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X11 Chrome Reportedly Outperforms Windows and Mac Versions 542

An anonymous reader writes "In a curious contrast to conventional wisdom, there are reports of X11 Chromium being faster than Windows or Mac versions. In the thread titled 'Why is Linux Chrome so fast?,' a developer speculates that it is due to the use of X11 capabilities: 'On X-windows [sic], the renderer backingstores are managed by the X server, and the transport DIBs are also managed by the X server. So, we avoid a lot of memcpy costs incurred on Windows due to keeping the backingstores in main memory there.' Has the design of X11 withstood the test of time better than people tend to give it credit for?"
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X11 Chrome Reportedly Outperforms Windows and Mac Versions

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @09:59AM (#29962820)

    "Has the design of X11 withstood the test of time better than people tend to give it credit for?"

    Yes of course it has. X11 is great and anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't understand it properly, or have an accurate idea of what it's genuine problems are actually due to.

    • by eugene2k ( 1213062 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @12:26PM (#29964642) Homepage

      Why is this modded funny?

  • Interesting comment from one of the developers:

    We could also just move process creation to a background thread. An unused process might just get swapped out and be no cheaper to "make live" than it would be to create a new process.

    Surely this reusing of a process would negate the supposed security benefits of Chrome/Chromium's multi-process spawning architecture?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We could also just move process creation to a background thread.
      Ok, that's just making the process and subsequent address space.

      An unused process might just get swapped out and be no cheaper to "make live" than it would be to create a new process.
      It sounds like process just being put into a pool - the process creation thread is holding onto the handle - and when someone wants a new process, the thread just hands over that one presumably the heap and stack for that process would be cleared.

      I don't see w

    • by mea37 ( 1201159 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @11:29AM (#29963802)

      I guess maybe I'm making bad assumptions, as I don't really know what Chrome's intent with multiple processes is... but I think the answer to your question is no, it wouldn't necessarily impact security and certainly wouldn't fully negate the multi-process approach's advantages.

      The major advantage to keeping separate tasks in separate processes, it seems to me, is that they have separate memory spaces. I can't sneakily inject code into another task's buffers if I'm not in the same process. In particular, if the browser spawns a process to execute some plug-in or whatever, there's less risk that the plug-in or whatever can trick the browser into executing malicious code. (Or cause it to crash, but that's more "stability" than "security".)

      In other words, the biggest security risk comes from two processes sharing the same process at the same time. I don't think re-use is as big a problem. Sure, if you did a bad job of wiping buffers, then in theory one process could see its predicessor's data; and I guess there are scenarios where that could be an issue, though I'm a little skeptical that a malicious process would go rooting around its uninitialized space "just in case" it was handed a process with something it would recognize as sensitive data from a previous task...

  • X11 Chromium on Mac? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:00AM (#29962832) Journal

    Does anybody know if it's possible to compile a version of Chromium for X11 Mac?

  • X11 has never been a bottleneck in performance on the desktop. Many people have been confusing X11 with the desktop system/kernel/applications and wrongly blamed X11 for any slowness.

    • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:13AM (#29962972)

      So you are saying it is not X11 that is slow but Linux... Oh man you are taking it out of the frying pan and into the fire.

    • by pz ( 113803 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:46AM (#29963330) Journal

      X11 has never been a bottleneck in performance on the desktop. Many people have been confusing X11 with the desktop system/kernel/applications and wrongly blamed X11 for any slowness.

      Yes, exactly. X11 ran reasonably complicated applications 20 years ago on hardware that we throw out as woefully inadequate (or quaintly archaic) today, and did so with entirely acceptable speed. X11 isn't the problem -- hardware is what, two orders of magnitude faster now? -- it's all of the poor programming practices that have layer upon layer of abstraction and interpretation stacked tall and high.

