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Thread: X.Org is the new kernel

  1. #11
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    Interesting. Is this the same as "Alpha compositing"?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_compositing

    One of the points in the slashdot post about "why Apple doesn't use X.Org" is:

    5) Add broad alpha channel support and Porter-Duff compositing, both for drawing in a window and for interactions between windows.

    I think this is a very interesting discussion. So, am I right in thinking that X.Org does has alpha channel support using the composite but not without it?

    I googled a bit and found a blog post about ARGB support for Qt:
    zrusin.blogspot.com/2006/10/argb-windows.html

    not sure if this is with composite on or off...


    Quote Originally Posted by puelocesar View Post
    Hi all, I registered just to ask why we can't have argb things on Xorg without composite, and mac users can have argb and even nice animations with windows with just a basic vga driver..

    I think that's sad, because I installed hackintosh some time ago and even when it didn't recognized my video card, I had nice animations like "place", "show desktop", "dashboard", and even shadows, and with linux I need to turn on composite that's very slow on some configurations..

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by puelocesar View Post
    Hi all, I registered just to ask why we can't have argb things on Xorg without composite, and mac users can have argb and even nice animations with windows with just a basic vga driver..

    I think that's sad, because I installed hackintosh some time ago and even when it didn't recognized my video card, I had nice animations like "place", "show desktop", "dashboard", and even shadows, and with linux I need to turn on composite that's very slow on some configurations..
    Actually, you CAN have a basic set of effects with Xorg, and true, thanks to the Composite extension, with 2D drivers only. However Xorg doesn't do that by itself, it requires an application to actually make use of these capabilities. Compiz one such application, that does its magic through OpenGL hardware acceleration, using the 3D pipe on a GPU, however Composite doesn't require this. Other Composite managers can achieve nice effects as well, on 2D. For example, XFWM4 (XFCE 4 Window Manager) has a composite manager embedded in itself, and supports a wide arrange of effects, all done in 2D, such as Shadows, window opacity, and I believe they are working on advanced animations. Metacity has had a composite manager in it, for some time, but has been largely unused... Until recently, some distributions have it enabled by default as of late, even in absence of 3D drivers, as it can work with only 2D drivers.

    However, what you say is true: Composite performance is very dependent on the speed of the actual 2D drivers, and to compensate "software" composite eats up more CPU cycles than for instance, Compiz (provided good driver support, of course), however with mild effects (shadows, for instance) the overhead may be negligible.

    MacOS X's drawing method is more refined and as far as I know, they also do much of their stuff in "software", not necessarily in "hardware" (in the traditional way), but that has more to do with the window manager or Desktop Environment than purely the windowing system.

  3. #13
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    Thanks for the answering!

    Now that you say, I remembered some time ago that I used kcommpmanager (or something like that) to get drop shadows with kwin3

    But it was bugged as hell..

    So if I understood you, the problem is not with with Xorg, because it's supports composite with 2d. The problem is with the lack of composite managers?

    I'm asking because I'm great fan of shadows and the window effects of mac, like ExposŤ, but compiz or kwin4 is takes too much resources on some machines to be usable..

    I'll google a bit about this composite manager in xfwm4

  4. #14
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    The other thing to remember about MacOS is that they have the advantage of tying their stuff closer to the hardware, because they know exactly what configurations their OS will be running on.

    Also, the Metacity compositor works in Gnome 2.22 (it can be enabled in gconf), but right now it suffers from performance problems (I think it makes too many pixmap copies before drawing onscreen.)
    Last edited by TechMage89; 06-12-2008 at 09:28 PM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMage89 View Post
    The other thing to remember about MacOS is that they have the advantage of tying their stuff closer to the hardware, because they know exactly what configurations their OS will be running on.

