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Old 07-16-2017, 12:20 AM   #16
Fat_Elvis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sysfce2 View Post
I’ve often wondered what other people’s experiences are with X. So many people say that it works well, but it’s probably my most hated part of Linux. That may be a legacy of struggling with xorg.conf over the years: I've dabbled with Linux since zipslack in the 90’s (admittedly no X) and Redhat in the 90’s, Slackware around version 8, a few distros in the 00’s and became a full time Slackware user (instead of Windows) around '09. I don't think I’ve ever had a computer where I didn’t have problems with X: there’s flickering, memory leaks, crashes (both taking down the kernel and just X crashing). I may stress it more than the average usage with tons of programs running (and for long periods), but I can’t believe my experience is unusual.
The xorg.conf part of X has been unpleasant many years ago. I have first used Slackware in 2003 on a Dell laptop with an Nvidia card. Nothing exotic, but it took a fair bit of fiddling to get it just right.

These days, I'd say maybe a 1/4 of the effort is needed. I only touch xorg.conf to configure mice for lefty buttons and to turn off acceleration. Oh, and also enable the Nvidia coolbits option that I never use.

On the programming side, which I am not very experienced in, simply creating a black X window can take some effort. Lots of lines, looks ugly, and has cryptic toggles with scant documentation. I'm not the most patient person, so I've had to go into the X source to figure some of these out. Still haven't figured out the cut buffers and the clipboards.

As far as I've gathered, the Win32 API is not a favorite of many people either. There are things like SDL which alleviate most of that headache.

In any case, once I've figured out what to do and how to do it, X hasn't given me any grief. Tearing problem, as far as I know, is driver related; i.e. the "Tearfree" option on Intel GPUs. And crashes only happen when a program gets ornery.
I can't recall having that happen in recent memory.

Quote:
For the record, part of the reason I’ve stuck with Slackware is the conservative approach to software: I’m fine without PAM, systemd, pulseaudio (I’ve only got one system on 14.2 and I’ve put off upgrading the rest because of it). But Wayland is the one of the “new generation” software that I have looked forward to: one part of that is that it has been driven by the X developers themselves and seems quite promising. I don’t think it’s ready yet, but once KDE/Qt has solid support for it, I'd love to see Wayland in Slackware.
I have to admit that I have prejudice against software that originates from the same place as those that you've mentioned. I would say this is well earned, but obviously this is Linux land, and we can all make up our own minds about which software to use. I only hope we can make it stay that way.

Last edited by Fat_Elvis; 07-16-2017 at 12:26 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2017, 04:27 AM   #17
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sysfce2 View Post
I’ve often wondered what other people’s experiences are with X. So many people say that it works well, but it’s probably my most hated part of Linux. That may be a legacy of struggling with xorg.conf over the years: I've dabbled with Linux since zipslack in the 90’s (admittedly no X) and Redhat in the 90’s, Slackware around version 8, a few distros in the 00’s and became a full time Slackware user (instead of Windows) around '09. I don't think I’ve ever had a computer where I didn’t have problems with X: there’s flickering, memory leaks, crashes (both taking down the kernel and just X crashing). I may stress it more than the average usage with tons of programs running (and for long periods), but I can’t believe my experience is unusual.

For the record, part of the reason I’ve stuck with Slackware is the conservative approach to software: I’m fine without PAM, systemd, pulseaudio (I’ve only got one system on 14.2 and I’ve put off upgrading the rest because of it). But Wayland is the one of the “new generation” software that I have looked forward to: one part of that is that it has been driven by the X developers themselves and seems quite promising. I don’t think it’s ready yet, but once KDE/Qt has solid support for it, I'd love to see Wayland in Slackware.
My experience with Linux, and Slackware is very similar to yours but completely different with X and I would like to know why. I am aware that Xorg is an example of not only "committee design" but several committees unrelated and in little communication with each other, which is why I referred to it as a "rat's nest" earlier. That said I cannot recall a single instance of X crashing. Admittedly zero is unlikely but the point is that if it has happened it has been so rare that I haven't even taken notice. TBH the only noticeable memory leak has been with Firefox with about 30 tabs open and I have always run GKrellM or, more recently, Conky metering to watch for such things.. I have had tearing but KWin compositor fixed most of that and never have I experienced flickering.

FWIW many years ago I wrote a script to cause an avalanche of app spawning just to see how many processes Slack could handle before it froze and it was nearly 300. At the same time on the same machine I duplicated that script on WinXP64 and right around 100 it gakked. Also for about 12 years now I have always custom compiled my kernel for use as a DAW which means realtime and low-latency which as you likely know works a system a lot harder and is "closer to the edge" requiring good hardware and proper integration or crashes can be more common. I suspect this may be your issue, either hardware and/or thermal issues, with heat being the top dog possibly responsible.

In the past I built all my PCs from junk and even had an arrangement with a local dealer to give me what amounted to boxes each month of stuff that was cheaper to throw away than continue trying to fix or return to the manufacturer. I also have a history of aggressive overclocking and though I've grown up in both regards and buy very good hardware now and don't overclock anymore I have retained the habit of seeking extremely low temperatures. Just yesterday I ran Unigine Heaven 4.0 at Ultra quality level for about 20 minutes while Firefox was open with about 25 tabs but minimized and never dropped below 26 FPS as well as never exceeded system temps of 42C and graphics card temps of 51C. My systems are neither small nor quiet but they are STABLE because they are COOL. I doubt I have experienced a true kernel crash, excepting Kernel Panic upon boot, more than a handful of times in over 15 years of many hours each day and often with particularly demanding applications.

