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Linux 2.6.28 Promises Year-End Presents

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the my-holiday-thanks-go-mostly-to-the-finnish-guy dept.

Upgrades 305

darthcamaro writes "Little penguins all around the world are waiting for Penguin-Master Linus Torvalds to deliver some Glogg inspired Xmas cheer in the form of the new 2.6.28 kernel. Among the innovations in 2.6.28 are ext4 as stable, wireless USB drivers, better KVM support and the GEM graphic memory management technology. 'We now have a proper memory manager for video memory, the GEM [Graphics Execution Manager] memory manager,' Greg Kroah-Hartman said. 'This gives Linux much better graphics performance than it previously had.'"

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The new graphics (1)

chunk08 (1229574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226657)

Haven't read read the article yet but it does it require doing things differently in drivers or user-land software?

Re:The new graphics (5, Informative)

chunk08 (1229574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226679)

Hm, sry to reply to myself but according to Wikipedia it seems that the drivers have to be rewritten to support GEM. Still not sure about user-land software tho...

Re:The new graphics (1)

rmdir -r * (716956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226969)

It's transparent to userland, it should just mean the next generation of drivers will be faster. Of course, if the drivers are done wrong, it'll mean the next generation of drivers will be crashy, so...

Re:The new graphics (5, Interesting)

dow (7718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227515)

What should be important is that maybe next gen games should be released on Linux as a platform equal to Windows.

I was a long term Linux user, who went to XP just for the games. My gaming rig is waiting an RMA on a PSU, so rebuilt an old system and installed Slackware.

On an older machine with slower drives and a quarter the Ram, the responsiveness of the OS is amazing. If mainstream games were released for Linux I'd have no choice.

Sadly, I mainly use computers these days for relaxation, shopping and play, and if I'd continued as I set out, would no doubt be a full time Linux user... However, as a gamer, I put up with XP64 as a day to day OS.

Re:The new graphics (5, Informative)

grantek (979387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227037)

Intel staff were the ones mainly responsible for implementing GEM, so their driver supports it. The open-source ATI drivers recently got a layer of glue to use GEM on the outside without changing much of the TTM-based code that was on the inside. I don't know what nouveau is up to, but the nvidia blob has had a lot of memory management stuff implemented independently for a while now in their X driver.

Phoronix [phoronix.com] follows a lot of this stuff well.

No answers to your question in TFA. (4, Informative)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226695)

""We now have a proper memory manager for video memory, the GEM [Graphics Execution Manager] memory manager," Kroah-Hartman said. "This gives Linux much better graphics performance than it previously had."

The video improvements in Linux also extend to power utilization for graphics. Red Hat Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields told InternetNews.com that the 2.6.28 kernel enables reduced power consumption across the video driver subsystem in the vertical blanking routines, which will be helpful to mobile users."

That is all that is mentioned (above quote) about the state of 'the new graphics' in the new kernel.

Re:The new graphics (4, Interesting)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227013)

I recommend reading this link [rojtberg.net] to get an idea of what's going on in the Linux graphics stack:

"So currently there is not one field where construction done but several. These are 2D Acceleration, Memory Management, 3D Acceleration and 2D Modesetting. And they are all being worked on at the same time to speed things up.

But the problem is that more or less all of these depend on proper Memory Management, which is also the hardest thing to get right.

Now lets look at how Xorg works today; every Xorg driver implements its own way of memory management and provides the DRI1 functionality when it comes to 3D. Furthermore it is responsible for modesetting, which is quite suboptimal, since some perliminary modesetting is already done in kernel, so it can output messages during bootup. The Xorg driver resets the hardware again when it is loaded.

Kernel Based Modesetting

In order to solve this duplication the modesetting code is about to be moved into the kernel, so the hardware can be setup once and for all. But since modesetting involves memory management which is not done properly yet too."

I for one... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226661)

... welcome our old glÃgg-drinking, benevolent, Linux dictators

Re:I for one... (5, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226671)

...welcome our old Unicode-challenged Slashdot. BÃrk bÃrk bÃrk!

Re:I for one... (1, Insightful)

FugitiveMind (1423373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226693)

"charset=iso-8859-1"

Welcome to 2000. :|

Well (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226697)

I heard they were going to include RieserFS but they killed that idea because it would be murder to include it. The developers said they would have to butcher the kernel in order to get it to work.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226937)

different AC here... why was parent modded "troll" for this? *confused*

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227003)

Yet another AC here.
I'm guessing - too soon?

