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Re: SEUL: Observatons
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Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 16:26:52 -0700
From: Dan Stromberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0 (X11; I; SunOS 5.5.1 sun4m)
> Micah Yoder wrote:
> > email@example.com wrote:
> > >
> > > I disagree. The fact is than the VGA server will run with *almost* any
> > > card. But not all.
> > > There are PCs with NVidia Cards (correct me if I am wrong but that is
> > > a modern card) that won't run with the VGA server. They will run with
> > > their specific server however.
> > > And there are other cards where the VGA server will only support 320x200.
> > [snip]
> > >
> > > Also 8 meg machines will have a hard time with an X based install.
> > OK, points taken. Curses it is!
> We should be doing an X-based install.
> X'll cover very nearly everything now. You find VGA-capable machines in
> the dumpster now. Literally.
> 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
If we don't have 640x480x16, we shouldn't even consider supporting it.
In fact, I think 1024x768x256 and 800x600x256 are very realistic minimum
configs to consider.
We don't have to limit ourselves to the VGA server.
The VGA server was the only one able to run with the Mystique and
without a special trick you got on the net it was only able of 320x200
with it. The Mystique was number one in sales.
To get our goal of making a user friendly LINUX then X is mandatory.
But what if the user has a card so new than XFree does not support it?
Are we going to say him: sorry the money you spent in CD or FTP is
gone for good. Wouldn't it be better to at least allow him to install
and play a bit with MidnightCommander until his card is supported?
> 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
Just do the X config first. A CD-ROM has plenty of room for X servers.
Of course we are providing all of XFree.
> You'd be amazed the number of users who won't take curses seriously.
> Over the weekend, one of my housemates said "unix is just like dos,
> right?" He also talked about "just using telenet" in disparaging
> tones. (As tho unix is only capable of telnet sessions, because that's
> all he can get from windows without installing more software)
> 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.
I think working on curses stuff is a waste of time. It'll really form a
bad first impression. At a minimum, we could grab widtools and slap
something together. That's easier to do than curses programming anyway
(mind you, I'm good with curses, I just think it's kinda dead)
And what for people who had a Mystique before June 5 (release of
XFree)? Would you let them unable to install anything?
> There are plenty of non-X-based installs around. We don't need another.
> 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.
RH's in a different situation. People might reasonably want to run RH
without X - so they shouldn't force people to Configure X.
8M is too low for a true end-user linux -because- X doesn't run well in
8M. Also, people buying windows boxes are going for 32M or 64M now. If
we set 16M as our lower bound, we're in -great- shape.
SEUL has no business trying to do anything without X (or other GUI, but
probably X - shades of apple). It won't be considered "user friendly"
without a GUI - with decent performance.
I agree. But consider this: XFree never gets prototype cards before
they are marketed. That means than XFree supports it only a few
months later. And to get a CD Rom with the new server you have to
wait still more. Better let the user at least install a minimum of
things and later download the server and install it.
> 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:
It's going to happen sooner or later. Don't put it off. Graphics are
what make the environment, to most people.
I was pointing than the X configuration for installing must try to be
risk free. Once installation is complete then we can try to make the
production config that means high resolutions nad high refresh rates.
> 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
Mostly agreed. Definitely no hardware panning.
Jean Francois Martinez
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