      I had a 266 MHz laptop in the mid 1990s (about 15 years ago) that ran Linux (RedHat 6.2, mostly) and X11 perfectly well with a mere 64 MB of main memory. A while ago, I tried to load a Fedora release (9, if I recall correctly) on it. "Laughable" is a good term to describe the result. My current laptop has a 10x faster processor and 50x more memory. There's more cache on the processor in my new laptop than total system memory on the old one --- And yet, Fedora 11 feels sluggish on the new hardware. X11 is not the problem.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jeremyp ( 130771 )

        Yes, exactly. X11 ran reasonably complicated applications 20 years ago on hardware that we throw out as woefully inadequate (or quaintly archaic) today

        But that was in an environment where the average PC had a 640x480 display with 16 or maybe 256 colours. High end workstations had higher resolution but were often monochrome. The X server simply didn't have to do anywhere near as much work as a modern one.

    • Yeah sure because every layer of indirection is faster than direct ram access... sorry
      But I still after 10 years am not convinced about the design. X11 follows the design philosophy of enforcing
      a methotology (remoting on drawing level) which is needed by about 5% of its users and thus burdening a layer
      of complexity on top of the rest of 95% users who then have to deal with shoddy drivers.
      Heck even the remoting does not scale well enough that it is usable without tricks for modern UIs out of the box.
      Unless y

      • This is the one gripe about X that I can understand and get behind.

        Wayland is not designed to be network transparent, nor do remote rendering. I'd rather have a system like that.

        • by JesseMcDonald ( 536341 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @12:30PM (#29964708) Homepage

          The thing is, X11 gets network-transparency essentially for free. The system requires some sort of inter-process communication, even when running on a local machine, and Unix-domain sockets are one of the fastest IPC mechanisms available short of shared memory (which is orders of magnitude harder to get right). X11 supports shared memory for local processes, to speed up communication of large objects like pixmaps, but the core protocol is socket-based and there is absolutely no reason to change that. So long as this is the case, why not support network transparency? BSD network sockets are interchangeable with Unix-domain local sockets once the connection has been established, so it's not like there's much more effort involved.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 )

            The modular nature multiplies the number of potential bugs by an order of magnitude for each layer. I.e. if the Client/Server model of X11 were merged into simply the X11 renderer, GUI applications would be an order of magnitude easier to write. It isn't too bad for X11 because it isn't that big or all that complicated, but the client/server nature of X11 creates the potential for a lot more bugs.

            The biggest example of the bug problem with modular systems is the GNU HURD kernel. It is modular, I believe

      • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @11:16AM (#29963662) Homepage Journal

        memcpy of 1000s of bytes is slower than sending a message. Many of these systems that provide direct access to RAM require lots of copying too. (OSX one example I'm most familiar with)

        X11 also supports direct access to memory, but it is only used in very specific circumstances because it's extra work to set up.

      • by Elbows ( 208758 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @11:48AM (#29964088)

        I've never had performance issues running X11 over a LAN. VNC, on the other hand, is noticeably sluggish (RDP seems to work well though). I don't run apps over a WAN very often, except for the occasional emacs session (which is a bit laggy but useable).

        But more importantly, the X style of remote access is much, much more useful than VNC/RDP. Remote apps integrate seamlessly into my desktop, instead of being stuck in a separate window. And multiple people can run remote apps on the same machine, without interfering with each other or a user who's physically sitting at the machine.

        VNC and RDP are useful hacks for systems that weren't designed for remote access, but they're no replacement for real network transparency.

        • by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @12:34PM (#29964770)

          VNC and RDP give you the ability to interact in an explicitly remote sense, the windows in question operate on the remote server instance and will remain in existence regardless of what happens to the local system.

          That's one reason I stopped using X11 forwarding even though I could: If I lost connection on my laptop for any reason, every application I had open was dead. With VNC (or RDP), they were always running remotely.

          Also, if I have an application open on display :0 I have no way (that I know) of moving it from :0 to :10 and having it appear uninterrupted on my local display.

          I'd say that they're extremely useful hacks that solve issues that are, at least for me, unresolved in X11.

        • by JamesP ( 688957 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @01:30PM (#29965550)

          I've never had performance issues running X11 over a LAN.