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227141)

Too stupid.

Re:Well (1)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227453)

5th unique AC in a row -

I thought it was funny, guess it rubbed someone with mod points the wrong way. And the moment one person mods it to 0 or -1, it stays there.

Re:Well (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227533)

Yeah, that and this process didn't work too well in Mrs. Rieser's job hunt.

Re:Well (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227543)

5th unique AC in a row -

Third AC again.
Looks like you're an AK not an AC. But you are correct the right answer is - funny... funny for three points.

Nice start... (5, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226703)

Not quite Vista's WDDM abilities in dealing with GPU RAM, but a nice start that people other than MS are actually taking GPU RAM allocation seriously beyond simple context swtiching.

Re:Nice start... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226921)

Why, every time Vista puts up a UAC requests, does the whole screen go black for a couple of seconds, as if the screen mode has been changed?

Re:Nice start... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226979)

It's a security thing. Please mod me -3.

Re:Nice start... (4, Interesting)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227285)

Because the UAC window is on an independent desktop that other applications cannot interact with. The only possible flaw is if something has installed itself as a mouse or keyboard input driver, I believe. But doing that will spawn a great big red unsigned driver prompt.

Re:Nice start... (4, Informative)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227329)

It prevents shatter attacks [wikipedia.org] . It can be turned off and a UAC window made to act like any other.

what are they giving you guys? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226733)

a big plastic dick? that would be the only thing i think you fags would be happy about. fucking homos.

Re:what are they giving you guys? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226811)

Thinking about fucking homos does make me happy. Care to come over?

Admit it. Your troll was an internet pick-up line.

2009 (0, Troll)

dunezone (899268) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226755)

2009 will truly be the year of Linux!!!

Re:2009 (2, Insightful)

windsurfer619 (958212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226933)

This is really getting old. How do these guys still get modded funny?

Re:2009 (5, Insightful)

Shetan (20885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227019)

The moderators are drunk on Christmas spirits.

Re:2009 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227399)

The moderators are drunk on Christmas spirits.

Which is only proven by the fact that they modded you insightful for that very comment.

Re:2009 (5, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227181)

It's because every year is the year of Linux. Its just funny that some people haven't realized it yet.

These Intel guys (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226765)

Why do I get the feeling that the Intel guys are screwing the kernel as much as possible? Since 2.6.27 I've been having probs with iwlagn (which only a reboot solves) and in 2.6.28-rc the e1000e driver isn't even capable of detecting the carrier correctly. There is no cable in my NIC but it still thinks so :-( Anyone else encountering the same?

Re:These Intel guys (1)

SHaFT7 (612918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227195)

exchange sync the first time over wifi, had to cable up for that.

Re:These Intel guys (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227469)

a reboot? that can't be true. according to the faggot dick smokers around here only windows needs to do that and even windows hardly needs it anymore. you must be a lying bitch. why is it that you can't just take that dick up the ass like a good little faggot?

To clear somethings up (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226775)

GEM is short for Graphics Execution Manager, it is a graphics memory manager for the kernel written by Intel.

If graphics device drivers want take advantage of GEM, then they need to add some code for GEM in the device driver.
A memory manager for the graphics memory is very useful because it allows direct rendering and direct redirected rendering and such.
This means you can now do things "the real way" which have previously either not been possible, or been done using some dirty hack such as indirect rendering.

Re:To clear somethings up (5, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226823)

Kind of a shame, I was hoping they were integrating the Digital Research Mac-like User Interface system for DOS (and the Atari ST) into the kernel, just to annoy purists...

Re:To clear somethings up (4, Informative)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226871)

We had one of those [wikipedia.org] when 2.6.9 came out, but not since. A shame.

Re:To clear somethings up (0)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227043)

A memory manager for the graphics memory is very useful because it allows direct rendering and direct redirected rendering and such.

A definite step in the wrong direction.

One of the things I've always liked about *nix is the separation between kernel and graphics.

No matter how horked X is, I the system always boots in text mode console and work to repair X or a driver, install new software, etc, and even accomplish things with Mutt and links2.

Then, when I'm ready to "go graphical", simply run startx.

Re:To clear somethings up (1, Funny)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227107)

This does not sound like a bad idea, though: moving a part of the graphics into the kernel only makes the kernel a little more complex (as it has already had parts of the code in order to use the screen while booting), and at the same time, X can become less complex and thus both faster and less error-prone.

