State of Linux graphics

Glynn Clements glynn at
Thu Sep 1 04:49:09 PDT 2005

Keith Packard wrote:

> > Conversely, if the apps aren't taking advantage of the functionality
> > OpenGL provides, they're not exploiting the opportunities the hardware
> > offers.  Of course I'm not saying all apps *must* use all of OpenGL;
> > simply that their developers should be aware of exactly what they're
> > leaving on the table.  It can make the difference between an app that's
> > run-of-the-mill and one that's outstanding.
> Most 2D applications aren't all about the presentation on the screen;
> right now, we're struggling to just get basic office functionality
> provided to the user. The cairo effort is more about making applications
> portable to different window systems and printing systems than it is
> about bling, although the bling does have a strong pull for some
> developers.
> So, my motivation for moving to GL drivers is far more about providing
> drivers for closed source hardware and reducing developer effort needed
> to support new hardware than it is about making the desktop graphics
> faster or more fancy.

And here was I thinking that was the only person who didn't consider
having translucent, drop-shadowed menus to be fair compensation for
flat-out failing to work if you didn't have an X server with a dozen
extensions and a bleeding-edge graphics card.

90% of what I use my computer for would work just fine under X11R3
with a 16-colour display and two bitmapped fonts (one mono, one
proportional). For most GUI programs, requiring anything more than
that is usually just ego-gratification on the part of the programmer.

Glynn Clements <glynn at>

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