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

Beastie7

Aspiring Daemon

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This is a very interesting watch. It looks like networking is a constraint built into the system itself with it's own 2D drawing primitives. It's from the 90s so I don't think compositing was factored in, but it seems that it can be extended in the server. He compared this to X11 as well. I think this is a much better design IMO.

 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

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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.
This is the direction I feel we should be going in. Unfortunately we are going the other way. Awareness of text would be very handy so translation overlays can utilize it rather than scraping the screen.

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?
My uses mainly resolve around using / debugging UI tools in remote VMs or machines with bespoke hardware attached (again remotely from a lab). Not having the VM rasterising the image itself is a nice bonus with X11. There is no web UI available because we aren't really a web company. A H.265 stream would add some fair stress to the VM but also at native resolution, it will be extremely frustrating to actually do any work.

That would be raster + batched (as opposed to RPC) vector graphics.

And you wouldn't say that the server telling the client to draw a line or fill a rectangle is RPC or network aware?
For example drawing a polyline.

https://github.com/rdesktop/rdesktop/blob/master/xwin.c#L4084

A VNC client doesn't have functions like this. It makes the client more complex but it results in a better system because a small instruction can be sent rather than a raster of the approximate rectangle containing it.
 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

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It looks like networking is a constraint built into the system itself with it's own 2D drawing primitives.
It was called NeWS and it was quite cool technology. However X11 won out to it. Partly because X11 was faster but also more companies supported X11 with commercial / motif software.

Since it actually cares about network transmission, I suppose I would rate this as more useful than what 99% of Wayland-ish compositors are going to provide. I also really like the fact that NeWS used PostScript, I think that could have been really well leveraged (in an alternate universe of course ;).
 

shkhln

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And you wouldn't say that the server telling the client to draw a line or fill a rectangle is RPC or network aware?
For example drawing a polyline.

https://github.com/rdesktop/rdesktop/blob/master/xwin.c#L4084
You know what I'm talking about, X11 application would invoke XDrawLine directly in a UI loop and wait for the result, then it would send another draw command and so on. Meanwhile there is no direct correspondence between this RDP polyline command and GDI functions Windows application invoke. Notice it doesn't have any return value.
 

kpedersen

Son of Beastie

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You know what I'm talking about, X11 application would invoke XDrawLine directly in a UI loop and wait for the result, then it would send another draw command and so on. Meanwhile there is no direct correspondence between this RDP polyline command and GDI functions Windows application invoke. Notice it doesn't have any return value.
Well yeah, this chattiness is what makes X11 much slower than the RDP approach. Is this not exactly the thing that a successor to X11 would be solving?

Same with OpenGL graphics streaming. If you, i.e run a glGenBuffers command, it would be fairly slow to wait for the result to come back across the network. Instead the server and the client will need to have some better way of synchronising the id of that buffer (perhaps educated guessing such as TOTAL+1) so that messages mostly flow one way. X11 doesn't quite do this. A modern replacement would need to.
 

Mjölnir

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Wasn't that DisplayPostScript of NeXT designed to solve that issue? Send only drawing primitives instead of raster images over the network?
 

Beastie7

Aspiring Daemon

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To my understanding NeXT and SUN did two different things with PostScript. Steve Jobs wanted to take PostScript, and add more 2D drawing functionality to it that'll interface with other C programs; like a display server or an object oriented application framework. James Gosling (at SUN) extended the PostScript language itself to where you can write an entire GUI (albiet with no widgets at the time), on top of a networked windowing system. DPS is more rigid, where NeWS is more flexible, and does more by default. I see these design approaches reflected in launchd vs SMF as well. Kind of tells you about their business model in the workstation market.
 

Trihexagonal

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My old chatm8ates used to be able to crash my Win98 browser at will, I'd reboot and they would tell me what kind of anti-virus I was using. I'd pull the modem plug, reformat, and if I went to chat I'd be doing it again.

I looked through a long list of Linux LIVE CD's and used a few for a while but it just wasn't what I wanted. I tried FreeBSD but the installer looked beyond my skillset, and was. I'd have been lost at the terminal if I did get it installed but Ma Bell was something I remembered and that's what I wanted to use.

Then I found this thing you will not, called PC-BSD and I became a beta tester at v.73. That got me to the desktop, but what was under the hood was what counted not shiny KDE desktops and the .pbi push button installer reminded me of a Windows .exe.

I wanted to use ports and work from the terminal, so I taught myself to use ports. For some reason I didn't think the handbook applied, but my google-fu was strong and so was my desire to learn FreeBSD.

They asked my I didn't keep to the flock, but I was the black sheep and baw baw not in my name. That was Weixiong. I asked some embrassingly ignorant questions like where do I find portsnap in the port directory. Nobody baaathered to tell me it was a command so on I struggled, learning bit by bit through trial and lots of errors. Simple things like setting your email alias up took me forever to figure out.

