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Fresco M1 Released

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the actually-not-x dept.

X 282

rajan r writes "The first release after 18 months, Fresco, previously known as Berlin, released M1 or Milestone 1. The release notes here, screenshots here. The original 'press release' follows: 'I'm proud to announce that milestone 1 of Fresco (formerly known as Berlin) has (at long last) been released. A lot has changed since the last release, but this isn't that surprising, since the last release was more then 18 months ago; most of the real work for the past few months has been behind the scenes (changing hosts, a new web site infrastructure, improved build system, an issue tracker (hooray!), better documentation (and more to come), etc.). Source (no packages at the moment, but debs will be available soon, and the tree contains .spec files for building your own rpms) The name change. Enjoy! -- Nathaniel '"

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bla (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744124)


More importantly (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744172)

We should all be concerned about the stupidity that is preveleant in the Canadian society. The Canadians are so stupid that they use W instead of X, so a release such as this is meaningless to the Great White Retards.

I'm praying for the day that the great US of A finally takes over Canada and utilizes the slave labor (men) and whores (women) of Canada for our own domestic and carnal needs. It is what they want and what we (US) deserves.

Fucking canucks, we take pitty on you, and we will fulfill your(our) needs.

The Tao of Linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744130)

Something forms itself from the silent void of the empty mailing lists and the noisy chaos of the crowded mailing lists. It shapes and protects us, it entertains and challenges us, it aids us in our journey through the ether world of software. It is mysterious; it is at once source code and yet object code. I do not know the name, thus I will call it the Tao of Linux.

If the Tao is great, then the box is stable. If the box is stable, then the server is secure. If the server is secure, then the data is safe. If the data is safe, then the users are happy.

In the beginning there was chaos in Unix.

Tanenbaum gave birth to MINIX. MINIX did not have the Tao.
MINIX gave birth to Linux 0.1 and it had promise.
Linux gave birth to v1.3 and it was good.
v1.3 gave birth to v2.0 and it was better.

Linux has evolved greatly from its distant cousins of the old. Linux is embodied by the Tao.

The wise user is told about the Tao and contributes to it. The average user is told about the Tao and compiles it. The foolish user is told about the Tao and laughs and asks who needs it.
If it were not for laughter, there would be no Tao.
Wisdom leads to good code, but experience leads to good use of that code.

The master Cox once dreamed that he was a Kernel. When he awoke he exclaimed: "I don't know whether I am Cox dreaming that I am a Kernel, or a Kernel dreaming that I am Cox!"
The master Linus then said: "The Tao envelopes you. You shall create great code for Linux."
"On the contrary," said Cox, "The Tao has already created the code, I will only have to find it and write it down."

A master was explaining the nature of the Tao to one of his students:
"Is the Tao in the VM subsystem?" he asked. "Yes," replied the master.
"Is the Tao in the scheduler?" he queried again. "The Tao is in the scheduler."
"Is the Tao even in the modules?". "It is even in the modules," said the master.
"Is the Tao in the Low-Latency Patch?"
The master frowned and was silent for much time.
"You fail to understand the Tao. Go away."

The Tao is the yin and the yang. It is the good and the evil, it is everything and yet it is nothing, it is the beginning and the end.

The Tao was there at the kernel compile, and it will be there when the kernel panics.

A novice user once asked a master: "Why compile in C when C++ is more popular?"
"Why a monolythic kernel when Mach is more popular?"
"And why use ReiserFS when ext2 is more popular?"

The master sighed and replied: "Why run Unix when NT is more popular?"
The user was enlightened.

A frustrated user once asked a master: "My kernel has panicked, should I post to lkml?"
"No," replied the master, "You will only bother the Tao."
"Should I rm -rf?"
"No, you will have wasted the Tao's time."
"Well should I search the web?"
"You will search for all eternity," said the master.
"Perhaps I should try FreeBSD?"
"Then you will have disgraced the Tao."
"I suppose I could try gdb," said the user.
The master smiled and replied: "Then you will have made the Tao stronger."

A stubborn user once told a master: "I run version 2.2. I always have, and I always will."
The master replied: "You are foolish and do not understand the Tao. The Tao is dynamic and ever changing. Linux strives for the perfection that is the Tao. It flows from version to version with peace."

"So my Linux does not have the Tao, so what?" said the foolish user. "Oh your Linux is of the Tao," said the master. "However, the Tao of Linux follows the Tao of the C library. One day the C library will change, and your Linux will be left behind." The user was silent.

An angry user once yelled at a master:

"My Linux has panicked! What lousy software it is, I hate it so!"
"You are insulting the Tao," said the master. "The Tao is everywhere bringing order to hundreds of networks, aiding thousands of users, and fighting that of which we call the 'lame.' Do not disrespect the Tao; however, the Tao will forgive you."

"I apologize," said the user, "And I will be more forgiving the next time the Tao fails me."

"The Tao has not failed you, it is you that has failed the Tao," said the master. "The Tao is perfect."
The Tao decides if a kernel shall compile, or if it shall abort.
The Tao decides if a kernel shall boot, or if it shall freeze.
The Tao decides if a kernel shall run, or if it shall panic.
But, the Tao does not decide if a box will have no hardware failures. That is a mystery to everyone.

