[TUHS] X, Suntools, and the like

Nick Downing downing.nick at gmail.com
Wed Mar 15 23:12:12 AEST 2017

Hmm well that DOES sound a bit patronizing, no offence taken though, I
think it's more that I almost never use graphical tools, well at least not
for any sysadmin or development type work. In the last day I ran chromium
browser, xviewer (AKA eye of gnome), xreader (AKA evince), the gimp,
libreoffice writer, and (currently) mplayer... these are all exclusively
because I HAD to work with an inherently graphical resource, so there was
no reasonable alternative but to run those programs. For anything else I
would use the command line (occasionally I do DSP type stuff with
matplotlib or gamey type stuff with pygame I guess). I can't honestly see a
use case where I would ever want to run any of those programs on a server,
since I associate all those activities with personal type stuff that only
happens on my laptop, occasionally on my home server in its role as media
centre connected to TV but not much. So that's why I say that X remoting is
irrelevant to me. At one stage I had a separate office with thin clients
(and experimental setups at home etc) but frankly it was not that useable,
not with gnome at least due to single session limitation. I also had in the
last 6 years a separate office and server at uni, I briefly ran VNC on it
and I had to do the ssh -X thing on it once or twice for whatever reason
(get an important bookmark URL, check a large Google Drive upload, that
sort of thing) but I never considered actually running a graphical app on
it since I could just git pull and run locally. So it's not that I haven't
been exposed to servers or haven't tried those commands or whatnot, it's
actually that I've attempted to use that functionality where appropriate
(got excited about it, and then disillusioned later), and really thought
about it carefully in order to optimize my setup and development costs, and
concluded that that technology is irrelevant to my workflow and not worth
the setup cost. If X were to be de-bloatified and large chunks of it
deprecated and deleted in order to make configuration simple, logical and
flexible, then that may change. Hmm.


On Mar 15, 2017 11:03 PM, <tfb at tfeb.org> wrote:

> On 15 Mar 2017, at 11:03, Nick Downing <downing.nick at gmail.com> wrote:
> I realized after writing that I was being slightly unfair since one valid
> use case that DOES work correctly is something like:
> ssh -X <some host> <command that uses X>
> This is occasionally handy, although the best use case I can think of is
> running a browser on some internet-facing machine so as to temporarily
> change your IP address
> I think you live in a strange alternative world, or (more likely) I do.
> My world is better however.  In my world I have a machine on my desk which
> runs an X server (which currently is talking to the physical screen, but
> will I hope soon be some kind of VNC so I can push this display to wherever
> I need it).  I also use a large number of machines which don't have any
> kind of screen and on which I may want to run graphical tools.
> In my experience this is what researchy type places with large-scale
> computing requirements have looked like essentially for ever, and it's the
> environment X was designed for (well, probably it was actually designed for
> student access at MIT but it very quickly moved into these environments).
> And it works *really* well, and anything which replaces it needs to work at
> least as well.
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