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#1 2012-04-04 22:06:26

Smasher816
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Registered: 2012-03-15
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"Heavyweight" Applications

First off, let me say that this is may first Arch BBS post.
(So feel free to tell me if I missed a similar thread, or should move it somewhere else)
I have happily been using Arch for around a month when this idea came to me.

It seems like most people only talk about and encourage lightweight programs.
However, Arch Linux even if "A simple Lightweight Linux Distribution" still revolves around freedom.
As stated in the Arch Way

By keeping the system simple, Arch Linux provides the freedom to make any choice about the system.

I don't see a problem if a program uses some more of my 8gb of ram, or a few extra cycles on my quad core processor.
I would prefer programs that are more feature filled and generally usable, then one that is "lightweight".
Ex: Gnome Terminal vs. XTerm type stuff. One has more features, but the other is "lighter" so many use it.
I don't really care about the "ligthness", but prefer the beefier feature packed ones.
So with that in mind, what "heavyweight" programs do you guys use, or would suggest to others?

Last edited by Smasher816 (2012-04-04 22:16:45)


(Arch) Linux is user friendly, its just very selective of its friends

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#2 2012-04-04 22:10:55

FlyingHappy
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From: Cincinnati, OH
Registered: 2011-04-18
Posts: 187

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Handbrake for converting videos uses close to 90% of my intel I7-2600 3.4GHz cpu.  I would say that is pretty heavy on the cpu side.  By the way, it works very well for converting and resizing .mkv videos that I ripped off of DVD's that I own.

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#3 2012-04-04 22:15:07

Smasher816
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Registered: 2012-03-15
Posts: 32
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Handbrake is pretty nice.

By "heavyweight" I was not necessarily referring to cpu intensive,
but more along the lines of feature packed, not "light" programs.

Ex: Gnome Terminal vs XTerm type stuff. One has more features, but the other is "lighter" so many use it.
I don't really care about the "ligthness", but prefer the beefier feature packed ones.
(I'll edit to OP to make that a lil more clear for future discussion, thanks though FlyingHappy)


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#4 2012-04-04 22:21:32

FlyingHappy
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From: Cincinnati, OH
Registered: 2011-04-18
Posts: 187

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

I got ya.  I think part of it is that people like the looks and usability as well (I could be wrong though).  A lot of the "lighter" stuff uses a lot of key-bindings to move around and stuff of that nature and is actually more user friendly than a GUI for some people.  I use fairly lightweight programs because I like the looks of them and they work very well for me, not necessarily because I need to use them as I have that nice CPU and 8GB of RAM.

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#5 2012-04-04 22:49:19

karol
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Registered: 2009-05-06
Posts: 25,431

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

I know it's hard to compare e.g. KDE to dwm, but it's much more probable something will go wrong with some part of the KDE suite than with the tiny dwm.

Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.
  -- Edsger Dijkstra

Last edited by karol (2012-04-04 22:49:40)

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#6 2012-04-04 23:39:40

bohoomil
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Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Smasher816 wrote:

Ex: Gnome Terminal vs XTerm type stuff.
[...]
I don't really care about the "ligthness", but prefer the beefier feature packed ones.

What's 'a feature'? Gnome Terminal as an example of a feature-rich application? Or do you mean: a GUI-rich application? If you're that imprecise, I'd opt for Imagemagick + some scripting language as a mega-feature-rich solution.

(Come on...)


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#7 2012-04-04 23:55:47

splittercode
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From: WI, USA
Registered: 2010-03-16
Posts: 203

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Anything that starts with a K

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#8 2012-04-05 00:00:22

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,032
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

I am one for the 'light' applications.  Frankly the only reason I run X at all anymore is to deal with all the doc/dox/ppt/etc/etc stuff people send my way.  That said, I can appreciate some features of some larger apps.

I remember when I first used an mac several years back the mac mail program was tightly integrated with the calendar: it would detect dates/times in emails and give you the option to click them to add them to the calendar.  I've since tinkered with a script to do the same thing via a keybinding in mutt, but that was a fairly handy feature.

My tastes have changed and now I value the control I get with more "lightweight" programs.  There is some irony there: light apps do give the user more control; heavyweights keep all the control, but if they are well written they control things in good ways.  Finding the benevolent dictator software, however, is just as hard to find the actual benevolent dictator.  Knowing human nature and software company nature I've opted for freedom and flexibility: give me command-line interfaces, or give me death.

I do fully support the sentiment of the OP though that freedom is about choice - and if one wants to chose to turn over all their autonomy, independent will, and soul to a large software package ( smile ) then I saw go for it - enjoy.


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#9 2012-04-05 00:04:19

ConnorBehan
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From: Long Island NY
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

I think I know what you're saying. Here are some "heavyweight programs" I have used before. I don't use them all right now because I'm generally of the opinion that a program should be as simple as it possibly can be... but hey... sometimes a program has so many capabilities that the complexity is worth it.

sagemath
brlcad
blender
cinelerra


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#10 2012-04-05 00:06:23

/dev/zero
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From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2011-10-20
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Smasher816 wrote:

So with that in mind, what "heavyweight" programs do you guys use, or would suggest to others?

I think the heaviest program I use is chromium, and that's only because I couldn't get uzbl to work properly with G+.

I understand what you're saying, about why not use more featureful software if the hardware specs support it. However, I prefer that each feature be provided by a separate program. If four small programs can replicate the work of a single large program, then I prefer the four small programs.

Look at Gnome. It comes with a window manager, a panel, desktop icons, network manager, nautilus, etc etc. The same functionality as Gnome can be provided by using Openbox, pypanel, idesk, wicd, and thunar. I first tried switching to this more "unixy" ecosystem of small programs, and soon realised that I didn't even need a panel, icons, or a file manager. The next time I installed a system, I just didn't worry about installing these things I don't need.

Thus for me, the move towards ever more lightweight software has not been motivated so much by trying to avoid heavy applications. It's been more about going for a more customised system, which is much less possible when using heavy software.

Now that I'm used to small programs, I have started to feel a bit contemptuous of larger programs. It seems quite clear to me that the model of having a vast ecosystem of small symbiotic programs is by far superior to the kind of model where there are only a handful of great, lumbering, all-encompassing, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent programs. I'll still use a behemoth program if it appears necessary, but my first instinct will be to try and avoid this path if I can help it.


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#11 2012-04-05 00:11:00

Psykorgasm
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From: England, UK
Registered: 2011-11-24
Posts: 158

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Smasher816 wrote:

So with that in mind, what "heavyweight" programs do you guys use, or would suggest to others?

Umm... any of the popular web browsers? LibreOffice.. Cant think of anything else I use that I would say is heavy.
Although I feel you may be confused, being lighweight on memory usage or cpu cycles does not mean it is not feature rich, I think what you are talking about is more about application, etc, with lots of menu options and uses more ram.

Personally I prefer to use lightweight because, well, why waste my space and resources (even though I have way more then I need) just for the sake of it? I like things to be fast, snappy, and to the point for the job at hand. If it means using a command line app then so be it, if it means using a lightweight gui app then so be it... but a huge app and what I would call bloat and system clutter when the lightweight gets the job done just as good or better (eg, I rather use  mpd+gui or deadbeef then install amarok on my non kde/qt system)? No thanks! big_smile

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#12 2012-04-05 00:13:05

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 14,032
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Sometimes "feature rich" just ends up as a buz word  - like "interdisciplinary" in science: it's just a euphemism for being equally bad at everything.

But not to be a nay-sayer, there are scientists who really are interdisciplinary just as there are a few great feature rich apps out there.  Blender may be one (limited experience with it myself).

Also one might argue that in some regards the xmonad WM is "heavyweight".  In most senses it is very lightweight, but I hesitated to install it the first time as it depends on the haskell compiler, associated libraries, and a crap load of other stuff.  While it is "resource light" while in use, it's associates have occupied a substantial portion of my hard drive.  But the "features" of a pretty interesting programming language that come with all that "bloat" are pretty cool.  It's triggered my learning of a new programming language.

Last edited by Trilby (2012-04-05 00:16:50)


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#13 2012-04-05 00:28:08

Iranon
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Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 146

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Quite a lot of software manages to be reasonably lightweight without skimping on features. Different weight classes tend to be paired with different configuration methods, becoming less direct with increasing weight:
change source code and rebuild -> plaintext config files -> markup language, optional GUI -> tight GUI integration with no consideration for easy hand-editing.

I prefer the second category, and am wary of a complexity spiral (not enough transparency because there are too many layers of abstraction. Solution: Download the one layer of abstraction that promises to make everything easy again...)

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#14 2012-04-05 00:37:39

dodo3773
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Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 798

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

My votes:

terminator
evolution
xfce4-panel
gedit
deluge

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#15 2012-04-05 00:45:34

ConnorBehan
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From: Long Island NY
Registered: 2007-07-05
Posts: 1,356
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Trilby wrote:

While it is "resource light" while in use, it's associates have occupied a substantial portion of my hard drive.  But the "features" of a pretty interesting programming language that come with all that "bloat" are pretty cool.  It's triggered my learning of a new programming language.

That's the same argument people make for mono which I guess has its advantages. However I'm still glad that Gnote was made to help Tomboy users avoid mono.


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#16 2012-04-05 01:23:26

anonymous_user
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Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Smasher816 wrote:

(So feel free to tell me if I missed a similar thread, or should move it somewhere else)

The wiki has this page:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Co … plications

It mixed both light and more heavyweight applications though.

Smasher816 wrote:

I would prefer programs that are more feature filled and generally usable, then one that is "lightweight".
Ex: Gnome Terminal vs. XTerm type stuff. One has more features, but the other is "lighter" so many use it.
I don't really care about the "ligthness", but prefer the beefier feature packed ones.

Is there a particular application you want/need? It probably helps to first search based on the type of program (like file manager or FTP client) rather than just saying "feature packed".

Smasher816 wrote:

So with that in mind, what "heavyweight" programs do you guys use, or would suggest to others?

The heaviest applications I use are Firefox and GIMP.

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#17 2012-04-05 02:13:41

kcirick
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Registered: 2010-06-21
Posts: 364

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Chromium
Evince
Thunar - though it's not "heavy", there are many lighter file managers

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#18 2012-04-05 02:19:12

jon
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Registered: 2002-11-28
Posts: 87

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Personally, I tend to use applications that are "most useful" (to me anyway), rather than specifically heavy, although they usually overlap.

Web Browser - Firefox / Chromium
Graphics - GIMP
Audio / Video Player - VLC
Office Suite - LibreOffice
Scanning - Simple Scan
VMs - VirtualBox (I've got both XP and Win7 VMs)
DE - Currently Gnome 3 in "Fallback" mode. (Includes Nautilus, Gnome-Terminal, etc.)


A full install of Gnome 3 plus the others handles 90% of what I usually do, and is pretty "easy to use" by Arch standards. I'm not concerned about using a few megabytes of ram for a GUI when it helps me get things done easier. That's just my personal choice though.

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#19 2012-04-05 02:24:23

jasonwryan
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From: .nz
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Posts: 19,077
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

texlive-core

Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee...


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#20 2012-04-05 02:59:19

twelveeighty
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From: Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2011-09-04
Posts: 317

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

Eclipse

Man, is that bloated software, but I have to admit I like it,

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#21 2012-04-05 04:01:38

/dev/zero
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From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2011-10-20
Posts: 1,176
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

jasonwryan wrote:

texlive-core

Floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee...

Oh yeah, +1 smile.


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#22 2012-04-05 09:37:35

x33a
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Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 3,400
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Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

I believe it's a matter of both choice and compulsion.

Since, i have only 1 GB of RAM, and a 6.5 years old p4, so i tend to opt for lighter applications.

But sometimes light applications are too restrictive or simply lacking features, or difficult to configure.

I use firefox, and it constantly consumes over 200 MB (sometime upto 400 MB) of my limited RAM. I have tried a lot of light browsers such as midori, dwb, luakit, jumanji, uzbl, etc. But still i stick to firefox, as i have a lot of useful addons, which are unavailable for other browsers, and also the other browsers are kind of difficult to configure. Also, sometimes i use opera as it is feature loaded without addons, and still lighter than firefox.

For disc burning i use k3b + cdrtools. k3b is slow to start, as it first loads the kde services (i am not using any DE). But it's easy to use than using cdrecord from the commandline. I sometimes resort to imgburn + wine.

Also, for my limited documentation needs, i use libreoffice. Though Abiword and gnumeric are lighter. I feel libreoffice is more mature, specially after the fork.

The following 2 applications aren't resource heavy, but aren't "lightweight" either.

For file renaming (batch renaming), i use metamorphose, although a lot of commandline options are available. I am too lazy to learn awk, sed, perl, etc simply for file renaming, and i find metamorphose much easier to use, and intuitive.

Another not so light application i use is xnviewmp for viewing pictures. It's feature filled, and i like it much better than other linux photo viewers. Though i regularly use feh (one of the lightest of them all), for quick viewing.

Other than these, most of the applications i use are terminal based, and lightweight.

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#23 2012-04-05 10:05:49

McDoenerKing
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2010-06-21
Posts: 59

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

The reason many Archers avoid heavyweight applications is just like Trilby said. They often have a cluttered GUI, tend to try to implement too many features and aren't scriptable, since they're lacking command-line options. E.g. converting is so much faster and powerful with regex and ffmpeg/ImageMagick than a GUI Application will ever be. (At least I don't think there will be one.)
Another reason is if you have multiple machines , you can always use the same applications and settings without worrying too much about the power of a machine.
Also I personally rarely engage a bug in all those command-line applications, but in those heavyweight applications I'm always crossing my fingers and hope they don't crash or have a bug.
CLI-Application are often really old and have withstood the test of time. smile

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#24 2012-04-05 10:26:52

Awebb
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Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,438

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

I couldn't care less for package sizes on the desktop. I have plenty of free space and a rock-solid 30mbit connection. It's a different story on the HTPC (8GB USB dongle) or the netbook (installing packages via mobile data plan).

No, lightweight was never about package sizes. It's everything: an uncluttered UI, small packages, little dependencies, solving one task but solving it well. If you like KDE because it suits your needs, you are very welcome to use it and enjoy it, that's the choice you're talking about.

You might have other blog posts and board posts in mind, that feel like a conflict between the two concepts. That's simple: More and more applications seem to focus on a certain DE or init concept or audio middleware, instead of being general enough to be implemented everywhere. That makes users like me nervous. Imagine you want to install the best tool for a job, but it drags in half of the gnome packages, because it's made with gnome in mind. Even some libs show signs of DE dependencies (take the statement, I won't add any sources for my clain :-P), so you can't just write a new GUI, no, the whole solution is deprecated.

80% of everything I do while sitting in front of a computer should be solved by writing a script. I have the feeling I'd be better off learning bash, perl and python, than spending time looking for software.

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#25 2012-04-05 11:34:04

SS4
Member
From: !Rochford, Essex
Registered: 2010-12-05
Posts: 699

Re: "Heavyweight" Applications

The joy of arch is that it is flexible enough to run on my old laptop and my modern desktop. I would personally define heavy as an app which has a lighter alternative.

Heavyweight Apps:
Amarok
Libreoffice
Firefox
Handbrake (why it uses it's own x264 is odd though)
K3B


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