When did people first start using BSD as a graphical desktop?

Beastie7

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Most new ideas are stupid and dangerous. Wayland is one of them. Though,
Most old ideas are stupid and dangerous too, but Wayland is not one them.

That's a fantastic thesis. 😑 Care to elaborate amongst the two protocols?
 

vigole

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Care to elaborate amongst the two protocols?
Certainly. Xorg works, Wayland doesn't.


It's too early, but its PRs are disturbing. Let's GNU/Linux be the guinea pig. Wait until to see the result, if it works, by all means, do the goose step.
Why Wayland exist? I don't know. Good question! There're many pages on Internet, trying to rationalise the decision. But I'm not convinced I need it.
On protocol: I'm not GUI developer, nor a regular Desktop/GUI user. Xorg just works. It's mature and has lots of docs. Wayland is unnecessary burden.

The Paradox of Progress/Choice

Montaigne (I, 42):
When King Pyrrhus tried to cross into Italy, Cynéas tried to make him feel the vanity of such action.

Cynéas: To what end are you going into such enterprise?
Pyrrhus: To make myself the master of Italy.
Cynéas: And so?
Pyrrhus: To get to Gaul, then Spain.
Cynéas: Then?
Pyrrhus: To conquer Africa, then ... come rest at ease.
Cynéas: But you are already there; why take more risks?

Lucretius (V, 1431):
How human nature knows no upper bound, as if to punish itself.
 

olli@

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Well, the old X11 protocol is a dinosaur. 90 % of the code in the Xorg server exists for legacy reasons, inherited from typical GUI programs of the 1980s, but it’s not used at all by today’s application. And the security model is nearly non-existent: Basically every X11 client application can take control of the whole server without the user noticing.

I am convinced that X11 needs to die (painfully, if you ask me). Wayland certainly is not perfect, but at least it is an improvement.

PS: By the way, most of the Wayland developers are also Xorg developers. This is good for several reasons. Most importantly, Xorg developers know the deficiencies of X11 very well. And they are familiar with both the Xorg code and the Wayland code, making it easier to create migration tools (for example, see the “XWayland” server that interfaces X11 clients to a Wayland compositor).
 

Minbari

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I've started in 2005 when I bought a book which had a FreeBSD 5.4 CD. Still have the book, unfortunately I lost the CD.
fbsd.jpg
 

hruodr

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Well, the old X11 protocol is a dinosaur. 90 % of the code in the Xorg server exists for legacy reasons, inherited from typical GUI programs of the 1980s, but it’s not used at all by today’s application.
I do not see any problem there. X11 is not very big, nothing compared with the modern bloat software, it runs in old processors, in thin clients without problems. Wyland is not comparable with it, it does not implement the main goal of X11. Under this conditions, "legacy reasons" are also an advantage.
 

Beastie7

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I honestly believe FreeBSD is ripe for it's own display compositor/widget toolkit. That alone with DRM in base would make FreeBSD more independent from from the wild west mess called Linux/Linuxisms. What's really needed though is some sort of X11 transition plan/strategy for legacy X11 apps.
 

olli@

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I do not see any problem there. X11 is not very big, nothing compared with the modern bloat software, it runs in old processors, in thin clients without problems. Wyland is not comparable with it, it does not implement the main goal of X11. Under this conditions, "legacy reasons" are also an advantage.
I’m pretty sure that most of the Xorg developers would completely disagree with that.
 

hruodr

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PS: By the way, most of the Wayland developers are also Xorg developers.

I’m pretty sure that most of the Xorg developers would completely disagree with that.

Are most of the Wayland developers Xorg developers, or most of the Xorg developers Wayland developers?

And how are you so sure of what others think?
 

olli@

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Are most of the Wayland developers Xorg developers, or most of the Xorg developers Wayland developers?
The former.
And how are you so sure of what others think?
Because I’m a developer myself, and I had the “pleasure” of working with the source code of the XFree86 X11 server some time ago. And it didn’t get better since then. Apart from that, the X.org developers are well aware of the shortcomings of X11. This is a recurring topic on the xorg mailing list. One of the X.org developers collected some of the X11 problems on this wiki page at x.org (under the provocative title “X12”). The security nightmare is just one of many problems.

Basically, Wayland aims to become “X12”. By the way, some people seem to think that X.org and Wayland are competing projects, or even hostile to each other. This is not the case at all. Wayland development happens under the X.org umbrella. There were also several talks about Wayland topics at the X.org developers conference last year. It was very interesting.
 

olli@

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The wiki you quoted contradicts it. Guess why.
No, Wayland aims to fix many of those problems that are enumerated on that page. Of course it cannot fix all of them.
Most probably, “X12” will never exist, so my remark was meant in the figurative sense.
 

kpedersen

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X12 needs to surely exist one day. As it stands, Linux / UNIX are vastly inferior to Microsoft's RDP at remote UI and nothing else seems to be in development to solve that.

