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Gate One Will Support X11: Fast Enough To Run VLC In Your Browser

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the but-can-it-run-a-web-browser dept.

Software 164

Riskable writes "Ever seen a remote desktop tool that's fast/efficient enough to play back video? Gate One will soon have that capability via the forthcoming X11 support (as demonstrated in the video). I am posting this to Slashdot looking for suggestions and feedback as to how I should move forward with it before I solidify the architecture, API, and even the business end of it (making money). I'll be watching the thread and replying to comments (as I have time). Also, if you're interested you can sign up to be notified when it's available." We've posted a few stories about Gate One previously.

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F/OSS (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347201)

...and even the business end of it (making money).

Well, you just release the source and documentation; then hire yourself out as a consultant and the money will just come in! You can also write O'Reilly books on your software. We all know that O'Reilly authors are all 1%'ers with their private jets and everything.

Re:F/OSS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347241)

you are an enormous penis.

Re:F/OSS (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347339)

Mod parent up.

Re:F/OSS (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347355)

Mod parent up, mod grandparent down.

Re:F/OSS (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347403)

Mod parent left, mod grandparent right and grand grand parent counter clockwise.

Re:F/OSS (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45347535)

Also, erect the OP.

Re:F/OSS (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348685)

Mod parent Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right B, A, Start

Re:F/OSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348047)

That's what she said.

Re:F/OSS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347387)

i actually met Tim a long time ago at a software/book thing in Monterey, Calif.; he was quite nice to me, and despite my current books being published by another house, gave me a few lines in the venue (it was his gig, IIRC, and because of this, later on when one of his later authors, [cough] David Pogue, lifting one of my pieces of software illegally for inclusion in his Palm Pilot book, i never busted his chops about it); oh, and i also met Larry Wall and other F/OSS software giants at the same venue - every one of them was a gentleman...

Give a man a programming environment (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347243)

Give a man a programming environment of sufficient power and he will port everything.

The network says no (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#45347245)

Look, the protocol could be the greatest thing since sliced bread. It could have free orgasms built into it. It might even have the cure for cancer.

But it can't overcome latency, or shannon's law regarding just how much data you can shove over a given network link. You can cheat by using lossful compression, you can employ predictive algorithms, but at the end of the day it'll only be as good as the network lets it. That's why there haven't been any big advancements in this area: There's none to make. Remote desktop will be varying degrees of shitty for the forseeable future, because our network links are shit. ISPs purposefully sabotage remote desktop and VPN because it's a threat to their business model. You can't "protocol" that away. Believe me, people have tried.

At best, we'll be able to trade one variety of crap for another, but remote desktop will never come close to the experience of actually using the computer at the same location. Human beings start to notice lag between their own actions and computer responses in as little as 50ms. The network links typically take longer than that to send the data. Especially over wifi.

Re:The network says no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347309)

If I can stream 1080p from youtube why is it implausible in an RDP session as long as the remote node has the bandwidth?

Re:The network says no (2, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#45347409)

Because it took 2 hours to encode that 1080p video, and that's an awful lot of latency.

Re:The network says no (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#45347611)

That however is not time that is network limited as the GP posted. There's still room for optimization is desktop transfer protocols.

Re:The network says no (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#45347631)

uh what? my 2007 spec machine sitting in the corner doing nothing because it has been replaced, can transcode video in better than real time.

Re:The network says no (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#45348439)

h.264 1080p with a quality factor of 20 or 18? I'd be quite impressed if that were true.

Perhaps at a lower framerate, but I don't know if the encoder needs a certain amount of video to process (eg it may need a few frames ahead)

Re:The network says no (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45347417)

Because youtube is not interactive.
This means it can cache to get to 1080p and that temporary slowdowns are of no concern. With RDP/X11/SPICE you have to have an interactive connection. That means anything you do to get a smoother desktop like caching ends up making the interaction slower.

Re:The network says no (3, Insightful)

Octorian (14086) | about a year ago | (#45347419)

Latency... Latency.... Latency...

When you're streaming 1080p video, its fine to have a buffer several seconds or minutes long to cover any hicups on the network. For remote desktop use, not so much.

