[SDL] desktop linux, was Re: SDL 1.3 status ?

Bob Pendleton bob at pendleton.com
Thu Jul 28 00:14:22 PDT 2011

On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 11:54 PM, Mason Wheeler <masonwheeler at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Please don't conflate "Linux", which is in use in a whole lot of places,
> with "desktop
> Linux," (Linux on home PCs and laptops, in direct competition to home
> versions of
> Windows and OSX,) which is specifically what I was talking about, and has
> unfortunately but quite verifiably always been a dismal failure when it
> comes to
> capturing market share.  Again, I mean what I say, and not some other
> similar-sounding
> thing that I did not say, and it drives me up the wall when people turn what
> I say into
> strawman versions.  Especially when it's other programmers.  If anyone in
> the world
> has no excuse for screwing up the interpretation of precise language, it's
> us!

You are quite right, but you are also wrong to expect programmers to
be programmer first and people second. We are people first, and
programmers second. That is what is.

Now days I spend a lot of my time teaching. Mostly freshman classes.
Lots of fun! Really, lots of fun. I'm loving it. The thing is that it
lets me see how folks 18 years old plus are using tech. I'm seeing
more and more Linux use in what at first seemed rather odd ball
situations. The first surprise is the number of WOW addicts who run
Linux and only Linux. WOW runs great under wine on Ubuntu. (No one
runs anything version of Linux but Ubuntu. Some do not know that
Ubuntu is Linux.) So you are a WOW addict and your hard drive crashes
and you find your self unable to restore it and... long story short
you have to buy a new copy of Winows and maybe a new hard drive. Then
a friend show up with an Ubuntu live CD, rescues your data and gets
you up and running without having to pay for Windows and they tell me
that WOW runs better on Ubuntu than on Windows. (That is what they
tell me!) So you wind up learning Ubuntu and when a friend of yours
has a disk crash...

OK, recently I've been running into another one that surprised me. I'm
not sure if I even believe it. But, people tell me that they.... Run
WIndows 7 to make sure that all there games and other apps run
correctly. But, they have WIndows locked to down so that it doesn't
talk to the net except to get updates from Microsoft. Then, they use
virtual Box to run Ubuntu. Somehow they let VB have access to the
network and then do all their web browsing and all the online banking,
using a browser running in Ubuntu running virtual Box on Windows.

Gibson said something like: "The street finds its own use for technology."

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled discussion.

Bob Pendleton

> I'm not saying that desktop Linux's low market share is good or that it's
> bad, only that
> that *is*, and that it's a very bad idea to let ideology and personal
> preference trump
> facts when it comes to making important decisions about the future.  And
> deciding
> whether or not SDL will support modern rendering techniques is very
> important to
> its future.  It will decide, more than anything else, whether SDL remains
> relevant
> or fades into obscurity.  And SDL is right now caught at a classic
> "engineering
> trinity" decision: "useful modern features, non-accelerated backends, all
> backends
> supporting all rendering options. Pick two."  And it's been made quite clear
> that the
> third point is non-negotiable.
> ________________________________
> From: Jeff Post <j_post at pacbell.net>
> Subject: Re: [SDL] SDL 1.3 status ?
> On Wednesday 27 July 2011 19:29, Gato wrote:
>> Now, about desktop Linux. Probably you don't use it, but that doesn't
>> make it irrelevant. The support for OpenGL on Linux is much better than
>> it was a few years ago, and will very likely only improve in the future,
>> so I see no point in crippling SDL by not supporting Linux.
>> Please remember SDL isn't only for the hardcore gamer. Many applications
>> have been written using SDL, and I'm sure many more would benefit from
>> features in SDL 1.3, like multiple windows, even if the OpenGL they're
>> running on isn't blazing fast.
> Well said, Gato. Far too many people seem to have the attitude that "since I
> have no need of X, X is irrelevant for anyone". I could expound on why
> people
> make such blatantly silly statements, but suffice it to say that they're
> wrong.
> And I second the opinions expressed by Bob Pendleton earlier; I think that's
> the way to go. Currently I have no need of SDL 1.3 as 1.2 suits my needs,
> but
> I like the direction 1.3 is going. When it's mature enough I'll make the
> switch.
> To Mason: the statement that Linux is less than 1% of market share is a myth
> pushed on the public by Microsoft. It's not true. What the actual market
> share is is unknown for various reasons that you can find out via Google (if
> you care enough to find out),  but it is certainly considerably higher than
> 1%.
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+ Bob Pendleton: writer and programmer
+ email: Bob at Pendleton.com
+ web: www.TheGrumpyProgrammer.com

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