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GNU is Not Unix

GNU XFce 3.2.0 Desktop Now Available 194

merc writes "XFce (GNU's lightweight desktop environment based on GTK+) 3.2.0 was just released. Having never used XFce before I was wondering if anyone has used it -- and if anyone would recommend switching from KDE? Snapshots and RPMs are available from the XFce website."
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GNU XFce 3.2.0 Desktop Now Available

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    It definetely doesn't have nearly half the features of either GNOME or KDE, but it is a pretty decent compromise between twm and and the other DE's. It seemed pretty snappy on my p166, and is pretty easy to use. Also sort of resembles CDE, however it doesn't really have a 'real' desktop.
  • I've played with it a bit; if you have used a CDE desktop, HP workstation, or QNX (photon) it will feel very familiar.
  • by tweek ( 18111 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @02:04PM (#1520817) Homepage Journal
    If you've used CDE before then you'll die for this. I have it running on the linux dev boxes in our lab and training room because most of the people at the office who have even seen a *nix, have used CDE and since it's what runs on our HPUX,AIX and sparcs, it's a nice way to keep em comfy so I don't have to explain another WM to them ;)
    "We hope you find fun and laughter in the new millenium" - Top half of fastfood gamepiece
  • by Uruk ( 4907 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @02:10PM (#1520819)
    I've used it back in the 2.0 tree and a bit in the 3.0 tree, and it's generally pretty nice.

    It is very similar to CDE with enough things done differently to throw you off a little bit when you first start, but not enough things to make the transition from CDE to Xfce bad or annoying or anything like that.

    I'm not so sure that it lives up to its billing as light weight but then again my machine isn't the beefiest in the world, and there are plenty of things that are slower than it. For example, next to, say, enlightenment, it is very light weight but it's not necessarily all that light compared to maybe afterstep or fvwm2 or some of the more graphically simple window managers. (Which are only graphically more simple in comparison to enlightenment)

    It's all around definately worth using though, especially for corporate users who are very much used to the standard stock CDE that comes with so many commericial UNIXen - and it's based off of GTK+ which is a plus as far as I'm concerned.

    It's not the end all be all, but it's fairly stable, decent looking, not overly memory hungry, looks familiar (and looks good, if you like the look of CDE) - I wouldn't say that it introduces anything radically new into the idea of window managers, but it's definately worth a look and maybe worth using depending on what you want out of a windowmanager.

    There are so many people who want so many different things out of window managers that it's hard to say "This is the best" because they seem to have different domains in my mind. For example, I really like enlightenment/gnome combo, but when I'm coding or doing something where I really don't want to be "visually distracted" then I really don't dig enlightenment. Sure it's arguable that you can set up any window manager to look however you want it to, but I really don't spend all that much time hacking into the deepest darkest corners of window managers - and in that respect, I think xfce is good because it works quite nicely right out of the rpm so to speak.

    Just my $0.02.

  • by JohnZed ( 20191 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @02:11PM (#1520820)
    I use it on and off when I want that "professional" CDE feel. It is very much like the CDE, but also pretty quick and light. You also get the benefit of GTK themes, if you're into that sort of thing. The default configuration and icons, however, reveal how old-school the primary developer is. It's interesting to see someone who still considers xclock and xcalc to be among their most important applications. . . The default icons are mostly very simple 8-bit .xpms, but you can replace them trivially (the panel is very easy to configure). Its xftree file manager doesn't come up automatically in the default config, but it's really pretty good as well, considering that it's not meant to be the same sort of thing as a gmc or kfm. If you think that KDE and GNOME's taskbars are too "windows-like", the XFCE panel might be more your thing. I use 3.1.2 and the stability and speed are very good. --JRZ
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you don't want to get "visually distracted" while programming, I suggest you try out Blackbox. I've fallen in love with its spartan interface. It has everything you really need (eg: seperate virtual desktops, ability to iconify, customize menus) while it leaves out the eyecandy. For me at least, its the ideal programming environment.
  • by poopie ( 35416 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @02:19PM (#1520825) Journal
    If you work with people who are unix operators as opposed to unix hackers, they may be much more comfortable with a look and feel that they already are comfortable with.

    (how many of us had to hand-hold users through a DOS -> Win 3.0 migration? , then Win 3.1 -> Win 95 migration? Or wp5.1 DOS/lotus 123 -> any-windows-office-suite)

    Is this flashback relavent? Yes, CDE/motif was designed to be visually competetive with Windows 3.1 and much to UNIX and CDE's testament, it has lived on far longer than Windows 3.1.

    I don't personally use CDE, but I expect it to be available on all (non-linux) boxes. Maybe CDE sucks, but at least I know exactly how it sucks and I can count on it to continue to suck in exactly the same ways on each major UNIX. It's a STANDARD.

    anyway, It's fast, GNOME-aware, and familiar. If you work in a big Solaris shop, your users will probably require less retraining with XFCE than kde or GNOME (even though they're much cooler)

    I hope the distros realize this, and include XFCE as a default WM for "LEGACY" unix operators.

    Choice is a great thing!

    I do think XFCE needs a beter name, though. Maybe GNU CDE or GDE?
  • Hey, after reading this article I downloaded it (had to use a mirror because /. was slowing it down ;-) I compiled it and I now have it running. It is a lot like CDE, unfortunately that part I don't care for. But I actually like this better. It is quick. And now I'm going to go look at how to configure it. I've been using just fvwm2 with gnome panel running. Now I have gnome panel running with this. I don't care for enlightenment since it seems to slow my machine down. I used Afterstep for a while, but nothing seemed to beat fvwm in speed. Which is what I need.

    So, I like this. If you like the fast window manager, and don't really care about the extras, I recommend this. (you must realize my experience with this is about 2 minutes)

    Anyway it is GPL so it may work nicely with other gnome apps. And maybe KDE as well, since the two seem to be kissing and making up.

    Steven Rostedt
  • by nevets ( 39138 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @02:24PM (#1520828) Homepage Journal

    goto http://tsikora.tiac.net/xfce/ [tiac.net]

    Steven Rostedt
  • Also you can goto http://www.baysurf.net/linux/xfce/ [baysurf.net] but it seems slower.

    Steven Rostedt
  • It's not necessarily "old school" to use xclock and xcalc a lot on your desktop; they're very functional tools that get the job done. Well, ok, it's old school if you happen to be a linux user who spends a lot of time on the bleeding edge of software development (I do sometimes, but I'm not a kamikaze bleeding edger like some people :)

    I think the "old school" aspect is less related to the fact that the applications are old, and more related to the fact that the toolkit that they use, be that motif/athena or whatever has an older look and feel to it. I think as more and more time goes by, more and more people get used to the look and feel of KDE or Gnome, which looks better and generally more slick because the looks have been more of a focus point in their development as users don't necessarily have all of the memory/CPU limitations that they did in the past.

    That could be total shit, but it's just my opinion. For the record, I use xcalc a whole lot because the math hasn't changed :) and it loads very quickly. Also, if you learn a few tools with standard toolkit options and so on, then you'll be comfortable wherever you go.

  • Becareful about running xfce_setup. It removes your .xinitrc file. This is what I get for not reading directions and just playing ;0) Time to pull out the old backup tapes.

    Steven Rostedt
  • XFCE does exacty what its says. Light, clean, bloatless. I've noticed Netscape running snappier with it.

    jackchaos.com - The Freak of Geeks
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I find it amusing that the name resembles XFeces. This might not be a good idea as it will influence people's predisposition to try the GUI.

  • 1) What's up with the rather prejudicial software plugs? Nothing against XFCE or anything (as you'll see), but I noticed a strong bias in the past towards mikmod and x11amp/xmms when there are/were other good software in the GPL arena that do the same things (xmp and gqmpeg being the top two respective examples, IMO).

