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

Jeff Warnica jeff at coherentnetworksolutions.com
Mon Jul 30 21:37:18 ADT 2007

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 for
years. Most/all Gnome apps leverage EDS for contact lists. Most Gnome
(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 the
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 sure
that kdepasswd has, besides being a GUI, better support for things like
complexity requirements, hardware tokens, LDAP backend. I mean, if you
want to split things down to a small tools, mail(1) root the password
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 it
up by hand to burn CDs, infrequently, and then just close it. At work,
it runs, and I don't notice it either way. Crossover office managed to
put some icons there, which I suppose I asked for, but by 2007 I'm sure
this was through a common freedesktop API interface rather then
something GNOME specific.

Anyway, as you mentioned, the UNIX design philosophy also includes the
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, or
any way for individual apps to communicate with each other. Note here
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 in
place - by a relatively small group of people, with an at least shared
implicit design goals. From the late 80's through to really when Gnome
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 serve
as a good examples (and, as opposed to CDE, actually provide more then
trivial applications that use the infrastructure put in place). KDE
apps. to some extent, talk to each other. Gnome apps, to some extent,
talk to each other. With freedesktop.org they, to some extent, talk to
each other, and also to lower level things like notifications of hot
plugging of hardware, and things totally unimaginable when X11 was (not)

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 UNIX 
> design philosophy of one program does one small thing well and to do 
> something more complex you combine programs to achieve your desired 
> result. I didn't give Gnome much of a chance after I discovered that 
> just about *everything* in Gnome required nautilus to be active, and 
> I didn't like nautilus. And KDE is just too monolithic and determined 
> to add its own layer to those already adequately provided for by the 
> 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 the 
> deal-maker/breaker in a desktop system. It is too much of a pain in 
> the you-know-where to have to manually edit the .Xresources file and 
> set resources for applications either individually or collectively.
> So I tried XFCE which appeared to be much "lighter weight" than either 
> KDE or Gnome and I preferred it to both Gnome and KDE. However, I 
> discovered several times that one of its components created a runaway 
> process (I am using Ubuntu 6.06/Dapper Drake and the XFCE version is 
> 4.3.0-0ubuntu1). So I reverted back to KDE. Has anyone else come up 
> 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 to 
> kdm. When I first installed my favourite Linux distro (Libranet, 
> since gone defunct) several years ago I found that it used gdm with 
> kde. Later I tried other distributions and discovered I preferred gdm 
> 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 were),
> > 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> wrote:
> > > > 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
> > 

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