From the wiki:

Maintain Network Transparency​


The future will be more interconnected and network-oriented, not less. Network transparency makes things easier for users and can't be considered an 'optional extra'.
 

olli@

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X12 needs to surely exist one day. As it stands, Linux / UNIX are vastly inferior to Microsoft's RDP and nothing else seems to be in development to solve that.
Well, at least Wayland supports RDP natively. ;)
 

hruodr

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As it stands, Linux / UNIX are vastly inferior to Microsoft's RDP and nothing else seems to be in development to solve that.
In the quoted wiki stays:

What is Good about X11​


Network transparency. Network transparency rocks! Run a program on a remote system and interact with it on your local terminal; write a program and not need to care whether it's going to be run on a full workstation or a dumb terminal. Some may say this is unimportant, but when one looks at the development of Windows and the evolution of RDP, it starts to look a lot more like X in terms of its features.

 

kpedersen

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Well, at least Wayland supports RDP natively. ;)
No it doesn't. It sends a raster image of the entire desktop across! XD

Hopefully Microsoft will come and save us all. Show us how to do network transparency "right" haha.

hruodr Yes, it is fairly embarrassing but a long time ago, Microsoft (actually Citrix in partnership with) took our X11 concept and kept with it, improving it, securing it. They did this by showing restraint and keeping the GUI system correct. Unfortunately the same restraint was not demonstrated by the Gtk or Gnome communities who went straight to GPU rendering for the tacky childish effects. We are now very far behind. All these hundreds of broken Wayland compositors are going to put us further behind.
 

sidetone

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I used FreeBSD as a desktop since around 2007. I switched to Linux and back a few times. Finally, when I got FreeBSD set up the way I wanted, I stuck with FreeBSD.
 

kpedersen

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And as far as I know, the following runs with X11, although I never tested it:

VNC is basically the fallback. It sends across an entire raster of the desktop (compresses, etc). It is very slow and simply not feasible for large resolutions. However, sometimes it is all we have left.

VNC on Windows is a little more primitive because it doesn't support sessions unlike our Xvnc servers. However I am fairly sure Wayland compositors will break that too.
VNC is very unmaintained on Windows because they don't need it, they have something *much* better (RDP). On Linux / BSD, the best we have is tigervnc (in ports). It is slightly faster at compression so just about usable on a wired LAN (forget about wifi or over internet though!).

We also have Xrdp. But just like Wayland, this form of RDP is not native, and really just sends a complete raster across, not taking advantage of true network transparency. I believe it also uses VNC underneath to obtain the initial raster. Very inefficient.

SSH is absolutely great though. For small windows using sane toolkits, X11 forwarding via SSH beats the pants of most other things (other than RDP single window mode).
 

Beastie7

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Wait a minute. So is RDP just an improved implementation of X11 Network Transparency or are they two different things? Are there any whitepapers on that one can study?
 

shkhln

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I'm genuinely dissapointed in a yet another round of "network transparency" trolling. Windows has no network transparency whatsoever. (This is the term coined specifically for X11 and nothing else is following the same model.) RDP fundamentally is a raster-based protocol, you won't be able to use it from your Unix desktop if it were instantiating Win32 / GDI primitives.
 

kpedersen

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RDP fundamentally is a raster-based protocol, you won't be able to use it from your Unix desktop if it were instantiating Win32 / GDI primitives.
So I suppose the question is that why don't we develop something similar in technology to those Win32 / GDI primitives. Why are we faffing around with large breaking changes in Wayland and still not actually getting something worthwhile? Is there really no use-case for a decent remote desktop system these days?

RDP has a concept of a Window and the GDI primitives so isn't raster based. So if it isn't network transparent, and it doesn't seem to be just raster-based.. What would you call it?
 

hruodr

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Is there really no use-case for a decent remote desktop system these days?
I think Windows needs it, because it is GUI oriented. For me it is enough to do ssh to a remote machine and get a shell.
 

kpedersen

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I think Windows needs it, because it is GUI oriented. For me it is enough to do ssh to a remote machine and get a shell.
Yes, that could well be true. Perhaps one day if the next generation of GUI-only guys comes in, then we might see an actual replacement to X11.
 

shkhln

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So I suppose the question is that why don't we develop something similar in technology to those Win32 / GDI primitives. Why are we faffing around with large breaking changes in Wayland and still not actually getting something worthwhile?
I'd be interested in a solution with native awareness of text and, say, svg images (if only to see how it performs), but that is difficult to pull off in Linux world of multiple infighting UI toolkits. There is some overlap with accessibility needs, so corresponding APIs might be worth looking into.

Is there really no use-case for a decent remote desktop system these days?
Do you have any? I mean something that is not handled by a web UI (those can be very efficient if done right) or an H.265 stream of entire desktop?

RDP has a concept of a Window and the GDI primitives so isn't raster based. So if it isn't network transparent, and it doesn't seem to be just raster-based.. What would you call it?
That would be raster + batched (as opposed to RPC) vector graphics.
 
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