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XGL UI: Larry answers Chris Pirillo

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  • User profile image
    jamie

    this has probably been posted here before but i just saw it now - and it is different than another demo posted here - that showed peeling windows.

    http://chris.pirillo.com/2006/09/06/vistas-ui-is-better-than-this/

    according to LHblogs:
    "Larry Osterman (ya, the same Larry Osterman that got bit by the Audio bug) has a great post on why XGL isn't as useful as Chris Pirillo thinks it is.

    Well - i was pretty impressed with the demo..but probably for more of the little things than the obvious ones.

    - most toolbar commands grouped to top left - not scattered
    - the absence of many horizontal toolbars - that make windows ummm easier?  Many windows show the photo only. or the video only, controls are small and out of the way - not in rows of locked uncustomizable bars
    - playing 5 movies at once? great.
    - the fluidity of video playing while cube spins is awesome
    - while the jello windows are a tad unsettling - it is nice to see with your eyes what all this 3d desktop power can do - not just fade in opening windows - and thats about it.

    if you could download an add on - that would let you do this/have this in windows would you try it?  I think i would.  And i sure hope vista has something up its sleeve in the aero dept.

  • User profile image
    Larry​Osterman

    jamie wrote:
    this has probably been posted here before but i just saw it now - and it is different than another demo posted here - that showed peeling windows.

    http://chris.pirillo.com/2006/09/06/vistas-ui-is-better-than-this/

    according to LHblogs:
    "Larry Osterman (ya, the same Larry Osterman that got bit by the Audio bug) has a great post on why XGL isn't as useful as Chris Pirillo thinks it is.

    Well - i was pretty impressed with the demo..but probably for more of the little things than the obvious ones.

    - most toolbar commands grouped to top left - not scattered
    - the absence of many horizontal toolbars - that make windows ummm easier?  Many windows show the photo only. or the video only, controls are small and out of the way - not in rows of locked uncustomizable bars
    - playing 5 movies at once? great.
    - the fluidity of video playing while cube spins is awesome
    - while the jello windows are a tad unsettling - it is nice to see with your eyes what all this 3d desktop power can do - not just fade in opening windows - and thats about it.

    if you could download an add on - that would let you do this/have this in windows would you try it?  I think i would.  And i sure hope vista has something up its sleeve in the aero dept.


    I wouldn't hold your breath for anything earthshattering.  But the foundation (DWM) is there, and with a solid foundation, really cool things can happen.

    In addition, the WPF (Avalon) apps that will be coming out in the near future should be pretty impressive on DWM enabled systems.

    Btw, on the 5 videos rendering at once.  There were some small glitches in the rendering, but the ability to play 5 videos at once implies that the machine rendering them had some SERIOUS horsepower.  That follows simply from the amount of CPU bandwidth to decode the video files and the amount of video bandwith consumed by rendering them.
     

  • User profile image
    TimP

    I think a lot of people miss the point with Xgl. It's not meant to make you five times more productive. They are visually appealing transitions that make the operating system more fun to use. Your video hardware is just sucking juice sitting there anyways, why not do something with it.

  • User profile image
    Erisan

    We have seen nothing yet. Just some "this can be done also"-stuff.

    http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/57
    I'm sure we are going to see really useful stuff when distros actually starts to use and develop stuff with those new technologies.

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    While the technology behind it is interesting and no doubt powerful the only thing I can say that I'd like Vista to do that XGL does is to make windows transparent when your dragging them and solid again when you let go.It would be great if there was a setting in Vista that would let you use transparency that way instead of having it it either fully on or fully off the way it is now with glass.

  • User profile image
    Larry​Osterman

    Btw, it's not "Larry vs Chris".  Chris loves the eye candy.  I'm way more conservative than he is in that regard.

    But "vs" implies something stronger than a disagreement over personal taste.

    Chris has an excellent eye for UI Fit&Finish (as do you Jamie) and I respect his opinions.


    Btw, I'm with Dentaku - I'd love to see the "transparent while dragging" effect with DWM enabled.  I thnk it would be awesome eye candy.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    fixed Smiley

  • User profile image
    Tom Servo

    Related to this whole debate, it would be nice if they'd be doing the real thing in Windows with the next version of it. Right now, the DWM is just a stupid component stuffing its fingers into the regular window manager. Consider me impressed if there's an actual new window manager in Windows.

    Actually, scratch that. Consider me impressed when all the bloat and in particular old crud gets thrown out. Looking at the size of my freshly installed Longhorn Server folder (which is leaner than Vista) and how much memory it needs, I start to weep.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    I guess these are the joys of not having to get your code through a committee. I expect Vista is more than capable of this, but Microsoft on the whole (at least the committees) are a lot more conservative than the XGL guys have to be.  Apparently you can control how much the Windows wobble if it makes you feel at all sea-sick, I saw a post from Miguel a while ago where he mentioned it was on a high setting for the demo just to show off Smiley

    I have to disagree with Larry about 5 videos at once meaning serious horsepower - you ever seen BeOS doing this stuff*? 30 seconds into this video shows a handful of videos playing all at once (I managed 4 on a 400MHz PC a few years back). Sure the quality probably isn't as high as it tends to be today, but I think it is a mistake to assume that because Windows doesn't do it without powerful hardware - nothing else can.

    But realistically, would you really watch 5 videos at once?

