Re: Request for removing clutter in current form

On Sun, 2009-08-16 at 23:55 +0100, Emmanuele Bassi wrote:
> On Sun, 2009-08-16 at 12:12 +0200, Maciej Piechotka wrote:
> > I'm sorry I'm posting it on wrong list.
> yes, you probably wanted to mail to desktop-devel-list instead of
> gnome-devel.

Ups. Sorry.

> > I'm usuing currently Gnome 2.27.x and I've become worried about new
> > dependency - clutter.
> > 
> > OpenGL traditionally have been problematic on GNU/Linux, not mentioning
> > other *nixes. Many cards are only partially supported and/or produces
> > not exactly correct results. Proprietary drivers not only are
> > proprietary but often are not stable. 
> that *was* mostly true. the majority of GPUs, nowadays, work fine on
> Linux with open source drivers[1], and provide the basic functionality
> that Clutter requires[2].

I'm aware about the improvement. However R600/R700 support is still
partial experimental (at least when I check last time). R400 I have have
OpenGL broken(OK. - now I have initiative to report bugs to kernel). 

> > Unfortunately I have rather old and strange ATI card and OpenGL I can
> > best describe as 'sometimes' working. If an game uses it I'm prepared to
> > have blinking screen or artifacts (I'm using kernel but
> > problems was 'since always'). I don't use propertary drivers since it
> > tended to crash computer. While recently situation improved much I guess
> > that many users may have similar problems.
> > When I tried new clutter-based gnometris I haven't see it running at
> > all. The main portion of screen was the previous background. While I
> > understend that it is not a gnome bug it shows that OpenGL is not
> > perfect even on 'geeks' desktop. 
> well, I wouldn't agree on the definition of your desktop as the
> paradigmatic 'geek' desktop -- my puny 945, which is three years old and
> that is commonly found in netbooks nowadays, is perfectly fine when
> running gnome-shell *and* GL applications inside it. older cards, like
> the 855 (which was released in 2003) have more problems, that's true.

Well - I used the word 'geek' not to show that this is average geek
desktop but to state that I have a bit more knowledge about computer
science then how to open a web browser and how it differ from search
engine ;)

I bought my computer 4 years ago - and it wasn't brand new (sorry - I
cannot find it in neither in google nor in wikipedia). Currently I don't
have resources to change it. 

> as for ATi cards, I'm pretty sure that the open source drivers have
> become a lot better than the closed source ones; we test Clutter on
> Intel, ATi and nVidia cards to check for issues -- obviously, it's
> informal QA for ATi and nVidia, so we cannot possibly say "we support
> every driver/GPU/operating system combination ever"; that's why we rely
> on bug reports to know what degree of support we can provide.
> > While I understend the need of eye-candies I'd be rather grateful if
> > features would not be hard-depended on OpenGL - since it is not working
> > everywhere - especially rather old/new/peculiar computers.
> I don't think you'll like the plans for GNOME 3.0 to use GNOME Shell,
> which is based on a composited window manager using Clutter, then. :-)

Composited metacity works well. I hope I'll have my computer replaced -
but it may not be the case. Possibly it will be the time to change
desktop environment.

> I understand the objection to the introduction of a feature that heavily
> depends on hardware and drivers. it's true: if the hardware support is
> lagging behind then it's always a pain.
> I'd like to point out, though, that innovation cannot be driven by
> looking at the past; if GNOME, and the Linux desktop, want to be
> relevant with the users of today and tomorrow it cannot still be
> anchored to hardware requirements of 5 to 10 years ago.

Well - but hardware 5 to 10 years old is still working. I, personally,
have 6-years replacement cycle - and in notebooks I do not buy brand new
technology. In many institutions (at least in past) in my country (like
schools etc.) hardware may be even older (although this information is a
few years old so it might have changed). And still my country is upper
middle income country (although I've seen studies putting it in lower
high income).

Additionally even if I could afford such change there is an
environmental issue - why throw the 3-years old hardware which is in
perfect condition and works well just because it does not support new
eye candies?

> if desktop
> environments like GNOME don't push for resolving the drivers gap that we
> have with Windows and OS X, by making use of features that desktops,
> laptops, netbooks and embedded platforms *right now* expose, then the
> Linux desktop won't ever be relevant.

I know that your goals may be different that mine. I'd like to have a
working desktop on computer I have right now.

> so I hope that you believe me when I say that I'm very sympathetic with
> your issues. on the other hand, it's not like GNOME is requiring a
> change of Windows Vista proportions: you need a GPU that has open source
> drivers and was released between five and three years ago to have a
> decent, modern, hardware accelerated desktop.

Well - unfortunately you just targeted an economic meltdown (and in my
case - the end of my replacement cycle at the same time). I simply don't
have resources to guarantee it during even most of the cycle (when I'll
buy the new laptop it's GPU will likely be 2-3 years old. Considered 5
years cycle it will be on average 5 years old. Half of the time I'll not
fulfil the requirement). Especially that I never considered GPU an
important part of my desktop (I don't need eye candies).

> ciao,
>  Emmanuele.


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