          VNC and RDP are useful hacks for systems that weren't designed for remote access, but they're no replacement for real network transparency.

          Oh no you don't!

          Try using X11 over something slightly slower as LAN. Just try it, over ADSL, whatever

          I tried. And X11 is totally and utterly USELESS. A well configured VNC (and you have to really play with the knobs) is usable. RDP is the best (of course, it wasn't developed by Microsoft...)

          • by rrohbeck ( 944847 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @04:40PM (#29967834)

            If VNC is usable, you'll love NX [nomachine.com]. It is *far* more responsive for a given bandwidth/latency and it is persistent too (the session keeps running if your client disconnects.).

            You can even run VNC to other machines through NX and it feels faster on limited bandwidth (NX creates a session on the Linux client that runs a fullscreen vncviewer to another system.)

            It's my standard way of working remotely. My default work desktop lives on a Linux machine at the office and it resizes automatically depending on what screen size the client uses (as long as your Gnome or KDE version is recent.) Even at the office I run NX to my work session - over a LAN I can't tell the difference between local and NX.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by sootman ( 158191 )

            Random tip: if you just want to run a single app from the remove machine, ssh -XC
            The X tells ssh to forward X and the C means compress. One particular app I used to run (connecting from anywhere to my Linux box at home, which was behind a 256k up DSL) launched in 30 seconds with -X and 10 seconds with -XC.
            Of course, different people's definitions of "usable" differ. :-)

            Otherwise, I hear good things about http://freenx.berlios.de/ [berlios.de] .

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      I never thought that X11 was slow. My problem with X windows has always been that it was too fragile and complex. A lot of features of X seemed to be over kill for use on a standard desktop.
      I never felt X11 as too slow just that it tended to break way to easy.

    • The problem is that when monitoring processes, people can "see" X11 using CPU cycles, whereas in Windows they only "see" the application doing. It's six of one, half dozen of the other -- but it makes it look like X11 is CPU-resource intensive. In reality, the same cycles are used for windows based apps (perhaps more? I certainly don't know...), but they look like the app using the CPU which is somehow more expected.
  • Really? (Score:3, Informative)

    by complete loony ( 663508 ) <{Jeremy.Lakeman} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:15AM (#29962986)
    From the later discussion on that topic, it seems the conclusion was that windows had a large history in the profile and may be bitblt'ing the first draw operation from main memory. Both of which have an impact on how slow it feels to the user.
  • by Thantik ( 1207112 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:15AM (#29962988)

    After doing a fresh install on both systems the guy determined that it was just some sort of freak occurrence. He had one laptop with a 2.0ghz processor and another with a 2.4ghz processor and after the reinstall on both systems, VOILA...it was only roughly a 20% difference...

    TFA - just keep reading further and further down the usenet post

  • by FranTaylor ( 164577 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:28AM (#29963142)

    If you choose your abstraction carefully, you can hide expensive details from user space.

    In the short term it may not gain you anything.

    But if the abstraction lives and thrives, then much can go on behind the scenes to improve the situation.

    Java is another example of this: they carefully designed the language so that it would be possible to make vast simplifiying assumptions and implement optimizations that really improve performance without impacting the "other side" of the wall. Originally java was slow, but hard work behind the scenes means that your java programs run much faster now, without any extra effort on the part of the application developer.

    X Windows is a great example of this. Originally we had dumb frame buffers with no acceleration at all. And yet X provides an abstraction that allows lots and lots of hardware optimizations to take place.

    The Windows and OSX abstractions for the display don't provide an API that allows these sorts of optimizations to be done behind the scenes. We have incredible display hardware with awesome features that go unused in these environments because the display abstractions do not allow for them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MobyDisk ( 75490 )

      The Windows and OSX abstractions for the display don't provide an API that allows these sorts of optimizations to be done behind the scenes.