    2) XFCE rocks. I like its simplicity and yet complexity of design. It does what I want it to do, and it has CDE's small footprint. It is not supposed to have the features of GNOME and KDE if it is a CDE alternative, but mind you, there are utilities in Linux you can compile and install, which XFCE will call on if you want. I would not recommend switching from KDE to XFCE if you like a ton of functionality. KDE simply has more features.

    3) I do believe that people who use CDE can use this. My mother actually settled on XFCE when I tried to sell her on the idea of Linux on her machine, instead of KDE/kwm, windowmaker, E/GNOME, etc. And if my mudda likes it, you bettah like it! :) (Sadly she finally asked me to put Windows 98 on...sigh)

  • by jdube ( 101986 )
    Another Gnome compettitor. I've never used it but I like the smaller size (sawmill [E only no bloat] rules!) but I think I'm gonna be stickin with the short dude... meaning "The Gnome" meaning "Gnome" of course. *sigh*

    If you think you know what the hell is really going on you're probably full of shit.
  • If you like the Gnome environment, but think Enlightenment is slow or eats too much RAM, try Sawmill.

    http://www.dcs.warwick.ac.uk/~john/sw/sawmill/in dex.html

    It can give you the basic look and feel and is small footprint.

  • Are there any screenshots somewhere? I looked at the site, but it's down at the moment and those few pages I saw did not indicate that they have screenshots...

  • Look under the "Snapshots" section of the website. (When it is not Slashdotted of course). They only have one picture from what I say but it is there.
    It annoys me when screenshots go under the "snapshots" heading, I usually expect to find code there, but oh well.

  • I use CDE at work and don't harbor any grudges against it, but this is ridiculous.

    allow me to consolidate thousands of computers all over the world, running on hundreds of different platforms, all onto the same desktop

    I hope you didn't mean what you said. Thousands of computers on a single desktop?? I assume you meant to point out the fact that CDE runs on many different UNIX flavors. So what? Most decent window managers run on most widespread UNIX flavors -- after all its the same X window underneath them all...

    bring the whole network to my fingertips

    And, pray tell me, what does it mean and what does it have to do with GUI preferences?

    a clean, professional look and feel

    Each to his tastes, of course, but I would also call it a "bloodless, boring-is-good, corporate look-and-feel".

    use the industry standard Motif toolkit

    And that makes it an advantage how? Especially given that you have to buy Motif.

    A complete help system

    Again, YMMV, but to me the built-in help sucks in a major way. Annoying, hard to find what you want, more than half of it is no more than descriptions of dialog boxes.

    Complete utilities like a text editor, calendar, mail program

    What, you mean somebody actually uses that text editor? I've seen plenty of emacs people and plenty of vi people, but I've never seen anybody use the CDE text editor as his primary editor. Why anybody in his right mind would do this? I also don't see what is it so wonderful about the calendar and the mail program -- it's not like they are something special...

    . IMO it's the best desktop/GUI ever

    Well, of course you can have an opinion about it, but I doubt that you'll find many people to agree with you.

  • Thanks for the xcalc tip!

    Yes, I know some of you may laugh at this, but it's what I like most about slashdot: When at it's best, it is like a random, living, HOWTO.

    Or perhaps the digging for diamonds analogy is better: Lots of dirt and rocks to go thru, some of the highly moderated diamonds are really just CZ, and some of the ignored ones are the real thing.

    Is there, perchance, a RPN version of xcalc available? (even better, is it already hiding somewhere on my RH 5.2 i386 box)

  • Of the things one could clone why the CDE? The CDE is ugly. The CDE is slow (although xfce is faster). The CDE is some of the ugliest source I've ever seen. The CDE is a poor, counterintuitive user interface even when compared to something like fvwm. A lot of other user interfaces (windows, MacOS) are pretty decent, but lack flexibility. The CDE also is not flexible, but has extra flaws in addition. Why the hell would someone want to clone the CDE of all things? At least the KDE and GNOME people tried to take the good points of every GUI and combine them. The CDE does the exact opposite, it takes the worst points of every GUI and combines them. I've never understood why people use CDE, and I can't understand why anyone would want to make a clone of it. I mean with xfce they solved the speed problem, but since it's not heavily tied to motif, like CDE is, and since the CDE libraries aren't available, you don't even get access to CDE apps, you just clone what is perhaps the worst UI still actively maintained.
  • > I've never understood why people use CDE,


    At work though, I feel that I need to, since 99.9% of my users do. It's the default on the 1000 or so HPUX 20.2 and Solaris 2.7 machines we have.

    Some of the more sophisticated users switch to a better window manager, and I did too, before I joined the admin group.

    Why anyone would clone it is beyond me.
  • It's just a window manager. Gnome is a desktop environment that, to this date, does not include a window manager. Thus, using Gnome on top of Xfce or just about any other window manager will work fine.

    My personal favorite WM is IceWM. I've used it for years. I keep trying new versions of KDE and Enlightenment and I always keep going back to IceWM. It's very lightweight, fast, and does everything I need in an intuitive way.

  • It pains me to hear you say that the GNOME panel is windows like :)

    Yes, GNOME's panel can be configured to look similar to windows and kde, but it also can be set up to look similar to the docks of Window Maker et al, or almost whatever you want.

    But use whatever you want; it's great that we have so much choice.
  • You may be wondering, "How good is CDE really? Is this expensive, old, committee-designed Unix 'standard' really that much better than the Gnome & KDE environments I use daily? Should I shell out cash for one of the Linux CDE sellers?"

    No, it isn't, and no you shouldn't, unless you want a panel that is more limited and harder to configure, a widget set which is nasty to use and 10 times nastier to program in, a limited utility set (which is admittedly on par with Gnome's selection I've seen, but not up to KDE's), a hideous looking window manager, and a nearly useless file manager. The text editor is OK for people used to Notepad, I guess.

    I could see where some people might prefer some of the stylistic decisions behind CDE's interface, (hence XFce, in large part), but nobody could possibly honestly mistake it for "genius" or even "worth the effort that got wasted to make it a Unix standard".
  • I'm certainly no marketing genius, but does anyone else think the name could use a powder? How would average Joe pronounce XFce?

    Not trying to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but might help the cause to change the name.
  • > I've never seen anybody use the CDE text editor > as his primary editor.

    I have. It's not a pretty sight, but I have seen it done, as well as people using "vuepad" from HPVUE (sorta like CDE, a predecessor), under HPUX 9.x

    It's simple, and easy to get up to speed, but *so* limiting.

    > Why anybody in his right mind would do this?

    You might have nailed it here... :-)

    Seriously though, most people I've seen using it don't spend much time editing ASCII text, and don't miss what they haven't experienced. They're happy, and aside from suggesting emacs whenever I can (it's gotten to be a joke), I leave them alone.
  • I've been using XFce from the 1.x days. It is just the best desktop there is. The CDE look'n'feel is much easier to use than the Win95-like layout of KDE & GNOME/E and more intuitive than WindowMaker and AfterStep. Not that the others are bad. The best window manager/desktop is the one that you prefer.

    Personally I have been quite disappointed with KDE and GNOME. They are just to clumsy and bloated to be top quality desktop replacements for WinXX. Maybe in the near future they'll be viable but for now, XFce is the best there is.


  • I defintely agree. I administered a network with Sun Workstations, and we acquired a number of Hewlett Packard workstations with CDE installed (the Sun workstations were older than CDE, which tells you something..) And after about a week of CDE headaches, we removed it from the system, and put most people back on fvwm, and some of the less UNIX-experienced users on KDE... No one had the slightest complaint about the loss of CDE, and the ones that liked CDE the least bit thought KDE was many times better :)
  • Name: GnuDE.

    I think we'd quickly see usage numbers for it skyrocket, leaving GNOME and KDE in the dust.

  • How would average Joe pronounce XFce?

    ex-face, perhaps?


  • (Granted, older versions of CDE are not as great, but have you checked out CDE 2.1?)

    Which vendors, if any, ship CDE 2.1 as their standard desktop, rather than CDE 1.x?

