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It usually helps a bit to enable ssh compression. But, some toolkits are better than others at managing the X connection; in general, things have gotten worse and worse as X over network has gotten less and less popular.

To some degree, you're never going to have a snappy experience when the program and the display have a 50+ms round trip, but it's much worse if the program makes lots of synchronous calls to the display while doing work.

Most of the older tools discussed here should be pretty good at managing the X connection and are probably doing more things in an asynchronous manner.

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