[rescue] all kinds of stuff, Re: Sun Kit Needed for EE Student Here

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Sat May 13 17:51:41 CDT 2006

Attempting to redirect this to geeks... sometimes I read both at nearly the
same time, and don't realize threads have drifted from the list.

Sat, 13 May 2006 @ 11:21 -0700, Don Y said:

> > I have not quite figured out how that can work, since XRender uses the
> > local GPU for doing the heavy work.
> No idea.  It could be this is all done client side and bitmaps
> just shipped over...

Oh, I didn't mean to say it could not be done, but rather how it could

Even GPU accelerated the current code can be slow... I'd hate to see it done
by shipping bitmaps over the net.

I suspect latency issues would render much of it unusable.

> > If I view documentation for non-trivial amounts of time, like a PDF
> > file, the fuzzy fonts really start bothering my eyes.
> I don't "read" documentation on-line.  :-(  I guess just a
> generational thing (?) -- I want to hold paper in my hands when
> "reading".

No, not a generational thing... it also doesn't really matter what you
want when the document is not available in printed form.

I prefer printed documentation and books, but I don't always have that

One of the reasons I got a new laser printer was so I could print out
frequently used manuals, as long as they are not long enough to cost much.

Print shops are often cheaper than using your own laser printer, and you get
binding, but they are frequently bitchy about printing documentation, even
when you show them it is legal.

> Of course, I have no problem *preparing* documentation -- since
> I usually am working in a very small portion of the page and
> can magnify a single column to fill a 21" monitor (makes viewing
> easier -- especially if you are pasting/positioning callouts onto
> illustrations, etc.).

Well, for years I did that sort of thing with nroff and LaTeX. Harder to get
started, but pays off later in a document project.

Most people I write for these days want documentation in a word processor
format, so I've been using Open Office. I can work with it, but it still feels
like a foreign way to do things to me. If you do a big project, and then later
have to change templates or master documents, it can be very painful. Same for
Microsoft Office.

I still use nroff and LaTeX, but get complaints about it when I do.

> Yup.  That's why I have *all* of my fonts on a font server.
> Too bad Windows can't directly benefit from that approach...
> instead, I have to have a copy on the Windows machine as well.

Writing a font server client for Windows would be useful. Even if all you did
was serve TrueType fonts, it would be useful in some environments, like DTP
shops, or companies that want everyone to standardize font usage.

> I'm not as fussy.  :>  As long as my zeroes are distinguishable
> from oh's (either slashed, slimmer or "tapered") I'm happy.

> I prefer serif fonts (sans serif are harder on the eyes -- hence
> the reason you find most document printed with serif fonts
> and sans serif for headings, etc.)

That depends on who's eyes you are talking about... :)

I like fonts that are what I call semi-serif, like Bitstream Vera. It has
enough hints to improve readability, but without the ugliness and cluttered
look of most serif fonts.

> My "stock" session has two 80x25 windows and a single 80x66,
> none of which overlap.  

That's been my setup for over 15 years now.

Even in KDE, the session manager automatically starts up the last desktop with
that xterm setup.

I use each desktop for certain functions.

I've been doing it that way since the first version of fvwm that supported
multiple workspaces.

> > In particular, xterm fails to render some monospaced fonts properly,
> > because
> Hmmm... really?  I've not seen that -- except if the called for
> font is not available and it has to substitute some other font.

Monaco, Anonymous, and several others will not work in xterm, at least
not yet.  They are too widely spaced. 

No, they are not proportional fonts, they are monospaced. I think the problem
is that for some reason xterm doesn't know that.

Evidently the X font server can't always figure that out, but KDE and Gnome
applications can because they use things like Pango which must tell the X
server what it needs to know.

That's what I meant earlier about X still not having full font support.
It's far better, but still not quite there.

> > It doesn't matter after you've been working for a certain number of hours.
> I work out of my home so there are ALWAYS enough OTHER things
> to pull me away from the screen for an hour at a time.  :>
> The biggest problem I face is that they aren't OFTEN enough.

I am working at home right now too.  I find the distractions make it
hard to get work done.  I don't want to work all day, I want to get it
over with.

Of course, it *IS* nice to be able to take 2-3 hours for lunch and get the car
fixed when the shop is actually open... :)

> OK, so it's the applications that have been designed EXPECTING
> to run under a certain environment.  

No, that is not correct.

X still cannot do all necessary font rendering and cannot render some fonts
properly at all.

So for full font support, you still need things like Pango.

Remember that for years X had bitmap fonts and rudimentary outline fonts, and
that was all. No PostScript, no TrueType, no hinting, etc.  The nameing
conventions were horrible.

All X applications with good fonts had to render them internally, and send
them to X as bitmaps.

Then X started gaining better font support, and now it can do a lot of
the work internally, so a lot of code has moved out of the application

However, there are still things which can't be done purely with X.

> > Doing that with vi and bibtex would have taken weeks.
> I'm doing similar, currently.  But, using a home-grown web-based
> interface to a PostgreSQL database (I want it accessible from
> other machines as well as the framework in place for cataloging
> other things -- CD's, software, equipment, etc.)

I found books I didn't know I had... 

I don't really mind running Tellico, even though it hogs memory, so I'll
keep using it for now.

Plus, it will write bibtex and other common bibliography database formats.

I just spent 30 minutes today trying to remember how to print a bibtex
database, and got sidetracked reading email.

I don't like Tellico's reports.

> That's how I have built my applications (of course, you can't
> view things like book covers from the command line... but, you
> can search for titles, do data entry, etc. without NEEDING
> the browser interface)

That's nice.

Tellico uses the Yaz library, and I think it comes with a command line client.
Yaz is a Z39 interface to library database systems, and so Tellico is able to
contact Amazon and the Library of Congress to collect publication information.

It's just a little difficult to use the command line tools for that.

There are times when a GUI is just faster.

> Had they opened up the licensing, they would have had a chance
> years ago.  Now, people have developed (rightly so?) the attitude
> that "we can do that on our own...".  So, too late for Motif.


> Ah, but not to worry... I am sure Windows will "win" that race!
> (I am no longer amazed at how bloated these folks can make things
> and STILL leave plenty of room for bugs!!!)


I remember when I used to recoil at Motif because it was so huge...

shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["The determined programmer can write a
FORTRAN program in any language." ]

More information about the rescue mailing list