    * You just knew _someone_ was going to mention BeOS didn't you Smiley
     And no, I still haven't forgiven you Microsoft. Admittedly they were dual CPUs in that demo, but that wasn't a typical setup.

    Oh and the song is by the Cotton Squares ...

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    Rossj wrote:

    * You just knew _someone_ was going to mention BeOS didn't you


    It's like going back to my old Amiga days when I see that Smiley

  • User profile image
    Tom Servo

    Rossj wrote:

    I have to disagree with Larry about 5 videos at once meaning serious horsepower

    Playing a 640x372 scene standard Xvid with mplayerc using VMR9 in full Direct3D mode results in a dent of 6-8% CPU power on my main machine.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Compiz is just one of the Windows managers. Metacity and Kwin will have their own composite extentions along with 3D effects. KDE 4.0 will likely include this new Kwin, which is good news because Compiz is tightly integrated for Gnome and requires its libraries even when used on KDE.


    Regards,
    Vincent

  • User profile image
    l0ckergn0me

    1. I don't see this as a Chris vs. Larry thing - I see it as a Users vs. Microsoft thing.2. Download the Live CD of Mandriva RC1 if you want to try it on your own machine. Do it. Try it. Don't pass judgement one way or another until you do. The virtual desktops are amazing - including the pull-back view (astounding for productivity like YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE).3. compiz / AIGLX / GXL takes no CPU resources to run effectively - even on my fiancee's lame-(I need to watch my language) Intel video chipset.4. You don't (and shouldn't) turn on all the effects at once. You can pick and choose, compared to Vista - where Microsoft has opted for virtually nothing.5. This isn't just about eye candy. It's how Linux has finally pulled ahead of Microsoft on the UI front - both in form and function. Vista is a big fat loser - and a big fat resource hog - and a big fat Frankenstein (and I've outlined why on several occasions).Am I going to run Linux regluarly? No, but the next idiot who tells me that Vista / Aero is revolutionary, I'm going to boot into Mandriva, demo AIGLX, remove the CD and smack them upside the head with it. Sorry, but Vista's UI and general user experience is lackluster, at best - especially when compared to an AIGLX or OS X desktop.Microsoft should have done better - no excuse.

  • User profile image
    Larry​Osterman

    Rossj wrote:

    I have to disagree with Larry about 5 videos at once meaning serious horsepower - you ever seen BeOS doing this stuff*? 30 seconds into this video shows a handful of videos playing all at once (I managed 4 on a 400MHz PC a few years back). Sure the quality probably isn't as high as it tends to be today, but I think it is a mistake to assume that because Windows doesn't do it without powerful hardware - nothing else can.


    5 video streams, they're 16x9.  We don't know how bit the window is, but let's assume it's low resolution, just for grins.  480x704 (480p) might work ok.  So we're looking at 328K pixels.  Each pixel is 32bits (4 bytes) wide, so each frame takes up 1.3M.  There are 24 frames per second, so that's 32M of data transferred to the video card per second FOR EACH STREAM.

    5 streams means that we're looking at 162,201,600 or 162 MEGABYTES of data pumped to the screen every second.

    I don't think that the bus can pump that much data.  Even if you assume a lower resolution, that's a LOT of data to transmit.

    It's not a Windows vs whatever thing.  It's a "how much data are you pumping" thing.  Even at 16 bits per pixel, that's still 81 megabytes per second of throughput to the video hardware required.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    LarryOsterman wrote:
    5 streams means that we're looking at 162,201,600 or 162 MEGABYTES of data pumped to the screen every second.

    I don't think that the bus can pump that much data.  Even if you assume a lower resolution, that's a LOT of data to transmit.


    AGP 8x is capable of 2133MB s-1

    ..and bog-standard PCI 3.0 is capable of 266MB s-1, then there's videocards that perform their own video decompression, so even less data can be sent to the card since it would be compressed.

    EDIT: Oh, I'm watching the video now.

    He said the computer had two graphics cards, so you'd have twice the PCI bandwidth, at least 300MB s-1, that's fast enough.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    W3bbo wrote:
    
    He said the computer had two graphics cards, so you'd have twice the PCI bandwidth, at least 300MB s-1, that's fast enough.



    I think that probably qualifies as beefy.

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    LarryOsterman wrote:
    
    It's not a Windows vs whatever thing.  It's a "how much data are you pumping" thing.  Even at 16 bits per pixel, that's still 81 megabytes per second of throughput to the video hardware required.


    That also might explain why when I stream 1080p from the Apple trailer site to my Mac it zaps straight up to 50% CPU, must be busy trying to do something with all that data  Smiley

    I would suggest that BeOS was in some way cheating.  Probably interlaced at dramatically smaller resolutions ... still - it looked good.

    Update: Yup 2x 480p streamed over the net and the bill hilf video and a random mp4 I found nearly pegs out one of my CPUs, but I still seem to be able to read stuff off disk reasonably quickly and there isn't really a noticeable slowdown with the UI or repainting.


    Update 2: 5 480p files download from the trailer site worked file and didn't even seem bothered about me dragging them all over the screen.  I'd claim the throughput on my Mac was pretty impressive if I didn't have vague recollections of H.264 reducing the throughput requirements (for whatever reason).

  • User profile image
    Rossj

    I've just been told a dumbass for not asking who is their right mind would send the whole of every frame when just sending the deltas between frames makes so much more sense - I guess I am.

    If only 25% of each frame is different your 162 megabytes looks less dramatic.

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