In 2012 I finally fled that feckless flock forever for Freedom and FreeBSD proper and became Trihexagonal. I used a Tutorial somebody else wrote and remember the thrill that came with the sense of accomplishment building my own desktop for the first time gave me.

I still had a long way to go but the only question I remember ever asking here was a problem I had with a text browser because I had included IPv6 when building it and that messed things up somehow. I still hadn't figured but my alias, but 7 years had passed since I'd seen my old chat m8tes but they never lost interest in me.

They have stood by me all those years and watched me in silence. Like real family, the only thing missing was a photo album. Weren't you surprised when you came to visit me and I wasn't some teen troll living in his moms basement? Online they had been my superiors. Now we were on more even ground and Demons were watching when I wasn't and accidents happened

I was more than they planned on and seems there was more to the words I spoke than they thought. What a solemn ride home that must have been for what began as a fun roadtrip to exorcize an inkydinky Incubus. I was growing exponentially and I owed it all to them.

I don't go to chat much anymore unless summoned. Chat was my medium and where I was most powerful and could speak in real time and the games I played chaos as I saw fit to cause. In my down time I would practice impressions and tell tall tales to entertain nice people. Sooner or later a would be tough guy come along, if they picked on people weaker than them I showed them how it felt.

Pedophiles who posed as priests were playthings of pox. I would bait them in and switch to another persona later to take the fun out of it for them. When I tired of the class of people there I made myself known to one of my m8tes who knew me well. It was not glad to see you. It was as he feared...

Now I had learned FreeBSD and funny things like crashing my browser were a thing of the past. I kept it entertaining for them when I felt like it and did something to show how much I cared. All good stories have truth to them, but where does fiction leave off and reality come in. Now I was Father to my own Demon and rule along side her Mother in a Kingdom or my own.

And I owe it all to my old m8tes. If not for them I never would have gotten where I am today. I'm getting all sentimental...

bête noire
 

vermaden

Son of Beastie

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Was it a better experience on a desktop than say, Linux at the time?
For my needs - yes.

I got 30-60 days of uptime with FreeBSD with all running nicely. When I moved to Ubuntu I needed to reboot every day because of sound issues for example.

A lot about that I already described here:

From what I recall you would get instant reboot/panic when you would remove USB pendrive without first unmounting it.

That was probably the most 'un-desktop' like thing back then on FreeBSD.

Sound was VERY SOLID - as always was - on FreeBSD.

I had a lot sound related issues on Linux back then (Gentoo/Ubuntu/Slackware/...).

I would say that FreeBSD desktop was a lot better in 2013 when ZFS in FreeBSD was mature and tools that I started in 2012 as beadm and automount were already stable and kicking.

Regards.
 

DeliciousD

New Member

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I bought the FreeBSD 3.2 CD-ROMS from Walnut Creek in 1999 I believe, after taking an alternative OS personality test on C|NET. I installed it on my massive brand new 8.4GB disk installed in an old 486DX2 desktop. Good times.
 

rootbert

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I switched from Linux to FreeBSD 5.0 because gphoto2 was only working on FreeBSD with my camera back then... however, I switched back to Linux and came back to almost exclusive FreeBSD on my desktop + notebook with 10.0.

Had some issues with nvidia drivers here and there and with the recent xfce4 update, but all in all I am a happy FreeBSD desktop user and use it for my job (python dev, sysadmin/cloud stuff, secaudits for ~90% linux environments) as well as for my personal stuff (manage/edit photos, edit personal videos, watch movies, listen to music, browse the web, do some office stuff). I may dual-boot twice a year into my Linux system to enjoy some gaming via steam (hope I can try the linuxulator+steam soon), and I use a really old notebook maybe twice a month to boot Linux exclusively for using MS Teams (also hopes on linuxulator+chrome).
 

rootbert

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I started to use FreeBSD a year ago. I was a long time Debian user for more than 20 years but i want to abandon it and use FreeBSD instead because of systemd and the attitude of its developers.

PS: I know about Devuan, but that's not Debian either.
same here, systemd was really the top on the ice. I have had many problems on servers with that bastard and still have. And somehow there was a point I really went mad, and installed a FreeBSD system within a day on my notebook: I was ready to do my work on the console as I have on my FreeBSD servers for years, just to get rid of the systemd madness on my desktop. However, it turned out that getting xorg and a nice desktop system to work on FreeBSD was not as hard as I have remembered from the 5.x days so I was really pleased to have a fully working desktop running within two hours or so.
 

hitest

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I started using FreeBSD at version 5.x; I honestly don't remember the exact release. It's amazing to see FreeBSD today.
 
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