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Re: Very slim Desktop Manager

On Thu, 13 Nov 2008 14:46:56 +0100
NN_il_Confusionario <pinkof.pallus@tiscalinet.it> wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 13, 2008 at 05:25:07AM -0600, lee wrote:
> > Well, maybe I should learn more about using framebuffer stuff
> why? If you are satisfied with X, you have no real reasons.

It could be interesting and useful. I'm using X11 pretty much as if it
is a console that has extended features. You seem to have many of these
"extended features" without X11.
> > Yeah, like plan for a calender
> I have no use for that (I have also no exact idea of what a "plan for
> a calendar" is),

apt-cache show plan

I started using it long ago and stick to it --- there are better
calendars now, but it always worked fine for me.

> > and spreadsheets
> I do not use spreadsheets but
> apt-cache show sc

Well, have you tried sc?

> > and pdf viewers
> no. 
> apt-cache show bmv
> apt-cache show fbi

Those are not pdf viewers.
> > and database interfaces
> command line intefaces to database exist and are developed by the same
> developers of the databases (mysql, postgres, ...). I do not use
> databases.

Have you ever used MS access? There is no commandline substitute for
that --- no GUI substitute either, unfortunately.

> > (though
> > openoffice still sucks to the point of unusability in that)
> the idea itself of a office suite sucks, and I have no use for it.

May the idea suck or not, it provides some features that can be very
useful. And the idea itself is not so bad, the problem is more the
implementation which isn't up to the idea.

> > and
> > calculators
> bc
> dc

try qalculate ...

> > and image processing software (like gimp)
> i do not use it (but I have seen it), and I agree that nothing of this
> kind has ever existed in linux, dos or whatever for the console.

It's one of the applications that would be very hard to create and to
use without a GUI.

> > and instant
> > messengers
> i do not use them, but the first "instant messanger", talk on unix and
> phone on vax, is text based. There are many more, even with "modern"
> protocols.

What is the console equivalent to gaim?

> > and phone software.
> I do not use them, but being audio (no video) I think that if and
> when a console developer will need it, it will be ported. Obviously I
> am not considering proprietary things.

Ok, "phone software" is a bit misleading --- ekiga can do audio and

> > them, there might be a substitute that you can run on a console,
> > but it is so much easier to use the GUI application.
> This is a very correct argument. It is the same as my argument, except
> that (1) in my argument console and X interchange their roles; (b) in
> your case you are equally able to use console and GUIs, and in my
> case I ame completely lost with GUIs 

Ah, now I see. I was thinking it's very restrictive having to use
consoles almost exclusively, but I'm mistaken. It doesn't restrict you,
and it's difficult for you to use a GUI instead --- like it would be
more difficult for me to use consoles.

> > ATM, I have 5 terminals open plus claws plus firefox plus plan plus
> > emacs, I'm logged in on two consoles and gnome-panel is running (to
> > provide a few icons, the dictionary plugin and a clock). Eventually
> > add gimp, gaim, gnumeric or openoffice, ekiga. How would I do that
> > with only 6 available consoles?
> I do not do such things, and I am very happy in not having to do them.

You don't have to do something like that, but you could :) I tend to
leave things running which I'm going to use again sooner or later
anyway, instead of exiting a program and restarting it later. I find
that very convenient.

> you can use gnu screen in only one console

Hm, I should try that out.

> > See the attached screenshots, one is of lynx, the other
> > one is firefox, both showing the same forum.
> > Now which one is more useable/user friendly? 
> lynx. Infinitely.

Did you look at the screenshots? With lynx, the screen is mostly empty,
and it's hard to figure out what you're looking at because the display
is totally messed up. You can't even scroll, the images are not
displayed, and if you want to follow a link, you have to fumble your
way through all the links from the top of the page until you finally
get to the one you want to follow. That isn't exactly useable, and it
is not user friendly.

