* Posts by DuncanLarge

768 posts • joined 10 Apr 2017


Graphical desktop system X Window just turned 38

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Walaynd is not relevant going forward

Wayland throws out the network aware client server model.

This will make it essentially DOA as it prefers a holdover from a bygone age of RDP and VNC. Yes Wayland developers/fans, your love of RDP and VNC is, well, too funny. You want to know what is obsolete, RDP and VNC and anything that works like they do.

The client/server model needs to be EXTENDED. Sure X needs cleaning up, so does OpenSSL, so clean it up already. A replacement should replace and extend the original, not move backwards to do what toy operating systems such as windows do, with sending compressed screenshots around the network.

Plan 9 has already shown us the way, no compressed screenshots there and a simple elegant fully network agnostic process space. My ENTIRE desktop of running apps may all be remote, running on multiple separate machines, yet appear to all be local to my smartphone. So Wayland, you have the chance to implement the 9P protocol and move beyond X. Take it. But you wont, you will just let it sit and rot as everyone uses RDP and you say "well someone else can implement 9P if they really want to". Do it yourselves. If you want to replace X, actually replace it.

So RDP and VNC? surely that must be a joke? Seriously, to use a remote application/program I must launch a RDP or VNC client, enter an IP address, enter a password, then use f*cking scrollbars to navigate around a live image of a remote desktop?

Anyone who thinks that is good has no idea of what it means to use an X client over the network.

Wayland thus seems to only exist because someone cant stand the headache of debugging X, so they in their limited scope decide to chuck it away totally ignoring the main feature set that they should be extending as we all know that what Plan 9 does is the future of computing.

True cloud computing, where local and remote resources, client UI's and even processes and HARDWARE will appear all together locally in your hand or on your desk. Sure, some things will NEED to be actually local, like the flash drive you just plugged in, or the printer in the house, but your applications may not even be running on your machine, or may only be in part. Wayland with RDP totally breaks that, yet X, the old bloated beast that we know it is, does it just fine.

Just think about it. Why have a powerful GPU when you can use a remote GPU? System builders like me will love a nice GPU sure, but why cant we let a mobile phone on a train use the computing power of a remote GPU, as if it is local? No, use your laof, I dont mean that we UPLOAD a job to a remote SERVICE, then download the result, the remote GPU will be LOCAL and exist in /dev so we open it like any really local GPU.

So tell me Wayland, if you cant (dont want to) do the simple act of letting a remote program render its UI locally to me, without sending screenshots of a desktop to me, how do you think your project is relevant going forward considering what we will eb able to do with what I described above?

We don't really use the network features of X enough yet. But we will. Windows etc will have to migrate to this new paradigm to remain relevant, it will happen on mobiles and tablets first most likely. Linux, with X will just need a little shove to get going, heck Linux will be used to develop it for the mobiles anyway so the shove will probably be a tickbox on the distro installer. But with Wayland, yeah, wont happen, not without someone coming along and re-implementing a network aware GUI protocol. If we are lucky, Wayland will take it from Plan 9. If we are not, some windows gamer kid will write something that looks cool and windowsy.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

> The client/server model is deprecated as far as they are concerned

Yep, I totally agree.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

> Or you could carry on using X

Hang on a second, we are being told exactly the opposite!

> If Microsoft can do it I assume others can too, using RDP remotely too if they wish

Microsoft cant do what X does. RDP presents an image of a remote DESKTOP. RDP and VNC have no ability to allow a client to render its UI on a remote machine. If it did then I should be able to launch notepad on a machine that has no graphical capabilities (which we know is not possible in windows, well unless its a specific version but lets assume we dont have a gui) and have that UI presented to me on my desktop, as if it were running locally.

Operating Systems like Plan 9 take this even further but basically I should not need to know that my application is NOT running locally. RDP and VNC are old fashioned and popular methods from the days when users were forced to be aware that an app was running remote.

Unless RDP or VNC has the ability to render the remote apps UI, locally, with no remote desktop, menus or notifications from the remote machine then it is a major step backwards. Wayland seems to think that full screen, full desktop remote control is ok, well it is not. I HAVE a desktop already, use THAT. Remote programs should use my local desktop as their own, which is what X does. Should not have to see a remote desktop at all.