  • The best window manager/desktop is the one that
    you prefer.

    ...which presumably means "the best desktop for you is the one you prefer".

    Maybe in the near future they'll be viable but for now, XFce is the best there is.

    ...for you. For others, of course, that is not necessarily the case, as per "the best desktop is the one you prefer".

    (Or, to put it another way, be careful not to confuse personal taste with universal truth - a rule advocates of any choice should take to heart.)

  • I want source and I am done paying for software that comes without source code and a free license.

    Its that whole freedom issue that too manny people ignore.

    Look at KDE and GNOME... they are better because they are free. I would never use CDE even if it was the most pleasant looking desktop ever.

    Linux? That's GNU/Linux [gnu.org] to you mister!
  • >No, it isn't, and no you shouldn't

    I couldn't agree more, but ...

    You forgot to mention that it is heavy weight, people who complain that kde/gnome eats a lot of memory/cpu, you have seen nothing! ;)

    And as a sysadmin I can easily say that KDE is 10 times more easy to manage compared to CDE. I had spent a lot of time with dtactions and dttypes before I got to take a look at KDE's way of doing things, and belive me, it is much better then CDE.

    Last time I looked at XFCE my reaction was "This is like CDE, just 10 times faster/smaller and less bugs" and then lost my intrest for xfce.
  • Sometimes I do wonder about what kind of motivation goes into some of these articles. Just because it's associated with GNU it has to go into Slashdot? What about another great, lightweight window manager, Blackbox? Does noone who reads Slashdot use anything except GNU/Linux? I would personally take Blackbox alpha over anything made with GTK any day.
    Just my $0.02.
  • I have used KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment, Afterstep, Windowmaker, FVWM, TWM, etc... They're all fine if you like them. There was always something about the simplicity of CDE that I liked, with better wallpaper and icons, of course. Now I have it. I use it on my Linux boxes at work, and I use it on my Linux box at home. I REALLY liked Windowmaker and it's dockapps, but there is something that keeps pulling me towards XFCE. It's fast, crisp, and lean.

    Windows NT has crashed,
    I am the Blue Screen of Death,
  • I didn't find anything on the front page identifying it as being a part of the GNU project. I didn't even find a FSF or GNU link.

    So why is this a part of GNU? Did XFce join GNU, or did GNU add them to their lists? Do the authors of XFce even know that they're GNU?

    If it really is a part of GNU, then why? After all, GNU has Windowmaker and Gnome, with the possibility of an "official" Gnome WM real soon. Why another WM or DE?
  • Use it at work. Gnome was such a hog when trying to use vmware. With XFCE people don't know I'm using Linux, they think i'm running CDE and HP/UX.
  • CDE is just plain too old guys. My school comp labs used to "standardize" on CDE, but I guess even they figured out CDE is not going anywhere. It's pretty much old, shitty, and slow. A step above twm but not much.

    After this summer, we have KDE installed on all the Sparcstations =). Everything looks so much nicer, even though the hardware is the same, it looks like they did a major upgrade to all the computers. Plus KDE comes installed with a shitload of applications and games. Now everyone has stopped using the NT machines so they can play games on the Sparcs. KDE has truly revolutionized the Unix desktop experience.

    For those who say CDE is the only viable solution for running on "thousands of desktops".. well you obviously haven't tried KDE yet, have you?
  • by Erich ( 151 )
    Ugh... I used CDE. I used it all summer, and then eliminated it and ran blackbox and (after a long time forcing it to compile under Solaris), gnome. I would certainly die from a DE that was like CDE, not for a DE that was like CDE. Besides being ugly, it's not very useful, it's ugly, it's a pain to configure (believe me, I spent a good week writing dt action files), it's ugly, and the bar is really stupid. Did I mention that CDE is ugly?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 1999 @05:23PM (#1520877)
    after all the bloated eye-candy of many other WMs, and the horrid, expensive, restrictive Qt licence issues (yes, they affect me) I decided to try XFCE.

    I will not go back! Even though I liked the Corel Demo at Comdex (they use a modified version of KDE) I would still prefer to stay detached from all things Qt. My preference. The way Qt/KDE has fully embraced OO technology is refreshing, though.

    As a personal thing, I support and use free software. As a Unix programmer, I prefer partitioned things over blobs. Massive, intertwined things like KDE and Gnome are pretty disappointing for me. I was always hoping someone would just release an object repository infrastructure for Linux -- but no, they want to take over the desktop. Sigh. The OO backend should be completely decoupled from the GUI.

    XFCE has been a very satisfying experience for me. I like CDE a lot, and even though this doesn't do a lot of CDE things, it still looks great to me.

    And the menus are TRIVIAL to update/configure! I installed all my favorite apps and utilities under them in minutes; it's just so simple.

    One thing I'd like to see on the XFCE site (at some point) is an area for people's favorite menu setups.

    EVERYTHING is faster under XFCE! It rocks.
  • Replacing CDE with KDE is like replacing one disgusting bucket of painful user-obsequiousness with another even flashier one. You aren't getting very far, very fast.

    You've also got the most amusing perspective on "old". Things that are tried and tested, things that have withstood the tests of time, offer a streamlined stability you don't see in these fancy-pants distractions all full of glitter.

    When you say "up" from twm, I think you're making some very amusing little assumptions. Nearly everything I've ever seen that isn't a twm derivative (and I include fvwm there), is just a waste of your time and attention. I don't know anyone who isn't a Winix kid (somebody raised on Windows and not happy until he hamstrings Unix into looking and feeling just like the hell he knows) who doesn't strongly prefer twm and friends. (And I even use it in uwm mode. :-) We all have a visceral dislike for CDE. Yes, you can get enlightenment to behave sanely, but it's a lot of hassle, and always huge.

    But hey, maybe you're not distractable and like all that clutter. That's a gift many of us do not share with you. I can't even turn images on in a web browser, because if they move, they eat my brain and I can no more get anything done than if a chattering magpie were perched upon my shoulder. We each have our own gifts and our own challenges.

  • Actually, I believe it was called "Freix"... I could be wrong (just a nit). :)
  • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Thursday November 18, 1999 @05:34PM (#1520881) Homepage Journal
    It definetely doesn't have nearly half the features of either GNOME or KDE...

    You are confusing the window manager with the entire GUI environment. XFce is a window manager. While it does include a couple of extra "environmentish" tools like a launcher panel, its main purpose in life is to decorate and manage windows.

    In contrast, GNOME and KDE are full GUI environments. They are not single programs. They are a collection of programs and shared libraries which use a common protocol for IPC. Both need a window manager. KDE provides one in the package; GNOME distro's generally ship with Enlightenment.

    You could use XFce with GNOME or KDE if you wanted. Indeed, the GNOME people may want to "adopt" XFce as their window manager, as it seems to be pretty light-weight, and uses the same GTK toolkit the rest of GNOME does, while Enlightenment doesn't seem to quite "fit" with the rest of the GNOME stuff.
  • I've tried out XFCE a few times, and of all the window manager I've used, it is the fastest, most stable one out there. Unlike others which take a short while to Load (ie, KDE), this one is ready within seconds. It's not as customisable or as functional as KDE or Gnome, but with a bit of effort and tinkering, it is definitely the best window manager out there.
  • it backs it up. look in .xfce_bkup. your old .xinitrc should be there.
  • Replacing CDE with KDE is like replacing one disgusting bucket of painful user-obsequiousness with another even flashier one. You aren't getting very far, very fast.

    You're being too harsh. So KDE isn't for you, that's fine. I think for the kids in the lab KDE is an improvement over CDE, and serves as a better introduction than TWM even if only because of it's "user-obsequiousness".

    I'm almost glad you aren't the system admin at that school. I can imagine you taking glee in the confusion of new students as they first try to use those Sparc machines running twm.

  • Sorry I meant 'its "user-obsequiousness"'.
  • What is it like compared to Windowmaker? Is it lighter, faster..?