A young master once approached an old master: "I have a LUG for Linux help. But, I fail to answer my students' problems; they are above me."
The master replied: "Have you taught them of the Tao?" he asked. "How it brings together man and software, yet how it distances them apart; how if flows throughout Linux and transcends its essence?"
"No," exclaimed the apprentice, "These people cannot even get the source untarred."
"Oh, said the master, "In that case, tell them to RTFM."

A master watched as an ambitious user reconstructed his Linux.

"I shall make every bit encrypted," the user said. "I shall use 2048 bit keys, three different algorithms, and make multiple passes."
The master replied: "I think it is unwise."
"Why?" asked the user. "Will my encryption harm the mighty Tao, which gives Linux life and creates the balance between kernel and processes? The mighty Tao, which is the thread that binds the modules and links them with the core? The mighty Tao, which safely guides the TCP/IP packets to and from the network card?"
"No," said the master, "It will hog too much cpu."

The core is like the part of the mind that is static. It is programmed at a child's creation and cannot be changed unless a new child is made; unless a new kernel is compiled.
The modules are like the part of the mind that is dynamic. It is reprogrammed every time one learns new knowledge; every time one learns better code.
One is yin, the other yang. Each is nothing without the other.

A novice came to lkml and inquired to all the masters there: "I wish to become a master. Must I memorize the Linux header files?"
"No," replied a master.
"Must I submit code to Bitkeeper?"
"No," replied the master.
"Must I meditate daily and dedicate my life to Linux?"
"No," replied the master again.
"Must I go on a quest to ponder the meaning of the Tao?"
"No. A master is nothing more than a student who knows something of which he can teach to other students."
The novice understood.
And thus said the master:
"It is the way of the Tao."

A user came to a master who had great status in lkml. The user asked the master: "Which is easier: implementing new features to the kernel or documenting them?"
"Implementing new features," replied the master.
The confused user then exclaimed:
"Surely it is easier to write a few sentences in the man page than it is to write pages of code without error?"
"Not so," said the master. "When coding, the Tao of Linux opens my eyes wide and allows me to see beyond the code, to let the source flow from my fingers, to implement without flaw. When documenting, however, all I have to work with is a C in high school English."

He who compiles from the stable tree is stubborn
and unwilling to change, but is guaranteed reliability.
He who compiles from the current tree is wise but perhaps too conformist, but is guaranteed steadiness.
He who compiles from the unstable tree is adventurous and is guaranteed new innovations: some good, some bad.
He who compiles straight from Bitkeeper is brave but guaranteed turbulence.
They are all of the Tao. One shall respect the old, and debug the new; none shall argue over which is greatest.

There once was a user who scripted in Perl: "Look at what I have to work with here," he said to a master of core, "My code is interpreted dynamically, the syntax is unique and simple, I have sockets, strings, arrays, and everything I could ever need. Why don't you stop meddling in C and come join me?"
The C programmer described his reasoning to the scripter: "Script is to C as ebonics is to Latin. If the scripter does not grow beyond that of which he scripts, he will surely [die]. Besides, without C, how can there be script?"
The scripter was enlightened, and the two became close friends.

mods on crack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744218)

good thing (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744140)

The only thing holding back Linux from World Domination is X's suckiness and slowness. 97.5% of the people using X don't need network transparency which slows X down by 15% in some cases. Unfortunetly, too many apps and GUI libraries depend on X (ex. GTK and QT).

Re:good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744171)

There is GTK framebuffer and GTK on Windows. I'm not sure how bound QT is, but as it's cross-platform too I doubt they would have any ridiculous dependancies like that remaining.

Re:good thing (3, Interesting)

Ponty (15710) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744217)

Network transparency is the only thing X has going for it. In fact, it's the only thing I miss on my Mac. DPS can do it on my NeXT and X can do it in Linux, I wish Apple would implement something like xhosting or NXHosting in Quartz.

Re:good thing (2, Insightful)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744221)

The only thing holding back Linux from World Domination is X's suckiness and slowness.

No, it isn't the "only thing holding back Linux" at all. There are many things holding Linux back from this (dubious) goal and X just isn't one of them :P

Re:good thing (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744346)

IF X were as good as Quartz Extreme then Linux would succeed on the desktop.

X is what is holding linux back, not lack of apps, you see people complain linux is too hard to use, and it cant be made easier until X is fixed.

Re:good thing (4, Insightful)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744436)

Nonsense. The orignal poster was referring to the supposed suckyness of the X protocol and design. While it does have its drawbacks and disadvantages, they have precisely nothing to do with the usability and user friendlyness of the Linux desktop. You can build a really great app on top of X - Mozilla for instance - or you can build a real bitch of one that your average Mac or Windows user wouldn't have a clue about, e.g. XEmacs.

What will be (and already is) making Linux suceed on the desktop is a friendly desktop environment, such as KDE. The underlying windowing system that it uses to draw on the screen is largely irrelevant.

X is not getting in the way of the Linux desktop succeeding. It has all the important features now: font antialiasing, video, on the fly resolution switching, several great looking toolkits to choose from, and the network transparency is just a bonus. In fact I'd find it pretty hard to work without it.