Re:The network says no (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#45347537)

I don't know... most of our RDP users where I work just do the same thing over and over... you could probably buffer their actions.

Re:The network says no (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#45347529)

You can stream 1080 over YouTube? I've... buffering... never... buffering... been... buffering... successful... buffering... at it.

Re:The network says no (5, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#45347679)

If you have an otherwise decent connection you should be able to play 1080p just fine. If you can't, your ISP is probably sending the traffic to one of the massively overloaded mirrors they run. You can block them easily by following the directions here [mitchribar.com] for Linix or here [mitchribar.com] for Windows. Or you can apply the same rules at your router to take care of the issue for your whole network.

Re:The network says no (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#45347765)

Thanks. I'll give it a try sometime.

Re:The network says no (2)

drakaan (688386) | about a year ago | (#45347683)

Ask anyone who plays multiplayer online games.

You can buffer non-interactive streams to cover up the shitty, jittery, laggy network users are using to view video. Interactive content, however, requires that intermediate routing devices hand off traffic to the next hop as close to immediately as possible.

AT&T (U-verse...my current connection) offers plenty of speed (roughly 20MB down/10 up), but most of the testing tools I've used show me with ping times of somewhere between 40 and 100 ms, depending on where I test. That makes youtube work fine, and CoD: Ghosts/Black Ops[2]/Halo/Happy Wars/etc become frustratingly unresponsive at times.

Re:The network says no (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#45347869)

Latency, not bandwidth. A round trip takes too long, and each click/keypress is (at least) one round trip.

Re:The network says no (4, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#45347317)

I think the minor detail that was lost in the slashvertisement was that gate one eliminated the need for remote desktop software by being browser based and its performance is at least comparable to other remote desktop software.

In addition, the author is offering to add X terminal emulation as a feature.

I don't think he meant to pass it off as the fastest possible protocol out there.

Re:The network says no (2)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45347669)

You're right: It doesn't need any proprietary software or proprietary protocols. It "just works" (in your browser).

I honestly have no idea if it's the fastest protocol. I do know that it's an order of magnitude less bandwidth than noVNC and similar web-based remote desktop products.

Re:The network says no (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#45348241)

Don't both VMware and Citrix already offer commercial browser-based RDP solutions? Really, the only interesting part of this is that it's a FOSS solution. The engineering work needed to do RDP well is immense - change your streaming encoding on the fly as available bandwidth changes, detect that this rectangle is playing a movie, that rectangle is scrolling text, and the rest is static, and so on.

Doing RDP at all is easy; doing it well is impressive.

Re:The network says no (2)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#45347319)

The link layer is always the foot on the garden hose. Teradici's PCoIP and Ericom's protocol set are fast enough to play reasonable video on. Citrix, a bit slower, and on a good day, 10GB network, no traffic, gusty wind, xRDP will do it.

So fie on your "crap". Once you cure the link layer, several work just fine. Maybe this one, too, although there's always room for competition.

Re:The network says no (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#45347321)

This. My kingdom for a mod point.

buffers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347327)

Why not buffer the video?

Re:buffers (1)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348321)

Because it's not a video player. It's a remote desktop/X11 tool. The video is merely an acid test demonstrating how fast/efficient it is. If it is fast enough to play back a video surely it's fast enough to use a spreadsheet or a text editor, right?

Re:The network says no (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45347337)

Please. A screen only has so many pixels, and you only have so much input. The main UI paradigms primarily in use today were initially developed so far back that the original hardware was several orders of magnitude slower than the network bandwidth we have today. It's true that piping 4k images in real time eats a ton of bandwidth, but high display resolution is pretty much the only network hurdle. Every other UI behavior can operate in human-sense realtime.

Re:The network says no (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45347447)

Sadly the speed of light as not improved one bit since those days. That means once you get far enough away the delay will be clear as day to even the slowest human.

Re:The network says no (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#45347533)

I'll worry about that when my data-center is on Mars.

Re:The network says no (5, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45348197)

I'll worry about that when my data-center is on Mars.

Then, I'm afraid you might not have enough practical experience on the topic.

I've encountered performance issues across an organization, and definitely been able to identify it as network latency.

