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Re: SEUL: Observatons

jfm2@club-internet.fr wrote:

> Before XFree 3.3 the best seller Matrox Mystique was only capable of
> 320x200 with the VGA server.  It is difficult to do anything decent
> with that.  Also the process of configuring X is tricky and we should
> not be forced to rely on it.  But perhaps that could be solved with a
> two phase config: in the install phase with ask the user the minimum
> ans install the SPECIFIC server (not VGA) with the 640x480 resolution
> and low refresh rates who is granted to not fry the monitor and we use
> that during install.  Then when installation is complete we can make a
> complete config of X (the user has now Linux installed so it is not
> dependent on X working so he is less prone to lose his nerves and do
> stupid things or just abandon hope) and if it works we configure Linux
> for booting to XDM, if it does not work then Linux will boot in text
> mode.

I'm not a video-technology expert, but Windows 95 and NT manage just
fine with a 640x480 SVGA install mode on every computer I've ever seen.
If there are exceptions, they'll be allowed to do a curses-based
install. Other than that, X will work just fine.

> It is just for installation than we would use curses, my goal is than
> when rebooting the user will log to XDM.  I am not against an X
> install but I do not want we try to develop one until we have a curses
> install as a backup solution.

What does XDM have to do with it?

> RedHat 2 used an X install.  They reverted to curses.  In part due to
> the difficulty of mantaining the X install along the curses based one
> they used for backup solution.  In part because at that time most
> people had 8 Megs machines who paginated for hours with the X install.

Doubtful. I installed RedHat 2 on a few machines, all of which had 8MB
of RAM, and none of which "paginated for hours". The real weakness in
RH2's X install was its inclusion of a very poor X configurator and its
attempt to achieve optimal resolutions and depths with any ol' card.
Instead, we should go SVGA for the install and make the (very complex)
task of optimizing X performance a separate configuration tool, separate
from the installation.

> No.  If you try making a full blown X config with high resolutions and
> refresh rates chances are that something will not work so the user
> will not be able to install anything.  If you want an X config then:
> ask the user what brand is his card, what keyboard he is using and
> what mouse (or use mouseonfig to detect it) then install the specific
> server and start it at 640x480 with no hardware panning (it confuses
> beginners).

SEUL should not attempt to get an optimal X server configured at
install-time. It should run an SVGA server at 640x480 and leave it at
that until the OS is on the box and can boot. This is extremely
achievable, so much so that curses shouldn't really be considered.

Michael J. Peck
Hewlett-Packard, Convex Division
Opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of my employer.
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