Re:To clear somethings up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227111)

In Windows, if the graphics don't work I can start up in safe mode, which always works. It has a fully functioning GUI right away at 640x480, gives you the option to repair your video driver and even use almost all of your regular applications. This allows people who are not so technically proficient to fix their computer without having to resort to using a command line.

Re:To clear somethings up (-1, Flamebait)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227187)

It has a fully functioning GUI right away

That does not impress me.

at 640x480

That really does not impress me.

This allows people who are not so technically proficient to fix their computer without having to resort to using a command line.

Cry me a river.

Re:To clear somethings up (3, Insightful)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227303)

Let me put it to you in a way that should impress you: Kernel modesetting allows things like the Windows BSOD and the Mac Kernel Panic, which means that when your kernel dies you can get a direct, immediate error message with details.

Those STOP messages in BSODs are pretty important for figuring out what's wrong with Windows, I imagine with the open kernel of Linux, you could have much more detailed errors.

Re:To clear somethings up (-1, Offtopic)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227473)

Let me put it to you in a way that should impress you: Kernel modesetting allows things like the Windows BSOD and the Mac Kernel Panic,

My Linux system hasn't panicked in many, many years (probably because I stick with relatively standard h/w), so no, it doesn't impress me much.

which means that when your kernel dies you can get a direct, immediate error message with details.

Wouldn't you also need DRI/DRM for that?

Re:To clear somethings up (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227315)

That really does not impress me.

You're not supposed to be impressed, you're supposed to be able to easily fix your graphics (or any other driver/configuration) setup with more-or-less your expected setup. Non-expert users will be impressed by that. Or at the very least less pissed off by the problem they're experiencing.

Cry me a river.

Yeah, fuck all those people who don't want to learn X configuration file formats off-by-heart! But I bet you'll be the first person bitching and moaning when vendor X doesn't provide Linux drivers and vendor Y's software doesn't support Linux. Newsflash genius, it's the masses that bring the recognition and the cash to make the vendors take notice. If you ever want Linux to do all those things that "Year of Linux" spouters have been droning on about for the last decade you're going to have to realise that making Linux useable, maintainable, and fixable by average Joe's with as little fuss as possible is the only thing that matters to the long term future of Linux as a desktop OS.

Re:To clear somethings up (3, Funny)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227379)

making Linux useable, maintainable, and fixable by average Joe's with as little fuss as possible

I'm still waiting for Windows to get to that point never mind Linux.

Re:To clear somethings up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227523)

I'm still waiting for Windows to get to that point never mind Linux.

Windows is a lot closer to it than Linux on most fronts. Regardless, why should Windows be expected to get there first anyway? I think that sums up the attitude of far too many Linux devs/supporters - content to be second best on the desktop and hope that this "Free" thing will take it the rest of the way. It really won't though.

Re:To clear somethings up (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227333)

This allows people who are not so technically proficient to fix their computer without having to resort to using a command line.

Cry me a river.

May you be forced to debug some WTF message without any browser but lynx to help you. Of course, you're probably among the 1% that knows that lynx exists and is able to navigate your way to google and find the answers without a mouse to click. Great that you're built that way, but l33tnix is over there ------------> and the rest us of would like a system that isn't more arcane and user-unfriendly than necessary.

Re:To clear somethings up (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227561)

Actually, Links2 allows you to use a mouse. :P

But seriously, fully agreed, and it's fully possible to have a system that is both user friendly and powerful/stable/featureful/etc. Having GEM in the kernel as a module is fine if the kernel can deal with GEM getting itself borked, which is how everything should be, there should be fail safes galore if things are programmed intelligently from the ground up.

Re:To clear somethings up (4, Informative)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227347)

The reason for 640x480 is because safe mode uses the generic VGA driver and 640x480 is widely supported. Actually since XP the generic VGA driver which allows higher resolution modes. No hardware acceleration of course since every manufacturer implements that in their own way.

Actually XP had a cool trick with graphics drivers. If a thread hung inside the manufacturer provided accelerated graphics driver the GDI would switch to the generic VGA driver and pop up a message explaining what had happened and prompting you to reboot. I.e. it could switch from 1024x768 accelerated 32 bit color to 640x480x16 color and keep running, even though a kernel mode thread had hung.