Re:good thing (2)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744449)

Can X do image transformation?
What about resolution issues? Font problems anyone?
No realtime shadows, no hardware alpha channel, software alpha channel is too slow and buggy to be useful.

You know, Fresco...doesn't ring a bell? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744143)

Okay, how about Berlin? Still doesn't ring a bell? You mean that you don't know about this obscure package referenced only by unknown product names that the unbelievable overwhelming majority of the public has no knowledge about? Good then, we won't bother including a simple description of what the hell it even is.

P.S. It's a system for tracking calories from consumed donuts.

Re:You know, Fresco...doesn't ring a bell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744306)

Berlin was mentioned on Slashdot mid last year. Prior to that it was quite a well-known topic. Yeah, I guess it has been a while. Still, if you look around, you'll see people commenting that they liked the project but noticed that it wasn't moving at an acceptable pace. Some remember it.

Re:You know, Fresco...doesn't ring a bell? (1, Troll)

moonbender (547943) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744398)

There's also that big "X"-symbol at the side which might give you a hint. I had never heard of Fresco or Berlin (in that context, har har), but I figured what it was about and was confirmed right 20 seconds later when I had a glance at the linked page.
Nevertheless, I agree, a subblause explaining what Fresco does wouldn't have hurt.

Re:You know, Fresco...doesn't ring a bell? (4, Informative)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744445)

"There's also that big "X"-symbol at the side which might give you a hint..."

Just a couple of points:

1.) I have the images and stuff turned off. I'm sure other people do too. X doesn't show up on that preference.

2.) Not everybody knows what that X icon means either. It looks to me like the Xerox logo, heh.

Re:You know, Fresco...doesn't ring a bell? (3, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744488)

Berlin originally was started when Xf86 was still in the 3.x and was terrible slow and inadaquite compared to other gui's like Windows and macos.

Also back in the late 1990's many linux users still used pentium 1's and 486's with only 32 or 64 megs of ram! The client/server nature of X was not only inadaquate but it was considered bloated and obsolete. After all, who runs X on terminals anymore? Luckily this has changed since HP and SGI have both donated code and X came out with dri for much better performance. Without dri even the fastest of machines redrew graphics commands at a slugish rate.

If a pda and the original mac could have a better gui then X in 1/100th of the memory then it had to go. However today with fast video cards with lots of memory and dri and other improvements all the negatives on X are obsolete or do not matter as much.

I use to be an X hater untill recently. Berlin is no longer needed except on older systems or pda's. I prefer to not have the complexities of a window manager. But all gui unix apps require X so the point is useless. I do find it redicolous that in 1998 that %80 of my memory was used just for X!

Re:You know, Fresco...doesn't ring a bell? (5, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744508)

Yeah, I get pissed when I go to sports sites and they talk about all these teams and games and RBI, yards passages and other technical terms. I expect them to explain it to me in every article summary too. Fuckers. Tell you what - you go beat up on the sports sites for assuming you know something about sports, and I'll go beat up on the technical sites for assuming you know something about tech.

(Oh and I *REALLY* hate the sites that link to other sites that might have further information... like they expect me to *read* something about the subject. Ha! FAQ and search engines? Not for me my bucko - I want it spoon fed!)

Evan "Played golf and cricket in school, still have only a dim idea of how (American) football works"

Berlin (4, Interesting)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744146)

I'm wondering why they changed their name from Berlin to Fresco. Why was it called Berlin in the first place, and what made them decide to change it? Kitchener, Canada used to be called Berlin prior to around 1910 or so. Why is everyone dissing Berlin?

Re:Berlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744154)

It was called Fresco prior to Berlin. This is going back to their roots.

Re:Berlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744193)

Did you read the fucking article? There's a link right there! It's even called "Name Change"!! How difficult could it possibly be?

Re:Berlin (1)

Rovaani (20023) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744197)

You could check the link titled Name change [] ...

Re:Berlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744207)

Dave Garvy, is that you?

Re:Berlin (2)

Devil Ducky (48672) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744224)

My take on the link:

The program itself is still called Berlin, only the project's name changed to Fresco.

My first guess at why has proven to be on their list, easy, available, domain name: is much easier than

Also apparantly there was an old project to make a gui, called Fresco, and the original developers no longer own the rights to that name, so their paying homage to who they stole ideas from.

Why Berlin is now called Fresco (5, Informative)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744274)

Fresco consists of a number of interlocking projects, each named after an city (Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, Babylon). The "Berlin" program was the window server, as well as the entire project. To avoid confusion, the project name was changed to "Fresco". The window server is still called "Berlin".

Re:Berlin (2)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744225)

Ooops, I didn't see the link at the end of the Slashdot post.

Maybe in 10 years (1)

Randseed (132501) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744150)

Maybe in ten years Berlin/Fresco/whatever will be useable. The last time I looked at it about a year ago, the developers were proud that they'd managed to draw simple geometric shapes.

Re:Maybe in 10 years (1)

bobtheprophet (587843) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744192)

Well, look at how far it's come since then. The screenshots look like they're on the way to getting a usable windowing system, and it's not bad if they've come that far in only a year. Eh?

Re:Maybe in 10 years-- no look at their pages (3, Informative)

bluFox (612877) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744259)

far from it ,, these people have achieved some some success in their ideas,

I hope it is can be the replacement to X that most of us have been waiting for,

for benifit of people not familiar with fresco:

they have moved the window manager and the toolkit portion to server thus achieving (hopefully) consistant look and feel , they use corba heavily and i guess it has some replacement of X protocol , but i have not been able to find from their site.

Re:Maybe in 10 years-- no look at their pages (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744336)

fresco has its own network protocol, which consists simply of calling object methods over CORBA.

using a polling mechanism to detect disconnects it had about 2kbps of line traffic when we measured it in june on linuxtag when doing normal operation (scrolling, moving, clicking, ...). creating objects takes a bit more, thus giving small peaks when starting applications

Re:Maybe in 10 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744457)

I wouldn't count on it. They state that Fresco is an offshoot of Interviews (derivative of, or something along those lines).

I tried Interviews in 1993/94 (almost 10 years ago) and it was pure junk. And if they haven't gotten something up and running by now it proably will not happen.

Interviews was so bad I had to give up on it and I used Motif instead. The system seemed to be solidly programmed (didn't crash, etc.), but it's design left a lot to be desired. It was just too confusing.

Btw, if I recall properly, the original Interviews name was changed to Fresco in 1994/1995, so I don't really understand where this "new/back to old" name change fits in at.

It is amazing to me how people keep trotting out the same old garbage over and over again.

And while I'm at it, what the hell is the problem with X11? From a user's standpoint on a networked environment where all the other machines run X11 then X11 is awesome.

It does what it is designed to do and as long as good programming standards are adhered to (no junky programmers applying it) it's very stable.

No, it doesn't have all the whizbang OO stuff in it, but for gods sake it's, what, 17-18-19 years or more old.

Anyway, sorry about the ranting and raving, but I do have to say I'd take Motif 2.0 (my last real X11 usage was with this version) anyday over anything based on Interviews.

Berlin (3, Interesting)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744153)

I had some early failures trying to get Berlin up and running on my system -- just compiling the (highly unstable) prereqs was a chore, let alone having to upgrade my compiler to compile Berlin. I hope this time around it doesn't take me a week to even "try" it, because I've been a steady believer in the project (well... any project to replace X).

Re:Berlin (3, Informative)

crimsun (4771) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744353)

If you happen to use Debian Sid, you can basically just apt-get install all the prereqs (well, that's what I'm doing). You may want to install waldi's omniorb4 packages, though. One of the main hitches is the omniorb stuff. Post-M1 defaults to ``-R ior'', and as the release notes suggest, it's highly recommended that you use that switch for both "server" and "clients."

My only question is... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744164)

WTF is Fresco? ;)

Re:My only question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744216)

Fresco is actually an Italian word for painting. Michelangelo for example used to paint frescos. Frescos are like big paintings that were painted on church wall (inside the church) for example. Do a google image search for "fresco".

Re: 'fresco' means 'fresh' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744391)

>> Fresco is actually an Italian word for painting.

More specifically, fresco is a style of painting on plaster which is often used for murals. They are painted "al fresco," or colloquially "out in the open air."

"Fresco" literally means "fresh" and idiomatically means "cool." Let's hope the project lives up to both!

Why...? (1, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744165)

How does having a bunch of transparent spinny window thingies solve the issues with X that people are always bitching about? I think i'll pass. I love X. It is, always was, and will be.

CTWT (2, Funny)

kentyman (568826) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744240)

I propose a new geek acronym, usually applied to open source projects...

CTWT: 'Cause They Want To.

Can be changed to work better in first person...

CIWT: 'Cause I Want To.

Maybe I'll try it on my girlfriend next time she "has a headache."


Re:CTWT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744453)

A "headache?" DUMP HER ASS!

Re:Why...? (3, Interesting)

King of the World (212739) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744261)

You know those window shadows on OSX that everyone regards as a great way of showing windowing order? You need transparency for that, and while we have X's XRender we also have Berlin.

Transparency is also a big part of anti-aliased text. Some people like that.

Spinning window thingies isn't so important, but it shows the flexibility of Fresco. Although a window at a 45 degree turn isn't easy to use there's talk of using something like that to grab user attention. When an application needs your input rather than flashing on the toolbar or taking focus it could appear for a few seconds slightly transparent and rotating slowly - you know, like out of the Exorcist. Features like that are what's bring ing Hollywood to Linux, and I for one welcome it.

Re:Why...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744296)

Hollywood uses Linux for rendering massive computer generated scenes. This doesn't even require a monitor never mind some obnoxious window system such as this....

All the actual design is done on NT they just hand it off to a linux cluster for the rendering so really fresco would do jack squat to bring hollywood to linux.

Re:Why...? (2, Funny) (579491) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744317)

This was obviously meant in the way that Hollywood computers (ie. films in movies) have overly fancy and unrealistic interfaces and bringing some of those pure eyecandy features to the Linux desktop. Way to *totally* miss the point.

Re:Why...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744381)

You mean translucency, not transparency...
We already have transparency :)

Re:Why...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744345)

Don't forget the CORBA base.

Re:Why...? (1)

djocyko (214429) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744362)

You mean.... you wouldn't want the next new feature from gnome/kde/whatever to be windows that spin up from clear to opaque from the task bar to your screen? I mean, c'mon.

Yeah. Me neither.

Re:Why...? (2)

Squarewav (241189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744399)

there is many problems with X that hopefully Fresco or any other X replacement will solve, for example in windows,MacOS,BeOS, and I think QNX if you install the latest Divx codec all apps will be able to use them, also things like cut and paste that X doesn't handle, for example you cant transparently copy images or formated Text, KDE does a OK job but you still cant cut and paste very well to non kde apps. Lack of a built in window manager is also a pain as even the most basic one adds lots of overhead to X

You love X? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744472)


Confusion (5, Informative)

faeryman (191366) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744179)

If you're like me and have no idea what Fresco does, check out the intro [] , an FAQ [] and FrescoVsX [] . I was reading about this project last night, and since Slashdot doesn't really explain what everything is, these provide some answers.

Re:Confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744406)

Karma Whore!

MacOSX ? (0)

mAIsE (548) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744180)

I am just currious if anyone has experieced compiling on OSX.

Re:MacOSX ? (2)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744206)

I had a lot of trouble compiling on FreeBSD, but that was quite some time ago. Maybe they've fixed some of their dependency and compiling problems?

My response to fresco (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744181)

Heh. pfffft

Debian packages (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744182)

Debian packages are available from [] . Note that the fresco packages require the omniorb4 packages.

Re:Debian packages (2)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744214)

Do these work well? Please post here if you have experience with these packages. I'd just like to hear a few comments about them before I try them out. I'm not a hard core user, but I'd wouldn't mind giving this Fresco thing a try, just for fun. After I install these debs, will I have a new selection on my X session manager? I highly doubt it since Fresco is not X! So how to I kill KDM and X, and start up Fresco?

Re:Debian packages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744231)

Well, if you're like me, you just run Fresco on top of X. (It's a GGI or SDL program, like any other.)

I haven't touched the .deb's though. I run from CVS HEAD.

Re:Debian packages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744340)

So you still have to run X to use?

What a fucking marvelous X repleacement after it only requires that you USE X!

That's fucking splendid.

Re:Debian packages (2)

crimsun (4771) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744319)

You don't kill KDM and XFree86, you just open $TERM and fire up ``berlin -R ior'' (if you compile M1). Think Xnest. I compiled M1 some days ago (debs weren't available then), and I'm still tracking down an omniorb3 problem where connections from localhost are rejected.

(The debs themselves use -R nameserver, btw, which is why you'll need omniorb4 + the nameserver package. I also can't comment on how well they work, but try 'em!)

CORBA? (3, Insightful)

khuber (5664) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744187)

Am I the only one who thinks CORBA for local system calls is gross? I wonder what the overhead to draw a pixel is like.

(Okay, actually I think CORBA is gross, period.)


Re:CORBA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744205)

That's in the ArchitectureFAQ (find the WikiWikiWeb server). It's pretty simple. The overhead for drawing a pixel would suck. So don't do that then! Fresco passes entire paths over CORBA at once, so you don't have to worry about this sort of thing.

Re:CORBA? (2, Interesting)

khuber (5664) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744377)

I understand the design reason, but in practice it seems like you'd mostly be rendering to your local screen. In that case network transparency is just a performance burden.

Besides, we could debate whether network transparency even exists since local and remote resources are fundamentally different (network glitches don't affect local resources, and you generally need retry and error logic for networked resources).

I'm not trying to dis Fresco here, just think about the design tradeoffs. The problem with the X protocol is that it's low level, so even though it's a more efficient TCP-based protocol, you would be sending many more low level packets. In the end it could break even with the IIOP and marshalling overhead of CORBA since Fresco is high level.


Re:CORBA? (4, Insightful)

obi (118631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744333)

Except that Fresco doesn't use calls to draw a single pixel.

It's the single issue that people take most issue with - it's truly bizarre.

If Fresco needed to drop CORBA they'd have to reimplement a system similar to CORBA to have the same features, only to satisfy NIH syndrome. And they'd drop all the work that has gone into CORBA's design _and_ implementations (there's some good well performing ORB's out there)

In other words, CORBA is a good fit for a project like Fresco.

Check out these links with some answers to your question

- ions

Re:CORBA? (2, Insightful)

khuber (5664) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744435)

I realize that Fresco is high level and vector-based. The pixel question is just to see what the most extreme overhead would be. But then again, how would Fresco support games running in a window?

I'm just not sold on the idea of using CORBA for a component model in this manner. Gnome does this too so it's not a new idea to me. I have read many arguments, but I'm still skeptical. Why can't I have a proxy API that makes local library calls or CORBA calls, depending on what is needed? A language that doesn't want to call native code can use CORBA. There are also some "philosophical" issues about the realities of network transparency as I mentioned in another post.


Re:CORBA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744355)

Just use the CORBA local process calling convention standard - oh, that's right - no such beast exists.
Please OMG - write up another obtuse useless CORBA specification on valuetypes and/or yet another change to corbaloc.
Friends don't let friends use CORBA.

Looks very good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744195)

Looks traditional and cool! And those "see-through" twisted-angle windows look very cool also! Am I the only one who loves new stuff with traditional look and feel?

Old news (0, Flamebait)

frooyo (583600) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744196)

This is old news at OSnews []

This is not at all near production level use. And some of the screenshots are treble, like this one [] - yet some other screenshots are better like this one []

Re:Old news (2)

sdt (7606) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744292)

And some of the screenshots are treble, like this one []

That "screenshot" is not a screenshot of Fresco. It's a screenshot of gv displaying postscript generated by a very early version of the Postscript DrawingKit -- in effect demonstrating that Fresco can now print.

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744335)

How is the post by frooyo flamebait? He/she did post a picture of a quality screenshot!

Mod me down I don't care, but his post was informative and to the point.

gui (4, Funny)

SigmundK (551485) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744210)

personally, i'm waiting for the graphical server previously known as prince.

An intro that actually introduces would be helpful (4, Informative)

Phouk (118940) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744215)

Really, half a sentence of what this Fresco is about would have been helpful in the introduction - e.g. "Fresco is a windowing system derived from a powerful structured graphics toolkit" (from the page). This would save readers not familiar with the project from having to click on the article to find out whether it interests them, and it would reduce the slashdot effect a bit.

I know, it's a novel concept, an introduction actually introducing the readers to the subject...

Some basic facts: (5, Informative)

t_hunger (449259) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744219)

Some comments on other comments that are bound to pop up:

*) Yes Fresco uses CORBA and it is a good thing. It gives network transparency and language transparency for free. Yes, we know it is slower then using raw sockets, but CORBA is the only thing available powerful enough for our needs. It's not bloat if you need the features;-)

*) Fresco is not X: Yes, we do not extend X. X is good, we do think so too, but it has certain shortcommings we do want to adress. Improving X is not an option: We'd need to carry along tons of code we do not need and blow the code size out of proportion (example: xlib, networking code).

*) Fresco is not x compatible now. Support for that can and will be added later. Options for that are manigfold, See our FAQ for more infos on this topic. Again: we do not see that extending X is a good idea: Extending X will result in apps using that extension not being able to run on the unextended X. Fresco apps don't do so either. Both, an extended X and a Fresco with compatibility layer can run X apps. NO, there is no compatibility layer yet.

*) We do not write drivers. We can use whichever drivers are supported by our rendering backends. That's a surprising lot. You can run Fresco in a window in X, using your XFree-driver too.

*) Fresco is device independent. So changing the screen resolution will not make windows smaller and you can print everything you can display on screen. That's a good thing (if you want your windows to become smaller you adjust their zoom factor).

*) No, Fresco is not about rotating windows. We can rotate windows, we do so in our screenshots. That's basically because making windows not rotateable would require us to write code to prevent it! And it's an eye catcher.

*) No, this is in no way ready for the end user. Developers are welcome.

That's the basic things I want to get straight early on. From earlier /. experiences I know that these misunderstandingfs/questions are bound to crop up.


.sig (0, Troll)

kentyman (568826) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744297)

I just wanted to say I like your .sig.

Regards, kentyman

Re:.sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744530)

Very nice.

Re:Some basic facts: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744300)

we know [CORBA] is slower then using raw sockets, but CORBA is the only thing available powerful enough for our needs.

The only useful form of communication that CORBA supports is synchronous. On a network, this means that you need a full round-trip time (20 ms typical, up to 1 second) on every client/server interaction. This overhead does not decrease as machines get faster.

CORBA may be useful for some applications. Using CORBA for a window system is a sure way to fail.

Re:Some basic facts: (4, Insightful)

t_hunger (449259) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744341)

You are right: We need to do roundtrips for the few calls we need to make. Fortunately Fresco is designed not to need much kommunication in the first place: We are not poshing pixels around. The Display server has all the information needed to rerender the (transformed) GUI of any application running at that server. The only calls between client and server happens when the server informs the client about a statechange.

The demo application uses a bandwith of about 1.9kBit/s... That's because the server pings the clients to check wether they are stoll alive.

Re:Some basic facts: (2, Interesting)

khuber (5664) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744501)

The only useful form of communication that CORBA supports is synchronous.

Well, you could do one way calls with callbacks, or you could create an event queue on the client side to batch up API calls before doing a CORBA call. I don't see this as a CORBA-specific issue or a fundamental problem any more serious than how a TCP/IP based protocol would have to deal with asynchronous issues.

I think 20ms is on the cynical side. On a good local network it should easily be < 5 ms, don't you think?


Re:Some basic facts: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744376)

Some basic facts:

*) Fresco fucking sucks

That is all.

is this supposed to be useful? amp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744226)

rotating windows? why? how does this help me interface with my computer?

transparency? all the implimentations of this i've ever seen required you to hold control or alt or something to select the window behind the transparent object making it a huge pain in the ass to negotiate.

why bother?

Any other Fresco themes besides Motif? (1)

truth_revealed (593493) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744241)

That Motif look is really quite dated. Does Fresco offer other themes?

Re:Any other Fresco themes besides Motif? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744302)

it offers WidgetKits which do exactly that - but graphical design is something we currently avoid, rather straighten out the API first

of course you're free to build a better looking one :)

wohhoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744257)

I'll pretend it doesnt look like shit and have pointless features and say...

oh fuck it that crap fucking blows.

