Re: FYI: Mac OS X Desktop

On Wed, 7 Jun 2000, Derek Simkowiak wrote:

> 	It's very nice; lots of alpha transparency and animation.  More
> impressive and polished than Enlightenment. :)
> 	Finally, the guy brought up a tcsh terminal window and ran "top"
> to show the processes.  That certainly got my attention :).
> 	I wonder if Nautilus/Helix could put any manhours into X alpha
> transparency, or maybe fixing the crap-ass X font system...?

I also saw OS X [prev4] yesterday, but in person on an older 266MHz G3.  I
must say that its interface is lightyears ahead of anything else, though I
also think that if I were to have to use that machine for any length of
time, I'd go [even more] insane.  The effects are nifty, and I'm sure they
would work nicely on a fast machine (this was on a 'slow' machine, with
the display stuck at 640x480 on a 21"er...), but they take time, and would
end up annoying me.

Then again, "end users" might love it (and presumably that's why Apple did
it).  I think Linux/X/GNOME should be capable of doing the same, if for no
other reason than to enable even better stuff.

My immediate reaction when I saw the effects (after laughing my head off)
was that there's no way this side of a frozen over hell that X can even
attempt that right now.  They put heavy-duty graphics tricks right inside
the display manager, which X imlicitly forbids.  Unless we end up with a
way to put arbitrary agent-style chunks of binary in the X protocol
stream, I don't see how things like the genie effect can be accomplished.

Alpha transparency and server-side accelerated (MMX or hardware) scaling
(to enable lens effect and such) shouldn't be that hard, someone just has
to sit down and write the protocol, server code, driver accelerations,
toolkit modifications, window manager, and apps to do it.  Personally, I
would love to have the option of judiciously using alpha transparency and
application/icon lensing, as both could enhance my workspace (for the
record, I think candy is cool, but I have no use for non-functional

Next time I have a couple $K to spend on a machine, I'd seriously consider
a G4, just so I can play around with OS X (and so I have a decent
architecture machine, plus AltiVec).

         Erik Walthinsen <> - Staff Programmer @ OGI
        Quasar project -
   Video4Linux Two drivers and stuff -
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