Re:To clear somethings up (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227735)

"This allows people who are not so technically proficient to fix their computer without having to resort to using a command line. Cry me a river."

people like you are why linux won't ever dominate the computer industry. try growing up and learning from your mistakes.

Re:To clear somethings up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227757)

640x480 happens to be MUCH better than text only. It's also not supposed to be impressive. The point was it works. I have had various distributions of Linux on many different computers and hardware configurations. I think only one had proper framebuffering out of the box. The ones that don't? They have to be restarted with parameters passed to them from grub. Some of the time that works. Most of the time you're left with a blank screen and no text mode at all.

Sometimes you just need any old gui. Unfortunately, no version of Links can browse ati/amd's driver pages properly. You need a real browser for that. Good luck getting an up-to-date binary driver if you're stuck in text mode (or even framebuffer). And if you have a video card that's newer than your distribution-provided one? Bend over, because you just added another degree of difficulty.

Cry me a river.

Good thing your opinion doesn't matter, because Linux will never be a viable solution for your average home user until they don't have to touch the command prompt. That includes hand-editing conf files. especially xorg.conf. I might go back to Linux when I can have a multiple monitor setup that's accessible from the WM and can be changed on the fly without restarting X.

Re:To clear somethings up (4, Informative)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227265)

A memory manager for the graphics memory is very useful because it allows direct rendering and direct redirected rendering and such.

A definite step in the wrong direction.

One of the things I've always liked about *nix is the separation between kernel and graphics.

No matter how horked X is, I the system always boots in text mode console and work to repair X or a driver, install new software, etc, and even accomplish things with Mutt and links2.

Then, when I'm ready to "go graphical", simply run startx.

You don't really understand the consequences of doing kernel mode setting then. None of your use cases will be impacted by the addition of kernel mode setting, except that you'll be able to more easily get different resolutions out of your virtual consoles (you can already do that with framebuffer consoles, sometimes, depending on the hardware, and what driver you're using with X (if any)).

Re:To clear somethings up (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227457)

You don't really understand the consequences of doing kernel mode setting then.

Why am I not surprised???

None of your use cases will be impacted by the addition of kernel mode setting,

Interesting. Will the GEMified drivers require DRI/DRM? (Everything I've read about it seems to imply that.)

except that you'll be able to more easily get different resolutions out of your virtual consoles (you can already do that with framebuffer consoles, sometimes, depending on the hardware, and what driver you're using with X (if any)).

By using startx, I have no need for VCs. (I tried booting in different vga= modes, but it was too weird for eyes that are so used to 24x80...)

Re:To clear somethings up (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227527)

Interesting. Will the GEMified drivers require DRI/DRM? (Everything I've read about it seems to imply that.)

The converse, actually. Using DRI/DRM will require GEMified drivers. GEM doesn't really come into play without DRI/DRM.

Re:To clear somethings up (2, Informative)

TeXMaster (593524) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227311)

No matter how horked X is, I the system always boots in text mode console and work to repair X or a driver, install new software, etc, and even accomplish things with Mutt and links2.

Then, when I'm ready to "go graphical", simply run startx.

What makes you think it would be any different now? The only difference is that now the kernel provides additional hooks and a consistent interface for managing the GPU resources too, which means that you can finally have a much improved integration between graphical systems (e.g. GPU-specific framebuffer consoles and (one or more) X sessions in (one or more) virtual terminals).

Nothing changes as long as you don't start graphical subsystems. And after you do, the difference is that instead of having a distinct HAL in X you use the system one, so that you get cooperation instead of fighting between code that touches the same subsystem.

Re:To clear somethings up (3, Interesting)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227611)

"instead of having a distinct HAL in X you use the system one"

Wasn't that their point? That it's a separate system, so that if it fails, you'll still at least have the command line?

You can always make the argument that, well, if the code is good, then it should work, so what is the issue here that everyone is beating around the bush about? I think it's stability via intelligent programming. If you have the command line as a failsafe for when X fails, it gives you extra protection against bugs, which will always be there somewhere. You shouldn't just expect code to be written correctly, you should fortify yourself for when things break. If this can still be done even with kernel mode setting and such, if the kernel can switch to a failsafe if GEM or whatnot fails, then that will certainly help. Simplifying software stacks and creating APIs for performance and ease of programming = good. Removing failsafes = scary, unless they added some other failsafe somewhere else or whatnot, or maybe there's already one there.