It's been a long time... (5, Informative)

jregel (39009) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744266)

I have watched the Berlin project for several years, remembering the initial idea to create a graphical system written in Assembler, a change of project leaders and the decision to use CORBA.

I don't think that Fresco will replace X anytime soon, if ever, but it's an interesting technology demo that will surely influence other projects. Playing around with the Quartz technology in MacOS X has convinced me that better and more interesting ways of doing graphics are possible - the Fresco project, by using device independent rendering (OpenGL / Postscript) and an ORB merges some of the advantages of X and DPS / Display PDF.

Its kinda funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744280)

I just think its a little funny to see the leaked Longhorn screenshots from a few stories down, and then to see the Fresco screenshots.

What's the point? (-1, Troll)

MeatMan (593183) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744289)

Um, why bother? What is the desired end result of this whole project? A new OS? I went to the site and read up and I couldn't find the long-term goal of this whole Fresco/Berlin thingy... frankly, if this is just a hobby or a time-killer software equivelent of an erector set, I think I'd rather do laundry. Unless these Fresco people are Bubble Boys, even cleaning the leaves out of my rain gutters would give me more self-satisfaction.

If ignorance is Bliss, why am I always so down in the dumps?

Re:What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744511)

You're right; they should all be like you and spend their time posting inane comments to slashdot instead. Obviously, that's much more useful.

Why the name change? (2, Informative)

NoMercy (105420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744357)

And why did they choose a name which is already used by someone else, for a embeded systems web-browser
Ant Fresco [] .

Re:Why the name change? (4, Informative)

t_hunger (449259) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744382)

Because we stole most of our ideas and lots of the code from Fresco, a former Toolkit developed by the X-Consortium. We decided that we should adopt that name after getting very far from the original Berlin-ideas: Assembler, non-portable, as fast as possible on top of GGI.

We meat the last maintainer from Fresco a couple of times, he told us it's fine with him for us to adopt the name, we got the domain, ...

Re:Why the name change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744384)

The (pre)Berlin folks already laid claim to the Fresco name years before the other thing your mentioned. Fresco goes back over 10 years - it pioneered Model View Controller (MVC) architecture.

Re:Why the name change? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744386)

because fresco is a real old project, see

first appearance of "fresco" in 1993

Blah (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744358)

People wouldn't have to wine about bloat if they upgraded their hardware instead of trying to get that shitty old K6 to last a lifetime.

It's only bloat if you use a fucking 486.

Shit if you try and run a Linux on a 286 is SO FUCKING BLOATED that it won't even BOOT!

What with all that pointless 32 bit support and other useless shit like that bloating it up...

Getting higher speeds out of Linux graphics (4, Insightful)

FeatureBug (158235) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744373)

In an earlier comment somebody said, "Fresco is not X: Yes, we do not extend X. X is good, we do think so too, but it has certain shortcommings we do want to adress. Improving X is not an option: We'd need to carry along tons of code we do not need and blow the code size out of proportion (example: xlib, networking code)."

X may be good but sometimes it is simply too slow and, worse, the documentation does not go out of its way to explain properly the speedups that are available.

Ok, there's shared memory pixmaps and shared memory images [] but the documentation is incomplete.

When you need speed and don't care about hardware-dependency you can use Direct Graphics Access module - DGA. But where's good documentation for DGA? Is there anything faster than DGA in X? Where's the good documentation?

Does Corba have to be Slow? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744397)

It seems to me that alot of people are complaining about corba being slow, and I have to wonder if this is necicarry because of inherent difficulties in the specification of corba, or just due to the current implementations. I know for a fact that object oriented message passing does not have to be slow. Case in point: the Cplant project at Sandia Labs, which aims to have a linux cluster as fast as any of the ASCI machines has a message passing protocol which is moved into the kernal (along with pipes, sockets and other IPC) which is blazingly fast.

Re:Does Corba have to be Slow? (2)

t_hunger (449259) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744431)

CORBA could be faster I guess. For one thing it encodes everything it sends out over the wire as text messages... nice to debug but not really mashine friendly. Then CORBA does a lot more then simply passing a message. It handles all those nasty details you have to keep an eye on in a distributed, heterogenious world. It would definitly be a lot simpler if it could just assume all mashines to have the same character encoding, endianess, ... like Cplant obviously can.

Fortunately CORBA can leave out a lot of the overhead in the 'local case' when communicationg with objects on the same mashine or even in the same address space.

Re:Does Corba have to be Slow? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744464)

CORBA's 'IIOP' protocol is needlessly complicated - it mandates type padding and different machine byte orders, to name a couple of problems. If you only use the same ORB you avoid these specific issues. You can have a CORBA calls actually be a direct call but you still have to wrap all your data in those silly var and sequence wrappers and that wastes local CPU time. So, to answer your question - local CORBA is slow and awkward to program in by design due to its 1985-style type memory management. There is talk every 6 months about the C++ CORBA API being so awkward to use and someone always pledging to rewrite it to be more normal, as in using STL vectors instead of sequences and std::string instead of the crude CORBA strings, but these "initiatives" always die off when people realize that it's a waste of time trying to put lipstick on the CORBA pig.

