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Aaah, Mewel

December 14, 2014 — BarryK
Us old-timer coders recall our DOS and Windows programming days, perhaps with a touch of nostalgia.

I have ongoing rendering problems with the Intel xorg driver on my laptop. Parts of the screen suddenly disappear, or suddenly get replaced by a coloured background. it is weird.

I had this problem with Quirky Unicorn, still have it with Quirky April -- except it is now manifesting a bit differently.

Where does the blame lie? The Intel xorg driver? The kernel, the kernel i915 module? GTK?

Dunno, but I might do a rebuild of Quirky April with an older kernel, see if that makes any difference.

This set me off reminiscing... GTK is a bit of a mess, and I recall fondly my programming days with the win16 and win32 libraries.

I have an application, 'eve.exe', a freeware app, that was compiled back in early 2000, and it still works on recent Windows machines.
The win-api tended not to change, rather get added onto, unlike the madness of Linux libraries.

Then there is the implementation of win16 and win32, technically excellent. Apart from the lack of many modern features, I still consider those libraries to be technically superior to GTK and Qt.

I am writing of products developed fifteen years ago, superior to current efforts in the Linux world.

Then I recalled mewel, made by Magma Systems. I purchased Mewel late 1990s or very early 2000s. It is a win16-compatible library for writing graphical applications for msdos. it is not for writing applications to run in Windows.
I bought the cheapest one, to create text-mode graphic applications -- yes, text-mode. Quite remarkable product.

I hunted around, found this:

This got me thinking about WINE. A couple of years since I checked-out WINE, but I used to evaluate it periodically, and always found it to be slow and very imperfect.
Yet, 18 years ago these Mewel guys wrote a beautiful win16-win32-clone, worked very well indeed, very fast. They even sold the source code.

I am in a grumbling mood, aren't I!


On further reflection, I think that I puchased Mewel about 1995.

That is about 20 years ago!

The xorg modesetting driver uses, I think, the kernel i915 module, so the rendering problems that I experienced, are not due to the kernel or the i915 module I think.

It does kind of point the finger at the Intel xorg driver, package xf86-video-intel.

But when have Intel ever really got it right? Rendering issues with their driver have been going on for years. Going back several years, their drivers worked better.

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