And when we spoke with the network architects, they essentially told us it could be made no faster because of the distances involved. I'm not talking trans-continental/trans-oceanic links, I'm talking two data centers separated by only about a thousand miles.

And, with the latency issues, we can't make some things responsive enough to interactive users to not be exceedingly painful. A 60-100ms latency is enough to have users screaming at you as everything they do has a long delay in it -- for interactive applications, that's very noticeable.

You don't need to have data centers on Mars to be able to experience latency which is exceedingly painful. Within the last few months I've personally ran up against it in an organization which has offices through North America.

If you're just mirroring data, sure. But running an interactive application over a long-distance link for which latency becomes a factor -- that can be very painful. And even within North America, you can easily get to the point where the latency can't be fixed because the signal can still only travel so fast.

It really doesn't take all that much distance before it becomes observable. And angry/frustrated users don't want to be told about the laws of physics. They want to be able to click a button and not wait several seconds.

Re: The network says no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348703)

I get pings under 40 ms for pretty much anything in the continental US and around 200 ms is the upper limit of ping for elsewhere in the world. That's a 0.2 second delay from when you click to when the response gets back.

Anything higher than that and it's the fault of a shitty overloaded server, not the pipes.

Re: The network says no (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#45348837)

Anything higher than that and it's the fault of a shitty overloaded server, not the pipes.

I honestly have no idea, since I'm not really a 'network guy'.

However, I am taking our network architects at face value when they tell me that the latency can't be addressed because of the distances involved. Since they are the network architects for a multi-billion dollar company, I am going to assume they know more about it than I do.

Re:The network says no (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45347401)

50ms is a long time.
Remote does not mean not on the same LAN.

Re:The network says no (1)

wulfhere (94308) | about a year ago | (#45347623)

Agreed. 50ms is long enough to get from Chicago to NY, TWICE, on fiber (and not using the special low-latency routes). I don't need it to be exactly like sitting at the workstation, I'm just looking for it to be USABLE, unlike Citrix connections that drop anytime someone sneezes at a NOC somewhere.

Re:The network says no (4, Informative)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348395)

Reading your comment makes me think you'll love Gate One's ability to resume your session--even after restarting the process. I'll give you a hypothetical example:

1) I connect to https://gateone.mycompany.com/ [mycompany.com] and open up LibreOffice Calc.
2) I connect to the server running Gate One via SSH and run "/etc/init.d/gateone stop"
3) The web page reports it has been disconnected but it will retry connecting every five seconds.
4) I run "/etc/init.d/gateone start"
5) The web page reconnects to the Gate One server and my spreadsheet is back in front of me--right where i left it.

That works with terminals too if you install the dtach command. Everything will resume right where you left off even after killing and restarting the gateone.py process. This makes upgrading Gate One about as easy as can be; users will experience ~5 seconds of down time while the upgrade takes place and the process is restarted.

Re:The network says no (4, Interesting)

Lothsahn (221388) | about a year ago | (#45347489)

We talking VNC or RDP? Whether RDP can be significantly improved--I don't know. However, I also find it happens to work very well, even across large distances. There is some lag, but very manageable with US-based ISP's. If you have a low latency, high bandwidth network, thin clients work just like a local desktop to any normal human being for word and web-browsing.

VNC, on the other hand, does not work this way. Despite having very low latency and high bandwidth, my VNC connection from just inside my house is terrible. There's significant lag and other problems. Across wide network links? It's horribly painful to use.

I'm not sure if you were describing the state of RDP or VNC, but given the article is about VNC, there's a tremendous amount of improvement that is possible in that protocol. RDP demonstrates this. We should realize this and make VNC closer (or better) than RDP.

Re:The network says no (2)

tramp (68773) | about a year ago | (#45347727)

VNC is terrible on both LAN and WAN but SPICE is a lot better and on par with RDP in my experience. And imo there are plenty opportunities to improve both but it is hard work and not many interested.

Re:The network says no (1)

Chirs (87576) | about a year ago | (#45348283)

I question the "horribly painful to use". Maybe it depends what you're doing. I use VNC across a distance of about 3000km (ping time of 53ms). I turned off lossy encoding to get crisper text for coding, and even with that while there's a noticeable lag it's good enough to use a shell, edit text, run virtual machine managers, etc.