Wayland insisting on "remote desktop", god it makes me laugh, is like getting rid of the paradigm of having one directory tree when drives, remote and local are mounted into it, so that users and processes don't need to know or care where or on what system those files are on. Thats how it works NOW and if wayland were to be for the filesystem as what t is for the GUI we would be told that we will be mapping drives to drive letters. It is totally mad, we should move forward not back!

X may be old, but the replacement moves backwards in that regard.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

> Wayland leaves it to the window manager to implement RDP or VNC

Please god NO. Plan 9 where art thou?

> GTK and QT

I have very little that uses anything KDE or GNOME based.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

> But fret not, since if you want X, you can just run XWayland

Or save the trouble and just run X perhaps...

It's like installing a bluetooth smartlock in a house but having a spare physical emergency key under the mat.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

> The vast majority of code is already Wayland friendly because GTK and QT

I hardly have anything on my system that uses wither of those

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

> It is X that runs on Wayland. You don't even have to recompile your code.

So why not just use X then? I thought the idea was to get rid of stuff no longer being used, but if XWayland is X on wayland then it must essentially be the same as vanilla X no?

Or is XWayland the tidy up of X that everyone probably really needed instead of Wayland itself?

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

> Provided that you can do a complete re-implementation of the toolkits to use Wayland, in theory you don't need to change the applications. Just re-link the application objects with the new toolkits, and off you go. You may even be able to do this with dynamic linking at run-time, rather than compile time.

That would be acceptable for me.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

> it allows an application to tell the desktop that it wants to create a surface, and that it wants to render its surface

Which is why I dont like it. Besides providing the assets, client apps have no business actually rendering the pixels of a button!

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What I like about X

The problem with Wayland is it doesn't actually exist.

It is a specification, thats it. This may work but it leaves way to much of the low level stuff to the clients. Each program with a UI now has to handle everything that X once did, and they ca do it in their own way.

It reads like a back of the envelope agreement, so generic that it can be interpreted in all ways you can imagine.

I don't like that. I like substance, a standard that everything that talks to it will expect the same behavior. Instead we will have UI elements rendered by the client, in why which way it fancies, different from the rest, a complete mess. Like someone fitting smart bulbs in their home that all are set to different settings and each talk their own implementation of the protocol so one app can talk to all but they don't look the same when you tell them to be blue.

It's much better ti use a lampshade.

RISC OS: 35-year-old original Arm operating system is alive and well

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: So much to do

> bring it back to a usable state is massive

Define usable. I have many use cases that riscos on Rpi's serve.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

DuncanLarge Silver badge

> gear from your average municipal tip.

I'm so jealous.

In the UK taking something from the tip is a criminal offense. I have seen all sorts of things I would love to have, even retro computers.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Not unexpectedly..

Actually I think the poster is referring to the headphone jack on a CDROM drive, of the correct vintage.

Those were the days, and yes, it sounded pretty decent in my headphones. The volume control was quite loud too!

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Not unexpectedly..

> "Even" a CD is degraded from the original recording.

No it isnt.

You dont understand what sampling is, nor why the rate is high, nor why the CD at it's rate is as prefect as the higher rate.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

> When you digitise, you lose information, based upon the sample rate.

Well to be exact, the sample rate dictates the band limit you can capture. In the case of 44,100Hz that is everything from nothing up to 22,050Hz.

Within that bandwidth, everything is fully reproducible. You lose nothing, no waveform of any kind.

Anything that IS lost, is above 22,050Hz, and is unwanted and would have very likely been filtered out anyway so as to no ADD distortion, which is known as aliasing, because there is a chance that one of your sample points will fall onto part of a waveform above 22,050Hz, but as it is beyond your band linit, you only have part of that waveform, thus trying to reproduce it adds aliasing.

Thus you filter it out. Well actually, we dont...

What we do is record at a HIGHER sample rate that what is needed. Thus we can capture the junk above 22,050Hz with NO NEED to filter any of that out at all. We edit at this higher sample rate also, any noise and junk we add due to that editing again, gets pushed beyond 22,050, like sweeping crap under the carpet. Sampling high really does make that capturing and editing process so easier to deal with the noise. Then when we are ready, we downsample to 44,100Hz.

This literally sends the crap above 22,050Hz into the void. Giving us a nice small file (our master is at 192kHz and is much bigger) and perfect reproduction of ANY WAVEFORM that existed at the time of recording, but not higher than 22,050Hz. Nothing is lost apart from what we dont want, and cant even hear. Nothing.

