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Old 03-08-2004, 03:58 PM   #1
jtshaw
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FreeDesktop.org XServer Results


I decided today to get my system up and running on FreeDesktop.org's XServer. XServer is a replacement for XFree86 and it could become the future standard for most distributions if XFree and the distribution folk don't settle there licensing problems.

I don't want to get into the licensing issues here, I just want to talk about XServer in general.

Right now I have it running and I am using KDE 3.2 with it. You can see screen shots of my old XFree desktop as well as my new XServer destkop.

The major visual differences are in the fonts, as the font rendering system is a little bit different in XServer.

XServer is also a touch slower, but it isn't too big of a deal really.

I guess the major set backs at the moment are the following:
1) No GLX extension support as of yet in XServer. If you need OpenGL you are out of luck.
2) No hardware acceleration.

These are pretty sizeable show stoppers for some, but since I don't play games I don't really care much about either.

For being such an early version XServer works really well. The mouse is setup to work a little differently which is currently driving me crazy, but I think I can either figure out how to change it or get used to it pretty quickly.

One big possitive was how quick it compiled and installed. XFree takes about 5x as long to build.

In short, if you don't use 3D stuff much (or at all) I recommend giving XServer a shot. They could probably use the feedback (both possitive and negative).

Anyone else used/use XServer? What do you think?

Last edited by jtshaw; 03-08-2004 at 04:00 PM.
 
Old 03-08-2004, 04:25 PM   #2
unSpawn
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I haven't used FreeDesktop.org's XServer yet, but the recent debate plus your post certainly sparks interest in trying something new, and I think it's good to see alternatives. Could you give us some more details, stuff like memory usage, amount of apps of XServer vs X11R6, stuff like that?
 
Old 03-08-2004, 04:28 PM   #3
rootyard
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From the screenshot, it looks like it renders fonts just as well as XFree. I appreciate you bringing this subject up. Still, I think we need a faster (than XFree) gui server that can run on old video cards (I know, it's called an 'ancient version of xfree'). Nevertheless, I will give XServer a serious look since I haven't heard of it before.
 
Old 03-08-2004, 04:52 PM   #4
jtshaw
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Ya, I didn't mean to make you think the fonts looked worse in XServer. They just got rendered to be smaller. Perhaps this is because of the way my XServer is configured. I think the font rendering in general is pretty good in XServer.

I'll try and profile the memory usage.. but it might take a while for me to get any kind of accurate results.
 
Old 03-08-2004, 05:18 PM   #5
contrasutra
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I tried it a while ago, it crashed loads. This was a few months ago though, and I'm glad it became more stable.

I think we'll be seeing big things once a (dubbed) stable version is released. People will begin to create drivers/software for all the new extensions the xserver will provide.

I think the server also needs a cool name. I know its superficial, but "fd.o xserver" doesn't really roll off the tongue. How about "BitchX", that's catchy. Is that taken?

Also, isn't the font rendering somewhat server agnostic? I thought Freetype2 did the rendering for most apps now. Wouldn't it be the same in either server?
 
Old 03-08-2004, 05:29 PM   #6
jtshaw
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Well I figured out my mouse issue... I had a really dumb error in my XServer configuration... so now it actually works better.

As far as the font rendering goes, I don't know much about it, but something was surely different as the fonts were much smaller in XServer then they were in XFree using the same KDE font settings.
 
Old 03-08-2004, 07:31 PM   #7
jtshaw
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Actually you very well might be right about font rendering. The size difference was because by default the vesa driver was in 75 x 75 DPI mode. I changed it to 96x96 and the screen shots now are just about identical...
 
Old 03-09-2004, 12:06 AM   #8
jtshaw
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For fans of eye-candy... I have the composite extension going in my screen shot now, look at how the kicker bar overlaps the edge of the gaim window for the best look at what it does. And of course all those wonderful shadows on all the objects.

The transparency on menu's is different as well, much better looking them before.

Lastly... the composite extension doesn't seam to carry much, if any, speed penalty.
 
  


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