Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Eye Construction Kit

One of the things I think I could really get into if I were to have a systems-type job would be to work on the guts of X (or other things of that sort) - I like OS kernels a lot too, I can get really interested in reading about the latest clever optimisations that compiler people are working on, and thinking about virtualisation gives me warm fuzzies, but X has always been a love of mine. One of the things that's led to advances (of sorts) in X is people looking at the system as a whole and asking, "How can I work around what normally happens to make this specific case work faster/better" - using things like SHM support and direct(ish) hardware access partially to wholly avoid the normal X software path. This can be good for some specific purposes, but I cringe when I hear about GNOME people building dependencies on GL and similar libraries/APIs - this effectively changes the common case. I like having fast, pretty graphics when I'm playing some kinds of games on X and for screensavers, but for normal tasks, network transparency is far more important to me - I don't want my desktop to be as bouncy and interactive as OS X, especially if it uses OpenGL because it'll be all kinds of slow whenever I connect via VNC or use nonlocal X. I wish people were working on the opposite to all this GL stuff - it'd be awesome to pull X communication up to the toolkit level (when feasable) with fonts, widgets, and similar negotiated between client and server and XPM-style communication a last resort. This would entangle toolkits and X itself, but so long as this entanglement were an extension that were itself optional, I think it could be cleanly implemented without burning too many bridges. I get the feeling that I've written about this before though...

A few random bits for y'all:

  • Musharraf is in an ugly position between anti-Western groups and the United States. It's unsurprising that the United States isn't shy about toppling another government - given how relations were with Hussein in the past, if I were Musharraf I'd be worried about being the target of another US-led manhunt a few years down the line. I really don't think I'd mind if BushJr were to be removed from office here by invasion of some superior military power (if there were any) - he's probably diverted the advancement of western values more than Hussein did. Thinking about it though, I think I approve of the "removal" of the Taliban in Afghanistan - that state had already fallen as far as most states can go and its overthrow wasn't a tragedy. It's unfortunate that efforts to keep the theocrats out of power have not been completely successful. Little of that mess would be around presumably if the Soviet Union hadn't been opposed in their efforts to absorb Afghanistan in the 80s though..
  • Poland has ugly laws relating to offending religious people. I don't see why running an "online confessional" should be considered something that steps on a protected interest of the Church (whether that be running confessional or being respected)
  • It's Pi day. I'm going to be a heretic and suggest that it be celebrated at 15:09:26.
  • Unsurprisingly, Guiliani is doing well in the running for the Republican candidate for the next American president.
  • Some people in Second Life are upset at corporate and other commercial dominance in that environment.
  • In New York City, use of the word "nigger" has been symbolically curbed. A newsperson(?) has also commented on the use of "gay" as a synonym for "bad" using news as backdrop. Similar?
  • Not long ago, Ahmadinejad made an uncomfortable visit to Saudi Arabia.
  • I am very concerned to read that some Australian Muslims are planning to organise a political party there.

I've been having a grand time with this weather. Hurrah!

Tags: tech

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