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This is a discussion on This is such a clever bot within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by MK27 Don't use them. You don't have to. DE's hurt modularity, which is a bad thing. Why ...

  1. #31
    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Don't use them. You don't have to. DE's hurt modularity, which is a bad thing. Why would I want my file browser and my taskbar in a matching set? Why would I want a taskbar at all?
    That is an advice I've every intention of following..
    btw.. What independent components would you suggest for daily use ?
    Are there enough DE-independent components available so that I mimic most of the functionality of something like KDE ?
    Or is it feasible to have parts of a DE running without the whole thing ? (Say...if I want to use gnome's Network Manager with KDE's Notification System and use a completely different Window Manger ...)
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.8.2 @Arch Linux
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  2. #32
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manasij7479 View Post
    Are there enough DE-independent components available so that I mimic most of the functionality of something like KDE ?
    I'm not sure what you mean by that question. But I think you are asking for a WM (Window Manager). A WM will give you more freedom of choice by giving you the means to configure your environment to your needs. My "personalized DE" was built of OpenBox. You may want to check that one out. I could talk more about it, if not for the fact that I rarely use it these days, having moved entirely to a tiling WM; i3. But OpenBox was of the WMs I tried the one I liked the most. Also very lightweight.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  3. #33
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manasij7479 View Post
    That is an advice I've every intention of following..
    btw.. What independent components would you suggest for daily use ?
    Are there enough DE-independent components available so that I mimic most of the functionality of something like KDE ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I think you are asking for a WM (Window Manager). A WM will give you more freedom of choice by giving you the means to configure your environment to your needs. My "personalized DE" was built of OpenBox.
    Part of the modularity ideal is to mix and match components, altho this has realistic limitations. The DE paradigm raises the limitation by making various otherwise independent components dependent on an over-arching component which would not otherwise exist -- namely the "Desktop Environment", such as KDE or Gnome.

    When I first started using linux circa 1997, DE's did not really exist (well, apparently KDE just barely did, but at that time Qt was not open source). You could/can use a bare X windows, along with "widget toolkits" such as motif or open look (gtk is also widget toolkit). These led to "window managers" (WMs), eg, mwm (the motif window manager, based on the motif toolkit), uwm, and twm.

    The possibility of "a window" comes from the windowing system. The windowing system provides the low level hardware interface fundamental to a GUI (X windows, the Macintosh GUI, and MS windows are all commercially contemporaneous, 1984-85).

    The window manager adds a layer to this. Originally, window managers were a lot like DE's, in so far as they integrated applications such as menus, pagers, and taskbars -- applications which manage other applications -- and a common look (theme) and functionality. They probably came about because at the time unix was venerable, with various (distinct and proprietary) distributors and a highly technical user base. Macintosh and MS, aiming for the general public, did not have this, and are/were controlled by one monolithic entity, so the concept of a window manager distinct from the windowing system never took hold.

    The first WM I used was fvwm2, based on or branched from twm. I've had an on and off relationship with computers, and it was mostly off around the end of the last century. When I started using linux again c. 2000, gnome had taken off and I was wowed by that for a few years.

    But gnome lacked a number of things I missed from fvwm2, such as a text file configuration. Maybe it would be better to say, any kind of configuration, since I find Gnome extremely inflexible. Like I said, I don't like taskbars, whether they are transparent, hideable, docked, 3D with music, whatever -- my desktop is *not* a freaking cartoon. I don't want to have to move the mouse pointer around in order to find the stupid taskbar. I want a popup freaking menu right where the cursor is accessible via a hotkey. If I want a system monitor or pager, I don't need it "integrated" into some stupid side/bar that bingos in and out and waves icons. The pager and monitor are fine on their own. I imagine kids today think they were invented after the taskbar, lol, as embellishments.

    So I went back to fvwm2. Last year I tried openbox for a while, because someone who knows me said I would like it because it is just a window manager and "highly configurable". I would not call it that. There are dozens of WMs for linux, but AFAICT none of them match ye olde fvwm. I ditched openbox in less than a week.

    The difference between a DE and a WM is that a DE requires a WM. Most of the WM's used by DE's are minimal and some of them are not feasible as stand alone entities.

    Or is it feasible to have parts of a DE running without the whole thing ?
    Depends which parts. My fav terminal is the XFCE Terminal, which is explicitly a stand alone application and easy to use and install sans XFCE. It is very similar to the gnome terminal, which also can be used sans gnome but requires more gnome components to work. The modularity is still enough that you can still actually use the gnome taskbar without gnome proper. I used to invoke it via the command line occasionally for some reason and then kill it when I was done (because of some reliance some other piece of software had).

    I'd presume Network Manager also works okay alone but I don't use it. The big complication I believe is the file browser, which is the real core of a DE. I don't know of any independent GUI file browsers, maybe because I think GUI file browsers are ridiculous things compared to

    Midnight Commander - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    One of the greatest pieces of software of all time, altho I guess it is hard to see why just looking at a screenshot. MC is integrated with the shell in such a way that you have a command line while you are using it (look at the bottom of the screenshot and you'll see a cursor). You can scroll the selection bar in the panels with the up and down arrows, but when you type, you are in the shell. If there is nothing on the command line, hitting return selects a file, that's navigation. Then you have a bunch of menus and stuff, etc. Ctrl-o toggle the panels up and down; when they are up it's exactly the same as being in a shell.

    To me this is just the way it should be and I can't understand why someone would want to relinquish that for some point and click foolishness (altho MC can be used with a mouse). I am not against GUIs -- I program them and stuff -- but to me the way an interface looks is far from the final measure of its worth.

    So my recommendations would be fvwm2 and mc. Go minimal and work from there. There's probably tons of crap you won't even miss, and if you do, you can almost always find a way to put it back in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    I rarely use it these days, having moved entirely to a tiling WM; i3.
    A lot of people seem to really dig the tiling thing. I don't get it, but then I've never tried...
    Last edited by MK27; 09-07-2011 at 07:43 PM.
    manasij7479 likes this.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  4. #34
    Registered User manasij7479's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    my desktop is *not* a freaking cartoon

    ..they could have made it with that in mind...Gnome3 's design document feels like a cartoon comic.

    I already use mc when in the terminal. It is much quicker than opening dolphin or nautilus and opening a terminal from there.
    I'd try out fvmw and openbox in future.
    I've also read some nice reviews of Enlightment; whose slogan is that it stays out of your way.
    Manasij Mukherjee | gcc-4.8.2 @Arch Linux
    Slow and Steady wins the race... if and only if :
    1.None of the other participants are fast and steady.
    2.The fast and unsteady suddenly falls asleep while running !



  5. #35
    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megafiddle View Post
    There was a suggestion back then that ELIZA could be used as a therapist,
    just to get the user to talk about things.
    This has been done, there's actually a simple pysch chatbot built into emacs (in emacs, check Help -> Emacs Psychotherapist)

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