    I had a look at some screenshots at its homepage and it looks ok. I tried downloading the src.rpm , but they've been ©slashdoted.

    How easy is it to set up? I could not find any installation instructions on the homepage. I guess the rpm should have a readme.

  • There is a GNOME module for XFce. It's right there on the front page. That makes it GNOME-aware for everyone that has to have it.
    Off-topic, for GNOME there is also sawmill which uses gtk and has a VERY small footprint. Heck even enlightenment isn't that much of a hog anymore.
  • Is there, perchance, a RPN version of xcalc available? (even better, is it already hiding somewhere on my RH 5.2 i386 box)

    Already there:

    xcalc -rpn

    That's how I always use it... have fun :)

  • It's probably "/usr/X11R6/bin/xcalc". Just type "xcalc" and it might come up. If it's not already there, hmmm...

    Insert RH5 CD, mount it, then cd to the RPM directory. Type:

    rpm -qpli * > ~/rpmindex
    less ~/rpmindex

    While in less, type "/xcalc". That will find which RPM contains it, which you can then rpm -install. Leave rpmindex for future reference. (I just recently studied "rpm" and figured out all the right command line arguments to find and install any given file, and I thought I'd share my discoveries. This knowledge would have saved me a great deal of time when I was first figuring out Linux!)

    BTW the upgrade to version 6 is a lot smoother than you might expect. Nothing like the installer for a certain nameless but shameless OS...
  • Is there, perchance, a RPN version of xcalc available? (even better, is it already hiding somewhere on my RH 5.2 i386 box)
    It's alrady there, hiding inside of xcalc. You want xcalc -rpn. When in doubt, Read The Fine Manual. B-) B-)
    -rpn This option indicates that Reverse Polish Notation should be used. In this mode the calculator will look and behave like an HP-10C. Without this flag, it will emulate a TI-30.
  • I use XFCE right now and i like it. At school I use Solaris with CDE so the GUI feels familiar. Applications start with it and it is pretty small. It's handy to have buttons for switching desktops in the main panel, I use ten desktops and named them "Music", "Chat" "Code" "School" "Games" etc, and therebysorting things up pretty well. Then, of course, I have Licq as a "sticky window" :) XFCE is worth a try, try it :)
  • by jyang ( 86770 )
    If I wanted light weight, I'd go FVWM.

    You'll never fool ppl who uses CDE with a look alike.

    People who use CDE are those who stick yellow post-it on the computer monitor panel remind them how to do telnet, ftp, and email;

    They are the same people who write down root pass word and put it in their wallets. They are the same people set window screen saver to be "Jesus Loves You" scrolling thru the screen.

    They are the same people who send reply email to entire mailing list, and the same people replying the reply by saying "please remove me from this list".

    Mark Twain : "You made the thing fool prove, and they'll find you a damn fool".

    Okay, I might be a little bit stressed out.
  • You are confusing the window manager with the entire GUI environment. I don't think they were at all confused. XFce is not a window manager. The window manager (XFwm) is just one component of XFce. From their homepage: "XFce is a lightweight desktop environment for various UNIX systems." notice the term "Desktop environment" ala K Desktop Environment, Common Desktop Environment...
  • You can find a mirror of XFCE which is accessible
    only in Australia/NZ (the cost of international
    bandwidth - sigh).

    XFCE's web site having been slashdotted is currently turned off..


  • To the best of my knowledge, XFce is not part of the GNU project. I don't find any mention of it in the GNU records and that usually indicates that either someone has forgotten to add them, or they're simply not part of the GNU project.
  • Funny, on my machine CDE runs way faster then Gnome + Enlightenment, MITSHM (which crashes Sun's X server reliably, was fixed in Solaris 2.6 but not 7) or not. My disk is always thrashing whenever I try to do anything.

    But then again, my machine has the wrong hardware to run Solaris in the first place... as in IDE and "only" 64 MB RAM :-
  • I know this is off-subject, but Slashdot readers, will you please, please all learn to spell "definitely" correctly; repeat after me: D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y. Thank you. Now I can sleep more easily.
  • I've got a Pentium 100 with only 24 megs of RAM. Yes it's REALLY old but I'm pretty poor and am saving up until I get enough money for a REALLY good system. But until then this suits me just fine. Now for my current system, Gnome and KDE are just too memory hungry, and Enlightenment brings everything to a crawl.

    So I had to choose between windowmaker, blackbox and icewm. I chose icewm because it had a smaller memory footprint than the others, had adequate theme support, and was gnome-aware (so I could easily set up gtk themes to match my icewm themes, for example).

    I tried XFCE this evening, and it's great. I recognize the layout from all the old Unix machines in my lab, but I like the layout, it's simple, but easy to extend as much as I wish. Plus, it is gnome aware. Even though it has a slightly higher memory footprint than icewm, it runs noticeably faster.

    The thing I like best of all though, is that I no longer need to configure two sets of themes - GTK and the Window Manager. XFCE does both together. Nice!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Do what I do whenever trying out a new WM or environment. Create a test user first to try it with. Makes it a lot easier, especially when you have different sound daemons for different environments.
  • You forgot to mention that if, as you said, it leaves out the eye candy , it can still be beautifull, while really lightweight... Perfect for my ol'P100
  • Let's look at this from a valid linguistic point of view, OK?

    Huh? I'm sorry, but I don't see anything in your post that remotely counts as that.

    But, then again, there are lots of people who enter a "personal identification number number" at the "automated teller machine machine".... No, they don't. They enter a PIN number at the ATM machine; there is a crucial morphological and pragmatical (in the linguistic sense of the term) difference. What has happened in cases like this is called lexicalization; what started out as an acronym (which essentially is an abbreviatory device) begins its own existence as a word by itself. Some of the stranges examples are not with acronyms, but rather with words borrowed from other languages. (Can't recall any right now, though.)


  • >I wonder why the GUIs in linux look ugly when compared to win98 GUI

    X-windows doesn't have anti-aliasing, so fonts may not appear to have such rounded edges. You probably would benefit from installing a Truetype xfs server (newer distros come with them) and a variety of truetype fonts (and the intlfonts package as well). That makes a surprising difference.

    Other than that, the "beauty" of any GUI is pretty subjective. Some people here really like CDE. How many windows users would be praising Windows 3.0 or Windows 3.1 user interface? They're out there... believe it or not.

    Unix doesn't requrie a gui. This takes a while to sink in. unix doesn't need a gui to be installed/run/manage/administer. That's a major strenght (and conversely a major weakness of Windows)

    Unix and x-windows has developed over time much the vay that opensource projects work. I personally think that gnome and kde are pretty fantastic. I think they both look and function a lot better than windows98.

    I could also show you some pretty lame-looking window managers for unix, but then I could show you situations where a lame-looking window manager works exceptionally well for certain people.

    example: twm - ever seen a sysadmin with hundreds of minimized xterms in gnome? it works and looks pretty functional in twm.

    Also, since there's no single company that is forcing users to follow a single user interface path. There are other user interfaces for windows. Look for litestep...

    developers for windows are basically strongarmed into developing these "consistent" GUIs. I read somewhere about what developers have to agree to with Micros~1 in order to be "windows 2000 certified". that takes away a lot of the programmer's freedom to explore new toolkits. Imagine if everyone had been forced to use motif -- we'd never have gotten all the great gtk and qt toolkits and apps.

    I'll be the first to admit that x-windows has it's limitations and design flaws and that there are some pretty far-out, non-intuitive themes for some window managers. But you can choose what works best for you.

    ... and if you don't like linux, you're free to keep using windows. I'm more interested in getting all of the developers to switch to linux first. When we've finished coding all of the fantastic apps that you value more than OS stability, free code, and cross-platform-ness, we'll be ready for you with everything you want already built into linux. Keep checking back with us.

