[oclug] Looking for aquarium screen saver
wisq-oclug at wisq.net
Mon Apr 4 20:19:53 EDT 2005
On Mon, Apr 04, 2005 at 04:01:25PM -0400, mlist at safenet-inc.com wrote:
> > Maybe I just haven't been looking hard, but I think there are
> > fewer Linux-based screensavers than Windows ones.
> There were well over a hundred on the last SuSE release, the
> xscreensaver ones and a passel of Open-GL ones. Progress is
I'm not so sure about 'progress' there. Sure there are 227 (some
external to xscreensaver) in my current Linux distro, but many of them
are quite simple, most are not OpenGL based, a lot of them were
churned out by one guy (with no disrespect to Mr. Zawinski), and the
great majority have been around for years. The actual rate of growth
is very small, I find.
> > In other words, geek stuff, and not very much life-like stuff.
> Geeks still rule, but sheer numbers are bolstering the demand for,
> and the success of, smoothly integrated desktops and modern
> comprehensive apps.
Things that do stuff, yes. But it's still the geeks making the low
level stuff. It takes a programmer to give, say, KDE the ability to
do all sorts of nifty themes, but it's the hordes of artistically
inclined types who actually make the fancy themes (and the KISS-style
less artistic users who make the 'clutter-free' ones).
> So, I'm expecting a surge in screensaver eye-candy any minute
> now. :-)
I'm not. Not until someone makes at least one generic reusable
framework for 3D screensavers, anyway. Right now, I think the effort-
to-reward ratio is just too high.
> > AFAIK, most screensaver hacks aren't about drawing, modelling,
> > rendering, or anything else. They're about putting pixels to the
> > screen (fairly quickly), often with little or no outside help.
> Well, that was the standard in the old days, but it's been left
> behind. Unfortunately, Windoze is leading in that department.
And again, I suspect this is simply because there really isn't a huge
amount of genuine interest in screensavers among the programmers.
Speaking personally, at least one of my machines doesn't use one at
all, another one keeps it mostly disabled, and my laptop just blanks
to reduce battery drain. That's three out of three X workstations.
> > Also, I've found the Linux modelling tools simply don't compare
> > very well to the (expensive!) Windows counterparts. Hence, given
> > the cost of entry, that level of complexity is usually reserved
> > for deeper, more interactive things like games.
> Well, it's certainly expensive, but didn't Maya originate on Linux?
Wouldn't know. I do remember that '3dsmax', I believe it's called,
was probably the foremost modelling tool for game modellers, back when
I still played Windows games like Half-Life. I couldn't find an
equivalent for Linux at the time.
> Don't several of the computer graphics houses use mostly Linux
> computers for movies and game scene creation/rendering?
I know Titanic used a farm of Alphas running Linux, but I believe that
was specialised rendering software that ran for two months to produce
so many high-resolution frames.
> Anyway, my thought was that it would not be such a big step for
> somebody who has already produced a 3D game or who has provided 3D
> modelling and rendering for the movies (using Linux tools) to come
> out with some hot-sh*t screensavers.
I suspect they're too busy making games or movies. But yes, all it
takes is one. Hasn't happened yet, though.
> On a related thought, something like the GIMP is a massive and
> powerful piece of software, plausibly offered as being equal to top-
> end Adobe products. Yet it's free in both senses. A whole group of
> people have put a lot of talent and work into that, and all you can
> do with it is make pretty pictures... or make pictures pretty. What
> do they get out of it?
More than a fish screensaver. :) More of everything, really. More
reputation, more usefulness, more versatility, at least three to five
different APIs for the community to make plug-ins, a means for *some*
career photo editors to feasably switch from Windows to Linux (with
more to come), etc.
> You see my point? A parallel?
Sorry, not really.
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