In fact, we do it when playing back too.

CD players, when they say 6x Oversampling, well that isnt just a "wank feature" but a very good way of playing back the waveform. The 44,100Hz samples are upsampled to 6x 44,100, resulting in a sample rate of 264.6kHz.

Now, sure there is nothing in there. Above 22,050, there is nothing, because we already dumped that crap, but the CD player now can deal with the noise that it adds during conversion. The D-A converter and filtering stages can now be designed to filter out any noise added by the CD player itself using much simpler and gentler filters.

An old CD player that does not oversample will have a harder filter at 22,050Hz which is harder to make and more expensive.

So: Nothing at all is lost that we want. Nothing. Everything that is lost, was not wanted in the first place.

> Can you prove information isn't lost?

Yes, we can. In fact you can see it on youtube. You can do it yourself. In a band limited signal, nothing is lost when converting to digital samples and back again. Nothing. Each sample is like a dot in a connect the dots picture, the dots make the picture, they can only make that picture. The only solution, is the exact original signal that was recorded.

"Perfect audio forever" is not just a tagline. This technology nailed digital audio in the 19 bloody 80's. No matter how may audiofools want to think otherwise.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

All microphones are analogue.

Some have a digital interface attached to them or built in, but still analogue.

GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: There Oughta Be a Law

> That's pretty much digital now. So you'll need software to decode it and convert it to a format usable to run the physical display

Still doesn't need to communicate over a network (over the internet I'm saying), nor does much of the work need to be done by software, it can be done by ASICS.

This is how my older than 2012 sony freeview recorder does it. Yes it has an EPG etc and software to burn discs but much of the work especially with decoding is done by dedicated decoder chips. The OS basically just responds to the remote.

My TV however, slow and outdated it may be (so slow and old that iplayer and netflix are not even worth starting on it anymore) it still connects to the wifi and still pulls down adverts and still uploads strange things.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

True, but the most important thing that has happened here, ignoring the fact that it may come to nothing as GPL2 does nothing against tivoisation, is that this case proves that the GPL is more than just a copyright license that "gets it wrong" as Vizio suggested, but also that its is a contract.

Thus from now on, GPL defense will be easier as both copyright and contract law apply. Vizio were trying to wiggle out of compliance by saying that the GPL is a copyright license, which means it (as they claimed) was invalid as it added extra restrictions and conditions. But now, the fact that this is the contract side is set as a precedent.

Thus Vizio may not be breaking copyright law, but they are breaking the terms of contract set out i the GPL.

Thus even if this doesn't amount to much with the TV, the GPL suddenly got a bigger pair of balls.

Cars in driver-assist mode hit a third of cyclists, all oncoming cars in tests

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Try Scooters in Madrid

> "I pay my taxes too, mate", and toddle along at 15MPH

I agree but, they dont pay road tax.

Also "toddle" along is subjective, depending on your point of reference. IN a car you are faced with a toddling speed, but yet if you are another cyclist or a pedestrian then the many cyclists doing 15MPH are a menace for the opposite reason.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Try Scooters in Madrid

> This is the mess we’re in, we have compressed our lives’ timelines so much that we require cars to function properly

Yes, but it has been like this for over a hundred years now considering that cars have been about for ages and you have the trains too that have been about way longer.

If everyone switched to bikes, well there wouldn't be enough room anyway, but lets say they all did. Well that would be like having to "go back to the good ol' days" a hundred years or so ago when everyone used horse and cart or simply walked.

I agree with your point but I think it's damn near impossible to roll back the clock so far and silly to think this is anything new.

Perhaps it is more useful to think about reducing the distance needed to travel to work more than extending the time needed to travel there.

Debian faces firmware furore from FOSS freedom fighters

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: What do you mean nobody reads the source?

>> -> I read the source. OK, not all of it,

< = You do not read the source.

How did you navigate that weird logic. Even if the poster read only 1 function or whatever, then that is reading the source. How can the poster, read the source of just 1 function, without reading the source?


DuncanLarge Silver badge


> I would contend that there is almost no ROM in your computer

EEPROM Is a type of ROM

Flash is a type of ROM.

We are not only considering mask ROM here, they are all ROM. Well, ok flash is much more writable than you would expect ROM to be so it may fall into your argument, but not EEPROM

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Devuan

> So for a programme to be able to run on a systemd system, it must be linked to the systemd core libraries. And once that's been done, then it can't be loaded if that core library isn't there

That is false

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: It's a curious distinction to make

> it seems reasonable to me to assume they trust the vendor

Yet people dont think of that as a consideration and if they did they proably wont trust the vendor.