And no, don't say reformat reinstall, that's the Windows failsafe. :P

Re:To clear somethings up (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227821)

If you have the command line as a failsafe for when X fails

Thank you for elucidating my intent. Foolishly, I assumed that people understood what I meant.

Re:To clear somethings up (2, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227537)

No problem. Just add "nokms" parameter to the kernel command line and it'll start kernel without kernel mode-setting support, in a plain old console.

Re:To clear somethings up (1)

1mck (861167) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227175)

I'm kind of getting the feeling that Intel is seeing the writing on the wall, and understanding that Linux isn't going away, and could quite possibly in the very near future take over a considerable amount of the desktop share especially for businesses that want to severely reduce their IT budgets.

Re:To clear somethings up (1)

tyrione (134248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227575)

In short, Linux is one step closer to what OS X has done for several major releases.

For me, it's something else (1, Troll)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226813)

When it comes to Linux, for me it's the other stuff the Linux does not do very well right now.

Let's agree: "Linux" as implemented by the many distros right now is ugly out of the box! Compare that with Apple's OSX or even Windows XP out of the box. With Linux, you first have to look for those Microsoft web fonts before you call a potential convert to have a look! Sad indeed.

Multimedia handling is still wanting on Linux. To make matters worse, even Linux advocates will prefer to create video files on Adobe's [proprietary] flash instead of .ogg! This makes you wonder which master Linux fan-boys serve. Heck, we can't even eat our own food?

One positive thing for now: KDE 4.2 is very very promising when to take a spin of it. Great work is being done as I write this. Gnome on the other hand will get there but the pain will be quite a lot before it does.

Re:For me, it's something else (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226837)

Some of the incarnations might be ugly, but the building blocks for "making it pretty" are there. A big Achilles heel is the graphics situation. Even with REALLY fast video cards, my Linux desktop seems to lag Windows in terms of having fast graphics. Without that, it's hard to ratchet up the eye candy for people that care about that sort of thing (and I'm not really one of those).

Nice to get ext4 into "stable" though.

Cheers,

Re:For me, it's something else (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226889)

I suppose "ugly out of the box" is a matter of opinion. I tend to like how Fedora looks out of the box.

Re:For me, it's something else (1)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226903)

With Linux, you first have to look for those Microsoft web fonts...

Er... what? I've never done this before.

Re:For me, it's something else (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226941)

Let's agree: "Linux" as implemented by the many distros right now is ugly out of the box!

I've actually never seen Linux, except for a few messages during boot. What's the shape of the invisible system that interfaces with your hardware?

Hint: You're talking about distros. We're talking about a kernel.

Re:For me, it's something else (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227001)

Hint: You missed the quotation marks around "Linux".

Smart asses like you are another reason why noone cares about Linux.

Just follow the example of Linus. Somone has an issue with Linux? Appoach that by arguing that he is not only WRONG but also dumb and ugly!

Re:For me, it's something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227015)

Actually the new fedora 10 loading screen looks better than what microsoft or apple has to offer.
It's a shame that it works out of the box on just a handful of ati video cards though, but fear not parent poster, the gem kernel update will address this issue.

Re:For me, it's something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227097)

That's cool. I just built a new "home server" box, with enough horsepower to eventually become my desktop machine. I specifically bought a dual head Sapphire ATi 3650. It works fine in Arch (well it did until I re-installed it). Built-in support via a module would be pretty sweet. (As opposed to downloading Arch's package)

Re:For me, it's something else (2, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227709)

Flamebait? No way. I've heard a global estimate of 30,000,000 desktop Linux users versus several billion "hidden" Linux devices, from servers routers to televisions to cell phones. This story is about the 99% of Linux computers that don't have a desktop interface and where such a thing wouldn't even make sense. That's why I said the OP was off-topic - we're not discussing anything remotely related to a GUI or other user interface.

Re:For me, it's something else (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226945)

"Multimedia handling is still wanting on Linux. To make matters worse, even Linux advocates will prefer to create video files on Adobe's [proprietary] flash instead of .ogg! This makes you wonder which master Linux fan-boys serve. Heck, we can't even eat our own food?"

We'll just assume you're right about 'Linux advocates', even though I seriously doubt most (let alone all) of them prefer flash.

What does it say about OGG that flash is preferred over it? It says it's not good enough. Don't expect people to use something that's not good enough just because it's 'free'. Being right is a lot more important than being 'free'.