> The first evident thing is colors. But one can configure both lynx and
> mozilla to use (and force) whatever colors one prefers (infact, this
> is one of the first things I do when I have to meet mozilla: edit
> preferences ... fonts and colors, and set a sane minumum dimension for
> fonts, and *force* a decent shaped font, and *force* colors like green
> [or white] on black)

Yeah, I do that too, for the fonts. Galeon had as default for the
minimum font size 4 pixel; I force web browsers to 16, sometimes 18.
Who can read a font that is 4 pixels tiny?

> The other evident thing is that lynx does not display annoing and
> useless icons.

Icons are not annoying or useless most of the time.

> But fortunately you can set mozilla such that it does
> not display images automatically (unfortunately mozilla no more has a
> old and useful feature of netscape: do not show images by default,
> but a command can show the images in the displayed page without
> changing the default. But there should exist mozilla extensions for
> this now)

Hm, I didn't try with mozilla, but galeon can still do this.

> [Google search ... first hit:    
>      Linkname: Screenshot program for Linux text console(s)
>         URL: http://bisqwit.iki.fi/source/snapscreenshot.html
> I will send you in private the file
> snap.tga 532866 Nov 13 14:44
> ]

Thanks, I got it. Looks pretty much like it does on my screen.

> For a txt screenshot, see "hardcopy" in man screen. Or try script,
> conspy, ...

An image --- a text copy has it's own use, but I meant an image because
that would look how your screen looks. I couldn't see that from a text

> Obviously, you can take a digital photo of the monitor,

You could, but it's not so easy to get a good picture that way.
Monitors are rather dark and using a flash doesn't help in this case, so
you have to use a long exposure for which you have to put the camera on
a tripod or otherwise support it ...

> no, because _for me_ the conceptual framework of a windowing interface
> is very disturbing and stressing.

So you somehow don't like pictures very much? You turn them off in web
browsers, they disturb you when you are concerned with music, and you
don't like icons --- and a GUI is basically like a picture.

> but in
> general I must find all available triks to obtain a X which resembles
> console as much as possible. And obviously X will always fail in
> comparation with the original.

Well, yes, it's a GUI ... Have you tried to run X applications without
using a window manager? When you use only one application, you don't
need the window decorations, and it might make it better for you not to
have them.

> > That would all be possible if there was a solution for the
> > problem with the fonts.
> I am not convinced that my problem is _only_ with fonts.

Apparently it's not (maybe not at all?) --- maybe it's with "pictures".
I have that too, just not so much: I can look at only so many pictures
in a given time (like in a museum or when working on photos) or only
for so long at one/a few pictures before I can't really see them
anymore. When I'm playing a card game, it takes about 1/2 hour before
the cards look all the same to me and it becomes difficult and
exhausting to tell them apart.

Hm, I was about to say that I don't have that problem with GUIs, but
I'm not so sure anymore. I'll have to think about that.

> I do not have or use win, but I know for sure that mozilla under linux
> and under win is _NOT_ the same (even if much is in common,
> obviously), and that there are many more developers for mozilla under
> win than onder linux, which explains the better features under win.

Which features would that be? I've been using the windoze version
of mozilla at work over many releases, and the Linux version at home at
the same time was always the same, but eventually a bit newer.

> Incidentaly, from what I had occasion to see, win has by default a
> much better integration between "win32 console application *in full
> screen*" and "win32 GUI application" than the default integration in
> linux/*BSD between vt consoles and X.

In which way? The dos boxes they had seem to have disappeared, and you
could always have only one. Besides that, they never had a decent
shell. Command.com and later, command.exe, never even had filename
completion --- and I doubt it's any better now with Vista.

> > into .muttrc, and I would not have the filtering, processing and
> > SPAM filtering options claws offers
> you can use spamassassin or any other kind of "server" spam filtering
> with mutt (however I do not need to do this locally, the servers are
> alreding doing this)

The server isn't doing it for me now, and I don't want to pipe every
mail manually through the filters ...

> > What is the advantage of using different users?
> security.

Hm, that makes sense.

> yes. And incidentally, terminals are worse than the consoles with
> hight resolutions on the modern (one years and half ago) amd64
> hardware with which I can sometimes do experiments. It was the least
> expensive existing graphic card (R300 ati chipset or something like
> this)

Using the cheapest card available doesn't mean that it is a good card
for the resolutions used for X11.

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