is a breath of fresh air. It isn't for everybody. It is a relative newcomer to the operating system 'market' and as such has its growing pains to go through. Linux has gone through them too don't forget.
  • That's why creative hired Jon M Taylor to do linux device drivers.
  • The GNU tools example is bogus.
    The Metrowerks tools are very good. They just didn't have a good x86 version at the time.
    The PowerPC version is very good. It produces good code and runs faster than gnuPro tools do.
    I prefer the GNU ones myself, but the gnu tools are not orders of magnitude better.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas