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XFree86 News

justin++ posted more than 14 years ago | from the at-long-last dept.

X 200

PseudoMan was the first with the news: XFree86 3.3.4 has finally been released (yes, you can actually see the contents of the directory now). Rumour has it that the new release contains support for various Matrox cards, and may be the last release before we see 3.9 show up. Update: 07/20 06:05 by J : It seems that the first public beta of 4.0, 3.9.15, is now available. xinerama, here I come!

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So how long till.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794669)

3D window managers! I want one =) And with all the accelerated arch. that XF86 4.0 offers, maybe we'll see something of this type?

Then again, what i'm saying is insane.. Rendering the graphics of what's in a window at funny 3D angles.. Lots of grabbing what's in the window and playing with it =)

Re:So how long till.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794670)

then again...
in most popular widget sets (hahaha .. xaw not included... well without the help of xaw3d :P) try to EMULATE a 3d look..... welllllllllll... how about a little less emulation (grin) :)

Re:here's a mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794671)

dO NOT USE THIS MIRROR -- pOrn site!!!

Re:X Windows 3.3.5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794672)

Repeat after me :

X Window System (without s) : X11R6.4

XFree86 : XFree86-3.3.4, XFree86-3.3.5, XFree86-4.0

You'll copy a hundred times:
'The X Window System is not property of Bill' ;-P

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794673)

That is not the way it typically happens. You don't decide one day to be a XFree developer and join. It usually happens more like this:

I got some problem with my gfx card. I go read the mailing list archives, find out a bit about my problems and notices that a lot of cool(tm) stuff are being done there. After a while of reading the archives i join the mailing list and takes a few peeks at the code.

After some time (maybe quite long time) i consider myself an "XFree developer".

This is how most other projects work, and i think XFree would get a lot more participiants if they were more open.

/ Alex (haven't got my password)

Does XFree 4.0 support font anti-aliasing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794674)

I haven't found information about this from anywhere...

And yes, I know it supports True Type -fonts but I have them working already (without anti-aliasing)

Documentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794675)

Does anybody know where I can get good docs describing how X works, explaining in a high and low level way, such things as DGA, GFX, etc....

i hear about these things, and I am excitied, with out really knowing what it all really means... :)

Re:Documentation (correction) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794676)

i meant GLX...not GFX (see what happens when you post first thing in the morning?)

NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794677)

This is a fundemantal fact of X. Even if they added anti-aliasing support, every X app would need to be modified to use it.

Anyways, you dont want it. It makes fonts look better by making them unsharp. What you want is good fonts at a high res. So you should run at the minimum resolutions:

15" = 1152x900
17" = 1280x1024
19" = 1600x1200
21" = 1880x1440

Then use large high quality fonts and big images and your system will look GREAT!

Antialiasing is a joke.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794678)

It's not very closed. All you have to do is send in a request to join. Has anyone ever actually been
turned down? Would you also claim that Linux development is closed because you have to
actually get off your proverbial backside to subscribe to the linux-kernel mailing list?

Except that's not at all how either work, and you know it. To get the latest Linux source code, just ftp to ftp.kernel.org. That's it--no signing up, no committment, no anything. If you look at it and have a good idea, send it in.

Now, where could I have downloaded the pre-4.0 XFree86 code from last week? Oh, that's right. I couldn't, 'cause I'm not a "developer."

Re:Sound Pipe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794679)

What you would like to have is something like
the Network Audio System (it allows you to
export `audio' exactly as you can export a
display to a remote workstation). AFAIK it was
included in the R5 (and R6?) contribs of X11
and it used to work fine under linux provided your
application had support for it. I don't know if
some extra work has been done and how it dooes
ineract with the esnd/msound daemons... Guess I've
got to check :-)

Re:NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794680)

I agree with better resolutions, but I still want anti-aliasing.

I quess you agree that at lower resolutions anti-aliased font looks better - so why it wouldn't look better also with better resolutions.

If I only could I would buy a monitor which can do 3072x2304 on 15" (300 ppi - first p for pixel), but I still would use anti-aliased fonts because they STILL would look better! Of course I would need a "little" better graphics adapter instead of TNT.

Re:XFree4.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794681)

Oh yeah, OpenGL is accelerated under Linux for the 3 or 4 people who own supported cards. For the rest of us, it's molasses-slow software emulation.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794682)

I submitted a few bug reports once to what I thought were the appropriate places. I never got a response. So far, that experience has been the worst one in my 5 year Linux-using career.

RISC OS 3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794683)

BTW: I still think RISC OS 3 (and everything that came later) has the best font system from all:
Outline fonts, anti-aliasing, (RO >3.5 even sub-pixel anti-aliasing) and clever caching techniques - This was really neccessary, since the many RISC OS 3 machines had only 8MHz!.

And RISC OS 3 was released - when? I think 1992.

Re:NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794684)

So where does one pick up fonts for X? I went over to sunsite and grabbed everything in their font directory, but all I got were some sad excuses for garamond, et al. There were "freefonts" and "sharefonts" and pretty much nothing else...

Anyone know of any other font packages...

SiS 530? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794685)

I'll probably wait till the Debian packages come out, but does anyone know if this fixes the SiS 530 driver? On this machine I have to use the "no_linear" option to avoid display corruption, which has the incidental effect of disabling acceleration and limiting me to 8bpp. I've tried the fbdev drivers, which work in 1024x768 at 16bpp, but only at a headache-inducing 60Hz and without even an excuse for acceleration. So..is there hope? :) Have they got a proper driver for the chipset?


Three factors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794686)

1) Lots of the Xfree included fonts are garbage, esp when scaled.

2) Netscape loves picking the worst fonts from xfree.

3) Netscape loves scaling it's fonts.

Go get a copy of verdana.ttf and use that.

No, actually. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794687)

Anti-alised fonts causes eyestrain. It's just a trick to make it prettier. If you wants preety fonts, get a better monitor. They are fairly cheap now, and your eyes will love you for it.

Use truetypes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794688)

There are some good links from gimp.org, as I can recall.. Just looking over the net one afternoon (perhaps from tigert.gimp.org?) I got over 34megs of .ttf.. Many are quite good.. Also, check out MS'es site, or go pickup a two year old copy of corel (which I got one for $1 at a yard sale).

Re:Welcome to the 90's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794689)

X is not an OS.

XFree86 needs the GPL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794690)

The problem with this whole X Windows thing is that it's not under the GPL. This scares away developers who would like to help.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794691)

I take it this means we won't see Debian packages of pre-4.0 snapshots :) (or will you just keep them out of stable)


Use truetype fonts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794692)

I run the truetype font server at work and netscape looks just great at the oddball resolution I run it at (1152x864x16bpp, due to a crappy video card that can't manage 1280x1024 at that pixel depth.) The default set of fonts you get with X look pretty crappy, no doubt about it.

Once you get the truetype font server set up, you can snarf some nice free truetype fonts from Microsoft's home page (Doing so is probably the height of irony.)

Re:XFree4.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794693)

Hey, times are changing fast. 3D acceleration is the present and the future. The price of decent 3D has fallen fast over the past two years. Now, you can get a decent 3D card (Nvidia TNT) for under $100 if you look hard enough. Plus, Nvidia has released Linux drivers, so it would be nice to support their efforts.

An additional benefit of accelerated 3D is that it looks a whole lot better than software 3D. Linux is never going to be able to compete against the evil empire in games until it makes the jump to accelerated 3D.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794694)

Dont have references handy.. Hopefully someone will come forward.. :)

Too small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794695)

Then adjust the preferences so that netscape wont dork with your fonts! :) (me@1280x1024 on a 15"er)

Join GGI Then... http://www.ggi-project.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794696)

Subject sais it all...

Re:XFree86 needs the GPL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794697)

I think the GPL scares away more people than the BSD. If I want a virus I'll go get AIDS. At least then I won't die an idiot!

DGA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794698)

Awhile back, I searched high and low for information on DGA. I finally found some, and discovered that all it gives you basically is a pointer to a framebuffer that you can draw-on, bypassing X.

There's not much of an API for it, if you want that, I suggest using GGI, which can use DGA as a target.

Re:So how long till.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794699)

I think you are on to something, unfortunatly I don't think we'll see something like this until MS or Apple do it first. Then we'll be playing catch-up again, like we always seem to be.

Re:NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794700)

My Mag DJ530 (15 inch) does 1152x900 @75Hz right now and even 1280x1024 @60Hz.

Solaris == good fonts? Not! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794701)

The default setup for Solaris 2.6 and 7 seems to use alot of horrible looking fonts. Many web pages look better under Linux IMHO.

Re:Sound Pipe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794702)

There was something called Network Audio Server (NAS) that did what you described. It seemed that nobody ever used it.

Re:Why is font handling so bad? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794727)

I agree that the font configuration in X is utterly archaic.

However, using xfsft and a bit of tweaking XFree86's fonts look every bit as good as Windows (and certainly much better than Solaris's default font configuration):

cd /usr/X11/lib/X11/fonts/ttf
cp /mnt/c/windows/fonts/*.ttf .
ttmkfdir > fonts.dir
/etc/rc.d/init.d/xfs restart


Look here: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794728)

Any monitor that can do 1024x768 at a decent refresh rate (75Hz) can do 1152x900 at an acceptiable one (72Hz). (monitors are analog devices, it doesn't have to be on the box to be possible.. It has to be within bandwidth and frequency constraints)

If your 17 can't do it then you are probably pushing the refresh too high.. It can do it, but only at a low refresh.. I would never push my refresh below 72Hz.

Here, save up for a bit and check this out:

From www.pricewatch.com

$209 - 17" PX-780 .26 1280x1024x70Hz (there are cheaper ones that can meet 1152x900)
$297 - 19" KDS VS-195 .26 1600x1200x75Hz
$824 - 21" CTX EX1300 1800x1440x76Hz

Sure, you can get cheaper ones.. But with hardware, you usually get what you pay for..

At home I have a Viewsonic P817, running at 1800x1440x80Hz (soon to be 2048x1536@85Hz when my G400Max comes in).. My wallet may be hurting, (@~$1,400) buy my eyes have never felt better.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794729)

XFree86 is done on a closed development model. Yes, the result is free and the source is freely available, but the development is still quite closed.

I really think that if they were to change this, it would accelerate the pace of XFree86 development, which I consider to be way behind the curve in how fast it's evolving compared to other projects of the same significance.

To some extent, though, the choice of a closed development model is to allow them to have greater ability to work with hardware vendors and software contributors that have restrictive requirements. There are clearly two sides to this coin; it lets things happen that wouldn't happen otherwise (more hardware support, more cool-neat-features), but it also lets things happen that wouldn't happen otherwise (being put in wierd positions by vendors such as with the NVidia stuff).

It may be possible for the XFree86 team to organize their in-development tree into friendly parts and unfriendly parts, where the former is stuff that could be made available by anoncvs and the latter can't. This might be a compromise situation that could make more people happy than the current scenario.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1794730)

It's not very closed. All you have to do is send in a request to join. Has anyone ever actually been turned down?

I can't show you mail that says 'bugger off' but I definitley got that impression.
When I read about SGI releasing GLX as open source I also read this on the Precsion Insight site:

Programmers who are interested in working with the DRI are encouraged to join the XFree86 Project.

As I was interested in working on this project, I went over the the XFree86 site and studied their procedures. They say

One of the XFree86 Project's scarcest and most valued resources is its developers. We're never short on things that need to be done, just short of people to do them. If you're interested in donating some of your spare time to help advance XFree86, we'd like to hear from you.

To join The XFree86 Project as a non-voting member, send email to xfree86@xfree86.org requesting a membership application form, and briefly state the reason why you wish to become a member. It is very rare that we knock back membership requests, but we are looking for members who will be active in developing and/or testing rather than people simply looking for early access to new code.

So I wrote a short e-mail stating my reasons to join and asked if they have a task that was suited to introduce me to the project.

The reaction was not a TO DO list, but a mail from XFree86 Prez Dirk Hohndel that told me rather to join some other related project that was run by another SuSE guy, Simon Pogaric. Thus I contacted him and frankly, IMHO he was not looking for any help, he had no TO DO list either.

This was not what I expected. As I did not want to force my help on people I did not pursue matters further and looked for some other stuff (after all there is enough work).

I might be paranoid but I have the feeling to have been gotten into some competition between two rivaling groups (Red Hat, PI vs. SuSE).

The whole matter rather annoyed me because I think such large projects should have enough tasks (documenting, code cleansing, implementing) where good coding skills (in my case 18 years of programming, plus strong scientific background) would help and that would allow one to get accustomed to the code base.

Other large projects like egcs or FreeBSD work that way and offer a kind apprenticeship system. With XFree86 I have my doubts.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (1)

dwmw2 (82) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794731)

XFree86 is done on a closed development model. Yes, the result is free and the source is freely available, but the development is still quite closed.

It's not very closed. All you have to do is send in a request to join. Has anyone ever actually been turned down? Would you also claim that Linux development is closed because you have to actually get off your proverbial backside to subscribe to the linux-kernel mailing list?

You can quite happily write new drivers for the current X servers, based on the released source. If you want to do something more involved, then you should join the team and get on the mailing lists. What could be simpler?

DualHead (1)

Erich (151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794732)

HMm... I'm still going to go for the DualHead support because (A) one day I might have enough room for a couple of monitors (maybe 1 monitor + 1 LCD screen?) (B) the second output can be TV-out for playing games on a large screen (Go Koules!), and (C) who can argue with a 360mhz ramdac?

Plus, the 2D performance of the matrox cards is just amazing. If I can get 10% better performance in the 2D world over a TNT2 then even if the 3D performance is half as good I'd go for the Matrox card.

But, that's just me. I use 2D much more than 3d.

Re:NO! (1)

Erich (151) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794733)

I think this is largely Netscape's issue... I think Netscape is taking smaller fonts and making them larger by scaling... 9pt at 18pt or whatnot (but doesn't do a good job of scaling like TeX)

Re:NO! (1)

Mike Hicks (244) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794736)

Well, I run at 1280x1024, and the fonts in Netscape often look absolutely crappy. They have extra chunks all over the place -- looks like they thought the fonts should be getting antialiased, even though they really aren't..

At any rate, I wouldn't mind if there were different systems for the simple 1-bit fonts, and another for antialiased font. Just use whichever works better for the situation. If you need speed, use the traditional stuff. If you want it to look pretty, use antialiasing (or whatever other fun technique they come up with).


fonts.dir (1)

Mike Hicks (244) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794737)

I know that the font system tends to suck sometimes, but you shouldn't have to edit the fonts.dir by hand -- use 'mkfontdir'

Re:fonts.dir (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794738)

The problem is LOTS of people (especially in the Linux camp) release broken fonts. Mkfontdir (under FreeBSD and IRIX) needs the entire fontstring embedded in the font file itself in order to work, not just the name of the font. What I've done is created a new driectory of these broken fonts where I can go through and create the fonts.dir by hand. For examples of broken fonts, check out fonts.themes.org.

Re:NO! (1)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794739)

Your font problem is due to scaling: bitmap fonts don't scale at all well, and Type 1 fonts don't really have enough scaling hints to work well at screen resolutions. TrueType fonts are better for this --- ideally, one would use TrueType on screen and Type 1 for printing, but then you have to find fonts with matching metrics....

Antialiasing has a bigger problem: X fonts are depth-1 bitmaps. Changing this would involve major, incompatible changes to the X protocol and Xlib, breaking every application. Or a whole new API added on top of the existing one, making the new server even more complex (= bloated and buggy, trying to make the two font systems work together properly) and making life hell for the X toolkit and application folks. This might be an idea for X Version 12, but I expect it won't happen in any X11 release.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (3)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794740)

> XFree could start by opening up its codebase a little.

Once upon a time, it was open. Then certain Linux distribution maintainers (no longer around) decided it'd be neat to include outdated, buggy pre-alpha X releases in their distributions --- and redirected all the bug reports to the XFree folks. They Were Not Happy, and I don't blame them.

The upshot here is that *we* screwed up, and the XFree folks got burned badly as a result. If we want to see more open XFree86 development, we're going to have to prove to them that we're not going to pull stunts like that any more.

(Unfortunately, with Red Hat's fondness for including prerelease stuff in their distributions --- "prepatch" kernels and Perl "m" releases, to name some from the 5.x era --- I'm not sure I'd trust them to keep their mitts off prerelease XFree86 code.)

XFree86 could be a little more open (1)

dmiller (581) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794741)

XFree could start by opening up its codebase a little. Last time I checked you had to be a developer to get early access to code. Nor could I find any public archives of the developers mailing lists.

"Being a developer" implies a commitment that may discourage occasional developers and patch submitters (such as myself).

Don't get me wrong; I respect and value the work that the XFree developers do.

Re:woop! (2)

HoserHead (599) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794742)

Branden deserves a lot of credit. He's committed to getting X 3.3.4 into Potato before it freezes, and so he's psychologically psyched himself up for this release. I imagine that pre-release (ie: "staging") .debs will be available very soon, with 3.3.4 being rolled into Potato not too long from then.

Now that I've said all that, Adam, just s/Branden/Adam/ and it's still true. =)

G400 Max? (1)

Enry (630) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794743)

I have one of these puppies on order at necx.com. Goes anyone have one and can comment on how well it works under X, and more importantly, what version of XF86 is needed?

i740 is a terrible card... (0)

gavinhall (33) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794745)

Posted by OGL:

...and proprietary too. I believe the only opengl drivers which will be availible will be the TNT and g200 drivers...maybe 3dfx too if they change the interface to glx.

But anyway, the point is it's time for a new video card, the i740 is complete garbage.


Re:fonts.dir (1)

demon (1039) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794748)

"Broken" fonts? You mean like PostScript and TrueType fonts? There are utilities available for making fonts.scale files for TrueType and PostScript fonts. 'ttmkfdir' for the TrueType side, and something else I can't remember for the PostScript side. (Search Freshmeat.)

Re:Driver support (1)

demon (1039) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794749)

Well, they DID say the hardware support for the XF4 prerelease would be highly limited...

BitBLT timeout (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794755)

Still gives the BitBLT timeout error on GD5446 cards. The GD5446 chipset was awfully popular for it to be dropped from X in 1997.

Why is font handling so bad? (3)

Matts (1628) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794756)

I really don't get it. Font handling is a well understood technology, and yet XFree still falls short. Fonts (even true-type fonts) look terrible under XFree - they look _far_ superior under (for example) Solaris' X server. And I'm afraid to say it, fonts just look a lot better under MacOS or Windows. It's a real shame, because I think XFree would be a lot more usable with a decent font engine underneath - and yes, I've tried both TrueType font engines for XFree.

Anyone know of any progress being made in this area?

Also font setup is appalling. I can't believe you have to edit font.dir files for each directory - why on earth wouldn't the server do this for you? I was astonished at the amount of work it took to get a few TrueType fonts working before the perl TrueType tools came out to do some of the work for you.

I guess you could consider this a bug report. :)


perl -e 'print scalar reverse q(\)-: ,hacker Perl another Just)'

Re:NO! Go dual head and save money. (2)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794760)

15" = 1152x900

You think THIS is a good idea? A 15" unit shouldn't be run above 1024x760 for ergonomic reasons.

But really, I'm ahead of the game. People blow good cash on a 21" monitor when they should go dual head with 17's and 19's. I'm willing to gamble that the two 19's cost less than a single 21" can give you better than 70% more total pixels at a better refresh rate with more than 70% additional screen surface area. That is from my own analysis. I'd post the numbers, but I lost them. I considered getting a 19" when the costed about 400$, but I found a pair of cheap 17" for about 350$, an extra video card for the remainder savings (Matrox Millennium 8MB - solid units) and come out way ahead. MetroX also supports multiple screens on all Matrox products.

Re:NO! (2)

Millennium (2451) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794762)

15" = 1152x900
17" = 1280x1024
19" = 1600x1200
21" = 1880x1440

Great idea. However, I have yet to see any monitor which is even capable of those resolutions at the sizes you have indicated. I don't know of any 15" monitors which can do more than 1024x768, and I can't even get my 17" higher than that (never mind that it says quite plainly on the box that it should be possible). All of the 19" monitors I've found can't do more than 1280, and the 21-inchers can't do more than 1600.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (1)

named (3909) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794764)

I don't know if there would really be much of an increase in release speeds. In fact, it would probably end up rather like Mozilla. (imho)

At the last count that I saw, xfree had ~1.5 million lines of code. That's a whole lot of code to understand before you can start to do any serious development.

it would a rather hefty time commitment, and xfree strikes me as the kind of project where you'd want to know how the whole thing works before you started mucking around too much.

who knows about 4.0, though. a lot of things have been rewritten from scratch, if i read correctly. could be a whole different ballpark. but i doubt it.

Verdana! (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794766)

Definitely ... I'm using Verdana as my browser font (running the xfstt font server) and it definitely looks very nice on a 15" 1024x768 screen, even with Netscape's questionable rendering technbiques. (Can't wait to see how it'll look in Nav 5 though!)

Plus, there's just something deliciously ironic about taking something free from Microsoft (their web fonts collection) and them not getting any platform lock-in in return.

Missed it! (1)

displague (4438) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794767)

Damn - i was there last night checking for this... But it was not there *I suspect squid* ....

Today, BOOM, It's there! But flooded...

Marques Johansson

Re:XFree4.0 (1)

displague (4438) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794768)

is that $300 us? I just bought a VooDoo3/16mb pci 2000 for $99 at compusa, imagine if i bought it online - $89ish ... Besides that - All the Voodoo cards (AFAIK) are under $100 these days (minus the new Voodoos 3000,4000) ....

Furthermore - Riva 128/TNT cards with GL support are also $99 at compusa...

In X i can get 32bit color at all modes my monitor supports, and the framerates are still awesome.

What home user really needs much beyond that?? (attn smartasses: don't even bother answering that question)

Marques Johansson

Re:DRI - oh yes, finally (1)

Quinn (4474) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794769)

And the easy choice is...3Dfx?

I have a Creative TNT card, and q3test runs in the seconds-per-frame range. Maybe I've just installed the libraries wrong, but as of now the TNT drivers perform very poorly.

Stripping away religious issues, what 3D card PERFORMS best in the games available _right_now_ for Linux?


Re:DRI - oh yes, finally (1)

pp (4753) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794770)

Well, you do have choices even now for accelerated
3D under linux

1) 3dfx

Binary-only drivers using glide. It's worked under linux for ages.

2) Matrox G200/G400

Vendor supplied near, but not complete documentation.


Vendor supplied/supported 3D acceleration with full source.

Not a hard choice for me =) (well, ok, G400 is still a possibility, it seems to be slightly cheaper and some of the features are really nice. Not that I have space for two monitors, so the dual head support is useless)

Re:fonts.dir (1)

mazeone (5457) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794777)

"Broken" fonts? You mean like PostScript and TrueType fonts?

No, I think he's talking about fonts like the nexus font (among others). If you've ever used xfontsel, those fonts don't show up because they don't have a true font string embedded in them, I ran into this problem trying to use the gtk fontselect box...fonts under X just suck.

Re:YES!, dammit! :-) (2)

John Fulmer (5840) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794781)

Netscape is broken. Try this:

1) Install TrueType fonts. Use the xfs server from Redhat 6.0 or xfstt.

2) Install the Arial font from Windows according to instructions with the TT font renderer.

3) In Netscape's preferences Appearance/Fonts, use Arial as the default font, click on the Allow Scaling button.

4) In the same place, type the number 16 (16 point font) in the textbox next to the "Allow Scaling" button.

5) Save preferences

At this point your fonts should be MUCH better on all pages, and comparable to the Windows handling of fonts. This works for my home 15' monitor at 1024x768 and my 21' at work at 1024x1280. This is an OLD problem with Netscape, one that Mozilla doesn't have (thank god).

Oh, one problem with this setup. Netscape doesn't save the point size of scalable fonts, but rather defaults to 12. You have to enter the '16' into the text box every time you start Netscape...


Re:Why is font handling so bad? (3)

John Fulmer (5840) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794782)

There are actually two issues here...

1) The Type1 font engine was donated by IBM many many moons ago. It works, and sometimes well, if you have a good font, but has never been optimized.

2) Many of the standard XFree fonts were donated and they weren't really high quality.

Personally, I find that TrueType fonts look very nice in X (with RedHat 6.0's xfs (freetype) or xfstt). I've compared them with the local NT box with a 'real' TT font renderer, and they are at least as good.

One thing to remmeber is that Netscape is broken as regards scaleable fonts. That's why some pages look really odd with tiny fonts. However, if you do a trick (deals with typing in the font size in preferences), my Netscape fonts look as good as NT's on all pages.


Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (1)

John Karcz (6939) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794784)

> Has anyone ever actually been turned down?

Yep. Well, maybe not turned down, but certainly not replied to. A year or two ago, I sent a message to their main address volunteering to help with the Matrox driver, and never heard a peep back.


X Windows 3.3.5 (2)

Zappy (7013) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794785)


X 3.3.5 should be released in a week or two.

Not everything made it in this release...

Multi-head & Xinerama: How are they? (1)

eebly (7752) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794786)

So, my multi-headed system has languished, ever since I went to the 2.2 kernel, which broke Metro-X for reasons unbeknownst. Has anybody yet tried using the new XFree's multihead support? (Xfree 3 got horribly confused by it...couldn't even display on just one card.) My system has two Matrox Millenium II's, which, given what XFree's website says, should work. I hope. And anybody played with Xinerama yet? Any WM's able to handle it?

woop! (1)

Adam Heath (8109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794788)

The debian maintainer of x, Branden Robinson compiles on my box. I already have both downloaded, and have started applying the debian patches to 3.3.4. 3.9.15 is all his, tho.

This is NOT an official word from Branden. There is no timeline as to when this will be available from debian.

Re:woop! (1)

Adam Heath (8109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794789)

I said no timeline. :|

Fortunately, the build system(and debian/patches/*) makes this new version easier to work with.

Re:XFree4.0 (1)

Anderson (8807) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794792)

And not only that, you forgot the large number of people with Matrox G200's. Those are accelerated, too -- they're actually quite fast under Linux (and cheap! :). So yeah -- only a few people with accelerated 3D? Maybe a year or so ago, but not now.

Mirrors anyone? (1)

CrazyFraggle (9200) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794795)

Has any of the XFree86 mirrors gotten these files yet? I checked the two most local to me (sunsite.uio.no and ftp.funet.fi) and neither had the development snapshot. The main ftp server is /.ing bad:

/bin/ls -CF: Too many open files in system.

Re:No, actually. (1)

Croaker (10633) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794798)

Do you have actual evidence that antialiasing causes eyestrain? Have any studies been done on this?

CID font support (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794799)

At last, we have support for CID fonts. Now if the Japanese font makers would only get off their collective asses (*cough*Morisawa*cough*) and release fonts under a fucking REASONABLE license, then I'd be happy...

DRI - oh yes, finally (2)

StimpyBoy (11864) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794800)

Yes, the time is almost upon us. I'd like to see nVidia pick up the ball and run with it now. I have to make a decision sometime soon for a new vid card, and I would love to have a couple choices. Voodoo3, G400, or TNT2/Ultra. Hmmm, choices choices...

I'd like to see what a DRI driver can do for Q3Test, as this is what was holding back cards like the TNT2 and G400 from performing well.

With LAN tournaments coming up, I would love to be able to compete with Q3Test/Q2 native on Linux. That would certainly raise eyebrows for the Windows folk :)

Re:DRI isn't the only thing needed for performance (1)

Adam Klein (12821) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794803)

I've got a TNT, and the current GLX driver are pretty darned slow, even when compared to the performance I've heard from the G200 driver. The driver doesn't seem to be at all optimized, and since there are no specs (afaik), nobody's working on it. Everytime I 'cvs update', I see all the G200 stuff updated, and usually none of the TNT stuff. NVidia either needs to finish their driver or release specs!

Re:NO! (1)

dirty (13560) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794805)

anti-aliasing is a really disgusting hack. Since it slightly blurs the fonts your eyes perceive them as being out of focus, so they try to refocus, this doesn't work, so they refocus yet again, and again, and again, and again. This causes a great deal of strain for your eyes. Running at a higher resolution with larger font sizes looks better and is much nicer to your eyes.

Re:XFree86 needs the GPL! NOT (2)

jerodd (13818) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794809)

Actually any XF86 source can be GPL'd. Even the GNU project uses X11 and XFree86--if it's good enough for RMS, it's good enough for you, too. =)

X11 doesn't have the advertising clause of the BSD licence, so basically X11 code can ``become'' any other licence. It's truly all things to all people.


Re:Multi-head & Xinerama: How are they? (2)

jerodd (13818) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794810)

I got multihead working on my experimental XF86 3.9 setup a number of months ago. The first thing you should know is that few devices other than the Matrox work (the S3 and Trident do not work, at least not now).

The second thing to know is that 3.9 is highly unstable, especially with multihead. Feel free to fix bugs and submit patches if you do hack around with the 3.9.15 release, though. =)

(I actually played with multihead on a Microchannel/XGA-2 system, but that's another story).


sounds pretty sweet (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794811)

looking over there web site it looks pretty nice. the next X should be really good.. I may need to get new hardware so I can really take advantage of the new features...

OpenGL support whoo hoo! (1)

geekd (14774) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794812)

"Precision Insight has been provided with funding and support from Red Hat and SGI to integrate the GLX extension for 3D rendering in an X11 window. The 3D core rendering component is the Mesa library. SGI has released the sources to the extension framework under an open license, which essentially provides the glue system. Precision Insight has integrated these components into this XFree86 X Server and added a Direct Rendering Infrastructure. Direct Rendering provides a highly optimized path for sending 3D data directly to the graphics hardware. This release demonstrates a sample implementation of direct rendering by providing a single path of 3D hardware accelerated rendering for the GMX2000 graphics card. Future releases will support much broader implementations of hardware accelerated direct rendering on a wide range of 3D capable graphics devices."

If they support OpenGL for my card (i740) half as well as it is supported under Win98, then I don't have to boot into Windows to play Quake anymore!


I heard the dude (too buzzed to remeber his name) from XFree86 talk about 4.0 at the LinuxWorldExpo and I have been very excited ever since. True type font support (tho I already got that set up, and they will be using the same thing (xfsft and FreeType)) plus more OpenGL and Multi-head support.

Then if KDE comes out with a great 2.0 (Especially with high color icons) w/ a better looking widget set, then the future indeed looks bright for Linux on the desktop.
(I like GNOME, it looks way better than KDE, but it just doesn't seem to work as well at this point (except for it's file manager, which is way faster than kfm))

alright.. i'll stop with my drunken ramblings.. but DAMMIT, I'M EXCITED!


Re:NO! (1)

GnuGrendel (16068) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794814)

Quit buying cheap, crappy monitors. My Dell 17" at work is (right now) running at 1280x1024... for a good 19" try the Hitachi Superscan 750, it can easily do 1600x1200

Glint driver (1)

Mad Hatter (16140) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794815)

Does anyone know if the Glint (3DLabs) driver supports Permedia2 based cards, or just the higher end chips?

"Trouble is, just because it's obvious doesn't mean it's true"

Re:i740 is a terrible card... (1)

Godwin (16935) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794819)

And will unsupported in August according to the Register.

Why can't intel stick with something that it is good at.. like well ummm like.. so okay.. x86 processors..

Re:XFree4.0 (1)

Ilmari (17261) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794820)

Yeah, right... only 3 or 4 Linux users in the whole world have either a Voodoo {1,Rush,2,Banshee,3} or nVida Riva TNT(2) or Amiga Warp3D!!
I for sure know more than 4 Linux users who have supported hardware, and besides, if you check Linux 3D [linux3d.org] , you'll se that support for other cards is under way as well!!
Remove the capital letters from the e-mail-address

YES!, dammit! :-) (1)

mattbee (17533) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794821)

No offence, but that's a really dim comment. I've got a 17" that can't display 1024x768 without getting a bit blurry at the edges, and I think many other people are stuck with even worse monitors. And most of us cannot afford to shell out for a posh Ilyama or something similar...

Anti-aliasing may not be the 'right' solution in the most anal sense but it makes life better for lots of people. e.g. back in 1991 Acorn introduced a fully scalable, anti-aliased font system on their machines and all I had was a 50Hz telly but it still looked pretty nice. Today Netscape does some 'orrible things to my fonts and I can't afford to buy a posher monitor, so I for one would really really like some more apps to use it.

Hey ho.

XFree4.0 (1)

listen (20464) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794827)

Let me say a few things to you:

XFree86 4.0
Direct Rendering Infrastructure

If you want to do anything fast, just do it in OpenGL. This will be fast for full screen GFX, if you have a supported card.
This is probably true for 2d too, as it doesn't have to be copied to the Xserver. I wouldn't bother with DGA, its XFree specific, and limited to 2d. With OpenGL based stuff, its easy to port to Mac, Windows, any Unix, and even BeOS.....

Sound Pipe? (1)

cpuffer_hammer (31542) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794841)

Since sound is a part of many systems running X when (or is there) sound support. I would not expect sound drivers as part of X but it would be nice if there was a pipe so that an application displaying of an X server would would have its sound sent to that X server.

I think this would be nice since when my wife starts her X-terminal her sould come out of the servers speakers (on the outer side of the room). Not that I mind, but it would be nice if they came out in the correct place.

Just a thought.