Re:For me, it's something else (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226973)

Multimedia handling is still wanting on Linux. To make matters worse, even Linux advocates will prefer to create video files on Adobe's [proprietary] flash instead of .ogg! This makes you wonder which master Linux fan-boys serve. Heck, we can't even eat our own food?

Playing flash videos as in downloaded videos with a .flv extension is no problem. In fact, I don't remember last I had trouble playing any codec in a normal container format like avi, mpg, mkv, mp4, mp3, aac and so on even though Blu-Ray/HDDVD playback still needs work. The problem is flash, the universal crap plugin. If all the video sites could start using a x-flashvideo mimetype for that and leave x-flash for flash games and other ugly stuff that needs the real flash, half the issue would be solved. Of course the HTML5 video tag would be even better, but...

Re:For me, it's something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226985)

So what does any of that have to do with the operating system? All you mentioned was a graphical user interface --which is not an operating system, some end-user applications --which are not part of an operating system, and a file format --which is a subset of an operating system and may be implemented in kernel space or user space on Linux (depending on how its implemented). So why are you mixing apples and oranges again?

Re:For me, it's something else (1, Offtopic)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227067)

I recently got KDE 4.2 installed and took it for a test drive. First, something about kernel 2.6.18 that I'd been using resulted in system crashes - not even Magic SysRq keys worked. Putting in an overdue new kernel fixed that and I took it for a test-run that ultimately lasted 2 days. My system isn't particularly great - 2.4Ghz Athlon64, 1GB DDR533, nVidia 7300gt, generic PATA hard drive - but KDE 4 ran like a champ. I got full and perfectly smooth compositing/transparency.

It is as you say very pretty. Endless configurability of effects/compositing/multidesktop/etc via right-clicking title bar and hitting "window behavior." However, I had to flip between 2 or 3 menus to setup my desktop switches! One to enable switching when the mouse is pressed against a side, a second to enable the plasmoid (grid/sphere/cylinder/etc) for the effect I selected, and a third to select the side I wanted to press against. That is a Bad Thing, but fixing it comes down to rearranging some menus. With compositing enabled, I of course had great fun playing with transparency and wiggly-windows and such.

I liked the "draw on desktop" widget greatly. Now, put a color picker/small pallet and line-width picker in the corner and you've got yourself a sale! This is good as both a silly toy and to let me jot down or highlight stuff for other users. Add a selectable "poweruser menu" (and name it that) that does some more sophisticated stuff and you've got a competitor for the electronic-whiteboard thing they used in some of my classes. Oh, and try to work on it's frame/capture rate. It's one of those things that's got to run smoothly.

The new colors for Konsole were nice, a bit more sedate and less glaringly saturated than 3.5's Konsole default. Kwrite was beautiful, loved the new syntax highlighting. Konqueror... Loved it to death. Canvas element support was very nice (yay, I can play most javascript games now), and at last my preferred browser has the "last session unexpectedly exited; restore?" dialog. Konqueror as a file browser - disappointing. The default is a nauseating exercise in "How much space can we waste with giant icons and whitespace." Seriously, monitors don't get too much past 1920x1200 before you go dual-panel - KDE 4 fullscreen showed maybe 120 icons whereas I just selected 250 in Konqueror. Personal opinion, I know; It was a fairly short exercise to kill the whitespace and shrink back to smallish icons.

Configuration and customizability were great, typically so of KDE. We need a tutorial here; I don't have any problem navigating through about 30 tabs to set things up my way, but new users would be either overwhelmed or never know how much their desktop could do. Even a short popup explaining what Akonadi is and why I just spent the time to let it onto my MySql installation would be nice. And why did it have a problem creating its personal database after I gave it privileges to do so? Anyway, there's so much KDE 4 can do - most people will need a guided tour.

The bad... Okay, it's simply not acceptable for my keyboard to stop working about once a day and force me to exit to console and startx again. I don't care why, not acceptable - fix it, now, or this isn't going anywhere. This is ultimately what made me end my test-drive and decide not to move my emails/etc over yet. I did however discover that KDE4's desktop restore is fantastically faster than 3.5's - kudos.

There really needs to be a "taskbar always on top" option. I spent some time looking and if it's there it's hidden so it might as well not be there. Every user of Windows and previous versions of KDE and Gnome will expect the "max size" button to cover everything but the taskbar and for good reason!

