0963: "X11"

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hailthefish
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0963: "X11"

Postby hailthefish » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:32 am UTC

Image

Hovertext: Thomas Jefferson thought that every law and every constitution should be torn down and rewritten from scratch every nineteen years--which means X is overdue.

Not sure I get the hovertext, or the specific reference of the comic, but god do I hate having to reconfigure anything.

Krayt1x
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Krayt1x » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:38 am UTC

I have only once had to go into xorg.conf

i love my life....

DpEpsilon
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby DpEpsilon » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:40 am UTC

Randall, I can relate.

It's not so much X11, it's more like every program in every Gnu/Linux distro where I have to configure something myself.

It's going to be a few months before I can handle the trauma of my X11 conf file.

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:44 am UTC

I've never had to go on xorg.conf

Probably has to do with me having no idea what it is.

In regards to the Constitution, ours seems to be working pretty well as it is...

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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Magnanimous » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:47 am UTC

I've only really had to mess with ~/.xinitrc, but I'm not that into the "configure ALL the things" mentality. Which probably explains why I'm still using GNOME.

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UnderSampled
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby UnderSampled » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:48 am UTC

Thank you. This made my 44 minute wait worth every penny.

Most of my trouble with X11/xorg.conf has been trying to get it to do extra things (like multiple monitors on different graphics cards), but I have definately had my fair share of corrupt outputs requiring reboot/reconfiguration from rescue shell.

jfriesne
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby jfriesne » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:52 am UTC

If we were to throw out X11, what would be the most viable candidate for its successor?

Belteshazzar
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Belteshazzar » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:56 am UTC

Man, you young whippersnappers don't know how good you have it. I don't qualify as an old hand; others had been putzing around with x configuration files for a decade before my first such venture. But it still felt like an epic battle- kind of an "old man and the sea" kind of deal- to get X in RH 5 and 6 to work with my hardware, esp. a brand-spanking-new Matrox G400. Plenty of times I had to twiddle that file to get things to work properly on various laptops with uglified integrated graphics chipsets after that time, too. It's only in the last 5-7 years that autoconfig has become good enough and crazy chipsets rare enough that you can avoid the x config files entirely.

greensbury
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby greensbury » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:57 am UTC

There's a successor in the works named Wayland, but I have no idea how the progress on that one is going.

Meem1029
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Meem1029 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:07 am UTC

I actually find playing around in those files kind of fun. I'm also very good at not reading things thoroughly and managing to screw them up. I'm planning on moving to Arch Linux from Ubuntu at some point soon since my xorg.conf says my resolution is 1600x900 (which it is) but Ubuntu refuses to acknowledge 160 of those pixels horizontally. I installed Arch in a vm on Sunday and then made many mistakes due to not reading things. Well, actually only 2. First I misread the vbox specific thing that said I then had to install X like normal after installing the special files so I was confused as to why X wasn't working for a while. Then I read it and it worked. Then I tried installing Awesome WM and using slim to log in. I failed to fully read about how to launch it and missed the putting stuff in .xinitrc part. Then it took a while to figure out how to get to a terminal (since C+M+F1 didn't work in Vbox as Ubuntu intercepted it). Then I figured out that the host key (right control, special vbox thing) was just giving C+M to Arch. Then I figured it out.
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big boss
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby big boss » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:09 am UTC

So if I'm understanding wiki correctly, you used to need to need to edit that file to get displays on 2 monitors? Is it that much of a headache?
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dysprog
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby dysprog » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:23 am UTC

.Xconf?
<SPIT>

5 years ago...
Installing dual monitors on windows xp
1) re boot
2) fiddle with some graphical configuration tools for 5 mins.

Installing dual monitors on recent-ish fedora
1) 5 or 6 reboots.
2) lots of cryptic text editing
3) consult google, find wrong answers.
5) never got it working quite right.

I used linux for 3 years. I switched back to windows.

skine
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby skine » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:30 am UTC

"Hey, Ubuntu just put out a new release! Sweet!"

