Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Visual Computing Age is here

Windows Vista has adopted some 3D features, Mac OS has done it too. The idea is simple. With the continuous evolution of computer hardward and software, we finally reached a stage that a computer system can be intuitively managed without a steep learning curve.

What about Linux?

Well, Linux may be far ahead in this game. Look at Beryl , or Compiz.

Currently, the 3D visual focus is still on windowed desktop applications. But, there is no reason why we can't have a visual representation and management interface for server objects. In both Linux and Windows, there are some GUI interfaces for configuring and managing the system, but those are still quite simplistic.

I'd like to go back to the Su-35 fighter example. That machine is a complex piece of hardware with hundreds of processors--a mission critical realtime distributed computing system with complicated I/O requirements. The system must be able to track, distinguish, engage multiple targets on ground and air, it must also be able to detect and evade incoming threats. That's not all. There are links between fighters so they can coordinate their actions. Such a distributed system has 10000x the complexity of a simple system such as Solaris 10. Its sophistication also shows up in its easy to use interface -- head up displays, point-and-click...

In the Visual Computing Age, anything doesn't have a visual interface will be simply too crappy to be worth anything.

Now we understand why AMD bought ATI.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mac OS has done it too"

Yes it has. Almost 4 years ago to be percise. Though Sun with its Java based Looking Glass was the first of them all.

"But, there is no reason why we can't have a visual representation and management interface for server objects"

Say what? Could you describe managing (My)Sql database in that 3D interface.

"In the Visual Computing Age, anything doesn't have a visual interface will be simply too crappy to be worth anything."

So I should install Vista on my washingmashine and home router?


Nothing personal but I think you should stick with HW. Even when flaming about Intel you didn't make that many mistakes as with latest software articles.

12:17 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

Though Sun with its Java based Looking Glass was the first of them all.


Looking glass is just another failed SUN idea. Instead of making it work with existing Window managers, looking glass aimed to create a replacement -- meaning it can't take advantage of existing code--and the fact it's based on Java means substantial performance penalty.

The only open source project SUN succeeded was NFS -- that was many years ago at a time there weren't many programmers around in the world and quality was not an issue. Today is different, people don't have the patience for crappy quality.

12:28 PM, December 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.computer-museum.ru/english/c100.htm

kinda interesting

12:40 PM, December 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Instead of making it work with existing Window managers, looking glass aimed to create a replacement -- meaning it can't take advantage of existing code"

If you would know anything about the subject you would know that each and every one of those tehcnologies use a custom made window manager. Or what did you think Beryl is? Also PLG can run your other (Linux) applications.

Next time at least use the google to find some screenshots to see what kind of applications run on PLG.


"the fact it's based on Java means substantial performance penalty."

Please run some benchmarks and then come back and say it again. Java stopped being slow with running general code years ago. One such benchmark is here. Being ~57% slower in math intensive programs isn't that bad since most applications we have today were programmed for CPU's several times slower than we have today and web browser doesn't use that much math, just a whole lot of branching and other nasty things. Also that test doesn't (yet) have Java6 benchmarks and I wouldn't be surprised if it would have increased performance even more.

1:55 AM, December 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the fact it's based on Java means substantial performance penalty."

Have you read the Fomitchev's blog lately? He said this about language popularities:

"You can see that Java (20%), C (17%) and C++ (11%) take the top three spots followed by Visual Basic, and PHP."

I wonder why is Java the most popular if it is 20x slower than C(++) as you say ...

3:53 AM, December 28, 2006  
Blogger Sharikou, Ph. D said...

"You can see that Java (20%), C (17%) and C++ (11%) take the top three spots followed by Visual Basic, and PHP."


Everyone knows Java, most schools used Java as the first language. A more accurate measure would be the % of commercial software developed with each language.

10:07 AM, December 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" A more accurate measure would be the % of commercial software developed with each language."

You can add my company that is in the business of coding Java based enterprise server applications. There is quite a bit of competition in that area and Java dominates quite strongly.

Of the five big business application creating companies in Estonia three are 100% Java, one .Net and one Java/.Net/PHP.

2:53 PM, December 28, 2006  

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