    Developers want to develop for linux and now they can make money doing it. It's just a matter of time before end users and upper management realizes that their important apps are as good or better under linux, and that linux gives them more choices.
  • I think that there are definite uses for KDE and GNOME, especially in student lab environments. In part, I think it comes down to ease of use for novices and casual users versus experienced, constant users.

    From my casual look at the KDE and GNOME environments, a lot of the ornateness is there to create obvious things to manipulate. This in turn made it easy for me to start manipulating KDE and GNOME, and presumably helps novices to do so too. Certainly one reason we chose the Redhat 5.1 AnotherLevel environment as a starting point for our current workstations was its similarities to Windows, which we could assume was familiar to the users from elsewhere.

    Whether I think it's a good idea or not, I'm pretty certain that there are a fair number of students here who consider the lab computers as just complex tools. They don't want to have to set up a carefully customized environment just to use them. They're willing to trade ease of use for clutter and flashyness.

    I don't like the clutter of KDE and GNOME, but I'm not a typical user of our labs. I've spent years slowly tuning my (now) fvwm2-based minimalistic environment (originally twm based, then tvtwm, then I got tired of tvtwm's problems) until it works just as I want it to right now and only has the features and decorations I actually need in practice. Most users just aren't going to use the computers that intensely or care that much about it.

    Possibly there is a great, non-chromed, minimalistic X11 environment that is still easy and obvious for novices and casual users to use. If there is, I would deeply love a pointer to it. Until then, it's likely that soon our lab workstations will run either KDE or GNOME, because our major target population is casual novices and either environment seems easy for them to use.

  • Xfce is my favorite and Olivier Fourdan has been very responsive to suggestions from existing Xfce
    users. Olivier is very friendly and really does a fantastic job trying to make Xfce the perfect window manager.

    I recommend Xfce to everyone I talk with about linux, especially those individuals that don't have a really high powered system. It is as easy to configure and use as KDE.

    There are times when I like to use KFM, so I added that in one of the terminal windows. A simple click and I have my personalized desktop icons and folders, another click and I am back to running just the XFCE toolbar.

    Before you make any judgements, install XFCE and try it.
  • First of all having had some expirience with trusted systems that were sold to some military organizations, I can tell you that military organizations don't all run the same system. They use many different systems.

    Second, CDE as a standard is more as an extention of the Motif API. The Lesstif people plan to implement this, but haven't started, and have plenty of work with plain old motif to do before they move on. xfce does not implement any of the CDE API--it's just a clone of the horrible UI (not the horrible code). So, basically, your example doesn't hold water.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Interesting subject, even though you never followed it up. Anyway, for anyone interested you can download a Tooltalk-like message bus from ftp://koala.inria.fr/pub/KoalaTalk. X license.

    Using this, lesstif (see my earlier post), pdksh, and a few other utilities I know of you could set up something for free under Linux very like the 'standard' CDE machines you have to use at work. However, the big question is, would you want to?
  • Check these sound files for how the Master himself pronounces it.
  • Actually XFce is a desktop environment! But it claims that it can work with Gnome as well. The Window Manager that comes with XFce is called XFwm.

    Steven Rostedt
  • Too CDE for my taste... hell, I built WM and GTK and xmms and.... etc. etc. just to make my sun look as far from CDE as possible. However, I think I'm gonna build it and throw it on the linux boxen here so the normal sun users have something they'd be a little more familiar with...
  • I think the original post was referring to one possible pronunciation of XFce being kind of mumblingly close to "X feces". Which XFce most certainly isn't.
  • That was sort of a harsh judgement of KDE, have you even used it?
    Certainly. I've also used Gnome and CDE. They are all highly Winix-biased (intuitive and familiar to Windows people, confusing and unintuitive to Unix people) and worse still, wholly undocumented.

    I prefer to use something whose documentation I can consult, and which doesn't assume prior Windows knowledge. I don't think that's too much to ask.

    All my systems are configured with one of fvwm, twm, or tvtwm. I can set up Enlightenment, but until it's documented, it's not worth the time for me to learn how to configure it into a non-intruisive and user-friendly set-up.

    And it too has the taint of Winix. I was very frustated at not being able to get a window ring going, and when Raster said words to the effect of "Just use ALT-TAB like always you dummy", I had to say "What t do you mean `ALT-TAB like always'?". Turns out that it's some Windows thing. How could I know that? I've never used Windows. This Winix stuff doesn't help me at all, although I'm sure it's friendly to those who like Windows. And also like Windows, there's no documentation. I myself finally put together a manpage for E, which Mandrake checked in.

    I hate Winix. I really, really do.

  • We have to start working on pooling our resources better. We are concurrently working on KDE/GNOME/ENLIGHTENMENT/WM/GNU-FORCE etc. desktops, Microsoft is working on exactly one, Active Desktop. It doesn't matter that we have so many more developers than MS if they are all working on projects that are all simulatanously working at the same goal on completely seperate trees. The whole advantage of Open Source is pooling of resources to gain advantage, if we keep writing all of these seperate projects we are watering down our talent. Of course, many of these projects do not completely overlap, but surely Enlightenment/GNU-Force do or will, as do KDE and GNOME obviously. Clearly we need choice at the desktop level, but is there such a thing as too much?

    -ShieldWolf ;P
  • Unfortunately this method isn't very useful with older hardware. If you only have 1-2 MB or video RAM you need to reduce the color depth in order to switch to higher resolutions. XFree86, unlike Windows, can't switch color depth while running, so the hot keys mentioned above only work if you run in 8 bit color all the time.
  • I think you're missing the point somewhat. You make it sound like a Good Thing that Microsuck is working on exactly one desktop, while making it sound like a Bad Thing that linux has so many of them. I see it exactly the other way around. The more choices that are available, the more variety of users of Linux who can find an environment they are -personally- comfortable with. Not something dictated by some corporate monster.

    Clearly we need choice at the desktop level, but is there such a thing as too much?

    In my opinion... NEVER.
  • Why not clone it? Admittedly, my first experience with UNIX workstations were with HP-UX (first running VUE, then CDE), but I found CDE to be nice, clean, and very usable.

    I think it's a great idea to continue to create new working environments. As soon as the /. effect dies down I'm grabbing a copy.

  • I have used it. It is somewhat like th ecde. SO if you are into the cde then it will suit you just fine. IT has a sound utility, and a way of configuring sounds thru gtk. There are icons on the desk top. You can configure the control panel menues and items. Desktop backgrounds. To change the root menue or at least the last time I used it you had to manually edit the file for that, but that may have chnaged. When I tried it it was versio n3.0, and most things were fully user configurable thru GUI's like kde and gnome. There were not as many bells and whistles thou. All in all I think it is a good GUI, but I personally did not like the cde look and feel, I am more into Windowmaker, running kfm and the gnome panel.

    just my .02cents..

    send flames > /dev/null

  • I just have to vent. Whenever there is a posting on /. about environments and/or window managers, people get all up in arms about what they feel is the best or worst or whatever. It is getting pointless. Just use what you like, people. That is one of the great things about this software is that there is so much to choose from. Why does there have to be a "standard" Linux "desktop"?

    Also, I am just getting fed up with all the yahoos constantly comparing desktop environments with window managers. Apples and oranges people!

    A desktop environment is *not* the same as a window manager. You cannot compare KDE/GNOME to WindowMaker/FVWM/Enlightment/SCWM/IceWM/BlackBox whatever.

    KDE/GNOME are desktop environments. You can compare them to each other. They are each a set of programs that allow interoperability and shared information between programs for a seamless desktop. Both KDE and GNOME are largely window manager independent. That means I can run KDE on top of WindowMaker if I want. Or I can run GNOME on top of BlackBox. As long as the window manager supports the environment, things will work. It just so happens that both KDE and GNOME have either a built-in window manager or a prefered window manager (KWM and Enlightenment, respectively).

    A window manager is a single program for drawing windows to the X root window, or desktop as people like to call it. A window manager, well, manages windows. It controls what your windows look like and how they behave when you move them or shade them or minimize them. Window managers allow some ability to launch programs and applications through root menus. A window manager is not a file manager. It is not an application launching panel. It is definitely not a fully integrated desktop environment. A window manager may be only a part of a desktop environment.