      That is not true. Windows GDI was designed for hardware acceleration. As an example: Circa 1998 I got an ISA Diamond Viper video card which performed orders of magnitude faster than comparable VESA cards because the drivers took advantage of the hardware rasterization. For example, dragging a window didn't redraw the window, it moved the bitmap from one place in video memory to another. Drawing/filling lines and shapes was absurdly fast because GDI offers primitives for those operations and the driver m

      • by FranTaylor ( 164577 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @12:59PM (#29965106)

        "X11 doesn't expose that kind of stuff."

        I'm not talking about the stuff that is exposed. I'm talking about the things that are NOT exposed. X11 runs great over the network because of all the things that they chose to NOT allow the user to do.

        Sure you can accelerate bit-blitting, that is really old school.

        Take a look at the fundamental model. When you move a window in Windows, the app is notified and it has to respond. Try moving the window of an unresponsive app, it does not redraw because Windows is asking the app to redraw it. When you move the window of an unresponsive app in X, the window redraws because X already knows what it needs to know about redrawing the window without having to make a trip back to the application.

        Those are the kinds of things that you DON'T expose. That way the driver and hardware are free to implement them as they see fit.

      • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @01:41PM (#29965690)

        No X11 can do Windows 7 and Vista and OSX expose features ... and does so .....

        The whole point is that X11 does not draw Windows it draws tiles ... Window Managers draw windows ... and they can draw 3d glass dancing Windows on X11 without X11 caring about it ...

        On Windows the layers are Driver - GDI - Application
        On X11 the layers are Driver - Kernel - X11 - Window Manager - Application (there may be more ...)

        The point is that you do not need to Expose the low level stuff to the application. .. just to the window manager, the application should not have to worry about redrawing itself, or resizing the window etc... it should let the window manager worry about that

      • by knarf ( 34928 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @01:47PM (#29965772) Homepage

        X11 would have a hard time trying to do the Windows 7 alt-tab or OS X expose features where Windows move around in 3-dimensions on the screen. X11 doesn't expose that kind of stuff.

        Uhhhh... have you seen Compiz, Beryl, Metisse, Gnome-Shell or any of the other whiz-bang screen-flipping and warping and cubing desktops? They do run X11 apps... through an X11 extension, be it AIGLX or XGL or something similar. X11 exposes whatever you want through the use of extensions, including the stuff needed to do 3D window manipulation. It did this when Vista was still Longhorn, let alone Windows come lately annex 7...

    • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @01:40PM (#29965678) Homepage Journal

      X itself is undergoing incredible levels of development and improvement. Way back when, "The Open Group" tried to say that X was "complete" with X11R6, and no more development was needed, though somehow defects and omissions let numbers start creeping in after the decimal point. IIRC it got to somewhere in the X11R6.3-X11R6.5 range. Then XFree86 took over, ramping up some innovation, though still slower than many liked. After that X.Org took over, decided it was high time for X11R7, (They did X11R6.9 as a stage to get there.) and things started moving faster.

      At this point, they're redrawing the lines (KMS, DRI/DRI2, DRM) between kernel and user space to (hopefully) get a better balance speed and stability/security. They've pretty much reworked the 2D acceleration (*XA) and are reworking the 3D acceleration (Gallium3D) which will also simplify driver development. The inteface has been reworked down near the protocol level (xcb) to improve speed and memory usage. One thing I've heard talk of is "inverting" the stack to put all primitives on top of the 3D hardware, since that's where most of the hardware performance work has been done.

      The next 6-12 months will be very interesting for X-Windows, but then again, the past few years have been interesting, too.

  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:30AM (#29963156)
    But the 4.X beta runs incredibly fast on my dual core Windows workstation. If the Linux version is significantly faster in rendering, I would be very surprised.
  • by iamsquicky ( 450495 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:31AM (#29963166)

    I'm pretty sure that the biggest slowdown for Chrome isn't the memcpy/bitblitting for the display - it's probably something to do with the insanely big history files it generates as part of it's searchable history.

    Files you can't limit in size, can't compress, can't optimise. Instead all you can do is to delete them and loose all your precious history information.
    It also has the bonus of providing a searchable address bar that performs significantly worse than firefox's searchable address bar !