I wouldn't want to watch video through it, or do media editing, but for typical office/coding work it seems to be basically okay.

Re:The network says no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347491)

you sir have won this thread. cheers to you.

Re:The network says no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347737)

That's not entirely accurate; you are correct in theory but explain how Microsoft is doing it with RDP - RemoteFX? How about services like Splashtop are able to function?

Fact is, you can stream video even 1080p content over somewhat latent networks, it's being done now with a few different products. So there's no reason why this protocol couldn't over come these limitations in some similar manner as RemoteFX in RDP is doing it.

Re:The network says no (3, Informative)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45347797)

I hear what you're saying and I agree that network latency is one of the biggest problems. Having said that, I have performed testing with my home Comcast Internet connection with Gate One running on a Rackspace cloud instance (512MB). The latency is negligible. My ping time to that server was a pretty steady ~50ms and apps like Chrome (yes, Chrome inside Chrome), LibreOffice (Calc/Writer), Sublime Text 2, kate, etc worked very well.

Re:The network says no (2)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45347993)

If you look at bandwidth with descending sort, you're right. But if you look at it from the other end, you're not.
I agree that when you want to access a server remotely and it's located on the other side of the world, with 16 Kb/s between you, it would suck. But consider I'm at home and I have a very powerful PC in my living room. I'm laying in my bad and feel like playing a nice game. I would love to fire up a remote connection from my crappy laptop/tablet, start the game remotely, play it as if I'm there. With 1ms latency and Gigabit bandwidth thanks to that awesome router, this is no longer a bandwidth/latency thing. It's 100% a remote desktop implementation thing. So shut up and take my money :)

Re:The network says no (3, Informative)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348459)

I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure your use case works because I want to be able to do that too! I also want to be able to pick up where I left off if I have to work on something while I'm out & about. Just whip out my Chromebook and I'm coding using the desktop (or just the app) I left behind.

So yeah, I just gave away an interesting feature: If you're using a Linux desktop (like I do) and you fire up Gate One it can connect to the existing X11 display and forward just the app you want it to. It doesn't have to be the entire desktop.

Thinclient gaming? (1)

earlzdotnet (2788729) | about a year ago | (#45347247)

Would it be possible to play (non competitive/timing intensive) games over this!?

Re:Thinclient gaming? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45347429)

The speed of light is not your friend.

You can already do that if you are close enough to the end point. A few hundred miles is pretty much the limit before the delay between input and even occurring is too painful for gaming.

Re:Thinclient gaming? (1)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#45347665)

Australian gamers disagree with your assessment. I've been gaming on US-based servers for over a decade now, and the minimum latency i see in that situation is north of 200ms. Regularly play FPS (co-op, like borderlands) with friends on the other side of the country...

Re:Thinclient gaming? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45348419)

Only ones that have no idea what they are talking about.

You are running that game locally, with a network connection to your friend. This means the game can cheat in many ways to cover up latency.

If you were instead running the game on a server some place and using something like remote desktop you would find 200ms pretty much intolerable.

Re: Thinclient gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348799)

The original question specifically stated that timing wasn't critical for the games he was talking about. For instance, just about any turn-based strategy game won't care if you have a huge latency because it's waiting until your next move before it actually proceeds with the turn.

OnLive (1)

Dan East (318230) | about a year ago | (#45347431)

If they manage to pull that off they should name it something like "OnLive". Name just seems catchy and fitting to me.

Re:OnLive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347863)

'Cept it'd be nice to play games that are on my $2500 gaming rig with my dinky laptop that's still capable of 1080p playback. Not on some other company's servers. :)

Re:OnLive (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#45348011)

Mod parent up, because I'm in exactly the same situation :)

Re:Thinclient gaming? (1)

CodeReign (2426810) | about a year ago | (#45347483)

splashtop already does this with nVidia graphics cards/tegra androids.

Re:Thinclient gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347513)

you mean like checkers... sure

Re:Thinclient gaming? (1)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45347539)

Yes but it depends on the game. I wouldn't play an FPS but an RTS would be fine. I dare say that playing Solitaire would be so good you wouldn't even notice it was a remote desktop :)

Shell in a box.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347269)

This is just like shell in a box.... just with some HTM5 snazz....