    Now XFCE would seem to fit into the category of desktop environment since the window manger is only a single piece of the whole "environment". But you will notice that XFCE supports GNOME and is not a truly integrated environment like GNOME or KDE, so it is really just another window manager with associated programs which explains why people seem to think it is so much faster than KDE/GNOME. Of course it is faster! It is just a window manager!

    The only reason I am tirading here is because I have seen several posts about how people want a "fast" window manager, but then talk about how bloated and slow GNOME and KDE are, especially on older machines. Well, what did you expect? GNOME and KDE are not window managers. Running fully integrated desktop environments is an expensive task. Why do you think Windows sucks so much? Microsoft cannot even distinguish their underlying operating system from their graphical environment.

    In summary, run whatever you want, whatever environment/manager that suits your needs. And stop confusing desktop environments with window managers. They are not the same and you look a bit silly when you try comparing them.

    Nothing can possiblai go wrong. Er...possibly go wrong.
    Strange, that's the first thing that's ever gone wrong.
  • Yeah, I read the directions/Help file after getting the .xinitrc file back. I was a little excited about the product. I like it a lot.
    Like a little kid at X-mas, I didn't want to read anything before playing. At least I know my backups work ;^)

    I wish there was more documentation about how to configure .xfwmrc. I took the example from the /var/XFCE directory but it doesn't list all the options. I would be nice to see an example that shows all the key bindings and menus. Maybe if I get mine fully finished, I'll send it to them, so they can use it as an example.

    Steven Rostedt
  • In the KDE article, I posted some notions [slashdot.org] about how to go about building something that's Unix-friendly instead of Winix-pandering. Rather than reposting the whole thing here, you can just follow the link.
  • I'm not a "winix kid" or any other pejorativethat you care to throw around. I've been using CDE since the time it used to be called HP VUE. CDE IS A TERRIBLE USER ENVIRONMENT. It is slow, buggy and counterintuitive. It is slower and does far less than KDE on Linux/x86, Sparc/Solaris and HPUX. I've yet to find someone who is fully comfortable in CDE. Most use it because they have to (many commercial apps misbehave in other winmgrs) or because they do not know how to start another window manager.

    The same cannot be said of twm (BTW are you the Tom who wrote twm? I know that you are the Perl guy) or fvwm. These are both fast and stable user environments.

  • I can imagine you taking glee in the confusion of new students as they first try to use those Sparc machines running twm.
    And what confusion would that be? If they want Windows, they know where to find it. If they want MTV, they know where to find that. And if they want epilepsy-triggering fugues on a theme by Wired Magazine, doubtless they know where to find that as well, 'though for my sanity, it's something I strenuously avoid. Why would I want to inflect such misery on the unwary? What did they do to deserve the pain?
  • Hmmm...you've got some good points in that post (as I would expect you, being, as you are, you, to have :)*, but parts of it come off as the annoyed rhetoric of a certain segment of the population who one feels would have been much happier if GUIs had never been invented in the first place.

    Appearance-wise, then, and perhaps as a real issue, you might mention next time that the reforms you've proposed also make it easier for the disabled to use these applications. That's actually rather important, since that is one area in which Windows literally kicks X's ass in a very literal way, making Unix geeks look like a bunch of unenlightened shitheads. It's embarrassing.
  • literally literally literal literally. should have previewed.
  • Hmmm...you've got some good points in that post (as I would expect you, being, as you are, you, to have :)*
    Was there a footnote there that I missed?
    certain segment of the population who one feels would have been much happier if GUIs had never been invented
    Perhaps those people exist, but I'm certainly not amongst them. I'm a big fan of screen real estate and innovative use of the same.

    Then again, I really do wish that the idea of caveman-style point-and-grunt wordless happycons with no textual alternative or perspective had never been invented. It's like extolling hieroglyphics and ideograms over text. How do I search a happycon? How do I sort/alphabetize them? Ever tried to look up a word in a Chinese dictionary? Not fun at all, and I think you can see why. Being forced to learn a new set of random squiggly hieroglyphics for each program is hardly what I call would call progress. It's anti-progress, but I guess that should come as little surprise in this post-literate society.

    And yes, I know that a happycon is supposed to be language neutral. Guess what? It often isn't, and even if it should be language-neutral, it's virtually never culturaly neutral. Tell me, how do you do message catalogues for happycons? See the problem? You could do it for text. It's not just for the disabled, unless of course you consider those whose first language isn't English to be disabled. :-)

    That's actually rather important, since that is one area in which Windows literally kicks X's ass in a very literal way, making Unix geeks look like a bunch of unenlightened shitheads. It's embarrassing.
    Well, you're assuming that X==Unix. I'd say that Unix itself is highly friendly toward the, oh what's the way I'm supposed to say this now?, "differently enabled", I imagine. Think Braille, message catalogues, etc.
  • As for docs, here is a quote from the KWM docs:

    Alt-Tab and Alt-Shift-Tab

    Traverse the windows of the current desktop

    So there.

    Oh, really?
    % man -k kwm
    kwm: nothing appropriate
    Exit 1
    % man -k kde
    kde: nothing appropriate
    % man -k gnome
    gnome: nothing appropriate
    % man -k enlightenment
    enlightenment: nothing appropriate
    % man -k eterm
    Eterm (1) - an Enlightened terminal emulator for the X Window System
    % man -k twm
    tvtwm (1x) - Tom's Virtual Tab Window Manager for the X Window System
    twm (1x) - Tab Window Manager for the X Window System
    % man -k fvwm
    FvwmAudio (1) - the FVWM Audio module
    FvwmAudio (1fvwm) - the FVWM Audio module
    FvwmAuto (1) - the FVWM auto-raise module
    FvwmAuto (1fvwm) - the FVWM auto-raise module
    FvwmBacker (1) - the FVWM background changer module
    FvwmBacker (1fvwm) - the FVWM background changer module
    FvwmBanner (1) - the FVWM Banner
    FvwmBanner (1fvwm) - the FVWM Banner
    FvwmButtons (1) - the FVWM buttonbox module
    FvwmCascade (1) - layer FVWM windows
    FvwmClean (1fvwm) - the FVWM desktop clutter reduction module
    FvwmCommand (1) - FVWM command external interface
    FvwmConfig (1) - the FVWM Configuration Aid (Braindead)
    FvwmConsole (1) - the FVWM command input interface
    FvwmConsoleC.pl (1) - Command editor for FVWM command input interface
    FvwmCpp (1) - the FVWM Cpp pre-processor
    FvwmDebug (1) - the FVWM module debugger
    FvwmDebug (1fvwm) - the FVWM module debugger
    FvwmForm (1) - input form module for Fvwm
    FvwmGoodStuff (1) - the FVWM button panel module
    FvwmIconBox (1) - the FVWM iconbox module
    FvwmIconBox (1fvwm) - the FVWM iconbox module
    FvwmIconMan (1) - an Fvwm Icon Manager
    FvwmIdent (1) - the FVWM identify-window module
    FvwmIdent (1fvwm) - the FVWM identify-window module
    FvwmM4 (1) - the FVWM M4 pre-processor
    FvwmPager (1) - the FVWM Pager module
    FvwmPager (1fvwm) - the FVWM Pager module
    FvwmSave (1) - the FVWM desktop-layout saving module
    FvwmSave (1fvwm) - the FVWM desktop-layout saving module
    FvwmSaveDesk (1) - another FVWM desktop-layout saving module
    FvwmSaveDesk (1fvwm) - another FVWM desktop-layout saving module
    FvwmScript (1) - module to build graphic user interface
    FvwmScroll (1) - the FVWM scroll-bar module
    FvwmScroll (1fvwm) - the FVWM scroll-bar module
    FvwmTalk (1) - the FVWM command line interface
    FvwmTaskBar (1) - the FVWM taskbar module
    FvwmTile (1) - tile FVWM windows
    FvwmWharf (1) - the AfterStep application "dock" module ported to Fvwm. FvwmWinList (1) - the FVWM window list module
    FvwmWinList (1fvwm) - the FVWM window list module
    GoodStuff (1fvwm) - the FVWM button panel module
    fvwm (1x) - F(?) Virtual Window Manager for X11
    fvwm2 (1) - F(?) Virtual Window Manager (version 2.xx) for X11
    So there to you, too. Perhaps you might about read more [slashdot.org] about the Unix vs Winix issue.
  • I do have a man page for kwm, because I bothered to generate it from the SGML sources. Do it if you are so inclined.