X for games (1)

PenguinII (45223) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794850)

I've been trying to make a windowing system called FX :) like X but much lower level giving the programs more control on the hardware because i really hate the way X does that sorta stuff.

I can happily stop this project if I ever find some DGA docs or source code, or Xfree86 project picks up its act and makes it viable for an idiot like me to program full screen fast apps (eg games).

So, if anyone has any nice DGA links and if DGA does want I want, please tell me.

Although X seems like absolute BLOATWARE to me, im sure it takes all that space and memory is so slow for a reason :).

"Annakin! Drop!"
"What was that mister qu-" *SPLAT*
Penguin at jordan.openprojects.net 6667 #debian

Re:XFree4.0 (1)

PenguinII (45223) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794851)

A LOT of people have said this to me.
OpenGL might be great one day in the future but for most people who cant afford a $300 video card we have to stick with 2d API's which actually work.

Re:XFree4.0 (1)

PenguinII (45223) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794852)

A LOT of people have said this to me.
OpenGL might be great one day in the future but for most people who cant afford a $300 video card we have to stick with 2d API's which actually work.

(Sorry if this submits twice, slashdot has been sooo slow recently)

Re:NO! (1)

AME (49105) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794853)

My 19-inch does 1600x1200 (somewhat) acceptably. The problem is that it makes some things just too small. Web pages that specify their own fonts end up with tiny tiny text in Netscape.

I do use 1600x1200, but at that res, I'd rather have a 21-inch.

Maybe so, but not everybody uses X (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794857)

I take issue with that 99.999% ! I administer six Linux boxen, and haven't used X in months. I don't use graphics, so X brings me nothing that virtual consoles and SVGATextMode won't. Mostly people seem use X to open xterms.

I object to GUI's because they are pictographic menuing systems. They abandon the invention of the alphabet. Menuing systems are limited by their design, and can be long to navigate. X is admittedly the best of a bad lot.

That said, graphics are sometimes vital, and X is the best graphics solution for Linux. So XFree86 should attract more developers.

-- Robert

Re:NO! (1)

styopa (58097) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794858)

My 15" monitor does 1152x864 no problem every day. I have even bumped it up to 1280x1024 without significant degredation in picture quality. Heck, it doesn't become hard to read fonts until I bump it up to 1600x1200. I recommend that you go out and spend quite a bit more money on your monitor next time, a good monitor is well worth the price.

XFree86 needs more developers. (4)

cbarry (70212) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794862)

It's kinda sad how short the XFree team is on developers when more or less 99.999% of Linux users use X and 100% of distributions package it. It could really use some more commercial support from RedHat and SUSE, though they have helped a little bit in the past (RHat donated NeoMagic code once...).

For information on becoming an XFree86 developer, please visit the XFree86 developer [xfree86.org] page.

Also, you non-programmers that use X can do your part by knowing that RedHat [redhat.com] and other commercial Linux vendors have ears for their customers and showing concern for the frequency of XFree86 release cycles is a good way to let them know that support for X development is very important to the success of Linux.

Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (3)

DirkHohndel (70583) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794864)

The support load is one of the key problems behind the current
somewhat closed approach. There are other issues (the devel
sources often contain drivers that were written under NDA
and for which we haven't received permission to release,
yet. Those obviously can't be publicly available).

The 3.9.15 release is somewhat a test case. If we receive
tons of support email from people trying to use it and
asking for help, then we might revert back to the closed
cycle that we did before. I certainly hope that none
of the distributions will attempt to include 3.9.15.
It is definitely not ready for that. SuSE will NOT include
it on their next distribution, btw...

Don't get me wrong. Bug reports (and of course, patches)
are extremely welcome. I saw another comment that we didn't
respond to bug reports. My answer to that is simple.
We get so many reports, and there are only so few people
to respond. Usually none of them go unseen and as long
as they contain a fix or the fix is obvious, things
usually get fixed as well.

Of course, the 800 or so bug reports "my Trio3D card
doesn't work" didn't really help to fix the problem...


Re:XFree86 could be a little more open (4)

DirkHohndel (70583) | more than 14 years ago | (#1794865)

Sorry if things went wrong that time. I get tons
of emails a day, so I must admit that I don't
remember the incident that you are commenting on.

There is no competition whatsoever between the
work that PI does and the work that SuSE does
for 3D. I am sure that Frank LaMonica from PI
will be happy to comment on his take on the issue.

Most likely your request came before the
DRI stuff was released to XFree86 (at which point
I usually deflected people since the stuff they
were looking for simply wasn't there, yet).

Normally everyone who sends email to XFree86@XFree86.Org
and states "I would like to work on ABC" with "ABC"
somewhat more informative than "XFree86" or "drivers"
will get an application form within a few days.
And those people are always added to the devel

As to the generic issue here, yes, I think that
XFree86 should open up its development a bit.
And guess what, we will. The release of the
3.9.x snapshots is a first step in that direction,
more will follow.

Dirk Hohndel
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