Oh yeah, scroll wheel can change window opacity - good. Letting it scroll a window down to 0% opacity and disappearing - bad, no matter how good it would be for pranks.

Ultimately, I miss my "spiffy new desktop" but it's got a few glitches (fix the no-keyboard thing and I'm back) that are enough for me to hesitate. Final verdict: Tried 4.2 beta 1, waiting for 4.2.1 so I can get my asciifish screensaver back!

Re:For me, it's something else (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227139)

However, I had to flip between 2 or 3 menus to setup my desktop switches!

And this is why I chose XMonad over Gnome or KDE at work. xmonad.hs FTW.

couldn't disagree more (1)

patiodragon (920102) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227739)

"Let's agree: "Linux" as implemented by the many distros right now is ugly out of the box! Compare that with Apple's OSX or even Windows XP out of the box. With Linux, you first have to look for those Microsoft web fonts before you call a potential convert to have a look! Sad indeed."

When I go to use one of the newer Start buttons in windows that is all "mapped out" instead of a nice, simple, list, I don't know where anything is. Very frustrating. And what about Macs? Because stuff gets BIGGER when I mouse over it, that makes it easier to understand!? I hate the way KDE looks, but I don't pretend that Gnome is any better. It is my opinion.

Your whole argument starts off like a statement of fact when it is really only an opinion.

demographics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226855)

I can't help but wonder who'd care enough about this topic to be writing serious thoughtful comments on it on christmas eve! I mean, this Thinkpad runs Linux, and my hacked up Cisco NSLU2 which I'm about to use to back it up to runs Linux, and I'm typing this in my study which is also my bedroom which is also lined with 20 year old computer magazines and comics; and yes, yes I admit it, I live with my parents and I'm 40!! Now I'm not proud of this record of social inadequacy, but the point is that even I am not spending christmas eve thinking about the next 2.6.28 release notes?!

Re:demographics (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226981)

Fucking religious fanatic.

Re:demographics (1)

PCeye (661091) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227697)

Writing to the Slashdot community on Christmas eve that you're not thinking about the next kernel notes... sounds like you need a 12 step program for Linux or Slashdot.

It's Christmas! (3, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226885)

It's Christmas! Be sure to go to bed, get up, and spend the day with friends, family and food. Do you really need to update your kernel today? Why not let other people find out if there are some terrible early bugs in it?

You insensitive clod. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227289)

I'm an [atheist|Buddhist|otherwise-non-Christian,Jew,African] and don't celebrate Christmahanukwanzika, you insensitive clod.

Re:It's Christmas! (3, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227365)

Santa provided this kernel. If you install it and if kills your box you must have been naughty, if it works well you must have been nice.

Re:It's Christmas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227535)

Do you really need to update your kernel today?

Yes?

Re:It's Christmas! (1)

ghostunit (868434) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227649)

I have no friends, family nor someone to cook for me you insensitive clod!

Further enlightenment into 2.6.28 (5, Informative)

sega01 (937364) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226895)

If you haven't been following every commit's short log, you may find http://kernelnewbies.org/Linux_2_6_28 [kernelnewbies.org] useful. I for one, would like 2.6.28 for Christmas.

Oh oh GEM is copyrighted (1, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226901)

It is also another open source project OpenGEM [shaneland.co.uk] based on the original DRI GEM. GEM was a Windows like 16 bit interface for DR-DOS and MS-DOS like Windows 3.X was. Apple sued them and they had to change their look a feel, and Atari used GEM as a GUI for TOS.

Re:Oh oh GEM is copyrighted (3, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226993)

I yhink that you are trying to say that "GEM" is a registered trademark. One cannot "copyright" a three-letter string.

Re:Oh oh GEM is copyrighted (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227407)

It is a shame since GEM and its ilk were a hell of a lot more efficient than X Windows.

GEM for Linux? Darn (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226907)

I was hoping someone was bringing back GEM [wikipedia.org] from Atari ST and IBM PC to Linux. Oh well

Re:GEM for Linux? Darn (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226999)

Check out this OpenGEM project [shaneland.co.uk] maybe you can run it under DosBox or some other emulator?

Re:GEM for Linux? Darn (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227199)

Yea I'm aware of FreeGEM/OpenGEM. But porting it to Linux was non-trivial so I gave up. Running it under qemu was not so great, how can I use it to manage my ext4 partition that way? DosBox is a thought, although there is a lot of weirdness in DosBox for filesystems over some smallish size. Depending on what API the applications use.

