[nSLUG] Problem with XFCE (was: re: Gnome to KDE--> Stymied at kdm Login Screen)

Jack Warkentin jwark at eastlink.ca
Thu Aug 30 21:26:28 ADT 2007

Hi Everybody

I'm not really sure how to respond to this, except to re-iterate what 
I said in my original posting. I don't expect everybody to agree with 
me and Jeff certainly doesn't, but that's ok.

I will say that if I were a sysadmin I would be very wary of a 
password changing program that had all of the capabilities that Jeff 
mentions. I would want a command-line tool that was applicable to 
exactly, and *only*, my system's configuration. I *like* GUI's. But I 
believe that there are still places for the command line, and 
changing passwords is one of them. It is no harder than typing in the 
text of an email.

I *never* have any icons on my desktop, but that again is just 
personal preference.

I strongly object to notifications of hotplugging of hardware. If I 
have plugged something in, I know I have done so, and know what I 
want to do with it, and how to do it, which I then proceed to do. 
Notifications just get in the way.

The underlying operating system is the right place to provide 
mechanisms for programs to communicate, not something that sits on 
top of the operating system such as X or a desktop environment. There 
must be a clear differentiation between operating system and other 
programs and system services must be performed using very clear, 
well-defined, and strictly enforced system calls. The fact that 
Microsoft Windows has allowed this strict differentiation to become 
blurred has been one of the main reasons that Windows has so many 
security holes. If desktop applications need to communicate they 
should do so using the IPC capabilities of the underlying operating 
system. If these don't provide the desired capabilities then the 
correct response is to create additional OS capabilities, not put 
non-OS layers on top of the OS to provide the desired capabilities.

Just my opinions and am happy to have others disagree.



On Monday 30 July 2007 21:37, Jeff Warnica wrote:
> Perhaps all you say is true, but for sake of argument:
> - One thing/one thing well still holds true, to some extent.
> --- Evolution has been split up to evolution-data-server & UI client 
> years. Most/all Gnome apps leverage EDS for contact lists. Most 
> (well, f-spot.. dont send that much mail) apps all get evolution to
> actually send mail
> --- Configuration settings are generally split up into system or app
> specific. And in Gnome you do settings in a common system app, or in 
> individual apps themselves.
> passwd(1) does not work "very well" for then 98% of people who never
> use, have never used, and should never need to use, a terminal. I'm 
> that kdepasswd has, besides being a GUI, better support for things 
> complexity requirements, hardware tokens, LDAP backend. I mean, if 
> want to split things down to a small tools, mail(1) root the 
> you want, and let him ed(1) up /etc/shadow for you.
> I have twiddled an xresource setting manually.
> If you want desktop icons, I guess you need nautilus. After years of
> upgrades, distro switching, it doesn't ever run here at home. I fire 
> up by hand to burn CDs, infrequently, and then just close it. At 
> it runs, and I don't notice it either way. Crossover office managed 
> put some icons there, which I suppose I asked for, but by 2007 I'm 
> this was through a common freedesktop API interface rather then
> something GNOME specific.
> Anyway, as you mentioned, the UNIX design philosophy also includes 
> ability to combine tools together. X11 provides network transparent
> graphical display. X11 specifically and explicitly provides no
> guidelines for producing anything that could be described as a UI, 
> any way for individual apps to communicate with each other. Note 
> also, that X11 is not UNIX, and they come from a different design
> culture. UNIX provides mechanisms for tools to communicate with each
> other, X11 does not. UNIX tools were built - their foundations put 
> place - by a relatively small group of people, with an at least 
> implicit design goals. From the late 80's through to really when 
> and KDE came out, X11 apps did not have this quality.
> KDE and Gnome were not the first projects to attempt to bring some
> consistency, commonality, communication methods to apps, but they 
> as a good examples (and, as opposed to CDE, actually provide more 
> trivial applications that use the infrastructure put in place). KDE
> apps. to some extent, talk to each other. Gnome apps, to some 
> talk to each other. With freedesktop.org they, to some extent, talk 
> each other, and also to lower level things like notifications of hot
> plugging of hardware, and things totally unimaginable when X11 was 
> defined.
> On Mon, 2007-07-30 at 20:38 -0300, Jack Warkentin wrote:
> > Hi Everybody
> > 
> > I like neither KDE nor Gnome - to me they both ignore the basic 
> > design philosophy of one program does one small thing well and to 
> > something more complex you combine programs to achieve your 
> > result. I didn't give Gnome much of a chance after I discovered 
> > just about *everything* in Gnome required nautilus to be active, 
> > I didn't like nautilus. And KDE is just too monolithic and 
> > to add its own layer to those already adequately provided for by 
> > operating system. Why, for example, is there a need for something 
> > like kdepasswd when passwd works very well from the command line?
> > 
> > What I would like is a system whereby the window manager (selected 
> > from among several/many available) can be combined with a taskbar 
> > (selected from among several/many available), a start menu applet 
> > (selected from among several/many available) and an Xresources 
> > settings manager, etc. For me the Xresources settings manager is 
> > deal-maker/breaker in a desktop system. It is too much of a pain 
> > the you-know-where to have to manually edit the .Xresources file 
> > set resources for applications either individually or 
> > 
> > So I tried XFCE which appeared to be much "lighter weight" than 
> > KDE or Gnome and I preferred it to both Gnome and KDE. However, I 
> > discovered several times that one of its components created a 
> > process (I am using Ubuntu 6.06/Dapper Drake and the XFCE version 
> > 4.3.0-0ubuntu1). So I reverted back to KDE. Has anyone else come 
> > against this problem with XFCE?
> > 
> > Is there a set of Xwindows applications out there that follows the 
> > design philosophy outlined above?
> > 
> > This discussion started around a problem with switching from gdm 
> > kdm. When I first installed my favourite Linux distro (Libranet, 
> > since gone defunct) several years ago I found that it used gdm 
> > kde. Later I tried other distributions and discovered I preferred 
> > to kdm. So I always install gdm and make sure kdm is not installed
> > 
> > Regards
> > 
> > Jack
> > 
> > On Tuesday 24 July 2007 08:51, Jonathan Anderson wrote:
> > > Ah, yes, I forgot about fvwm.
> > > 
> > > If you're using Ubuntu, Robert (which I believe you said you 
> > > you can also install xubuntu-desktop, which is an Ubuntu desktop
> > > designed around XFCE.
> > > 
> > > 
> > > #!/jon
> > > 
> > > On July 24, 2007, Daniel Morrison wrote:
> > > > On 24/07/07, Jonathan Anderson <jonathan.anderson at ieee.org> 
> > > > > Anyway, if you don't like KDE or GNOME (and their window 
> > managers, kwin
> > > > > and Metacity), you should check out:
> > > > >
> > > > > - a *box (blackbox, fluxbox, openbox, etc.)
> > > > > - Enlightenment
> > > > > - GNUStep
> > > >
> > > > Why use anything other than the best?  fvwm!
> > > >
> > > > -D.
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > nSLUG mailing list
> > > > nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> > > > http://nslug.ns.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/nslug
> > > 
> > > 
> > > 
> > > -- 
> > > Jonathan Anderson
> > > 
> > > jonathan.anderson at ieee.org
> > > 
> > 
> _______________________________________________
> nSLUG mailing list
> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> http://nslug.ns.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/nslug

Jack Warkentin, phone 902-404-0457, email jwark at eastlink.ca
39 Inverness Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3P 1X6

More information about the nSLUG mailing list