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Re: Very slim Desktop Manager

On Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 10:38:18PM -0600, lee wrote:
> Well, I never figured out what the framebuffer is for. If I want a GUI,
> I use X, if I want a console, I use a console --- or an X terminal.

that's an excellent way to look at the problem. 

I do NOT want a GUI, since that interface concept is intrinsecally
broken for me. If I want text I use console, if I want graphics I use

Clearly I am aware that there are some kind of applications which are
developed only for X (and my thanks go to developers for developing such
applications at all, even when I find them not adequate for my needs).

So for such rare applications I must find a way for X to look like
console as much as possible. ion is excessive for my needs; ratpoison
would be quite good (and very gnu screen like), but unfortunately many X
applications do not like being always run at full screen. evilwm and pwm
are good compromises.

> > show someone the pratical proof of the basic web principle "If you
> > cannot see it with lynx, then it is not worth seeing".
> That's not true

very possibly we visit quite different web sites

> --- and lynx is very awkward to use. And what if
> you want to see the pictures?

I see them perfectly since lynx can use zgv or fbi to display a picture
link in a different vt.

If I want to see them inline, I use links2 either in svgalib or in
framebuffer mode. Also, w3m-img is able to run in fbterm inside a
framebuffer console, but I have never personally used it. Once I even
amused myself with arachne inside dosemu (the imcomplete linux port of
arachne is not worth using).

Unfortunately links2, links, elinks, w3m ... all display tables and
frames in the *wrong* way, i.e. the way graphical browsers use since
netscape (or even mosaic) times. There is only one sane mode (for _my_
needs, which are evidently not your needs) to display them, which is the
lynx mode.

> But I'll have to see if I can go away from mozilla

In future you could consider netsurf; but at the moment it still a bit 
too incomplete. Others use galeon, epiphany, konqueror, ...

One crazy but amusing idea could be running some fast and lean free
win32 browser (kmeleon?) under wine.

> Try to use mutt on a
> console: the display is too small.

I use it in this moment, and mutt in console is perfect for my needs. A
much better resolution, readability and definition of characters than
the ones that I can reach in X terminals. My console is not 25x80.

> If you want to use it for IMAP, it
> becomes so awkward that it is unusable.

I use rarely mutt with imap, but when I use it in this way I have no
problems. I have also no problems in beliving that others, with other
needs, would have some kind of problem.
> screen. To switch, I just move the mouse pointer over the edge. If I
> want to, I can use the keyboard to switch.

perhaps it would be faster if there is a way to use _only_ trackball or
_only_ keyboard for all. Switching continuously can be time consuming,
using keyboard only for half an hour, the trackball only for half an
hour, and so on might be better.  

But I suspect that "fully keyboardless" interfaces are at the moment not
sufficiently general pourpose.

> But consoles, there are only 6

You can easily configure /etc/inittab to have how many you want, up to
64. But you not even need this, since there are commands like openvt
(also, search "kbrequest" in /etc/inittab and in the documentation of

Moreover there is gnu screen, so that I use only one vt for user (yes, I
use different user for different tasks: one for e-mail, one for web
surfing, ...). Incidentally, one can attach the same screen in a console
and in a X terminal, so that the absolute superiority (for _my_ needs)
of a console over any terminal which I was able to configure becames
evident by comparing the two.

> > Finally, when I run X then I *must* switch to console (where i can
> > start X programs if needed: env DISPLAY=:1 XAUTHORITY=~/.Xauthority
> > xpdf) since, as we are discussing, no satisfactory
> > font/terminal/whatever exist for my eyes.
> Yeah, that is really a problem. Things could be a lot easier if you
> could use a terminal.

This is a surprising remark. One can easily export such environement
variables from the shell initialization files, and RH alredy did that by
default 10 years ago, so that one starts X commands from console in a
default installation without tweaking.

> That's what I tried. I couldn't find any mode that would have been
> better than the default 80x25.

well, I should conclude that for my needs my video cards which are 8
(and more than 8, 10, ...) years old are better than their "modern"
counterparts (wich moreover can not be installed in my motherboards).

Chi usa software non libero avvelena anche te. Digli di smettere.
Informatica=arsenico: minime dosi in rari casi patologici, altrimenti letale.
Informatica=bomba: intelligente solo per gli stupidi che ci credono.

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