*Installs*

"Awesome, time to boot it up and see all the new stuff!"

*Notices everything is broken*

"Oh yeah, there are always a few things to twerk, and I've done this all before, so it should be okay. Let's see here..."

*Five hours later*

"Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck. Fuck it, I'm going back to Windows."

Meem1029
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Meem1029 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:41 am UTC

Come on. The adventure of figuring out how to make it work is fun! It would be nice if it was a bit easier to figure out sometimes and just automatically did a bunch of the stuff that Windows does, but I do enjoy messing with my system sometimes (for a bit at least). I also like that I can mess with my system and my OS helps me do it instead of stopping me.
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:If it can't be done in an 80x24 terminal, it's not worth doing

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CorruptUser
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:54 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:In regards to the Constitution, ours seems to be working pretty well as it is...


It has been edited 18 times in 224 years, so, we change it pretty often by Jefferson's standards.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:00 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

tagno25
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby tagno25 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:59 am UTC

dysprog wrote:5 years ago...
Installing dual monitors on windows xp
1) re boot
2) fiddle with some graphical configuration tools for 5 mins.

Installing dual monitors on recent-ish fedora
1) 5 or 6 reboots.
2) lots of cryptic text editing
3) consult google, find wrong answers.
5) never got it working quite right.

I used linux for 3 years. I switched back to windows.


Installing Dual monitors for me has NEVER needed a reboot unless I just installed a new video card. Windows never made me reboot to add a second monitor. Linux was difficult 5 years ago, sure I had to kill X a few times, but not reboot. Current Linux distros are as easy to setup multiple monitors as Windows.

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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby bb_vb » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:04 am UTC

Wow, my first GOOMHR moment. I had to mess around with xorg.conf this morning for the first time in at least a year, and, in all honesty, it ruined my whole day.

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glasnt
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby glasnt » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:05 am UTC

Ah, the days of trying to get displays working on an Acer Aspire Ubuntu machine.

So glad I went back to windows ;P

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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby A_of_s_t » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:29 am UTC

Now, is this causation, or just correlation?
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ijuin
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby ijuin » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:29 am UTC

jfriesne wrote:If we were to throw out X11, what would be the most viable candidate for its successor?

Obviously we need to develop X12.

hatten
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby hatten » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:30 am UTC

Meem1029 wrote:I actually find playing around in those files kind of fun. I'm also very good at not reading things thoroughly and managing to screw them up. I'm planning on moving to Arch Linux from Ubuntu at some point soon since my xorg.conf says my resolution is 1600x900 (which it is) but Ubuntu refuses to acknowledge 160 of those pixels horizontally. I installed Arch in a vm on Sunday and then made many mistakes due to not reading things. Well, actually only 2. First I misread the vbox specific thing that said I then had to install X like normal after installing the special files so I was confused as to why X wasn't working for a while. Then I read it and it worked. Then I tried installing Awesome WM and using slim to log in. I failed to fully read about how to launch it and missed the putting stuff in .xinitrc part. Then it took a while to figure out how to get to a terminal (since C+M+F1 didn't work in Vbox as Ubuntu intercepted it). Then I figured out that the host key (right control, special vbox thing) was just giving C+M to Arch. Then I figured it out.

arch ftw.

Editing xorg.conf can be a pain, but editing /etc/rc.conf and the like is actually quite enjoyable.

ormaaj
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby ormaaj » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:32 am UTC

The x-axis really should have read "Time since I last had to open an /etc/hal/*.fdi file."

Xorg.conf is mainly useful these days is for setting options on video drivers, particularly the open source ones, though the defaults are usually ok. There are sometimes a few extra power-saving features which can be controlled from there. Since they've done away with HAL and introduced the xorg.conf.d things have gotten a bit easier.

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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Arancaytar » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:34 am UTC

greensbury wrote:There's a successor in the works named Wayland, but I have no idea how the progress on that one is going.


Ubuntu has wanted to officially replace X11 with it for over a year. It's been experimentally included since 11.04, but the earliest when it might become the default is now 12.10.