What did you do with your Huawei kit?

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Fighting the wrong people in the wrong place

> If it means I have a working computer, so what? Some people just don't get it. It's more important to me to have a functioning computer than an earful of pedantry about firmware which I will NEVER look at.

Ah, so you are the type who would sign away anything if it is convenient for you.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Fighting the wrong people in the wrong place

> but you can't argue that Nintendo haven't added value doing that

Yes you can.

It is in the eye of the beholder.

DO your kids NEED that switch or is it YOU need them to have that switch?

Do I need a switch (yes, I have one). I don't need it. I need a front door, yes, but I don't need a switch. It merely fulfills a role which many things can do instead of the switch.

So it can be argued whether Nintendo added value or not, because that value is entirely arbitrary. You can get the same value from any computer. If you only look at it as a form of entertainment, you could replace the switch with anything from a board game to a cardbaord box.

Kids existed and played just fine before the switch. My C64 was perfectly fine, before that my books and a football worked fine.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Fighting the wrong people in the wrong place

> GPL is a horrible licence. Pick the BSD licence instead

What is your problem with copyleft?

I have yet to hear anything that is convincing and not just about being the most free.

Society is full of freedom, plus rules that curb that freedom in certain circumstances. Those rules are there to cover exceptions. For example. I'm free to walk anywhere I like, but private property laws still exist, I can still be done for tresspass. In some countries you can own a gun, but you can not do certain things with it. Ok, a gun is an extreme example but it still is one, I don't have to shoot it but I'm still going to be in a worse off position if I were to wave an unloaded gun about during an argument.

Lets have another example, I have the freedom to own as many telescopes, binoculars and cameras as I like. I can take all sorts of photos ranging from the stars and moon, to the birds in the tree to people out on public property. But, I cant freely use such things to take covert photos of certain sensitive things like military bases. Nor can I take photos of someone on private property without the permission of the property owner. In fact if I do take a photo of someone on public property, which in most cases I would be free do do so, I still don't have the freedom to use such a photo commercially without a model release form (where the person can be identified). In fact France are even more strict, not allowing any public photography of anyone without permission.


Why should a developer be free to remove freedom from users?

DuncanLarge Silver badge

You could suggest that firmware could be loaded into the devices via the UEFI.

Originally the BIOS would bring everything up and hand over to the BIOS' on cards etc. Well I don't see why we can not leverage the UEFI somehow to load the latest firmware into such devices, thus helping being those devices up and ready for the OS, which then can be allowed to ignore the firmware issue.

BUT this wont be the case with USB devices. I would imagine the OS having to load in that firmware, makes sense as they are removable. I'm speaking about the firmware for devices that are non-removable, such as the wifi or SATA cards/chips. Not something a user will pull out every day.

Doesn't solve all the issues

First rocket launch from UK soil now has... a logo

DuncanLarge Silver badge

He doesn't need to be 18 to drink a pint, nit by a long shot.

Epoch-alypse now: BBC iPlayer flaunts 2038 cutoff date, gives infrastructure game away

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: (not sure why they are broadcasting both series at the same time!)

> Indeed, I re-read the Verne original very recently -- in fact, just after thinking "I don't remember any of that" during Tennant Ep.1).

Pretty typical for adaptions of the book.

As a kid I remember learning of the existence of the story by watching an annoying cartoon of it with a Lion playing Fogg

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: A fix for this

I have always wondered about the connection of Bee's to sewing and spelling.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: A fix for this

> Or paying a subscription to watch streaming services without adverts

That's not always true. Paying a subscription does not stop you from being forced to watch the adverts.

Example: Babylon 5 on Amazon Prime. Adverts automatically inserted at the most annoying moments. Broadcast TV at least makes it clear where they go and when they are coming but on Amazon Prime you are there watching the action unfold as the Vorlons finally attack the Shadows and boom 3 adverts. The SAME 3 adverts you see, over and over and over.

Unskippble, even if you have ALREADY watched them because you got distracted and had to wind backwards to re-watch that action.

