I really hope one of these Plan9 derivatives gets some widespread adoption. I love UNIX, but evolutionary OS models are important IMO.
I may be wrong, but my understanding is that Plan 9 hardcodes VESA as the only display option. I’m not convinced you can achieve decent graphics performance on modern machines by writing bitmaps to a 9P server, and I believe that is what’s happening under the hood. Graphics is hard, and I think the original Plan 9 devs sort of punted on it (makes sense; X11 wasn’t a product of the original Unix guys either and catches some hate.)
This is all fine for making a research OS, but when it comes to making an OS people actually want to use, you have to bite the bullet and figure it out. If for no other reason than to get a modern browser working decently. I’d wager that the first fork of Plan 9 to hit this problem hard will be the one that survives.
You’re fairly wrong. Vesa is common, because it’s likely to work, but there are native drivers for a number of chipsets (although, as expected, acceleration support is spotty or nonexistent). Drawing is done via /dev/draw, which is vaguely similar to the API that Xrender provide. In fact, I believe Keith Packard cited Plan 9’s drawing model as the inspiration for Xrender. There are things that are dated there, but your understanding is fairly far off.
Fundamentally, there’s nothing significantly worse about drawing via a 9p connection than drawing via a Unix domain socket, which works fine for X11. 3d would be more painful, but 3d is always more painful.
Thanks for clarifying all that for me.
Forgive my ignorance but is the Plan-9 window system / graphics model remote-able like X11 is? I’ve always considered that to be one of the under appreciated features of X.
It’s just a 9p server, like more or less everything else. Not only is it remoteable, the remote part comes for free.
The Plan 9 window system actually has an interesting design. It’s fully recursive. The operating system provides a number of files for interacting with the user: /dev/draw, /dev/cons, /dev/mouse, etc. You can run any graphical app which interacts directly with these devices, with no window manager at all.
However, you can also run a window manager (rio is the traditional choice), which will use these devices, inject “proxy devices” into the programs namespace, and then mux the drawing between the programs. The programs don’t necessarily know or care that they’re running under Rio instead of under a raw framebuffer. There are some caveats to do with window control functionality, but most programs don’t use that.
This recursion means you can run rio inside rio with no additional work. You can run a remote system’s rio on the local system with no effort. And so on.
[edit: elaborated a bit]
Wow. That is incredibly cool. Given all these amazing ideas, why do you think Plan9 hasn’t caught on in a mainstream way? Do you think the fact that it was essentially closed source for so long hampered adoption?
I think that’s a big part of it yeah
I love P9 and its offshoots, but can we divert for a moment, here to talk about an OS release using an image wherein two of the three panels of its triptych are cheesecake, and at least one of those cheesecake images involves being burned at the fucking stake?
Hey, I get it, it’s a cool little cartoon, totally SFW, the character design is kinda cool, and it’s topical. But it’s not exactly appropriate, from either a historical context or a 2017 context.
If it’s this or be as grumpy as Linus, I’ll take cheesecake.
I don’t think you are the one to decide what is and isn’t appropriate for someone’s hobby - sure, make the comment, but I would save comments like that for things far more offensive than that.
But it’s not exactly appropriate, from either a historical context or a 2017 context.
Hi, I’m the culprit here. I’m sorry if I had offended your sensibility, but actually finding a free image of Joan of Arc that was neither ridiculous nor blasphemous in an OS release was pretty hard. That image is from NachoMon on DevianArt and it seemed pretty on topic, given the way Jehanne OS was born and how much it is going to deviate from Plan 9.
As for the girls drawn there, actually they seemed pretty polite to my untrained eye.
Joan died at 19, and she was a woman. That’s it.
I was very confused by your usage of “cheesecake” but I’m assuming you are using it in the sense of #2 at https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cheesecake&=true&defid=1855308
Are you familiar with the story of Joan of Arc?
Yes, and yes. Did you actually look at the art in question. For three panels, there was a lot of heaving bosom and toned buttocks.
Yeah, I did look at it, which is how I realized it was a reference to Joan of Arc. [I’m not disagreeing with your comment about the lack of taste.]
Sorry, I read your tone as more excusatory than I think you intended. But yeah, part of it is the story of Joan d' Arc that makes it even more… “enh, really? We’re going there?” I mean, the Maid of Orleans. Let’s heave some bosoms at the audience. Seems tasteful and a great way to promote our OS.
Thanks for the input, Dad.
I’ve always suspected if you targeted driver support at a handful of old thinkpad models, you might be to get some real-world traction.