Xavier Bestel xavier.bestel at
Thu Apr 9 10:38:04 PDT 2009

On Thu, 2009-04-09 at 12:46 -0400, Jim Gettys wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-04-09 at 18:29 +0200, Xavier Bestel wrote:
> > On Thu, 2009-04-09 at 10:29 -0400, Jim Gettys wrote:
> > > > Someday somehow I'll try to do some tests to check whether that's
> > > > really true with a better optimized protocol, because right now
> > > > everything that uses xft over a ssh tunnel is an horrible pain in the
> > > > ass, 
> > > 
> > > I don't know what problem you are seeing.
> > > 
> > > Over ssh in particular, with compression (-C), performance is much, much
> > > better with client side fonts than it ever was with server side fonts.
> > 
> > I'd hate to sound as trollish as some in this thread, but there I have
> > to agree with Olivier: GTK2 apps are unusable over an "ssh -C -Y" tunnel
> > whereas core-fonts apps are.
> > I dunno exactly why, but I remember distinctly when client-side fonts
> > were switchable in GTK, and the perf hit over ssh (over an ADSL link)
> > was big.
> > 
> That is downright strange.  Are you comparing the same application? or
> different applications?
> GTK may be doing something really stupid internally, that has nothing to
> do with fonts, but is related to the latency.  I've suspected as much at
> times....
> Please be so kind as to give us a concrete test case....

I'm afraid I can't anymore, I don't have the handy GTK1 apps which could
be switched to code-fonts or Xft.

However I just tried gnome-terminal (with no menubar, scrollbar nor any
other widget) and xterm in parallel over a slow ssh link, and I was
wrong: gnome-terminal here feels snappier than xterm !

So I stand by my assertion that GTK2 apps are slower (I use them often
over the slow ssh link and it's a pain), but I retract the explanation.
You're right, they must do something stupid somewhere. If gnome-terminal
can be snappy (or even not too sluggish in fullscreen), so should all
the others.

Sorry for the noise (really),


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