[linux-elitists] Can we woo you first? [Was: How MS could woo me]

Jeff Waugh jdub@perkypants.org
Wed Dec 24 06:21:48 PST 2003

<quote who="Karsten M. Self">

> > >   - Selected apps displayed remotely whether through xhosts (on a
> > >   suitably secured and trusted local network) or (far preferable) SSH
> > >   X11 tunneling.  Just because I trust a remote application to display
> > >   locally doesn't mean I trust it to all local traffic and data.
> > 
> > Not sure what you're driving at here - local traffic and data associated
> > with the X display? You're stuck with that. Not sure what else you could
> > mean.
> Local == LAN traffic at 100 MBps hubbed.
> Tunneled == LAN or remote traffic, at speeds varying from LAN to modem.
> With additional latency imposed by ssh encryption and/or compression
> (latter disabled for LAN traffic).

What does that have to do with trust?

> > > WTF is "Dashbord"?
> > 
> > (As linked in the initial mail: http://www.nat.org/dashboard/)
> Saw that, actually, in context with prior post.
> More a general rant that people shouldn't assume that software currently
> in nascent vapor stage and with less than six months' life is generally
> known.

I'm glad that I made absolutely sure I provided a link in the first post for
precisely this reason. Didn't stave off your rant, though.

> The point I'm making, and possibly one that's a carry-over from the days
> of E as default window manager, is that performance of GNU/Linux GUIs has
> frequently been very poor, particularly in the cutting-edge stuff (older
> desktops/apps often _do_ perform well, witness twm or icewm). As my
> legacy MS Windows comments indicate, I've a grudging admiration for the
> amount of GUI performance Microsoft managed to squeeze out of 386/486s.
> Though X11 displays of the same era were reasonably lightweight as well.
> And compared to contemporary displays, decorations and capabilities were
> highly limited.

Not sure that is reasonable rationale for your tone. You could have said,
"Wow, MS got a lot out of their old GUIs, wonder where the bottlenecks are
in ours?"

> > Well, as I said earlier, you have choices. It doesn't make sense to run
> > GNOME on these kinds of machines, so... Use the machines as X terminals
> > or run XFCE or a simple window manager and some apps. Or run the apps on
> > a server, or... or... There are many options, and you can see them in
> > use in Brazil, Spain, Chile, etc., etc. The LTSP-based Telecentros cafes
> > rock.
> LTSP isn't running X remotely....

Do you mean "remotely" as in "over a modem" or "over a LAN"? The Telecentros
definitely run GNOME over X via the LAN. I run GNOME apps from home at work
every now and then (ADSL to ISP) over compressed ssh. I'm sure there's room
for improvement, but it works pretty well as is.

> > I found recently that I wasn't enjoying running GNOME with only 256MB
> > RAM at work. That's a bummer, but we'll deal with it. You seem to be
> > personally offended by this, and I don't know why.
> I run WindowMaker with 512.
> It's, in general, the assumption that your program is all I'm running on
> my system, and/or there's only one user on the system, and/or that the
> user is local, and/or that the system is a PC.

I think these are mostly your assumptions, not what we're actually
interested in. The last one, that we are assuming a "PC", is accurate, as
we're building a desktop for multi-purpose personal computers.

> Some systems do need highly customized apps (e.g.:  handhelds with limited
> display and distinctive inputs).

While parts of the GNOME Developer Platform are very useful for PDA/embedded
work, the GNOME Desktop is *definitely not even remotely* aiming for those.
Not at all. If you want something GNOMEy for your PDA, choose GPE (for the
same reasons why we have WinCE and Windows).

> Others don't -- they're just slow and memory limited (old, slow, school
> computers).

And in this case, you can choose something else, or use those slow machines
as terminals and centralise the workload. That's what most people do. LTSP.

> At the same time, it's the locations where resource limitations are most
> likely to benefit from the integration of GNOME.

I don't think that's true, but it's a very very general statement, so it
might not mean anything. ;-)

> > Uh, "providing a standard API for highly useful end-user data" like
> > contacts and calendaring. Hope that doesn't offend. It sure is bloody
> > useful.
> That's the line out of Microsoft.
> <coff>Outlook</coff>
> My point stands.
> Depending on the scriptability of this, and the trustedness of scripts
> run, there are any number of possible exploits, ranging from desktop
> hijacking to data extraction.  These _aren't_ simple problems.

Ah, now I understand what you're getting at. Your point stands, but you're
making the assumption that we are stupid, weren't born into a networked
environment, and haven't learnt anything from the Microsoft experience. The
problem is the *vectors*, not the information available. Already, if you had
a scriptable, remotely-executable vector into your system, there's stacks of
things it could get to. Right now. We already have that responsibility. It
would be pretty silly to throw out all the benefits of sensible APIs to user
data because we're expecting to make the same mistakes MS did.

Evolution is pretty good in this regard, if you're really worried.

> > [ So, I can't figure out why you're so combative, Karsten. Lay off a bit
> > on the formal addressing and unforgiving approach. This is incredibly
> > rude and ungrateful behaviour. ]
> Odd you should mention.
> You earned it the last time.  If you want to un-earn the response, you'll
> have to behave yourself for a while, take counsel, and generally behave
> like something _other_ than the arrogant snot you were in October.  Just
> letting you know you left an impression.

Right, well you left an impression as an ungrateful turd with a triple
charisma bypass. But I didn't enter into the discussion by foisting a grudge
or drippingly sarcastic deprecation on you, and I don't expect I will in the
future. Please, get over yourself.

- Jeff

Come to gnome.conf.au 2004!   http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2004/gnome.conf.au/
         "Spend your 'different points' wisely." - Havoc Pennington

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