DISCLAIMER: This site is a mirror of original one that was once available at http://iki.fi/~tuomov/b/

1. As is well known, they've ruined X fonts with Xft/fontconfig. Now, Xorg is even considering altogether removing core fonts from the standard releases. In consequence, one will be even more at the mercy of the distributions for providing them. And few would likely install them by default if provide at all – Ubuntu has already practised tearing them away from the Xorg releases. This would make it even more difficult for users to install third-party software requiring them, such as Ion, essentially requiring the fonts to be distributed along with the software. I will not use Xft/fontconfig in my software while it remains hostile towards those wanting unblurred fonts. I will sooner re-implement bitmapped fonts internally in my software.

2. They couldn't even keep their fingers off the X Resize and Rotate Extension: in Xrandr 1.2, it was ruined and turned into Xinerama-only crap. No longer can I have my telly1 as a completely separately screen – that only mplayer needs to be aware of – while being able to pivot my TFT. No, I'd have to create a single megascreen – far bigger than either of the displays are, likely wasting lots of video memory – to which my computer screen and telly would merely provide views to. Then I'd have to suffer dealing with software not specifically aware of Xinerama/Xrandr views – and few are – when one wants to create full screen windows and position others. That's right: Xinerama does not offer an adequate multi-head model, it merely provides multiple views to a single-screen model.

Traditional X multihead offers a multi-screen model. It should be extended. Artificial window reparenting restrictions should be lifted: windows should be movable from one root window (equals screen in traditional X) to another, when bit-depths and such match or can be emulated. The only good reason for using Xinerama is this artificial restriction: if your screens merge seamlessly, as to really offer a single big screen, you don't even need the Xinerama information on the views of the root window. And if the screens don't merge seamlessly, as is in particular the case with a computer screen and a telly with much smaller resolution and on the other side of the room, you want them to be modelled as completely separate displays.

Furthermore, one could make the number of X root windows dynamic, and changes in their sizes could be done and reported through the same calls and events as for any other windows. This would take care of attaching additional displays to laptops and so on. There's no need for hacky protocol extensions: merely the removal of artificial restrictions, to allow for proper flexible models. (After the models are adequate, Xinerama/Xrandr/xvidmode/etc. could be restored as a unified view layer, allowing the mapping of any region of any root (or other?) window to any physical display device.)

3. There's actually a single individual behind both of the above acts of ruin, fonts and Xrandr. The name is Keith Packard. It might be advisable for him to retire, before all that once was good about X has been completely lost. Not that there's much hope of anyone else in the corporate-sponsored FOSScracy2 making any better decisions. Likewise is the case with the herd.

4. It also seems relatively common for applications to not adhere the ICCCM or its spirit: to start fighting over window sizes, to try to be their own window manager, and so on. Furthermore, applications don't anymore tend to set any useful information as the window class/role/instance, so that users could even try to kludge around their brokenness in your window manager (WM), the whole concept of which depends on ICCCM-compliant behaviour. “Free”desktop.org standards also seem largely geared towards fine-tuning a WIMP/desktop monoculture, further eradicating the choice and flexibility provided by traditional X/ICCCM (that could of course have been improved upon).

Google Earth is one of the “finest” examples lately, of applications trying to be their own window managers. If you click on a photo or other such icon to display it, it opens a new window, not marking it transient. But Ion then hides the main window, as the photo window is rightly considered a new completely unassociated top-level window, to be placed in a new tab. But then Google Earth decides to hide this window, thinking it knows better than the WM – which it of course does, as it does not provide the WM with the necessary information. There is more. Once you manage to kludge around these idiocies, or just run it in the “floating” mode that it clearly expects, the photo window is displayed, yes. But Google Earth decides to draw its own borders for the window. It does not do this as “skinned” applications typically do, drawing the borders within that particular window, expecting the WM to disable its (to cause confusion with a zillion different-looking and differently behaving windows). No, Google Earth draws the borders within its main window, tracking the movement of the photo window (and failing to provide those borders when it is outside the area spanned by the main window). I don't know what to say about such a flash of ingenuity.

5. I've also heard some frightful stories about HAL/evdev XML madness, clearly borrowed from fontconfig. Fortunately the cult of the idiot box has not yet caught me with this latest device of torment of theirs. And maybe they won't, because I may just switch to Windows rather than ever upgrading Linux again, sticking to this Etch-based system until I need to change hardware or some program I need can no longer be installed with reasonable manual compilation effort. It just isn't worth using Linux (or *BSD) anymore, when it's becoming just like Windows: no user-serviceable parts inside, thanks to the growing complexity and monoculture.

By the way, Etch, which is only about one year old, is already too old for Gnomefox 3. It complains about decimals in gtk version, and refuses to start. Not that I wanted to use Gnomefox – Opera is so much better – but I wanted to check what kind of steampile they've turned it into. Well, I found it out. Not that the Gnomefox packagers are solely to blame, the distro-centric megafreeze FOSS culture is. In FOSS, to upgrade to most insignificant program, you have to upgrade the whole OS.

1 In fact, I only get picture on the telly through the computer.

2 Credit for the term: The Béranger.