    Also, the Metacity compositor works in Gnome 2.22 (it can be enabled in gconf), but right now it suffers from performance problems (I think it makes too many pixmap copies before drawing onscreen.)
    Well, it indeed seems a good advantage, but, and a big 'but' there, I already installed hackintosh on some machines, and even when it didn't supported the graphics card and failed to vga driver, it had very nice animations like dashboard, exposŤ, show desktop, and very nice shadows.. well, at least it has the most beautiful failsafe I already saw :P lol

    I was looking for the xfwm4 compositing stuff, and I found this:
    http://gentoo-wiki.com/TIP_Xorg_X11_...nsparency#KDE4

    I specially liked the phrase: "I didn't spotted _any_ speed lowering."

    I will see if I can enable this (or hope that kubuntu packages are compiled with that flag)

  6. #16
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    Sorry to flood the topic, but I just tried xrender on kwin4 and I have to say that's freaking kool! I can get all that effects (exposŤ, show desktop, dim inactive, translucency, and even desktop grid) without a 3d driver at all (tested with nv driver)

    here a shot: http://puelocesar.deviantart.com/art...top-4-88502608

    The only thing I miss is the shadows, but Lubos Lunak commited this month a patch that solves the problem Just need to wait for 4.1 beta2 now

    Well, thanks for the people here who opened my eyes to this solution I'm pretty happy right now with my linux box

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by avilella View Post
    Hi, I think now that we have a kernel that is pretty much the most advanced kernel in the world, what the OSS community needs is to make X.Org the best in the world as well.
    Would you trust the people who will not let Reiser4 into the kernel, not only have control over filesystems, but also have control of graphics drivers.

    The Linux saboteurs (see http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9509) have sabotaged Linux's best filesystem. What makes you think they will not sabotage graphics drivers as well.

    But maybe it doesn't matter, as the open source graphics drivers are already completely sabotaged (and have been for many years).

  8. #18
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    What Xorg needs is to be useful enough to graphics driver developers that they don't feel the need to reimplement parts of Xorg inside their drivers.

    What is up with that anyway? I've heard the nVidia driver has its own internal alternatives to all kind of Xorg stuff. And Intel having to write GEM to replace TTM... Was Xorg just not designed for 3D or something?
    Last edited by StringCheesian; 06-13-2008 at 10:31 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jade View Post
    Would you trust the people who will not let Reiser4 into the kernel, not only have control over filesystems, but also have control of graphics drivers.

    The Linux saboteurs (see http://www.phoronix.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9509) have sabotaged Linux's best filesystem. What makes you think they will not sabotage graphics drivers as well.

    But maybe it doesn't matter, as the open source graphics drivers are already completely sabotaged (and have been for many years).
    Why must you spam that link whenever something to do with the kernel comes up. It's pointless the few people who actually want to read your "theories" know where to go so you don't need to keep pointing it out.

  10. #20
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    What Xorg needs is to be useful enough to graphics driver developers that they don't feel the need to reimplement parts of Xorg inside their drivers.

    What is up with that anyway? I've heard the nVidia driver has its own internal alternatives to all kind of Xorg stuff. And Intel having to write GEM to replace TTM... Was Xorg just not designed for 3D or something?
    That's pretty much the case -- Xorg was not designed for modern 3d -- but most of the work going on right now is intended to improve the integration between X (which has been primarily 2d) and 3d (which has primarily been used through DRI for the last 10 years). DRI largely operates outside X (for speed) but has just enough hooks (the DRI infrastructure) to keep it in sync with what X is doing.

    AIGLX (and to a lesser extent XGL) were very important steps to start moving the DRI and X worlds closer together. The remaining steps are underway now, but yes there is debate about all of them ;

    - memory management needs to move from X into the kernel driver (drm) and become more versatile so that 3d and 2d can share memory buffers more effectively (TTM, GEM)

    - either applications need to stop using direct rendering and switch to using AIGLX instead (slight performance hit) or DRI needs to be extended to allow the use of DRI to continue but have the application windows all move around together (DRI2, RDR)

    There are other initiatives underway to make other aspects of the user experience better (Gallium gives us a newer, faster, and more versatile 3d driver, kernel modesetting makes seamless graphics and reliable suspend/resume/vt switch much easier) but the two above are the main ones for bringing 3d and X closer together.

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