[lug] some general questions

Chan Kar Heng karheng at softhome.net
Wed Mar 12 12:16:41 MST 2003

>>would like to know if anyone has seen anything like a java applet
>>or a microsoft COM object embedded on a web page allowing
>>access to a remote X server?
>X is not exactly a cheap protocol.  If you need X, you need X, but are there alternatives?

well, i'm not sure if there're that many alternatives out there...
do let me know what you think... prior to this, i've thought about:

- web programming can be very very messy

- http wasn't meant for programming, as such, it's build and
architecture doesn't really cater for programming. things in
there were sorta patched in.

- web programming doesn't allow handling of graphics well
enough... (it's probably still okay with 2d graphics and a
whole bunch of javascript, css and the bunch..., but not
3d graphics)

- X implementation already solves many issues of remote
display, etc...

- X can work under SSH

- OS provided user authentication and management

- bandwidth by todays standards for a number of people are
quite okay and should be able to handle X?

- X has support for GL

- i've tried a running simple OpenGL X app that i wrote myself
(displays a color cube and allows for interactive rotation)
remotely over a null modem cable (9.2Kbps) and over
10Mbps LAN.
both the client and server machines were windows machines
running cygwin.
over a 9.2Kbps null modem cable, i still managed to get at
least 20fps with the GL app... (it's pretty obvious that the app
flew over a LAN connection.. :)  )
in short: speed seems bearable when i tested it.

- the browser end might only need a thin applet for any form
of graphical application to work... 

i'm just trying to embrace the thought of not reinventing the
wheel.. :)

so far i've not completely tested out suitability of such config
but there might be reasons why it's not popular around yet...

i'm thinking of possibilities of having apps developed the
traditional way yet still allow for web access.

>If you just need basic connectivity, it shouldn't be too hard to write a Java applet that gives you basic xterm functionality and connects to a telnet server on the originating site.  (Remember that the Java sandbox only lets you connect to the site that originated the applet.)

i was thinking of having a web application that could display 3D
graphics across the web..
so the telnet thingy probably won't help...
anyway, i thought i came across a telnet applet somewhere

>If you want something more... life gets interesting.  It's easy to write Mozilla plug-ins, and you could conceivably have a plugin do pretty much anything.  But the plugin has to work on the platform you download it to, so it might not give you enough flexibility.
>But if you can work within that constraint, you can do some pretty amazing things.  A while back I ported the 'qix' mode from the screensaver to a Netscape/Mozilla plugin.  It was weird seeing it running within a web page, esp. since I simplified it to monochrome for testing.
interesting... :)

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