I've never ever had anything good come from changing xorg.conf. Whenever I thought it was necessary, it turned out the problem was something else; and whenever I did it to get some old Windows game to work in Wine, it turned out to work poorly despite any changes.
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tias42
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby tias42 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:36 am UTC

The cause and effect is backwards here. Clearly, having a crappy day leads to thoughts like "Fuck it, why don't try and mess with X today."

Monotonius
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Monotonius » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:45 am UTC

A_of_s_t wrote:Now, is this causation, or just correlation?


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TravDogg
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby TravDogg » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:13 am UTC

The obvious conclusion (if opening xorg.conf makes you unsatisfied with how your life is going, rather than some other causation) is that you're life will be more satisfying if you just use Windows or MacOS.

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PM 2Ring
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby PM 2Ring » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:16 am UTC

Coincidentally, I had to edit xorg.conf yesterday. The night before, I did Something Stupid related to the NVidia driver. The next morning when I booted up I didn't get a login screen. Then I remembered that this machine (which I've been using for a few months) doesn't actually have an NVidia graphics card. :oops:
To make matters even more interesting, the NVidia script that I'd run the night before hadn't bothered to back up the old xorg.conf, and it evidently hadn't bothered to check that I actually had NVidia hardware on this machine. :(

It didn't take me too long to fix things, but it did take longer than I expected it to, partly because I haven't fiddled with xorg.conf since it was XF86Config-4, and partly because I spent most of the time looking for a simple option in the system GUI that would simply re-install the default xorg.conf. Older versions of Mepis had such a thing, but it doesn't seem to be present in Mepis 11. Oh well. Thank goodness for sed. :)

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McHell
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby McHell » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:59 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:[The constitution] has been edited 18 times in 224 years, so, we change it pretty often by Jefferson's standards.

Which is exactly the opposite of what Jefferson wanted: it's the fiddling which adds to the crud, inconsistence, etc; his quote says to go for a tabula rasa, throwing out everything and starting anew. Not keep fixed what's there, not edit what's there.

toughluck
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby toughluck » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:02 am UTC

I can sympathize. Had to edit the xorg.conf file yesterday since I dist-upgraded Debian wheezy yesterday. The idiot maintainers of the Debian archive removed all fglrx packages since there were some bugs. Worst of all, the bugs were in experimental back in May (!), trickled down to sid, and are now in wheezy! This gets beyond ridiculous, it's plain insulting.

Shvabrov
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Shvabrov » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:16 am UTC

2004 was a rubbish year: my marks were falling and I was a very emotional teenager. It was also the year I decided to do Linux From Scratch. Coincidence?

rikkus
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby rikkus » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:26 am UTC

Remember Fresco?

http://web.archive.org/web/20080218181509/http://www.fresco.org/

psinnott
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby psinnott » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:28 am UTC

Everyone always thinks they had it tough.
The first time I tried to setup X I didn't have an internet connection. Not even cryptic hints on websites for me.

Akion
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Akion » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:49 am UTC

Hi all!
Long time reader, first time poster :)

Anyway, today's comic really hits me hard, it couldn't be more current as it is now.
Let me explain:

1.:
285.03: X Server 1.11.0 IgnoreABI required to work
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=165665

"there was a change to a data structure without a corresponding change to the extension module ABI version that breaks GLX."
"Developers have tracked down the change causing the seg-fault and it's intentional."

2.:
High CPU issues on xorg-server-core 1.11.1-1 on Debian
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=166698

"I tracked this down to this commit to the X server...
It removed our ability to accelerate part of the trapezoid rendering process and forces the whole thing (even the part we can accelerate) to fall back to software on GPUs that do not support full trapezoid acceleration."

Needless to say, I have both problems.

westrim
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby westrim » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:16 am UTC

*Reads thread.* *Hugs Windows laptop.*

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Uzh
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Uzh » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:25 am UTC

hailthefish wrote:Not sure I get the hovertext, or the specific reference of the comic, but god do I hate having to reconfigure anything.


