Re: The reason to call it 3.0 is the desktop (was Re: [OT] 2.6 not 3.0 - (NUMA))

From: Helge Hafting (
Date: Tue Oct 08 2002 - 08:49:37 EST

Oliver Neukum wrote:
> On Monday 07 October 2002 10:08, Helge Hafting wrote:
> > People getting interested in linux
> > seems to believe that openoffice is the msoffice replacement,
> > and that _is_ a huge bloated pig. It needs 50M to start
> > the text editor - and lots of _cpu_. It takes a long time
> > to start on a 266MHz machine even when the disk io
> > is avoided by the pagecahce.
> OpenOffice _is_ an important application, whether we like it or not.
Sure. It is important. Fortunately it is open source, so
improving on it might be a good idea. I don't think the kernel
do anything wrong with it - it is simply very big and dead slow.

> How does one measure and profile application startup other than with
> a stopwatch ? I'd like to gather some objective data on this.
> > A snappy desktop is trivial with 2.5, even with a slow machine.
> > Just stay away from gnome and kde, use a ugly fast
> A desktop machine needs to run a desktop enviroment. Only a window manager is
> not enough.

Of course. My machine (256M, 266MHz) is snappy with
a netscape, 4-5 opera windows, 5-10 xterms, a few
xemacs'es, a couple of lyx windows and xdvi,
and sometimes a compile or latex running.

This is possibly spread out over 2-3 virtual desktops
provided by icewm. Switching between them is instantaneous,
although I can see "slow" things like xdvi redraw. The rest
just appear. Throwing a openoffice into
the mix cause no problems with desktop snappiness,
but openoffice itself is too slow to use. Particularly
if a cpu hog like gcc/latex is running. But then
this _is_ a slow machine these days.
> > window manager like icewm or twm (and possibly lots
> > of others I haven't even heard about.)
> > X itself is snappy enough, particularly with increased
> > priority.
> > Take some care when selecting apps (yes - there is choice!)
> > and the desktop is just fine. Openoffice is a nice
> > package of programs, but there are replacements for most
> > of them if speed is an issue. If the machine is powerful
> > enough to run ms software snappy then speed probably
> > isn't such a big issue though.
> KDE and friends _are_ not quite optimised for speed. That however doesn't
> mean that the kernel should not make an effort to allow them to run as fast
> as they can.

The kernel should do its best - and it seems to do well too.
I believe KDE and friends may have performance problems
of their own, and stay away from them mostly. I don't need
_pretty_, merely something that works well. That might
not sell, but nobody sell 266MHz machines either.

Helge Hafting
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