    I use both firefox and chrome simultaneously at home and at work, dedicated each browser for different tasks I do. It's a real shame that Chrome is being seriously degraded over time by this fault - I've started switching back to firefox because of it as my laptop just struggles too much with it now...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MikeBabcock ( 65886 )

      I had the same problem with Google Desktop. It was a great tool and worked well for a while, but eventually its little database file was immense and was dragging my system down with it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mea37 ( 1201159 )

      With all due respect, it sounds like you want to blame everything negative about Chrome on one feature you don't like. Just sayin', the developers might have a reason to think that the rendering speed has something to do with the windowing system - they're a lot less likely to be just guessing and calling their guess "pretty sure".

      But for the sake of argument - if the history files are the big slow-down for Chrome, why is that slowdown less pronounced on the X11 version?

  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:34AM (#29963190) Homepage

    If you can take risk of re-compiling every X related app/library in case you give up in future, try the semi official/unofficial at http://xquartz.macosforge.org/ [macosforge.org] , it is newer than the Apple bundles. Install anything with the help of Fink/Macports like Konqueror from KDE 3 and see the amazing GUI speed, scroll speed, widget drawing speed.

    I don't understand, as an OS X user, why a modern x.org on a good, supported hardware should be surprising to give better results. Also remember the insane things x.org has to do on OS X like using Aqua layer.

  • X11 is not bloated (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dvh.tosomja ( 1235032 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:34AM (#29963206)

    X11 is not bloated nor slow, GTK is both. Put 100 or so spinedits on one form in Win32 and in GTK. On netbook or anything other than quadcore machine, you will see significant difference in speed. And it is not because of the graphics. Sometimes I think GTK render fractals somewhere just to keep processor busy. Meanwhile, when I draw 100 spinedits using only cairo, it is almost as fast as Win32 while giving the same output as GTK including shadows, gradients, etc... I've being noticing this GTK behavior since forever.

    GTK folks, please fix it.

  • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:47AM (#29963352) Homepage Journal

    How about a Qt build of Chromium as opposed to a GTK build of Chromium? I'd be real curious to see how it performs.

    I was also saddened to see the port team bitch and complain initially that they had to use GTK, because GTK is "the standard toolkit" for Linux, while in the same paragraph complaining that Linux doesn't simply have one standard toolkit. Last time I checked, Windows has a bevy of toolkits and APIs to choose from as well. They also complained that writing audio in Linux was difficult.

    If they had written a Qt app from day one, porting would be minimal, they wouldn't have to maintain this huge separate trunks, it would have worked from day 1 on Solaris, Mac, Linux, Windows, BSD, etc. Audio would have been very easy to code with Phonon.

    I'm curious to see if Chrome (the browser and OS) are indeed both developed with GTK, then will they both need some retrofits when GTK 3.0 ships, further complicating the matter?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @11:34AM (#29963894)

      A Qt build of chromium exists, and is normally known as "konqueror".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BitZtream ( 692029 )

      Windows does not have a bevy of toolkits to choose from out of the box.

      Windows has, the Win32 API, GDI and the common controls. They come with EVERY install of Windows, it is a requirement. Pretty much everything else sits on top and is optional. You can draw buttons, checkboxes, ect, that work across all apps the same with nothing else. You can add a layer of abstraction with MFC and ATL if you want, but most developers who have been doing it for long enough will avoid those as they are more trouble th

      • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @01:26PM (#29965500) Homepage Journal

        Windows does not have a bevy of toolkits to choose from out of the box.

        Yet Windows developers often find the core Win32 API doesn't fit their needs, and waffle between toolkits like GTK, wxWidgets, Qt, and the usual cross-platform suspects. They also turn to .NET, Java (technically a whole language), MFC and others.

        I constantly run into issues where I need to download a runtime to run a Windows app, because many developers don't simply develop for what is out of the box with a standard Windows install.

        I've seen native X11 apps offer up checkboxes, form elements, and the like. So it is possible. It just doesn't look nice.

