[rescue] Auction link - just for grins

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Tue Mar 1 23:35:55 CST 2005

On Tue, 1 Mar 2005, Wes Will wrote:

> Does anyone else find the evolution of the computer and associated
> technology to be absolutely amazing?

Not particularly.  Most new technologies experience explosive growth
in the first few decades after being available for public consumption.
Look at how quickly automobiles advanced, as opposed to how much they've
advanced in the last 20 years.

What I do find amazing[0] is that software developers manage to find
utterly useles crap to do with all that additional power and storage.
The end result being that, outside of Big Number-Crunching Machines
and other highly-specialized Real Work Devices, computing doesn't get
any faster.  It just gets shinier; on the odd occasion it actually
gets more capable, but that's certainly not the norm.

On another list, I had a rather vitriolic *head explody* moment over all
the creeping featuritis in "Unix" software that is really "Linux on a
PC" software.  Modern GTK+ (and, hell, modern WindowMaker!) requires
Xft2 and fontconfig and Xrender (which usually implies the RENDER
extension, which implies 32 bitplanes (!!!!) in the framebuffer), and,
of course it part of GTK+ is Pango, which requires Expat.

All that: expat, Xrender, RENDER, fontconfig, Xft2 to -=draw labels[1] on
dialog widgets=- so that they'll look "better"[2].

It's not just Microsoft peddling the bloat.  It's an entire generation
of computer programmers who were taught the mantra "computer time is
cheaper than programmer time".  The Open Source "Oooh!  Look what I can
do!" mentality doesn't help a whole lot either.

[0] And comtemptible to the extreme.
[1] Yes, yes, I'm quite aware that you can use Pango as the backend to
     an all-signing, all-dancing text manipulation widget, but most of
     what it's used for is drawing menu items, button labels, and the
[2] I'll agree that antialiased alpha-blended fonts are more visually
     appealing.  I'm not convinced that they are more legible.
Jonathan Patschke   )   "Trying is the first step towards failure." 
Elgin, TX          (                                   --Ben
USA                 )                                    (in #posix)

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