Barely on v.2.6.28? Sheesh, Windows way past that! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26226923)

Heck Bill Gates has his OS way past Windows version 2000! The Linux will never catch up.

Re:Barely on v.2.6.28? Sheesh, Windows way past th (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227787)

I hear the next one is 7. I think this illustrates why they should not be in the OS business, they can't even put simple integers in the right order let alone do complex calculations.

What about linking to the changelog? (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26226995)

The changelog is available [kernelnewbies.org] aswell...you might aswell have waited a bit to the final release!

I know these changes are awesome (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227017)

But why does it seem like every new kernel update has all these awesome new features that will change everything, but when you ask how they will affect people who USE the operating system, people are like "what do you mean? who cares?"?

I'm not an idiot, or someone who never uses computers, but what does the user of linux GET from these thousands of man hours?

Linus just released it (5, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227055)

http://lkml.org/lkml/2008/12/24/105 [lkml.org]


It doesn't really matter what day it is, or what holiday (if any) you're
celebrating, because even if you sit at home, alone in your dank basement,
without any holidays or friends, I bring you a tiding of great cheer: you
can now download Linux-2.6.28, and compile it to your hearts content!

Listen to the cheerful grinding of your harddisk as you reboot into an
all-new kernel - and I'm sure that if your computer could smile, it would
have a big silly grin on its non-existent face. So as you sit there in
your basement, give your computer the holiday cheer too.

In fact, even _if_ you have friends or family, leave them to their endless
toil over that christmas ham or turkey, and during the night, when they're
asleep, you can give them that magical present of a newly updated
computer. When they wake up tomorrow morning, tell them how you saw Santa
crawl down the chimney with his USB stick in hand, updating the OS of all
good boys and girls.

Ho, ho, ho,

                Linus "almost Santa" Torvalds

Best Christmas Gift, in the Kernel way (3, Insightful)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227165)

A new and single sound stack (valid for the next 10 years); with the added promise of discontinuing (deleting from the main tree) all the others by 2010.

ext4 is stable enough -- for others (2, Insightful)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227255)

"The ext4 filesystem, the successor to the ext3 filesystem, has been marked stable enough for people to start using and relying on,"

Forgive me for being a cynic -- I am going to wait until others have really tested & debugged ext4 before I trust it with my own data.

It's Here! (Start unwrapping!) (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227287)

It's Here!

http://lkml.org/lkml/2008/12/24/105

It doesn't really matter what day it is, or what holiday (if any) you're
celebrating, because even if you sit at home, alone in your dank basement,
without any holidays or friends, I bring you a tiding of great cheer: you
can now download Linux-2.6.28, and compile it to your hearts content!

Listen to the cheerful grinding of your harddisk as you reboot into an
all-new kernel - and I'm sure that if your computer could smile, it would
have a big silly grin on its non-existent face. So as you sit there in
your basement, give your computer the holiday cheer too.

In fact, even _if_ you have friends or family, leave them to their endless
toil over that christmas ham or turkey, and during the night, when they're
asleep, you can give them that magical present of a newly updated
computer. When they wake up tomorrow morning, tell them how you saw Santa
crawl down the chimney with his USB stick in hand, updating the OS of all
good boys and girls.

Ho, ho, ho,

                Linus "almost Santa" Torvalds

what the fuck is wrong with you fags? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26227353)

Little penguins all around the world are waiting for Penguin-Master Linus Torvalds to deliver some...

jesus fuck, that is the gayest shit i've ever heard. what the fuck is wrong with you faggots?

Not sure about GEM (1, Insightful)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227461)

Im not so sure about putting graphics stuff in the kernel? Why? Why not make it a part of X and thus platform independant. Now we will have a class of drivers locked to linux. Great, just what we need, incompatabilities.

Re:Not sure about GEM (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227721)

Akin to that idea: so you think that regular memory handling should be done by the shell? That is the analogue to X handling graphic memory.

H Tree Indexing (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26227823)

I looked over the Wikipedia article for Ext4, and it mentioned that Ext4 uses an H Tree [wikipedia.org] for directory indexing. I looked over the H Tree article, but it is sparse, and I wasn't sure how it differs from a balanced B Tree. Could someone more mathematically inclined explain, or point me to some better information?

Thanks in Advance. (o:

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