Not impressed.

Remotely Initiated Sessions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347291)

Will X11 support include the support for remotely initiated sessions/windows? All I want is to be able to control my HP 16500B oscilloscope from my computer....

Re:Remotely Initiated Sessions? (2)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45347579)

Yes, that will work. By default I have the xorg.conf listening only on localhost but you could easily change it. X11 forwarding over SSH also works.

Ever seen...? (4, Informative)

Beardydog (716221) | about a year ago | (#45347301)

Yes. Splashtop Remote. I haven't used VNC in years, literally. Splashtop streams audio and video we'll enough to play games over, locally. Their account-based system nonsense is horrific, buy you can avoid it if you connect over a VPN.

Re:Ever seen...? (1)

earlzdotnet (2788729) | about a year ago | (#45347397)

That's fine as long as you trust a proprietary protocol and use one of their supported operating systems (which doesn't include Linux or BSDs)

Re:Ever seen...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347453)

Yes. Splashtop Remote. I haven't used VNC in years, literally. Splashtop streams audio and video we'll enough to play games over, locally. Their account-based system nonsense is horrific, buy you can avoid it if you connect over a VPN.

I genuinely don't think I've ever seen anyone mistake the contraction for "we will" with "well". Neat!

Re:Ever seen...? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#45347705)

Never used Swype or one of it's copycats?

Re:Ever seen...? (1)

seyyah (986027) | about a year ago | (#45347789)

Never used Swype or one of it's copycats?

Now you're just trolling, aren't you :)

Re:Ever seen...? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year ago | (#45347715)

Yes. Splashtop Remote. I haven't used VNC in years, literally. Splashtop streams audio and video we'll enough to play games over, locally. Their account-based system nonsense is horrific, buy you can avoid it if you connect over a VPN.

I genuinely don't think I've ever seen anyone mistake the contraction for "we will" with "well". Neat!

You must never type with predictive algorithms. My smartphone swipe keyboard does that ALL THE TIME...not predictive enough I guess lol

Re:Ever seen...? (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about a year ago | (#45347889)

Closed source, doesn't run on linux... Sorry mate, wrong audience.

What remote desktop won't play video? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45347365)

I have done it over forms of VNC, vmware view and Xendesktop.

Re:What remote desktop won't play video? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347605)

Play video over VNC? I can barely use VNC to run regular apps over my own local WiFi network! I can't imagine how you'd run video over it. Maybe a small youtube video, but nothing big like HD.

dom

Re:What remote desktop won't play video? (4, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45348185)

Try tigerVNC and get back to me.

You can run 3d HD games over it.

Re:What remote desktop won't play video? (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | about a year ago | (#45347821)

rdesktop and NX both support video and audio as well. Over E10 lines, youtube video is watchable at 360p/480p (1024x768 virtual screen res). Going above that, though, is painful.

Everything in the browser? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347375)

Once everything is in the browser I won't even need a computer any more.

I can get by with just a smartphone and one of those big fresnel lenses, imagine Stanley's workstation in the movie Brazil.

Re:Everything in the browser? (2)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348487)

Great: So now the computer manufacturers are going to point the finger to ME and say, "You're the reason why millenials aren't buying computers anymore!"

I really like the idea of using a fresnel lens over a smartphone to turn it into a larger desktop! I'm going to try that (I happen to have a big collection of fresnel lenses--don't ask =).

RDP did this in 2009 (2)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#45347423)

... so yes, i've seen it before...

Re:RDP did this in 2009 (0)

Urza9814 (883915) | about a year ago | (#45347777)

Where did you find RDP in a browser, without plugins, in 2009?

Media Center Extenders (1)

FearTheDonut (2665569) | about a year ago | (#45347499)

Windows Media Center had extenders (provided by HP and others, in addition to the XBox 360) that was nothing more than a remote desktop session into a Windows Media Center PC. They streamed video as far back as 2006 and hi-def after that. Of course, this is all within a home network.. But video is supported.

RDP - Win8 client to a Win2012 backend - very fast (3, Interesting)

deviator (92787) | about a year ago | (#45347501)

Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) connected to a Windows 2012 server back-end is very capable of streaming video. It's kind of shocking how fast it is.

