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 Deb-fan » 2020-02-20 23:47

Openbox! It is the way! The one true path! Use it or forever be consigned to graphical inferiority! Yes, we're back to this folks. LMAO.

Evidently everything hates me presently. For whatever odd reason autostart apps in fluxbox aren't even working here. So as yet, not even it + tint tried. I go without a display manager, autologin and startx on tty1, am wondering if this is somehow my culprit. Doesnt make sense either though. Not like I haven't used fluxbox before, it's syntax for using the startup file it comes with can't be misinterpreted but try as might, no tint2. Launches fine from terminal, the FB keys file is read/respected. Got my keybinds set but nope, no startup apps for you! Openbox works fine, even resorted to including a dang .desktop file for tint, nope. Fbautostart was installed and it's mentioned in the FB startup file, tried commenting it, nope, tried using it, putting that tint2.desktop in ~/.config/autostart, nope, no tint2 tyvm.

One thing I definitely don't like about fluxbox is how convoluted it's styles-themes things seem to be and for a windows manager that came out shortly after dirt was invented not the best documented. Frustrating arghhh. Not sure unraveling how dealing with it's styles works is even worth messing with. Seems they've over complicated something which should be kept simple. Haven't invested utmost effort but still annoying. Openbox, 3 files, setting a simple solid background a matter of changing 1 obvious line in the openbox-autostart file. Took 10secs or less of poking. Getting rid of it's right-click menu same but another thing I've found lacking in fluxbox, simple means to exit/restart/reconfig the thing via terminal cmd. Openbox = "openbox --exit" or restart-etc, WHAM! You're done. Not liking fluxbox folks.

Easy enough getting rid of fb's right click(keys file and init file for toolbar + the theme.cfg file has oodles of junk related to the toolbar) but get rid of menu, get rid of convenient exit/re-start/config too. Am a supposed to have to restart x to do this in flux ? General impression, fluxbox = fail at this point. Think they try to include too much out-of-box. If going to invest this kind of effort in mostly trivial overhead reduction may as well focus on cwm. At least the difference is significant but think its devs didn't include enough config setup out-of-box. In other words, whaaaaaaaa, whine, whine and sniffle. Openbox is the best, just face facts and accept it people. :)
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby MALsPa » 2020-02-21 00:13

Deb-fan wrote:Openbox! It is the way! The one true path!


Ha-ha!!

Not sure what the problem is with your autostart apps in Fluxbox. For what it's worth, I run Openbox and also Fluxbox, both with tint2. I tend to prefer Openbox, partly because I like obmenu -- it's such a handly, simple menu editor! But Fluxbox works out great for me, too!

Anyway, I don't know, I'm not totally understanding your issues with Fluxbox. I don't know if this page would help you or not: https://addy-dclxvi.github.io/post/my-fluxbox/

I'd say that man fluxbox and the related manpages have been more helpful for me over the years than anything else, though.

And while I enjoy using window managers like Openbox and Fluxbox, it can also be very nice and helpful to have a good DE available. It can make life easier at times, so I appreciate the devs and the work they put into all that. But, hey, to each his own.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-21 01:06

Hey Malspa long time, hope you're well.

My take on flux is it's over convoluted out-of-box. Think if someone is going to include some theme with a toolbar, they should start with simple as possible, let folks build to preference from there and make the process involved in changing it clear as possible. By default the thing boots last background, I mean the overlay file has a background: none but it's commented (apparently an ! mark is also a comment in flux) uncommenting it doesn't do anything for me, still get default. Just think too many files, doing too much out-of-box and customization process nowhere near clear, shrugs. Changing the toolbar.visible to false in the FB init file and adding something like tint2 & or seen (sleep 2s && tint2) & advised in some junk to fb's startup file should be all there is to launching tint2 at start but nope.

Ahhhh plenty of wm's left to explore and have more than a few installed. Just have to keep plugging. Kinda starting to feel like I'm hunting unicorns here. You can go out with a rifle and sit in da woods for a long time, subject to being disappointed. This whole thing is mostly tarded of me anyway but if going to bother at least has to be noteable difference in overhead compared. No matter what, isn't really ever going to result in being a meaningful tweak. Once someone has settled on using one of the many wm's vs using a full de (particularly gnome or kde) that nixer has already gotten the most mileage in terms of system tweaking as they're ever going to get. Openbox + tint2, 18mbs-mem, tiny cpu overhead vs this cwm thing even if the sucker + an acceptable panel only uses 4mbs, still talking about a net savings of all of 14mbs on a PC with 4gigs. Now the 100's of mbs and cpu-overhead saved with OB/tint2 vs Gnome, that's a different deal. Even though honestly with avg specs nowadays still kind of irrelevant. Not to me though I don't need no stinking icons-etc.

Plus yeah the feature I like is provided by Openbox. Where you press alt + tab and a graphical popup showing all running apps comes up with the currently focused one highlighted. So someone can toggle through the suckers, I like that just cause it helps keep me oriented. So finding/using another wm is sure to mean having to find a stand-alone app which will do that, so means more overhead. Still know I'm going to screw with this further even if it's stupid and have much more meaningful areas of tweakage I should be focusing on getting more familiar with. Still can't see anything wrong with trying different gui's in gnu/nix. Well except for gnome or kde types, why would anyone in their right mind do such a thing? ;) Won't know unless someone tries a bunch. Ah Dork's will be dorks. :)
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby MALsPa » 2020-02-21 01:24

Well, Fluxbox isn't awful for everyone, that's for sure. And many prefer it over Openbox. Maybe you're coming at it all wrong? Or maybe it simply isn't a good fit for you...
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-21 01:39

^ Think both don't get me wrong still appreciate it/fluxbox for what it is and is by no means ugly. Guess that's what they're shooting for with how it comes default, best foot forward kinda thing. Just to me gets in the way without being familiar with how to change things. More stuff I've got to change. Really need to focus on other stuff, mentioned been meaning to learn more about selectively optimizing given apps with gcc vs performance of the stock binaries from the repos, openbox (or other wm's)are perfect candidates for this. Almost never change or can keep using a given version for the entire life or even install to next release. Now question is realistic performance gains to be expected for given gcc flags? Only thing I've ever gotten 1/2 versed with custom compiling is my kernels. Learned which config options are going to have the most effect on performance impact for desktop nix. Again for me was worth all the effort. Really only something which needs be done right a couple times for a given system at most or every few years as new Debian releases come out but the .config file used doesn't require much altering. Only comes down to compile time which on this old thing is about 3hrs.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-02-21 01:55

Both openbox and fluxbox are fine window managers. I flirted with fluxbox for a year after many years of blackbox. Ultimately I switched to openbox the new kid on the block as it was then. But Fluxbox has one killer feature over openbox. "Tabs". As far as I'm aware amongst the "stackers" only fluxbox and Pekwm have tabs as both are derived from my mystery wm PWM.

The other feature is plain text configs. The number of times I broke my over 2000 line openbox rc.xml lead me to systematically backing it up. (tip, there are some great online xml checkers)

https://www.w3schools.com/xml/xml_validator.asp

Then I rediscovered icewm, it was back under development and in two months had 95% of what took me two years to get in my very tweaked openbox. :mrgreen:
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-21 02:04

Do have icewm installed, whatcha said is bound to make me fire it up now too. Also definitely feel your pain, always a good idea to make a quick .bak file anyway. Recently had a keybind suddenly stop working after playing with rc.xml. I've got control + f12 set to run "systemctl poweroff" and shutoff my comp. Boink, stopped working but I've got an rc.xml.bak file sitting right next to it in the Openbox directory, wham back in business after copy/paste. Missed a closing tag in the thing or something.

Personally like the syntax used in ob's files, self explanatory after a quick look at what's already there. Still GREAT idea to make backup config files. If someone really screws up theres the example files in /etc/xdg too. Even taken to keeping a directory now systemfiles.bak, any system files I change keep a copy of in there, with a comment of where it was located and why/what I did to or purpose for creating it.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Nili » 2020-02-21 07:35

Because some want to compete Windows, macOS, Android, iPhone etc... i mean at least graphically visage or to simplify tasks for home end-users. That's how i look at it.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-21 07:40

^RAmen fellow nixer!

Icewm default, two words ... BUTT UGLY and I had to capitalize them cause yes, it's that bad. Was also going to bold and underline but I'm lazy. :)
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Nili » 2020-02-21 08:06

IceWM is the ideal example of RAW & Dirty, but highly functional and ready to modify. I see WM's as a homework for users while DE ready-made by someone else for us.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-21 08:25

That's just not right to do to an app. Like whoever's packaging it for Debian has a grudge or something. Hideous wallpaper and boxy config that came up default looks like someone vomited a psychedelic bad LSD penguin trip onto the screen. Know it can be changed but dayum, that'll mean having to look at it! Foul play packager, very foul play!
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-21 10:10

May be so ugly default that it makes someone consider poking out their own eyes, rather than look upon it but icewm's got potential! I like a challenge so despite the dread of having to view it again, fired that puppy back up. It's as light as Fluxbox, took all of a couple mins to figure out setting my preferred keybinds and the thing has the alt + tab toggle deal I've been droning on about built in. Like flux it appears to be plagued with toomanyfilesitis and not yet figured out it's theming either, still may in fact be/is ugly as all get out but based on reading that's by design so no doubt could be radically changed. People actually want something that looks like windows 95? The people who were around at the time didn't want it to look like that, they had no choice in my matter. :P

Turns out this things worth messing with more. Remember it from long ago times of briefly trying AntiX that it could be attractive and super light on resources. No doubt still true today. Gonna take a lot of work, esp since I'll just be cracking one eyelid so I'll have to look at it the way it is now as little as possible. :D Archwiki says create a startup script to autorun apps so that's the next big step here. Passes that and may be willing to engage in the massive cosmetic surgery this things gonna need to join the non horribly fugly club. Thanks whoever brought this sucker back in mind, errr at least maybe thanks anyway. ;)

PS, thing is definitely more closely related to fluxbox, than the pinnacle of graphical perfection aka: Openbox but think it's got potential anyway. Also going to have solve the dang no autostart mystery in flux, it'll bug me until I do. :/
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby oswaldkelso » 2020-02-21 10:22

^
You're welcome :lol:

I'll swap your two word BUTT UGLY for four letters. First one starts with R last one end with M. :shock: You can change the look in 5 minutes but it takes time to read and understand all aspects of the configs. The whole point of running a WM is YOU have to create YOUR desktop.

Maybe your a fast reader and can explain to all concerned how all these settings affect your environment :mrgreen:

.icewm

Directories:
cursors
docs
icons
ledclock
mailbox
themes

Files:
applications
focus_mode
keymap
keys
menu
preferences
prefoverride
programs
startup
taskbar
theme
toolbar
winoptions

I fully expect you to come back to school having done your homework or by installing Gnome/KDE/Xfce/LXDE/LXQt etc . Then Punish your self by flagellation with a feather duster. :twisted:
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-21 10:31

^LMFAO! You don't have to get testy, not like I've talked bad about Ice's mama ... Yet. I like your style. :)

Think I've got why no autoapps in fluxbox. The startup file ends with exec fluxbox or similar, thinking I don't need that with startx running in .profile, so guessing it'll work if I comment that out. Will let folks know.
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Re: Why is so much time and effort wasted developing desktop

Postby Deb-fan » 2020-02-21 11:08

Update: Am sure everyone is on the edge of seats with this unfolding drama.

Score now stands at:

Fluxbox = Fail! Booooo! However Icewm = Success ! Oh sweet but extremely ugly success! :D Appears I have my work cut out for me. The idea of spending a couple hours screwing with an unfamiliar windows manager to save 8mbs of gawds-dayum RAM yet lives! Somebody please come to my apartment and punch me in the face. Scalpel, de-uglifier ... no gonna need the extra strength type for this one! :D
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