        Developing audio on Windows is not necessarily standard, not easy. That is why apps might ship with their own separate audio library like OpenAL, tie into QuickTime, etc.

        I have some non-trivial Windows apps that were built for Win95 that still run in Windows7.

        Sadly, there were many Windows 95 era apps that were still 16 bit, which don't work in x64 versions of Windows 7. Half of my games (mostly from the XP era, not Win95 era) wouldn't work properly in Windows 7. Windows breaks compatibility all the time, even with service packs. Saying you have a particular app that still works doesn't mean the Win32 API has stayed the same, because it hasn't.

        The GTK API has stayed mostly the same over the 2.x life-cycle. That is likely to change with GTK 3.

        Now, I'm not a fan of GTK by any means. However, the GTK 2.x API has been around since 2002. Anything written for that API should still work fine today.

        If they wanted the easy way out, they would have used wxWidgets, which at least feels native (by using the native toolkits) across Windows and Mac, and GTK on other Unixes.

        That is basically what I said, except you apparently didn't get that. I suggested they use Qt (like wxWidgets is a cross-platform toolkit). Qt makes more sense for a variety of reasons, such as native bindings to Webkit (the heart of Chrome), and very easy audio development where you write code once, and then the audio works on Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

  • by nuckfuts ( 690967 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:50AM (#29963384)
    It's been called X-Windows for a long time. Longer than the term "X11" has been around. It's not a misuse of Microsoft's Windows® brand name.
  • I've been using the daily Chromium PPA builds for a couple months now (updated weekly usually), and Chromium is by far more responsive than Firefox on my Ubuntu 9.04 laptop. For some reason FF just seems to get laggy in the UI dept, and if I open up a handful of tabs, especially if there is Flash involved, the whole thing chokes and the app turns grey. Chromium seems to perform much better.

    That said, it still feels very much incomplete. I don't think printing is working still, although I haven't tried it

  • by isolationism ( 782170 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:51AM (#29963400) Homepage
    The font rendering settings are locked in. There are some Google Groups discussions about why this is so, but it was all white noise -- every other application can use .fonts.conf (even if it is a workaround to do so) and Chrome can't/won't for a while, so it got promptly uninstalled.
  • What to make of X11? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @10:55AM (#29963436) Homepage Journal

    I'm wary of any real old legacy code.

    I also know that graphic displays and inputs are vastly different today than they were 10 and 20 years ago.

    Do I know that X11 is inefficient? No, but I sure read plenty of other people making those claims. However, I suspect that X11 wasn't developed initially with today's needs in mind. I do know that the X team keeps promising features, cutting them, and then still shipping six months past their projected release dates.

    Novell has guys working on Mono, Evolution, OOo, KDE, Gnome, the kernel, etc. What I don't see a whole lot of is major distro companies (Red Hat, Novell, Canonical) paying for major upstream development with X. Maybe it just needs a little more love, some deprecation of old cruft, and a new forward-thinking design. There seems to be somewhat of a future direction (GEM, DRI2, MPX), but perhaps X needs a revolution.

    Is Wayland a step in the right direction?

  • Vive la X (Score:3, Interesting)

    by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Tuesday November 03, 2009 @02:09PM (#29966022) Homepage Journal

    I've noticed that X unfortunately gets a lot of metaphorical rotten vegetables thrown at it from Linux users; even people who apparently are fans of Linux in every other respect.

    In my own opinion, however, X qualifies as one of the greatest pieces of software ever written. Put it in perspective, here; the system has been in continual use and evolution since 1984. That's 25 years this year. Granted, its' configuration process in particular has needed radical reform, and fortunately it has recently got it.

    I don't understand why people criticise its' stability, either; for me it has always been rock solid, particularly on FreeBSD.

    I'm also not really surprised that Chrome might run faster under X than under Windows or the Mac. If there's one thing that's always been true of UNIX in general, it's that the system doesn't include unnecessary frills. When you're wanting to be optimised for speed in particular, that can only be a good thing.

    I love X.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.