    Perhaps you would like to address the more interesting point of why is deliberately choosing a different keybinding from windows a feature?
  • If there's a manpage for kwm, it must be installed if kwm is installed. I don't care that it's SGML-generated; that's what I did for Enlightenment, and sent the patch back in so it's part of the standard distribution and installation. And there really needs to be at least a remedial manpage, although it certainly need not be a fully-fledged tutorial, for which other and quite possibly better venues exist. See POSIX for more details on this simple and minimal requirement. Anything else is ridiculous and leads right back to the Winix quagmire.

    The point on the keybinding is that only a Windows user would guess it. It rewards previous Windows experience rather than previous Unix experience. Hence Winix.

    That said, window ring bindings are hardly standard, so I don't imagine there was a particulary obvious choice. Maybe the FRONT key, although that should probably just be raise, or raise-lower toggle.

  • I don't like the doc format kwm installs" != "kwm is undocumented". If you gonna gripe, gripe in ways that can be reasonably understood.
    What you aren't understanding is that to a Unix person, if the documentation is GUI-accessible only, it doesn't count. There are very good reasons for this, and I'm not going to take the time to go into them right now, but that's just the way it is. And it's in violation of the standard not to do it.

    Winix is evil in the Jargon File sense:

    Evil: adj. Both evil and rude, but with the additional connotation that the rudeness was due to malice rather than incompetence. Thus, for example: Microsoft's Windows NT is evil because it's a competent implementation of a bad design; it's rude because it's gratuitously incompatible with UNIX in places where compatibility would have been as easy and effective to do; but it's evil and rude because the incompatibilities are apparently there not to fix design bugs in UNIX but rather to lock hapless customers and developers into the Microsoft way. Hackish evil and rude is close to the mainstream sense of `evil'.
  • Gee Linux is not posix compliant, why should a Desktop Environment be?
    That's a very, very poor excuse. Perhaps you are trying to retroactively justify the abominable state of Linux documentation. Why do I say that? Just because every Linux operating system I've ever looked at has had the most abyssmal and embarrassing manpage setup known to Unix.

    I'll save up my essay on why this is a very very very bad thing for later. You might trick the Windows people into becomes Winix folks, but Unix people can only regard this shoddy disinterest and utter hodgepodgeness in abject horror.

    I love it when the Linux apologists come out in droves to defend their sloppiness. I wish they'd spend 1/10 that much energy in cleaning up the mess they've made.

  • Linux != Unix, its merely Unixlike
    Do we really have to listen to this idiocy anymore? It's pure sophistry; or, if you prefer, and artful lie. It serves no useful purpose to propagate the deceipt.

    As for a properly installed and completely integrated online man system, there is absolutely no reason not to do it. It precludes nothing.

    I can give you a list of incoherent inanities in this regard in any Linux operating system you can name that will make you blanche. Please stop dodging the issue of carelessness and lack of craftsmanship. Just fix it. It's easy.

  • Think of it this way: it makes no more sense to provide documentation for a GUI solely through that GUI than would it make sense to provide documentation on how to use a Braille reader only using Braille-encoded "print". In fact, it makes considerably less sense. The Winix kids have forgotten a lot of the power of Unix. Or maybe they just never learned it. Irrespective of the cause, all of us are diminished.

    This will all be in an essay one of these days, and increasingly soon. I'm not sure what my essay will be called...

    • The Dumbing Down of Unix
    • Unix in the Post-Literate Age
    • Did Cavemen Have Windows?
    • (Winix = Unix) =~ s/Literacy//
    • The Grey Wall of the Priesthood Reincarnates in the Digital Age
    • Happycons Versus the Written Word: Who Wins, Who Loses
    • On Care and Craftsmanship in Operating Systems, or why Linux operating systems fall far short of any other Unix operating system, and how this must inevitably change.
    All have their tastinesses. Meanwhile, you should read my Redhat buglist. Or the Stevenson or Scoville essays.
  • theres only one Linux OS
    When you start from a false premise -- as you are doing -- any conclusion you pretend to reach is meaningless. You can repeat your lie till the cows come home, and it still remains a self-serving deception that does more harm than good.

    But since you choose to automumble the mad mantras we've all heard before, it's clear you can't think for yourself, so I have no more time for such trolling. Whack the Mole is not a very satisfying game.

  • What do you mean there is no documentation to Windows? I program DirectX and OpenGL and Win32 everyday and I can tell you, that there is tons of documentation. No details on how functions work, (but of course you shouldn't need those details, its called maitaining a good API.) but every function you could possibly need has a very good explaination. Every possible option in the structure is documented. DirectDraw alone has 700 pages of documentation. DirectX in its entirity has about 1500 pages of docs, and the rest of Win32 has another few (2-7) thousand more.
    Example the docs for GetDeviceCaps.
    The GetDeviceCaps function retrieves device-specific information about a specified device.

    int GetDeviceCaps(
    HDC hdc, // handle to the device context
    int nIndex // index of capability to query

    Handle to the device context.
    Specifies the item to return. This parameter can be one of the following values. Index Meaning
    DRIVERVERSION The device driver version.
    TECHNOLOGY Device technology. It can be any one of the following values.
    DT_PLOTTER Vector plotter
    DT_RASDISPLAY Raster display
    DT_RASPRINTER Raster printer
    DT_RASCAMERA Raster camera
    DT_CHARSTREAM Character stream
    DT_METAFILE Metafile
    DT_DISPFILE Display file
    If the hdc parameter identifies the device context of an enhanced metafile, the device technology is that of the referenced device as given to the CreateEnhMetaFile function. To determine whether it is an enhanced metafile device context, use the GetObjectType function.
    HORZSIZE Width, in millimeters, of the physical screen.
    VERTSIZE Height, in millimeters, of the physical screen.
    HORZRES Width, in pixels, of the screen.
    VERTRES Height, in raster lines, of the screen.
    LOGPIXELSX Number of pixels per logical inch along the screen width. In a system with multiple display monitors, this value is the same for all monitors.
    LOGPIXELSY Number of pixels per logical inch along the screen height. In a system with multiple display monitors, this value is the same for all monitors.
    BITSPIXEL Number of adjacent color bits for each pixel.
    PLANES Number of color planes.
    NUMBRUSHES Number of device-specific brushes.
    NUMPENS Number of device-specific pens.
    NUMFONTS Number of device-specific fonts.
    NUMCOLORS Number of entries in the device's color table, if the device has a color depth of no more than 8 bits per pixel. For devices with greater color depths, -1 is returned.
    ASPECTX Relative width of a device pixel used for line drawing.
    ASPECTY Relative height of a device pixel used for line drawing.
    ASPECTXY Diagonal width of the device pixel used for line drawing.
    PDEVICESIZE Reserved.
    CLIPCAPS Flag that indicates the clipping capabilities of the device. If the device can clip to a rectangle, it is 1. Otherwise, it is 0.
    SIZEPALETTE Number of entries in the system palette. This index is valid only if the device driver sets the RC_PALETTE bit in the RASTERCAPS index and is available only if the driver is compatible with 16-bit Windows.
    NUMRESERVED Number of reserved entries in the system palette. This index is valid only if the device driver sets the RC_PALETTE bit in the RASTERCAPS index and is available only if the driver is compatible with 16-bit Windows.
    COLORRES Actual color resolution of the device, in bits per pixel. This index is valid only if the device driver sets the RC_PALETTE bit in the RASTERCAPS index and is available only if the driver is compatible with 16-bit Windows.
    PHYSICALWIDTH For printing devices: the width of the physical page, in device units. For example, a printer set to print at 600 dpi on 8.5"x11" paper has a physical width value of 5100 device units. Note that the physical page is almost always greater than the printable area of the page, and never smaller.
    PHYSICALHEIGHT For printing devices: the height of the physical page, in device units. For example, a printer set to print at 600 dpi on 8.5"x11" paper has a physical height value of 6600 device units. Note that the physical page is almost always greater than the printable area of the page, and never smaller.
    PHYSICALOFFSETX For printing devices: the distance from the left edge of the physical page to the left edge of the printable area, in device units. For example, a printer set to print at 600 dpi on 8.5"x11" paper, that cannot print on the leftmost 0.25" of paper, has a horizontal physical offset of 150 device units.
    PHYSICALOFFSETY For printing devices: the distance from the top edge of the physical page to the top edge of the printable area, in device units. For example, a printer set to print at 600 dpi on 8.5"x11" paper, that cannot print on the topmost 0.5" of paper, has a vertical physical offset of 300 device units.
    VREFRESH Windows NT: For display devices: the current vertical refresh rate of the device, in cycles per second (Hz).
    A vertical refresh rate value of 0 or 1 represents the display hardware's default refresh rate. This default rate is typically set by switches on a display card or computer motherboard, or by a configuration program that does not use Win32 display functions such as ChangeDisplaySettings.