Microsoft veteran demystifies Abort, Retry, Fail? DOS error

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Or when you are like me and install DOS 6.22 in Qemu one sunday morning for fun. Then fiddle with freeing up as much conventional memory as possible to let you run a game that you just pkunzipped from a shareware CD-ROM image that you have, only to find that you now know why turbo buttons were invented and why you should have uses DOSBox in the first place.

Russian 'Minecraft bomb plot' teen jailed for five years

DuncanLarge Silver badge


I think the FSB may want to invest in some obsidian bricks.

Feeling virtuous with a good old paperback? Well, don't. Switching to traditional media does not improve mood

DuncanLarge Silver badge

> The beginning alone is basically child abuse done in the name of training.

What do you want on an alien planet where they do things in a very alien way?

Care bears?

Final PCIe 6.0 specs unleashed: 64 GTps link speed incoming... with products to follow in 2023

DuncanLarge Silver badge


Insurance giant Lloyd's hires DXC to migrate org off legacy mainframes to AWS cloud

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Mix and match

> make a profit from you

The number of times I have trawled through our Azure storage accounts looking for "forgotten" files etc.

They (MS) charge loads for keeping forgotten files and they dont make it easy to find them. I wonder why :D

Canon: Chip supplies are so bad that our ink cartridges will look as though they're fakes

DuncanLarge Silver badge

> Even it's just a transparent window in the cartidge combined with an LED + photodetector?

Just like how brother multifunction machines do it

Another Debian dust-up with Firefox dependencies – but there is an annoying and awkward workaround

DuncanLarge Silver badge

How the heck did you get yours to not auto install the update?

What is this /opt/downloads nonsense?

Oh, you are making it up.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Mozilla's four-weekly release cycle

> That does seem a tad too frequent

You'd be surprised. Its a dangerous fast moving world out there keeping up with security vulns is a nightmare, and thats only for the ones that are known about.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

I just keep backups and dont run as root

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: "dangerously outdated browser"

I think that was OP's point

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: "dangerously outdated browser"

I think OP is being sarcastic as FF has forced him to use an outdated dangerous browser?

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: "dangerously outdated browser"

I gave you an upvote but only because I think you wrote this with tongue in cheek ;)

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Install Firefox directly from mozilla.org

> Because Mozilla does not publish distro packages, just tarballs

yes, which is the simplest and easiest way to install Firefox.

It self updates, can be installed in your home directory or system wide in /opt.

Why is that harder than flapping about with flatpack??

Go on give it a go. Go to Mozilla.org, get the latest ESR firefox, download, untar with your fave archive app and run it.

> It is harder to do and requires strong tech knowledge


Have you ever opened a zip file? How is this hard?????????

> It will not receive updates

Mine just updated all by itself. My god it must be self aware or something.

> It does not interact well with the rest of the OS

BS. First of all you haven't even run the download, how can you? You cant even extract an archive. The only issue I had with it was getting the spellchecking working and that was because FF ESR 91.x has a bug in that you cant install the UK dictionary easily without also having the US english language pack installed, weird but there it is.

None of your points make any sense. Although I have a degree in computer science I was able to upgrade to FF 91.x ESR by doing what I was able to do as a kid with windows 95 and winzip. I didn't need any hyper IT skillz to do it.

Your response here calls into question everything regarding your article. Basically you dont know what you are talking about.

Cant extract a zip. Next up: Clicking an icon is too technical

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Install Firefox directly from mozilla.org

> In which case the upgrade tool makes you remove all the software that its own package manager didn't install.

No it doesnt.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Install Firefox directly from mozilla.org

> rather than a direct download & install from its own site; just because it saves me that extra step

In the case of firefox, one you un-tar it it updates itself...

DuncanLarge Silver badge

What is all the fuss

What is all this nonsense about Flatpack and GNOME etc?

Just go and download the Firefox ESR tarball of Mozilla.org (click the big download button) and extract it.

Extract it into your $home or for the whole system on /opt.

Point your shortcuts/icons whatever to use that version.

Run it.

Works fine on Debian 10.

Updates itself!

If you install into /opt then as Firefox runs as non-root it will tell you there is an update it cant install, thus run it as root and it updates.

Its just a tarball, the simplest installation method ever. Everything works out of the box.

Shocking: UK electricity tariffs are among world's most expensive

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Side effects of nuclear

There are no effects.

Its all hype, created by ignorant media and reactionary governments.

DuncanLarge Silver badge

Re: Electric should be cheaper, gas more expensive

Then keep an eye on how its doing



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