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Re: Explorer-type file manager

-- Bill Moseley <moseley@hank.org> wrote
(on Tuesday, 18 February 2003, 08:02 AM -0800):
> On Tue, 18 Feb 2003, Paul Johnson wrote:
> > On Mon, Feb 17, 2003 at 03:54:38PM -0800, Bill Moseley wrote:
> > > Trying to ease the transition to Linux for the family, I'd like a
> > > MS Windows-like Explorer file manager, both in look and usage.
> > 
> > Have you taken a look at KDE or Gnome?  KDE in sid is up to 3.1 if you
> > ignore the kde metapackage and rough it manually.
> Well, the goal was to not switch window managers.  I wonder how hosed my
> system will be if I try to get kde from sid installed in my
> testing/unstable machine.
> I frankly do not fully understand the difference between something like a
> small window manager like IceWM or Blackbox and KDE or Gnome.  

IceWM, blackbox, etc. are *window managers* -- that's what they do, and
they do a good job at it. Most of the good, low overhead WMs compile
with just the X libraries, meaning that they have few dependencies and
a small footprint -- which leaves your memory and CPU resources for
things like applications.

KDE and GNOME are *desktop environments*. As such, each offers a window
manager (although each can also be configured to use a different one),
but also offers their own libraries and configuration tools in order to
present an integrated desktop experience; they also utilize an API so
that applications can be built off of the libraries they utilize. What
this means to the lay-user is that K-apps work faster with KDE, and
GNOME apps work faster with GNOME (instead of vice-versa). 

However, applications built for either desktop environment can
*typically* be run without *running* the desktop environment -- it just
means you have more libraries installed, and some processes from the
necessary DE may need to be started by the application in order to run
(kdeinit, bonobo, etc.).

Personally, my machine has better uses for its time than a DE -- so I
utilize blackbox, have ROX-Filer throw some icons on my workspace, and
try and utilize applications that don't require KDE or GNOME (there are
a lot of GTK+ apps that don't require GNOME, for instance, and QT apps
that don't require KDE). For this reason, I've really liked browsers
like Phoenix and Skipstone (which utilize GTK+). But I have yet to
utilize a good *graphical* file manager that didn't come with a DE; for
the most part, I've been doing without one, but I can also see your
reasons for wanting one (making the machine easier for others to use).

Matthew Weier O'Phinney

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