Are these the same idiots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744401)

Are these the same idiots from two articles ago complaining that computers are to fast to be useful and all the extra power is a waste.

But then now they say X is to slow and needs to be reinvented like so many wheels?

Hello? what is it? If X is to slow on your crusty old hardware then MAYBE YOU SHOULD UPGRADE?

How can you say a 2 GHz CPU IS TO FAST and then 30 minutes later bitch that SOFTWARE IS TO SLOW!

When will Xrender be completed? (4, Interesting)

HanzoSan (251665) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744415)

I bet Fresco will be finished before Xrender has image transformations, true hardware alpha channel, etc.

X is just now getting anti alaised fonts and everyone is saying X is so great, we are about a year away from the release of Xfree5.0 which is supposed to have the finished Xrender, only one guy is working on Xrender (Keith Packard)
The founder of the X project Mr. Dawes claims they are just now beginning to focus on

Quotes from David Dawes David Dawes: There has been some work on a new rendering model for XFree86 that provides some more advance composition techniques (including transparency), this currently being implemented in software. For XFree86 5.0 we'll be investigating this as part of our review of rendering models, and seeing if a hardware implementation would not be more appropriate.

Currently Xrender is still in the planning stages, its at about the same level as Fresco, not really useable to anyone but perhaps Keith Packard and a select few developers, its unfinished, its beta but to users and not so skilled programmers its vaporware.

I'm looking towards XFree86 5.0, which will be the next significant step in XFree86. We're only just starting to think seriously about it. We'll start by re-evaluating what we would like from a graphics/windowing system, and not limit ourselves to the ones that currently exist. With XFree86 4.0 our main focus was on the device-dependent component of the X server (DDX), and to do that we needed to provide a more modular infrastructure. The features that came out of that process showed how much it was needed, and it has given us a solid DDX base from which to expand into other areas. For 5.0 I expect that we'll move more into the device-independent (DIX) and protocol areas as well as making some adjustments to the DDX area based on our experiences with 4.x.

Ok so for Xfree86 5.0 they will focus on improving the rendering, and bringing X to the levels of Aqua, but by the time 5.0 gets here expect Longhorn to be released, and expect OS 11 to be released by Apple which takes things to the next level.

Linux needs to do more than just keep afloat and compete, Linux has to dominate to beat Microsoft.

Currently the only thing preventing Linux from taking the desktop market, is the fact that the currently Linux interface doesnt look polished enough, theres enough programs for grandma, theres games, theres plenty of office apps, the casual user can use Linux, the only reason they wont use Linux is because OSX is better than Linux.

Why buy a Linux dell laptop for college when you can get an Ibook thats just as powerful but better?

Why get Linux if its just like Windows? This is why Windows users would sooner switch to Mac.

X is now one of Linux's biggest bottlenecks, along with the fact that they have no music apps and not enough file sharing apps.

Re:When will Xrender be completed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744427)

Becuase a GNU/Linux system is Free Software not owned by Apple MegaCorp.

"Only thing preventing Linux" (1)

kentyman (568826) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744518)

Currently the only thing preventing Linux from taking the desktop market, is the fact that the currently Linux interface doesnt look polished enough, theres enough programs for grandma, theres games, theres plenty of office apps, the casual user can use Linux, the only reason they wont use Linux is because OSX is better than Linux.

The problem is, there are caveats to all of your statements.

IMHO, KDE3 with some of the themes they have look much better than Windows and OS X, the plenty of programs for grandma aren't as easy to use, there are games but not many, there are plenty of office apps but none can replace Office 'cause of compatability, and the casual user can use Linux until a problem comes up and then they are farked.

Why? 'Cause casual users can't use the command-line well, and if there is for example a driver problem in Linux you don't just download the latest driver installer. No, there are thinks like dealing with kernel modules, symlinks, and worse of all, READMEs.

Sure, any of these users could get figure it all out eventually and get good at it, but people are lazy.

Only think preventing Linux: people are lazy.

For God's sake (5, Insightful)

qwijibrumm (559350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744424)

Everyone is saying,
1. "Why?"
2. "What's wrong with X?"
3. "It looks like crap."

Nobody realizes the answers are easy.
1. Why not? They want a better, simpler windowing environment.
2. Read the page. There are performance issues, resolution issues, and network issues. They also hope to add an X compatibilty layer at some point.
3. It's not done, not by a longshot.

Frankly, a rival project is a good thing. Good luck to Fresco for doing something that no one else dares, writing what could turn in to an X substitue.

Amiga people.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4744437)

will love this! There are some similarities.. I will try to write demos to this WM! This feels as cool as Amiga OS back in the old days.

Editors, PLEASE add value here (2, Offtopic)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 11 years ago | (#4744483)

It would be nice if the slashdot editors would ensure that the slashdot blurbs convey - even generally - what a given project is about. From the slashdot blurb on this, I have no way of telling what "Fresco" is without reading the article. I'm supposing it's a software product (though it might be hardware). I have little idea whether it's a lightweight linux distro, a financial planning application, or a virtual porn site. I don't know if it's free or commercial. I *could* click the article and read it to find out. But I won't, because I'm not that intrigued by a product that I have no knowledge of; there are tons of those.

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