I watched a youtube doc video on a seminar about Wayland development perhaps 5 years ago and according to the tech the main focus of Wayland was to make devs jobs easier because developing for X seems a minefield of gotchas. Even he remarked as to what a wonder it was that X performed so well but credited that to it's age and familiarity as well as developer devotion and thoroughness. I think Wayland has a shot at a welcome improvement in Linux as a whole but I have not been at all disappointed with X, even when I ran it under OS/2 Warp with the very early Enlightenment E2 desktop replacing the Worplace Manager with XFree86.

A word to the wise, before you blame software, check your hardware especially it's temperatures under load.

Last edited by enorbet; 07-16-2017 at 04:56 AM.
 
Old 07-16-2017, 04:54 AM   #18
Fat_Elvis
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Quote:
Also for about 12 years now I have always custom compiled my kernel for use as a DAW which means realtime and low-latency which as you likely know works a system a lot harder and is "closer to the edge" requiring good hardware and proper integration or crashes can be more common.
Do you have any quick tips or links about the DAW setup, if it's not too much trouble. I compile preemptible kernels, but no real-time patches. Very little knowledge, but really need a working DAW.

Quote:
My systems are neither small nor quiet but they are STABLE. I doubt I have experienced a true kernel crash, excepting Kernel Panic upon boot, more than a handful of times in over 15 years of many hours each day and often with particularly demanding applications.
If you are interested in quiet: may I suggest Noctua fans? Specifically the PWM and low-noise ones. ("B" model number IIRC). A bit pricey, but with 6+ fans, my desktop probably runs quieter than my laptop when sitting at a normal distance.

Quote:
I watched a youtube doc video on a seminar about Wayland development perhaps 5 years ago and according to the tech the main focus of Wayland was to make devs jobs easier because developing for X seems a minefield of gotchas.
Ok. I mean, I am a super novice hobbyist programmer and it took me about a couple of days to spawn an X window and start drawing on it. Most programs only need to do this once. This doesn't seem like a real issue to me, but what do I know?

Input stuff is more complicated, until you realize you need to flush the queue thingy. Anyways...

Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
My experience with Linux, and Slackware is very similar to yours but completely different with X and I would like to know why. I am aware that Xorg is an example of not only "committee design" but several committees unrelated and in little communication with each other, which is why I referred to it as a "rat's nest" earlier.
I'd say I'm all for a rewrite of X by just about *anyone* else other than that particular group. I am not confident the end product will be technically superior to X either, but I guess we will see.
 
Old 07-16-2017, 05:16 AM   #19
enorbet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat_Elvis View Post
Do you have any quick tips or links about the DAW setup, if it's not too much trouble. I compile preemptible kernels, but no real-time patches. Very little knowledge, but really need a working DAW.
I could rattle on at length but the Slackware community has a tangent - --- Studioware --- that has that in succinct and efficient order already. Enjoy!

##- Note - It is much easier on 14.0/14.1 since one doesn't have to wrestle needlessly with Pulseaudio but I got some help by checking out what the latest Ubuntu Studio does with such constraints with the only major loss being some features in Jack on the version developed for pulse compatibility. I really dislike a lot of Ubuntu canonical ways but Studio is at least usable and I may even get a decent DAW from Slackware 14.2 64bit, though it is notable that Ubuntu chose to stay 32bit, so it seems I have quite a project brewing. Until then I just boot to good ol' 14.0 32bit where I don't have to mess with multilibs nor stop to throw darts at my board with Lennart's face on it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat_Elvis View Post
If you are interested in quiet: may I suggest Noctua fans? Specifically the PWM and low-noise ones. ("B" model number IIRC). A bit pricey, but with 6+ fans, my desktop probably runs quieter than my laptop when sitting at a normal distance.
Thanks for the tip . I have slowly replaced smaller high rpm fans with larger, slower, quieter ones but I haven't tried a Noctua but I will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat_Elvis View Post
I'd say I'm all for a rewrite of X by just about *anyone* else other than that particular group. I am not confident the end product will be technically superior to X either, but I guess we will see.
Indeed we will.
 
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:44 AM   #20
Fat_Elvis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet View Post
I could rattle on at length but the Slackware community has a tangent - --- Studioware --- that has that in succinct and efficient order already. Enjoy!

##- Note - It is much easier on 14.0/14.1 since one doesn't have to wrestle needlessly with Pulseaudio but I got some help by checking out what the latest Ubuntu Studio does with such constraints with the only major loss being some features in Jack on the version developed for pulse compatibility. I really dislike a lot of Ubuntu canonical ways but Studio is at least usable and I may even get a decent DAW from Slackware 14.2 64bit, though it is notable that Ubuntu chose to stay 32bit, so it seems I have quite a project brewing. Until then I just boot to good ol' 14.0 32bit where I don't have to mess with multilibs nor stop to throw darts at my board with Lennart's face on it.
Haven't heard of Studioware. Good stuff. Will keep the thing about 32 bits in mind. Thanks a lot!
 
  


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