I've used some hosted remote desktop services over the past few years that are nearly indistinguishable from launching and using local applications - over a garden variety 10Mb/sec cable internet connection.

I used to also think that "they'll never overcome latency to the point where it's running at sufficient speed to feel like it's a local app" but at this point feel like that is a wrong assumption.

Re:RDP - Win8 client to a Win2012 backend - very f (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347645)

Almost full frame rate at 1080p! But I hate how the image is overlayed, when the window moves, the image lags and breaks for a moment.

Re:RDP - Win8 client to a Win2012 backend - very f (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#45347871)

So presumably it is streaming the actual video file to a local media player on the client machine?

Re:RDP - Win8 client to a Win2012 backend - very f (4, Informative)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348059)

What is the CPU load while watching a video over RDP? I'm genuinely curious.

For reference, the gateone.py process(es) hover around 5% utilization when playing back a video @30fps (~720p resolution). Here's what it's doing while a video is playing back:

1) Capture the screenshot of the changed region on the X11 display. It can do this every 33ms (a capped equivalent to 30fps). It only needs to take screenshots when there's a change but in the case of a video it happens very fast, hence the 33ms cap.
2) Convert the raw captured image to selected format (JPEG for this example). It also makes a hash of the image that's used by both the server and client JS for caching purposes.
3) Transmit the image to the browser. If the image has recently been sent to the client it will be aware of this and will only send the hash. This transmission occurs in binary mode over the WebSocket (it's complicated).

From that point it's up to the client-side JavaScript to handle displaying the raw JPEG data. It is quite CPU-intensive if your hardware doesn't accelerate 2d canvas elements but not too bad (Chrome will hog around 50-80% of a single core while the video plays). Everything will remain responsive regardless.

For reference, I've done extensive benchmarking of the browser-side CPU utilization and Chrome's developer tools will report 81% idle even when the actual CPU consumption of the process is nearing 80%. That means that all the overhead is inside the code that renders canvas elements; which is good because it means my JavaScript is not a bottleneck.

WTF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347507)

I am posting this to Slashdot looking for suggestions and feedback as to how I should move forward with it before I solidify the architecture, API, and even the business end of it (making money).

So, this is a slashvertisement for vapor ware, and you want us to help you with your business model?

And we should care, why?

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#45348027)

Vaporware doesn't generally have a repository on Github.

X11? What? We need Wayland! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347621)

Video over X11? But... but.... I've been told you needed Wayland for that! Because X11 is slow and broken en horrible. And only Wayland will save us!

Note: this is (a poor attempt at) sarcasm. I'm a happy X11 user since, well, almost forever and have yet to experience the severe shortcomings people attribute to it.
 

Re:X11? What? We need Wayland! (2)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348497)

You know, if Wayland has Python bindings and an API akin to XCB (or Xlib) I can make it work with that too. Wouldn't even take much effort!

tu3girl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347667)

BSD's filesystEm our ability to goals. It's when

what is Gate One? (4, Informative)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about a year ago | (#45347671)

Gate One is an HTML5 web-based terminal emulator and SSH client.

Re:what is Gate One? (4, Informative)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45347925)

That's what it is right now. Soon it will be so much more.

X11 is just the start. I also have File Transfer and other apps in the works. The File Transfer app will be interesting... It will be more than just an, "SFTP client." It will allow you to fetch a file from just about any URL (back-end is already written and supports ftp:// [ftp] sftp://, ftps://, magnet://, and even dns://, dict:// and other obscure things which I think makes it all that more interesting/useful) and deliver it to any number of destinations you like. Even if the destination uses a different protocol.

So for example, if you wanted to download a magnet/bittorrent URL and have it automatically delivered to your home theater PC, your phone, and your brother's computer when complete you could do that.

Business side of it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347773)

Information wants to free, so you should just release it for free and RMS will be happy for you which is worth more than any amount of money.

Completely MORONIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45347827)

Video is incredibly compressed. Video decode hardware is essentially free in modern hardware. So, ANY modern 'remote' protocol should be passing across the COMPRESSED video stream, so the client can decompress and display it.

