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Comment Re:But is Wayland better? (Score 2) 227

Network transparency. X11 has it. Wayland doesn't. Wayland's devs tend to handwave the problem, either claiming it will somehow be implemented once they work on the other laundry list of things they want first, or claiming it's a niche requirement nobody wants or uses.

Well, it is a niche requirement and they simply do not care about the few users - even denying that they exist (I use it everyday and remotely over ssh and it works well for me). The aim of all these efforts in not the desktop anyway, but mobile or embedded devices. For the desktop Wayland will have no advantage. But they still somehow convinced a lot of people who do not understand anything about how that X somehow limits performance of the graphics stack so it must be replaced.

On top of that they're doing the #1 thing you're not supposed to do in development: completely rewriting a working system.

If they would just rewrite something it would be ok with me. The problem is breaking compatibility at the protocol level. This is really stupid.

X11's main flaw is that it's supposed to be inefficient. It might be, but I've never noticed any significant difference between user interface performance on Ubuntu vs Windows or Mac. I think much of it is "This sub-nanosecond operation that is only called once or twice every frame takes THREE TIMES AS LONG under X11 as it should!" type purism.

There is no fundamental benefit with respect to performance as Wayland and modern X clients basically work in the same way when operating locally. Somehow people believe that the old rendering APIs supported by X for backwards compatibility somehow prevent modern clients to do things efficiently. This is completely untrue as X has been extended with modern interfaces. There could be some performance benefit because Wayland basically merges the X Server, window manager, and the compositing manager. Of course, this could be done in X as well without breaking the protocols.

Comment Re:Looks like "cheap nuclear" is a bit more expens (Score 1) 307

It is a bit arbitrary definition of "major" to include only Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Three Miles Island. There have been many other major accidents (some more serious than TMI) and many smaller ones. Also "cleanup" costs do certainly not include all costs to society. But anyway, nuclear is not economical anyway. We are just talking about how much less economical it would be, if properly insured.

Comment Re: he bet on the winner (Score 1) 820

> > Look at Germany - they've got enough solar and wind power to supply _all_ their needs.

Nonsense.

> For two costs: 1) doubled their electricity prices, and 2) having to import major power when solar and wind didn't supply their needs.

Even more nonsense. A typical slashdot discussion: No facts involved. And some idiot mods it insightful.

Comment Re:you mean... (Score 1) 537

There are two points I would comment on specifically:

People become rich by two simultaneous decisions: (1) to forego consumption now for future returns, and (2) by investing the money they didn't spend in businesses that yield a good return.

In an ideal world this would be the only way to get rich. In the real world many people also get rich by 1) inheriting 2) pure luck 3) questionable (illegal or unethical) businesses. Many rich people also slowly get even more rich by investing very conservatively (which every idiot can do)

If you take away their wealth and redistribute it,

I have not proposed to "take way their wealth and redistribute it" (nice strawman ) .

the primary effect is not to give people a more equal vote in what to consume, the primary effect is to shift the economy from investments in jobs, production, and the future towards consumption, which is generally the wrong direction.

You need both: investments and consumption. If you take away consumption too much, you end up in exactly the situation we are now: People are not primarily investing in things which are useful to average people, but they invest in tools which may make existing businesses slightly more profitable. It is simply not worth investing in a business creating a tech tool useful for an average people if average people do not have money buy it. Instead they invest in a companies which sell tools to other rich people which help them become even more rich (e.g. spying tools for advertisers so that you may be able to sell slightly more products than your competitor by "better" advertisment). Ofcourse, you can now argue that this is somehow the ideal way to spent money for our society, but I do not buy it.

Comment Re:you mean... (Score 1) 537

Is there a systematic bias that channels technology workers into more profitable careers?

Indeed there is. In a free society with free citizens, we let individuals decide, and vote for, what they find useful. That kind of "voting" is carried out using money: if you produce something that I find useful, I give you money for it; if you produce crap that I don't want, I don't give you money for it. That way, people who produce useful stuff get rewarded and get the resources to produce more useful stuff, while the people who produce crap get fewer resources allocated to them. Does that answer your question? How else would you like things to work?

Except that not everybody has the same vote. And this exactly explains why so many techs work on stuff which is not really useful to the average person at all: They work to make the people who have most of the money (almost all the votes) even richer. This is the reason why advertisement which has only small usefulness to the overall society is so big and basically defines what the internet and mobile industry is today: a huge spying machine with free but only marginally useful content served with lots of annoying advertisement. If money would be distributed more equally, the free market would certainly create a lot of useful tech which would make life much better for average people.

Comment Re:Wayland bashing (Score 1) 151

But some 10 years ago clients started doing client rendering and just sending bitmaps to the display server. Mostly that meant higher bandwidth and fewer round-trips. Whether that is good or bad depends on the clients and the environment.

Actually they started doing that back in the 90s, the X primitives were already very outdated when KDE/Gnome launched in 1998/1999. And this is really the core issue, if you want a modern looking Linux with gradients, transparency, animations, anti-aliasing and various pretty effects you let a graphics toolkit do the job and hand X a bitmap. And they run roughly as bad under remote X as under VNC, because under those circumstances they do pretty much the same thing.

The applications that do work well using remote X are the same applications that shy away from the "render bitmaps" strategy and with their primitives they look... primitive.

The idea that remote graphics works only efficiently when sending line-drawing primitives over the network is a myth. The applications which do currently not work well are those which do have a lot of round-trips. Most of the time for stupid reason because the toolkits stopped caring about remote X. But this has nothing to do with being bitmap-based. In fact, the XRENDER extension was introduced 20 years ago (or so) to make remote X work exactly for this reason. And yes, it works. I have a special-purpose image viewer which works great remotely.

There's actually not a lot of sense in trying to make one system that'll work both for graphics hooked up over a >15GB/s x16 PCIe 3.0 link with nanosecond latency and a system with 1/1000th the bandwidth and 1000x the latency. Applications will tend to work well in just one of those two scenarios no matter what kind of protocol you wrap it in, even if it's theoretically network transparent. If it wasn't being used, it wouldn't be the fastest interlink we have in modern computers.

I also do not think this is true. A discrete GPU on a PCI buys is for all intends and purposes remote to the CPU. The programming model is the same as remote graphics: You send commands over the network/PCI bus. You try to do this in batches/asynchronously to avoid latency overhead and instead of copying data all the time one manages buffers on the remote side.

Comment Re:Wayland bashing (Score 1) 151

I've read the x.org codebase. Mostly to discover the grey areas in the protocol when I was working on a X/Window server running on ms-windows. The x.org code is not pretty but that is mostly due to being an old code base.

The X protocol has its problems and quirks too, particularly when dealing with long latency between server and client. It was designed when using high-level primitives (eg "draw line to (x,y) in color Z") made sense. When client just use such primitives the speed is impressive. But some 10 years ago clients started doing client rendering and just sending bitmaps to the display server. Mostly that meant higher bandwidth and fewer round-trips.

Bandwidth does not matter nowadays and using Xrender than drawing commands does not really use more round-trips. In fact, Xrender was exactly designed for this purpose. The round-trips come from badly-designed clients, and synchronous use of the X protocol although it is designed for asynchronous use. I have have image viewers which work perfectly fine over the network also they move a lot of pixels.

Comment Re:Wayland bashing (Score 4, Insightful) 151

The code base of X is OK. Yes, I have read the code of many different open-source projects (and some close-source). But the real problem is not the code at all, I don't mind if somebody decides it needs to reimplement the X server for some reason. The real problem with Wayland is breaking backwards and forwards compatibility with a universally supported protocol instead of carefully revising it in a backwards compatible way (which would easily be possible with extensions). This is just insanely stupid.

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