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Re: RFC: Optimizing for 386

tor, 20.01.2005 kl. 01.07 skrev Sean Middleditch:
> On Wed, 2005-01-19 at 23:16 +0100, Kyrre Ness Sjobak wrote:
> > ons, 19.01.2005 kl. 17.08 skrev Joseph D. Wagner:
> > > I can count the total number of people in the world who still use a 386 on the fingers of both of my hands.  Why are we still catering to this small group of people?
> > > 
> > > With the exception of the kernel and glibc, all RPM's are optimized for 386 architecture.  This is a waste of system resources.  Study after study shows that you can achieve a 10% - 40% performance improvement my optimizing code for a specific architecture.  Windows XP may only be optimized for a Pentium, but by golly, at least the whole thing is optimized, not just the kernel and the C library.
> > > 
> > > Just look at X.  Is anyone seriously trying to get X to run on a 386?  I can understand compiling the text-based programs, like bash, for 386.  You can run a text-only box on a 386 just fine.  Why do that for X?  Why do that for GNOME, KDE, or any graphical program for that matter?
> > > 
> > > I know that I can recompile of these program from the source code to achieve those optimizations.  However, why should everyone who wants to optimize their systems have to go through that, just so a handful of people with 386 machines can run X out-of-the-box?  Then, we have recompile all over again with the next RPM release.
> > > 
> > > Why can't the few people who have a 386 be made to recompile X from sources to get it to run on there machines, so the rest of us can enjoy the performance boost from running optimized binaries?
> > > 
> > > I think we seriously need to rethink the distribution strategy.  At the very least, all graphical programs should be optimized for i686.
> > > 
> > > Joseph D. Wagner
> > > 
> > 
> > Actually, i don't think the CPU is the biggest slowdown for fedora. From
> > my personal experience - memory (RAM) is a bigger issue. I have a 200
> > mhz pentium 2 running fedora 3, full GUI and everything, and while i
> > ain't claiming that it is hyperfast, its certainly usable. It has 384 MB
> > of RAM.
> Disk access is also pretty important.  I've started some "simple" apps
> using strace and watched as screen after screen after screen after
> screen of open/stat/etc calls were made.  GUI apps with all their icons
> and external resource files and image plugins and so on are the worst.
> The GTK+ folks are working on solutions in some cases (like icon
> loading), but there's a lot that could be done by just slimming down
> what apps need and how they go about getting those needs.  (Take a JAR
> file - load the whole thing in RAM and get your code and data with only
> loading one file off the disk.  I wonder how well that could work for
> normal executables?)
> > When it comes to startup times - how difficult would it be to (given
> > enough RAM - autodetection+manual config) preload OpenOffice and Firefox
> > on OS start, so it would just "be there" (like both of them are when
> > first started) when the user clicks the nice, little icon?
> I don't really believe much in preloading.  If you're a company CEO that
> doesn't do anything other than make presentations and fire off a memo
> here and there, maybe preloading works.  In general, though, spending
> startup time preloading OOo just to have Mozilla kick it back out again
> if you start Mozilla first, just isn't going to help - the preloading
> only helps once and only if its the first large app you run.

At least most of the (non-technical) users i know use typically just a
few apps. And thats a web browser (usually the one that goes with the
OS), and an Office suite. Often they use the two in paralell - i.e.
clicking on a link to a .doc just to read it. (i know .doc's are a damn
stupid format for document exange etc. but... its used. Can't change the
whole world at once!) They expect the office program to be there in the
matter of secounds.

Then they log on to/borrow mine/ask me nicely to check something. Just
some plan, standard form ETC. I open the page in the webbrowser (no
problem, quick. The firefox start-up delay is at least tolerable, if not
optimal), and click the link. Do i want to open it in
/home/kyrre/.redhat-openoffice(etc)? Yes.



*spash screen*



*gray document area, main window visible*


and there the document is.

Now, print it. (this is from my laptop. its a 850 mhz with about (:P)300
MB of RAM (the number is odd, nonstandard, strange, so i cant remember
it). Overall, an OK laptop.

As i am lucky there actually is a shared cups printer on the net. BUT
the damn stupid windows DNS which i get from DHCP isn't configured to
allow me to lookup the printer server, so i can't print without changing
my DNS. (even if cups has the IP adress. Why not let cups use this as a
fallback when DNS fails?)


*black, scary looking terminal*

*type root and password hellishly fast*

*vim /etc/resolv.conf*


And the person looking over my shoulder finds out that this is an OS
only for über-geeks which do little other than "hack" the computer (and
ofcource he believes a hacker is someone who breaks into governement
computers, and generally use the term "1337" about them). He ain't far
off asking me to change the saldo of his bank account now, as this looks
about as cryptic (especially done in fast-foreward... It isn't like this
is the first time i am doing this).



He happily wanders off to collect the papers, only a little confused.
While i am sitting pussled about why the little printer icon doesn't
dissapear. Did i do anything wrong? Will he come back again, telling
"there was no print!".

He didn't. But he didn't complain about the print using 1 page and 2
lines instead of exactly one page (due to font diffs).

All of this should be a simple fast forward as "click "web", open page,
hit "open", wait one-five secounds, hit print, select printer. Here, get
you paper.

> Better to just slim down memory usage.  Or go buy more RAM, it's cheap.
> Seriously, I've got a 512MB chip as a keychain ornament.  ~_^

You tell that to a public shool which IT budget is to bogged down by
mandantory Windows/office licenses, while the governement demands more
licenses and less money to schools (while they claim they are
pro-education. Oh, you mean all those new private schools popping up
like mushrooms? I guess they meant that, especially their
shareholders.). Luckily, it looks that not i am not the only one tired
of having the coutry being ran of a coalition of right-wing party's, who
get little rigth exept figthing between each other and internally, never
listening to the public (such as when 90% of the people was opposed to
the war on Iraq and had declared hate on Bush, they managed to send them
a bunch of weapons (they shure need it!), strongly supporting Bushis'm
(and being the honor guest of some republican meeting). Then they
declared tax cutbacks their most important thing - while most of the
people rather wanted the public sector to be rescued.

And that was when they did not privatize everything they could as fast
as possible, claiming that theocraties are evil (their prime minister is
a priest. But you know, he's christian, so its okay)

And noooobody eeever mentioned doublespeak?

Well, you know - we are extremely good at sending people to get people
to make peace to eachother - just look at Israel/Palestina and Sri

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