Well, wiki states the following: "X originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1984. The current protocol version, X11, appeared in September 1987." So by Jefferson Standards the revision should have be done by 2006.

That's pretty clear, isn't it?

BTW: I'm right now trying to avoid to install ubuntu to my new laptop just because I'm afraid to have to open the xorg.conf...
"The problem is that humans have these darn biological limitations and if it gets too far from 293 K they'll start complaining, or die." http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=106000#p3483385

jeroen94704
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby jeroen94704 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:57 am UTC

I was reminded of xkcd #925:

http://xkcd.com/925/

As an example why correlation != causation

Still agree with the sentiment, of course.

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SirMustapha
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:03 am UTC

skine wrote:"Hey, Ubuntu just put out a new release! Sweet!"

*Installs*

"Awesome, time to boot it up and see all the new stuff!"

*Notices everything is broken*

"Oh yeah, there are always a few things to twerk, and I've done this all before, so it should be okay. Let's see here..."

*Five hours later*

"Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck. Fuck it, I'm going back to Windows."


That was me three years ago. That was me exactly. You successfully freaked me out.

As for the comic, I should criticise it for being a graph joke (graph jokes are not funny. End of story.), but, for once, I relate with Randall. I sympathise. Fucking sue me.

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NeWtoz
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby NeWtoz » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:10 am UTC

I might be one of the only people who doesn't mind fiddling with the xorg.conf file. It's probably because I've had to do it so many times, it's second nature to me.

I currently have it setup for 2 nvidia cards with 4 monitors.

Sebastian
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Sebastian » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:22 am UTC

Lol

Xorg.conf that's soo(append many more ooo here) yesterday.

I never had to edit my Xorg.conf in the last 1.5h years because was empty.
Now all the relevant stuff has been moved to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/, and having one single configfile is deprecated.
I have one file in there to change the keyboard layout.

And yes I'm running dualscreen an ati radeon.
So I don't know what's your problem.

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Tub
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Re: 0963: "X11"

Postby Tub » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:44 am UTC

I've had to fiddle with xorg.conf back when I had to use binary drivers. Nowadays, I use ATI GPUs with the open source drivers, and I don't even have an xorg.conf on two of my three machines. (The third has one merely to reset the screen layout during boot. Windows would just remember the last configured layout and gladly display the login screen on my projector after watching a movie, even though the projector is off.)

As for potential successors, the question remains: why? There is a lot of old cruft in xorg, but that hardly matters unless you're in a memory-constrained environment (i.e. smartphones). But there's also decades of polish and some nifty features for exotic configurations (Seen the 24-monitor demos made to promote eyefinity? Guess why they weren't done on windows!). Not to mention network transparency, which I use every day. Awesome feature!


Right now, the linux gfx APIs are in a state of turmoil, with modesetting moving into kernel space, Gallium3D being introduced as a new layer for easier driver programming, new X acceleration APIs being introduced, several intermediate languages for shader compiling being tested (including LLVM), openGL ES and EGL becoming a viable API for application programming etc. From there on, we have two ways forward:

  • Go from X11 to X12, removing legacy APIs. Work on this has already been done, but the agreement is to wait until the restructuring of driver space has settled down.
  • Do a fresh start with a lightweight display server that completely breaks all backwards compatibility

Wayland is an attempt to do the latter. It leverages the new driver APIs and creates a very lightweight display server around them. This makes sense for embedded devices, but it currently lacks features a desktop user may want. The largest problems are the apps: if you're using Qt or GTK+, you can (mostly) wait for them to support wayland, otherwise the application will stop working. Again, tossing out the old makes sense for embedded devices, smartphones etc (where you need to develop specialized apps, anyway), but not so much for the desktop.
Wayland's short-term solution is to run an X server inside wayland, thus restoring backwards compatibility while discarding any memory advantage wayland used to have. Long-term, we'll have to see how application support turns out.

Going forward, I expect both X11/X12 and Wayland to be used. Maybe in 5 years of time, one of them will obsolete the other, but that depends on the directions X12 and Wayland will be going.


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