    DESKTOPHORZRES Windows NT: Width, in pixels, of the virtual desktop. This value may be larger than HORZRES if the device supports a virtual desktop or multiple displays.
    DESKTOPVERTRES Windows NT: Height, in pixels, of the virtual desktop. This value may be larger than VERTRES if the device supports a virtual desktop or multiple displays.
    SCALINGFACTORX Scaling factor for the x-axis of the printer.
    SCALINGFACTORY Scaling factor for the y-axis of the printer.
    BLTALIGNMENT Windows NT: Preferred horizontal drawing alignment, expressed as a multiple of pixels. For best drawing performance, windows should be horizontally aligned to a multiple of this value. A value of zero indicates that the device is accelerated, and any alignment may be used.
    SHADEBLENDCAPS Windows 98, Windows NT 5.0 and later: Value that indicates the shading and blending capabilities of the device.
    SB_CONST_ALPHA Handles the SourceConstantAlpha member of the BLENDFUNCTION structure, which is referenced by the blendFunction parameter of the AlphaBlend function.
    SB_GRAD_RECT Capable of doing GradientFill rectangles.
    SB_GRAD_TRI Capable of doing GradientFill triangles.
    SB_NONE Device does not support any of these capabilities.
    SB_PIXEL_ALPHA Capable of handling per-pixel alpha in AlphaBlend.
    SB_PREMULT_ALPHA Capable of handling premultiplied alpha in AlphaBlend.
    RASTERCAPS Value that indicates the raster capabilities of the device, as shown in the following table:
    RC_BANDING Requires banding support.
    RC_BITBLT Capable of transferring bitmaps.
    RC_BITMAP64 Capable of supporting bitmaps larger than 64K.
    RC_DI_BITMAP Capable of supporting the SetDIBits and GetDIBits functions.
    RC_DIBTODEV Capable of supporting the SetDIBitsToDevice function.
    RC_FLOODFILL Capable of performing flood fills.
    RC_GDI20_OUTPUT Capable of supporting features of 16-bit Windows 2.0.
    RC_PALETTE Specifies a palette-based device.
    RC_SCALING Capable of scaling.
    RC_STRETCHBLT Capable of performing the StretchBlt function.
    RC_STRETCHDIB Capable of performing the StretchDIBits function.
    CURVECAPS Value that indicates the curve capabilities of the device, as shown in the following table:
    CC_NONE Device does not support curves.
    CC_CHORD Device can draw chord arcs.
    CC_CIRCLES Device can draw circles.
    CC_ELLIPSES Device can draw ellipses.
    CC_INTERIORS Device can draw interiors.
    CC_PIE Device can draw pie wedges.
    CC_ROUNDRECT Device can draw rounded rectangles.
    CC_STYLED Device can draw styled borders.
    CC_WIDE Device can draw wide borders.
    CC_WIDESTYLED Device can draw borders that are wide and styled.
    LINECAPS Value that indicates the line capabilities of the device, as shown in the following table:
    LC_NONE Device does not support lines.
    LC_INTERIORS Device can draw interiors.
    LC_MARKER Device can draw a marker.
    LC_POLYLINE Device can draw a polyline.
    LC_POLYMARKER Device can draw multiple markers.
    LC_STYLED Device can draw styled lines.
    LC_WIDE Device can draw wide lines.
    LC_WIDESTYLED Device can draw lines that are wide and styled.
    POLYGONALCAPS Value that indicates the polygon capabilities of the device, as shown in the following table:
    PC_NONE Device does not support polygons.
    PC_INTERIORS Device can draw interiors.
    PC_POLYGON Device can draw alternate-fill polygons.
    PC_RECTANGLE Device can draw rectangles.
    PC_SCANLINE Device can draw a single scanline.
    PC_STYLED Device can draw styled borders.
    PC_WIDE Device can draw wide borders.
    PC_WIDESTYLED Device can draw borders that are wide and styled.
    PC_WINDPOLYGON Device can draw winding-fill polygons.
    TEXTCAPS Value that indicates the text capabilities of the device, as shown in the following table:
    TC_OP_CHARACTER Device is capable of character output precision.
    TC_OP_STROKE Device is capable of stroke output precision.
    TC_CP_STROKE Device is capable of stroke clip precision.
    TC_CR_90 Device is capable of 90-degree character rotation.
    TC_CR_ANY Device is capable of any character rotation.
    TC_SF_X_YINDEP Device can scale independently in the x- and y-directions.
    TC_SA_DOUBLE Device is capable of doubled character for scaling.
    TC_SA_INTEGER Device uses integer multiples only for character scaling.
    TC_SA_CONTIN Device uses any multiples for exact character scaling.
    TC_EA_DOUBLE Device can draw double-weight characters.
    TC_IA_ABLE Device can italicize.
    TC_UA_ABLE Device can underline.
    TC_SO_ABLE Device can draw strikeouts.
    TC_RA_ABLE Device can draw raster fonts.
    TC_VA_ABLE Device can draw vector fonts.
    TC_RESERVED Reserved; must be zero.
    TC_SCROLLBLT Device cannot scroll using a bit-block transfer. Note that this meaning may be the opposite of what you expect.

    Return Values
    The return value specifies the value of the desired item.

    GetDeviceCaps provides the following six indices in place of printer escapes.

    Index Printer Escape Replaced

    Windows CE: Windows CE does not support the following values for the nIndex parameter:





    Windows CE version 1.0 does not support the following values for the nIndex parameter:





    Windows NT: Requires version 3.1 or later.
    Windows: Requires Windows 95 or later.
    Windows CE: Requires version 1.0 or later.
    Header: Declared in wingdi.h.
    Import Library: Use gdi32.lib.

    See Also
    Device Contexts Overview, Device Context Functions, CreateEnhMetaFile, CreateIC, DeviceCapabilities, GetDIBits, GetObjectType, SetDIBits, SetDIBitsToDevice, StretchBlt, StretchDIBits

    What more do you want?

  • > How would average Joe pronounce XFce?

    Lemme go out on a limb here:

  • You are simply not making any sense.
    No, you are simply not understanding me. Or Unix.

    In time, I'll trouble myself to elaborate these themes into something even Windows people might chance to understand. Maybe then we'll have less Winix and more Unix. One can only hope.

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch