Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktops?

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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-02-18 23:01

To answer the question.
1. Because it's fun.
Just look at custom cars and motorbikes. People like to make things their own and people like to learn.
2. To suit your needs.
Try running Gnome on a atom. It's like having your nails pulled out then some twerp trying to put them back in. I'm sure it runs great on better hardware but it's a lot of bucks for little or no bang.

As I'd finished playing with TWM I had a go at a light desktop. Building a good desktop is like building a good football team. It's not just the players, it's the correct mix of players that make a good team, and the back room staff (dependency's) to get to your chosen goal.



This gives a very light but fully functional and easy to use desktop.

#Base
Private + Shared = RAM used Program
224.0 KiB + 53.0 KiB = 277.0 KiB mouseclock
196.0 KiB + 47.0 KiB = 243.0 KiB fittstool
332.0 KiB + 91.0 KiB = 423.0 KiB evilwm
348.0 KiB + 217.5 KiB = 565.5 KiB simpleswitcher

#Bling
332.0 KiB + 61.0 KiB = 393.0 KiB wp.sh #wallpaper switcher
484.0 KiB + 99.5 KiB = 583.5 KiB wmbubble #date, clock, CPU indicator, memory (but not working correctly for me).
664.0 KiB + 57.0 KiB = 721.0 KiB xcompmgr #Bling mostly for opacity in simpleswitcher
324.0 KiB + 53.0 KiB = 377.0 KiB workspace.sh #workspace indicator


you can add xbindkeys but it's very Heavy for what it does and not really needed.
2.0 MiB + 61.5 KiB = 2.1 MiB xbindkeys

Runner has a run history and can list all executables. Great when you can't recall application names. It doesn't seem to be running as a daemon so as soon as it launches something it closes.
1.1 MiB + 403.5 KiB = 1.5 MiB runner

fittstool takes care of launching applications, volume control etc

simpleswitcher gives a run dialog and workspace indicator (but just for occupied workspaces)

mouseclock provides a super lights time indicator

I love wmbubble the bang for buck is huge


944.0 KiB + 398.5 KiB = 1.3 MiB wicd-monitor
2.3 MiB + 410.0 KiB = 2.7 MiB wicd
3.1 MiB + 497.5 KiB = 3.6 MiB bash (4)
7.8 MiB + 258.0 KiB = 8.1 MiB Xorg
-----------------------------------------------------
31.6 MiB
=================================

For me it's not just about how low you can go, it's about how much crap I can remove and still enjoy using the damn thing.

cwm is just a evilwm clone :wink:
Ash init durbatulûk, ash init gimbatul,
Ash init thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby wizard10000 » 2020-02-19 12:10

Deb-fan wrote:Fluxbox with just included themes running on it uses about 1/3rd as much ram as OB + tint2.


That hasn't been my experience but I compared both when also running compton and conky. I have had OB + tint2 under 100MB at idle on an Atom netbook, though. My current setup (4th gen i7 laptop) runs OB + tint2 + compton, conky and tilda and uses ~325MB of RAM at idle. It's a little bit fat for openbox but still leaner than almost all DE out there :)
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby trinidad » 2020-02-19 15:05

4th gen i7 laptop) runs OB + tint2 + compton, conky and tilda and uses ~325MB of RAM at idle


New kernels and systemd have improved idle RAM and boot times immensely. 300 to 500mb RAM idle ranges are common these days. Kubuntu LTS (KDE) on kernel 5.3 is at 384mb RAM idle on my 4core AMD, and Linux Lite (XFCE) on kernel 4.15 about the same. My much bigger Debian 10 gnome (48gb file system) idles at about 900mb (though this is not really an idle reading as many things are backgrounded including debsecan and a security layer) To get the best performance on old hardware one could build a trimmed down hardware specific kernel and build a QT5 DE from scratch on wayland/weston and probably get extremely low RAM idle numbers. You could also use systemd to build in suspend except for active applications. RAM idle usage and threading is not particularly important anymore because modern kernels can easily optimize it,

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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-02-19 15:08

I see roughly the same idle RAM usage for both openbox/tint2 and my GNOME desktop but I have masked lots of --user services and removed quite a few packages to trim GNOME's excesses.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby wizard10000 » 2020-02-19 15:12

trinidad wrote:Kubuntu LTS (KDE) on kernel 5.3 is at 384mb RAM idle on my 4core AMD


Just curious - did you disable akonadi and baloo to arrive at that number? I got close by doing that a couple years back but I've given up on KDE twice - I'm not a fan of their release management processes - new features (at least used to) seem to take priority over stability and TBH I find regressions kinda annoying :)
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-19 18:15

Would be nowhere near as much fun without all the options for sure. Though for me it's about function so keep using what I'm used to and know works well. Still have to download and play with the wm Head_on suggested, evilwm looks like it's ridiculously light, so hell yeah it or a clone need to be evaluated here. Keybinds, run dialogue and terminal take care of everything I need, so almost all the bling that full de's provide (icons, applets,menus)aren't a benefit. Just get in the way and add clutter. Sheesh even got rid of openbox's right-click menu now. Which doesn't even save any resources I just don't need/use it. Kinda like that it makes it harder for people who would try using my os. Kind of a security feature, someone who doesn't know the keybinds and cmds in gnu/nix would be at a total loss. :)

Use networkd and wpa_supplicant for networking, cli network management isn't tough or even much of a hit in convenience compared to a gui/applet once you get familiar with it. Some but it's feather light in terms of resources. My general rule of thumb is trying to keep 32bit at sub-100mbs, 32bit stretch weighs in at all of 70-80mbs and 64bit down to at 120-130mbs. Cwm is definitely getting a tryout though. Not even sure which (openbox or tint2)provide the tab apps function I like, when you alt + tab keys to go through running apps. One of the last basic areas of tweaking I'm planning here, is custom compiling the apps I use with optimization flags applied in gcc, -march=native and similar. Won't take long to compile them and they seldom change so it's just a one time shot tweak. Going to do some of the key system libs too. Not that I expect much by way of performance benefit. More just a why not kind of thing.

Thanks for sharing your stats and choices in software. Always interested in such. Jebuz Head_on, that's either one lean-mean gnome or one uber-bloated Openbox. Knowing you I'd have to be the former one. You should do a write up on the tweak process. Am sure people would be interested in how you get that done.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-02-19 18:29

Deb-fan wrote:that's either one lean-mean gnome or one uber-bloated Openbox

Little bit of both, openbox gets greedy when you give it 16GiB to play with.

Deb-fan wrote:You should do a write up on the tweak process

Meh. My mental health is poor atm so I'm not really in the mood.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-19 18:43

Ah sorry to hear that. Depression kinda thing? Hope you get to feeling better.

Comes to system specs things have gotten ridiculous for sure. Just can't see ever needing more than 4gbs-mem, absolute tops of 8 at most. Or ever for more than a quad-core. Of course trend is like everything else, more = better, higher = better. Just doubt people with these beasts of personal computer systems ever use more than a small fraction of what they got (paid for.) Mentioned another cool aspect of being a minimalist/resource miser, tweaker. Can get a PC that can blaze for $150 or less all day long anytime.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-19 19:00

Also a point of pride knowing anyone with a decent gnu/nix skillset can do likewise. Take what's considered a crusty spec system, tune/tweak and have it perform as well or better than hardware someone paid $500-800 for, that's m$ based. Doesn't take much for gnu/nix to take the performance edge. :)

Funny to think these people with 32gigs and 12 cores, the software could likely be the bottleneck. Am sure majority of software just isn't designed to utilize that kind of computing muscle anyway.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-19 21:01

Head_on, think you may need to look into a 12 step gnu/Linux and nix foruming recovery program. Been fairly obvious for a long time you're a gnu/Linux addict. :) On the one hand good, you amassed an impressive nix knowledge and skillset in record time and that was long ago but on the other don't know how you've maintained it. Spent night and day for months hanging out in #! forum at times and never managed more than a couple 1000 posts. You made that number look like a joke on 4-5 forums that I know of. When do you find time to eat, sleep, blink your eyes fellow nixer? :P

Cwm is minimal, lol. Set the thing to default x-session and booted-er on up. Blank black screen, nothing, not even a mouse cursor. No indication of default keybinds. :) Yikes am a noob with this thing. Time to spend some time with Google, Archwiki and manpages, yay! Ah hopefully shouldn't take long to get a .cwmrc together. Just have to figure out the keybind syntax, how to autostart a panel (probably tint2) and a mouse cursor and working touchpad would be nice, lmao.

Mentioned needs are few, solid color desktop, panel with time/date, easy means of seeing which apps are running and toggling through them. What provides that is irrelevant and lighter = better, cause may as well be. Booting up cwm gave me a feel for how a person booting my os config will feel, completely lost and exactly the effect I'm going for but at least they'll know current time/date. Tint2 blends perfectly into the desktop, so just looks like a floating clock bottom right. :) Oh and a cursor but clicking it anywhere doesn't do anything.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-02-19 21:14

Deb-fan wrote:Ah hopefully shouldn't take long to get a .cwmrc together. Just have to figure out the keybind syntax

Read openbsd-cwm(1) & cwmrc(5) and revel in the quality of OpenBSD man pages.

Deb-fan wrote:how to autostart a panel (probably tint2) and a mouse cursor

Use ~/.xsessionrc: https://wiki.debian.org/Xsession

For a cursor add this line:
Code: Select all
xsetroot -cursor_name left_ptr
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-19 21:19

Hey thanks, sure you saved me some time. Personally lean towards fueling your raging gnu/nix addiction. You always seem to have something useful to input on all things nix. :)

PS, however still holding on to the very real possibility that you may be Borg, at least partially cybernetic. As am still not sure how your knowledge-base and forum post count is humanly possible. :P
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-20 02:45

Apparently cwm likes giving me the finger. Default keybinds have no effect here. Despite looking around for .cwmrc files in which I'd expect to find clear cut examples of defining custom binds, no joy. Found/followed a few, nope, didn't work. In addition this sucker will obviously need much additional manual configing. Everything from adding a dang cursor, simple windows decorations, settling on an approach to auto launch junk like a panel etc. Does this thing need a modkey? Which would be a deal breaker anyway, am fond of binding F1 and such for junk I use most. Though it makes sense the more minimal the app, the more manual config likely required. However one of my prime directives is thou shall be lazy, so think cwm is out. The quest to shave all of a few more megabytes of ram is really beginning to grate on nerves. A loss of convenience to conserve tiny amounts of system overhead with pc's now all having an excess is no bueno.

Guess I need to confine my wm exploration to more civilized ones with greater provisions for lazy people such as myself. However fear not, still likely to take a stab at fluxbox + tint2, with the prospect of saving a whopping 6mbs, how can such be resisted? :P Well and still kicking around playing with some other panels. For the most part just in general being a dork and dumping time for things which can't possibly be considered productive. Go team dork!

Pointless PS, though will keep the thing installed, the ps_mem stats for evilwm are going to eventually compel me to double back and dork with it. For now though giving into my laziness instints.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby trinidad » 2020-02-20 11:53

Just curious - did you disable akonadi and baloo to arrive at that number?


Kubuntu has recently grown very polished. much less buggy etc. than a few years back. Numbers are from the standard full LTS installation fully up to date, nothing disabled. I was impressed myself that they were comparable with XFCE. I'm a Debian gnome wayland systemd guy all the way, and my interest nowadays is in wayland development. With XFCE postponing wayland seating I was interested in KDEs progress toward wayland. I also noticed that Kubuntu seems to handle CPU usage more level, that is with a little higher sustained usage but without the even higher spikes that XFCE displays with some applications. Again though, this could also be the kernel and firmware difference. The 5.x kernel names my processor and GPU correctly while the 4.x kernel does not though it configures it adequately. There is a lot of room for error with AMD stuff and it will still work. I don't put much stock in RAM idle numbers myself. I'm more interested in a kernel that can use all of my CPUs features, and all of my RAMs features. The more up to date and efficient at that it is the better.

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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby wizard10000 » 2020-02-20 16:18

trinidad wrote:Kubuntu has recently grown very polished. much less buggy etc. than a few years back.


Good to know. Said it several times before but that KDE release management has been an issue for me. It seems to me KDE devs throw in all kinds of Shiny New Stuff and reliability sometimes is second priority after New Features.

This was around v5.8 but I had Plasma choke on its own systemsettings module after an upgrade - that's when I walked away from KDE for the second time :)
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