Articles like this show that too many fundamentally stupid people work in IT. The know NOTHING about the fundamentals, but know EVERYTHING about farcical abstracted environments so far removed from the hardware, the hardware literally needs to be thousands of times more powerful than it would otherwise need to be to process the same task using correct, efficient methods.

What excuse does anyone have for not exploiting a 2013 level of computer capability? What excuse does anyone have for NOT exploiting video decode hardware found in even the cheapest 5 dollar ARM SoC part to handle video display? Anyone proposing software-hacking video in new projects in 2013 is not competent to be working in software engineering full stop. They are the equivalent of visiting the doctor, and finding that he/she wants to give you leeches, or drain a pint or so of 'bad blood' from your body.

And yet, many of the self-declared 'nerds' that frequent sites like this have technical knowledge that was out-of-date more than ten years ago, and worse, many of these same 'nerds' are currently MOUTHY managers whose erroneous knowledge influences fundamental decision making in their companies.

I have NOTHING against those people proud enough to have such valve-making skills, that they can whip up a glass and metal rectifier in their own workshop from scratch. However, the suggestion that prehistoric outlooks on technology serve our current IT needs are a cancer.

PS I am fully aware that "wireless" display technology with a wireless back-path for client inputs is a 2013 technology coming with both new consoles from Sony and MS, and is a very valid solution to a specific problem. But this solution takes the HONEST approach of finding an efficient, low latency CODEC to encode the entire server display output, and stream the output as continuous video to the client device in industry standard H264 form. Such a solution is universally 'good', but not excellent when the resolution on the server side increases a lot, and fine localised detail becomes increasingly important. But, for remote purposes, you EITHER take a dumb approach, or an OBJECT approach. If you take an object approach in 2013, you MUST be passing on an object as complex as a video stream to the client device for decoding.

Re:Completely MORONIC (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | about a year ago | (#45348083)

Would you consider the cost of encoding the video instead? That is not too free, so I hear.

Re:Completely MORONIC (2)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348137)

You're completely missing the point: Video playback over a remote desktop connection is merely an acid test. If it can play back a video that means the rate at which it can capture screenshots and send them to you is reasonably high. It's also an indication of how efficient it is.

Gate One's X11 feature isn't made for video it is merely efficient/fast enough to handle it. If I can open VLC and play back a video in my browser surely I can get reasonable responsiveness from something like a spreadsheet or IDE.

Yes? (2)

SirMasterboy (872152) | about a year ago | (#45348099)

"Ever seen a remote desktop tool that's fast/efficient enough to play back video?"

Yes...

Microsoft's own Remote Desktop (with RemoteFx) and also third party program called Splashtop can both play back video smoothly remotely for me.

In the browser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348121)

Browsers often have imperial fucktonnes of exploits. Is it really wise to run a remote desktop tool in that sort of environment?

Re:In the browser? (1)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348235)

I don't know about that. When I think to myself, "What has an imperial fucktonne of exploits?" here's what comes to mind:

* Windows (and Microsoft software in general)
* Java (and especially the use of Java inside browsers)
* Flash
* PDFs
* Loads of other proprietary software/solutions

Exploiting the browser these days is very difficult and browser vendors are doing a really good job with competitions/incentives to uncover vulnerabilities before they become a problem. Using the browser has the distinct advantage of *not* having the same problems of the proprietary products I enumerated above. You get whole new ones! But at least they're manageable and (mostly) predictable.

The more apps that are available in browsers the better. They're as cross-platform as you can get right now and if you host them yourself you can avoid the spying problem.

Chromecasting VLC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348221)

I'd love to use this setup to rig my Chromecast to play my in-browser RDC VLC video on my TV!

Re:Chromecasting VLC (1)

Riskable (19437) | about a year ago | (#45348269)

That won't work so well since this doesn't currently support audio. It's in the TODO list though :)

Also, if you're playing back a video you're much better off just playing it directly in the browser. You can even re-encode videos in real-time to be played back with whatever codecs Chromecast supports (if necessary).

Rhetorical Question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348681)

Ever seen a remote desktop tool that's fast/efficient enough to play back video?

Yes? And? Watching video isn't the end-all use case.

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