* Posts by thx1111

8 posts • joined 30 Oct 2020

More than three years after last release, X.Org Server 21.1.0 RC1 appears


Re: A nit but not a nit...

People still seem to misunderstand what "Wayland" claims to be, that it is *just* "a protocol for a compositor to talk to its clients as well as a C library implementation of that protocol.", and *not* actually any kind of functional "implementation", as is, in contrast, X11, "an open source implementation of the X Window System".

Any "want'a be" X11 replacement would seem to initially have only one simple requirement, to "copy existing X11 functionality". That's all, a Wayland Client providing full X11 Server functionality to existing X11 applications. Instead, now, after 13 years of Wayland "development", that has totally failed to happen. Basic hardware configuration, with xrandr, does not work. X11 client-server networking, does not work. Often, copy-paste does not even work.

In practice, the term "Wayland Server", means something quite different from the common meaning of "X11 Server". It is claimed that "Wayland is intended as a simpler replacement for X", insinuating that it necessarily provides all of: Networking, Compositing, Display Management, Window Management, Color Management, and Security. So far, in actuality, "Wayland" is nothing more than a new compositor hack with a better security model. There is no networking, no display management, no color management, and I think people still argue over how to perform window decorations in the window management.

I can only hope that, some day, some talented young developer, ambitious enough to "rush in where angels fear to tread", might swap-out the "compositor" part of X11 with some Wayland innards, to provide a satisfactory X11 evolution.

Get a load of fancypants no-enemies AMD-Xilinx: 'Large majority' of third parties 'had no concerns' about pair's hookup


Nice to Hear

It's actually nice to hear a story about a regulatory process that "worked", and where everyone seems to have been treated with respect.

US Patent Office to take only DOCX in future – or PDFs if you pay extra


PDFs a pain for machines to grok

> PDFs, meanwhile, are more of a pain for machines to grok ...

PDFs, meanwhile, are more of a pain for machines and humans to grok ...

Space is hard: Rocket Lab's 20th Electron launch fails


What one has to remember is.......

Or, to be more precise, Rocket Engineering.

Back to the Fuchsia, part IV: Google's in-development OS now open to community contributions


Not "Free", as in "Freedom"

Interesting that the article's author utterly fails to take note of the most fundamental characteristic of this new OS, that, while the OS is "Open Source", it is *not* "Free Software". Just as Google's Chromebooks ship with "broken" Coreboot, advertised as a form of "security", there is only "security" for the business model, the "walled garden", the "golden handcuffs", of "eyeballs" and "user data". Google's new OS appears to be little more than a path to a future without "Freedom" - all about politics, not technology.

Microsoft brings Trusted Platform Module functionality directly to CPUs under securo-silicon architecture Pluton


Re: What Choice Do You Have?

Oh! Thanks for that. PowerPC is still a thing!




Hmm - OpenBMC -


Your own Linux running in the Board Management Controller! That's better than proprietary - but maybe not better than nothing.

Of all the - how many? - office and ordinary home PCs, whether branded as "Pluton" - is that meant to be a pun on "Putin"? - or Intel Management Engines or AMD Secure Platform Processors or just generic Baseboard Management Controllers, what number of these system's users have actually ever gone and remotely re-installed their system software? And really, how many of those users actually even know that such a thing is possible to do from the internet? This management controller doesn't come across as a "must-have checklist feature".

More interestingly perhaps, what happens when some systemic side-channel hardware security flaw is discovered in all these built-in management controllers, and every internet connected PC in the world suddenly has its system software and user files unexpectedly rewritten? Cryptoviral extortion will seem like "old news". I suppose that someone could make the movie first, before we try it out in the real world.


What Choice Do You Have?

Hmm - sounds like a full entrenchment of the proprietary "back door", provided by the likes of Intel's "Management Engine", but now covering every main stream processor architecture and vendor. For anyone unfamiliar with how secret and embedded this hardware has become, see for instance at https://libreboot.org/faq.html#intel . As it is, the only people who will know how the "security" actually works will be the same people whom you do *not* want rummaging around your files or your network. As far as I can tell, the only available generic hardware *without* a built-in "back door" processor would be something like the "HiFive Unmatched" system board from SiFive, based upon the open standard RISC-V Instruction Set. See for instance https://www.sifive.com/boards/hifive-unmatched . Perhaps RISC-V is the only thing left that will allow trusting the hardware, instead of "trusting big-brother".

X.Org is now pretty much an ex-org: Maintainer declares the open-source windowing system largely abandoned


Re: Network transparency

My impression has been that the Wayland development culture is quite juvenile in character. They have rejected contributions which provide missing features, as for instance equivalent xrandr functionality, and they seem more interested in exactly who does and does not get to share the secret decoder rings or have access to their private tree fort. After over 12 years of development, and *still* not a replacement for X, expect another maybe 10 years for the missing functionality to become available.


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