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Re: X is painful

I'll repost this again now that the lists are back up.  :-)


Bill Bumgarner wrote:
> I have to vent.

Vent on, dude.

> I cannot believe that after HOW MANY years of development, X windows is  
> still such a completely inconsistent and painful user interface.
> The STUPIDITY of the whole thing is frustrating.
> For example: 
> There is no inter-application communication or awareness to speak of.

I think that'll change in a year or so.  We're going to see an all-out battle
for the hearts and minds of free-software maintainers.  Some contending
technologies:  GNUstep, CORBA/ILU, Java Beans?, DCOM/OLE, OpenDoc?

They're all coming on the scene soon, and they weren't available a few years
ago.  The solution that works the best, and inter-operates the best, and is
free, will win out.

> The window manager has no awareness of what is running-- only what windows  
> are on the screen.  Because of this, various 'dock' programs are nothing  
> more than a 'click the button to launch an app' system-- one cannot click on  
> a button second time to simply activate the app in question.

Try tkgoodstuff.  It has a Windows 95 style toolbar.  It's slow to load and
pretty ugly, but it does the job.  There's something similar in fvwm-95.

> The various 'toolkits' available for developping apps don't help the  
> situation-- while they make it easier to develop X apps, they certainly  
> don't make the apps any more impressive.

There have been too many widget sets.  I think the main problem has been that
most widget sets (Motif for example) have had restrictive licenses.  Also,
many of them are tied too closely to a particular set of development tools.
Now that there are many widget sets available in the public domain, and the
technology to separate them from particular tools is available (ie. ILU),
I think that we will start to see them mutate and combine together in some
interesting combinations.  And the best solution will eventually become
dominant.  Just give it some more time.  I've got a list of 20 or so sets
of widgets I'm interested in, but I haven't had enough time to try many of
them.  But a year from now, I'll probably have tried most of them.

> X completely lacks a decent mail reader [outside of Messages from the  
> Andrew Consortium-- it is awesome... but oncee one decides to use it, it is  
> hard, hard, hard to leave.  as well, there is no source available, so  
> porting is out of the question [though a port already exists for x86  
> linux]].  No, emacs/xemacs is not acceptable.

I like exmh.  It's a bit slow in places, but overall, it's pretty good.

> Maybe I'm just spoiled by years of NEXTSTEP-- but, damnit, NEXTSTEP really  
> is the most well-inntegrated user inrface *ever* built.  Seriously.

I've never tried NEXTSTEP unfortunately.  I'm itching to try GNUStep.  Does
anyone know what the status of it's development is, and when a likely ETA
for a Debian package will be?


 - Jim

This message was distributed manually by Bruce@debian.org after the list
initially failed to distribute it.

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