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[Update REQ 6943]: Comments on your Software

> "Are there Macintosh or Windows versions?"

> "No. The Geometry Center has limited resources and feels that it
> cannot devote the needed time to perform such ports. If you feel
> strongly about this, send mail to software@geom.umn.edu."

> Okay, I'm responding. I can't argue with your reasoning --- either
> you have resources or you don't. But surely some university that is
> Windows-heavy has someone willing to do such a port, if you will
> provide support and encouragement. It would be very useful to do so
> for the many of us who are mired in the Bill Gated community of
> Windows slaves. Don't hate us because we're ignorant.

Thanks for your response. We don't hate you :). There are two issues

1. The Geometry Center no longer exists, except for its Web site. The
NSF chose to cut off funding, so we've all gone on to other jobs. I
hope that one of us will at least get around to posting this fact on
the main web site real soon now. That request for feedback dates from
when we were an active center, and if we'd had enough pro-Windows
response we might have allocated resources towards a Windows port. But
for now, we're pretty much just responding to bug reports (like this
one) in our spare time.

2. Geomview was designed to run in a Unix environment, and a lot of
its internal workings (like the infrastructure for external modules)
depend on features that are not implemented in Windows. That being
said, it would still be possible for someone energetic to port at
least the graphics part of Geomview, so that just loading up objects
and spinning them around would work. If you actually know somebody
who's dying to do that, I personally would be willing to offer at
least some advice. But because of point 1 (I'm now a grad student
elsewhere finishing my dissertation and applying for jobs) I for one
am not going to spend a lot of time seeking out such people.

3. An evangelical argument - there are a lot of free Unixes for PC
hardware (Linux, FreeBSD, etc). You could consider setting up your
machine to dual-boot both Windows and a Unix without spending any
money. If you want to spend a little bit of money, you could buy
VMWare so that you could run a virtual Linux machine at the same time
as you're running Windows, which is more convenient.

> But maybe there is a compromise: X-Windows can run on Windows
> machines. Perhaps there is a way to run GeomView remotely from a
> generous Unix machine for viewing on Windows machines.

The problem with this approach is that the graphics will be extremely
slow. Most X-Windows applications are quite responsive whether they're
local or remote, but that's because the client and server are exchange
a pretty small amount of information. In contrast, for an interactive
3D graphics application, the entire window full of pixels needs to be
updated many times per second. That's a lot of bandwidth, so it's a
major speed hit to run graphics apps remotely. We usually don't
recommend it. 


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