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#1 2004-07-29 03:10:30

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
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How Desktop Linux Should Behave

OS News wrote:

The promise of Desktop Linux (DL) has been long coming. It's made significant progress since the mid-90s when GNOME and KDE came out, giving Linux users a somewhat modern desktop to work upon. However, it's been 7 years and DL hasn't progressed much at all since then. Today, DL is still nothing more than a UNIX-clone with a task bar, a start menu, and a desktop with some icons on it. But why has DL evolved at such a glacial pace?

Here are the reasons: lack of organization among separate projects, lack of standards, and an unwillingness to fix bad design which leads to counter productiveness.

http://www.osnews.com/story.php?news_id=7833

Speaking about standards and an organized project, SkyOS desktop looks interesting:
http://www.skyos.org/screenshots.php

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#2 2004-07-29 06:31:04

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

DL hasn't progressed? depends highly - here the examples to show the difference

kde3-user: try to use a kde1 installation

xfce4/...-user: try to use a xfce[n-1] installation

osX-user: try to use a os7 or os8 installation

windows-user: (i'm sorry for you) - try to use any other installation (why i'm sorry for you? well, the design for windows didnt changed from win95 to winXP - same dull start-bar with systray that keeps crashing)

it has progressed!

by the way: yes, skyOS is very great, but not that much mature to be the best one - maybe in a year or so, if it still lead in the right direction, it will take over the "market"


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#3 2004-07-29 09:54:29

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
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Posts: 2,176
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

dp wrote:

DL hasn't progressed? depends highly....

it has progressed!

I agree it depends how we look at it.... what do we mean with progress. What I understand Sean Oliviero speaks abut DL behavior not maturity. Example does KDE 1 (1997) behave differently than KDE 3 today? In Windows, there is a huge difference between win'95 and XP. I don't think a win'95 user would be able easily to work with XP. With KDE its quite the same since it started. In Xfce4 there is a behavioral difference.... a progress from Xfce. Most popular Desktop in Arch wink. But...

Will it be possible to make a progressive Desktop when not designed to a particular distro... dealing with the hardware, configure, etc.? Also to integrate with different applications.... desktop + system of distro + apps? In Windows, Mac and SkyOS the desktop and apps are develped for one system. Example a multimedia apps can check if sound and cdrom are working and bring up a dialog box for configure. They do it in a semi-auto config style but there could also be a manual option.

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#4 2004-07-29 11:53:55

torindan2
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Registered: 2004-07-15
Posts: 74

Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

SkyOS is not free software ($30), source is not available.
Looks nice, in screenshots seems to combine some GTK+ apps, some KDE apps, XFCE4 panel, and who knows what else?
Let's wait a bit and see what happens.

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#5 2004-07-29 17:32:04

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

OS News wrote:

However, it's been 7 years and DL hasn't progressed much at all since then.

What are we comparing this to? The amazing "progression"  of....

*drumroll*

!!!!!Desktop Windows!!!!!

I'm impressed.

Here are the reasons: lack of organization among separate projects

Ever read Bazaar and cathedral?  Microsoft... now those guys are organized. The Linux kernel hackers, on the other hand... they just do it right.

lack of standards

Sarah31 can field this one. Anything she says I disagree with.


and an unwillingness to fix bad design which leads to counter productiveness.

woah! How can you fix bad design AND have a desktop system!? Desktop IS bad design. Make up your mind, pal.  Do you want a good design or a good desktop? eh? Good design was CLI. Oh, you can't type? Well that explains the article...

I'm one of the most opinionated people on the planet... but at least I don't pretend I know everything like about 75% of OSNews articles. You can prattle on opinion all you want (hey, it works for me), but don't expect anybody to accept it as truth just because you wrote it.  This is all a big joke. This guy can either start organizing his wonderful desktop project or he can shut up.

OS News wrote:

About the Author:
I'm Sean Oliviero. I'm an avid computer user that has played with pretty much every OS out there. My dream in life is to see Linux become the OS of choice amongst the average user, not only easy to use, but competitive in features and creature comforts compared to Windows and Macintosh.

I infer that we may add "I have never written a line of code in my life, but I sure can propose solutions to the world's software problems?"

Perhaps I'm a little belligerant today.

Dusty

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#6 2004-07-29 17:33:08

laxity
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Registered: 2004-07-01
Posts: 14

Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

.

Last edited by laxity (2014-04-05 13:01:35)

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#7 2004-07-30 01:23:39

aCoder
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From: Medina, OH
Registered: 2004-03-07
Posts: 359
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

I'm not too fond of the SkyOS development model.  Private betas and commercial releases are a pain, especially for something that really doesn't have much going for it yet.  $30 is a lot considering my experience with v4.  I know a lot has changed since then, but what I've seen of it isn't worth my money when Linux is free.  Besides, I like poking around the source.  I have this need to know exactly what an OS does with my hardware.  Maybe that's a bit paranoid, but that's just how I am.


If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.
  - John Cage

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#8 2004-07-30 03:45:26

rasat
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From: Finland, working in Romania
Registered: 2002-12-27
Posts: 2,176
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Dusty wrote:

Perhaps I'm a little belligerant today.

No problem as long as there is a day tomorrow smile. I am curious to hear how a desktop should behave, not if Sean Oliviero is right. In his article is there something useful for Arch development.

laxity wrote:

...so if you have a question about SkyOS just ask me.

What's the unique thing in SkyOS desktop?

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#9 2004-07-30 11:00:33

laxity
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Registered: 2004-07-01
Posts: 14

Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

.

Last edited by laxity (2014-04-05 13:02:05)

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#10 2004-07-30 15:12:31

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

rasat wrote:
Dusty wrote:

Perhaps I'm a little belligerant today.

No problem as long as there is a day tomorrow smile. I am curious to hear how a desktop should behave, not if Sean Oliviero is right. In his article is there something useful for Arch development.

Wish I could show you the 3D work I've done for my job, but the source is supposed to remain closed at least for a few months... it seems to be a workable alternative to current 2D and 3D desktops.

In the meantime, ion is as good as it gets, although if wmi hadn't kept crashing on me I'd be using that instead...

laxity wrote:

At the moment there isn't anything really unique (in my opinion) but its fun to play with a new OS ;P

Is it a desktop or an Operating System???

Dusty

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#11 2004-07-30 15:29:16

aCoder
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From: Medina, OH
Registered: 2004-03-07
Posts: 359
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Is it a desktop or an Operating System???

IMHO, niether.  It's a POS!  Of course, that's by my unreasonably high standards that are especially hard on a system that doesn't make any effort at standards compliance and costs $30 in early development, at which point it supports very little hardware and even less apps, although I notice plenty of work being done in that area.  The GUI and filesystem do interest me, however, but I can't come anywhere near either since it's all quite closed.


If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.
  - John Cage

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#12 2004-07-30 21:34:00

mcubednyc
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From: New York, NY USA
Registered: 2004-03-17
Posts: 120

Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

rasat wrote:

I am curious to hear how a desktop should behave, not if Sean Oliviero is right. In his article is there something useful for Arch development.

Speaking as a mere user and not a terribly sophisticated one at that, I'd say no.  IMO, the problem with the article is its muddledness -- he is conflating what he perceives as issues with Linux on the desktop with what he perceives as problems with (mostly) Gnome and KDE.  Regardless of whether anyone might agree or disagree with specific points he makes, these two issues are very different.  He seems to have no notion of what a given distro might do to deal with some of these things vs. what Gnome/KDE/XWindows developers might do.

For instance, I have recently tried out Xandros 2.0.  I would bet that Oliviero has not, because it addresses many of his complaints, and does so beautifully.  On my system, it installed and configured flawlessly (if rather slowly), and everything just worked.  Obviously, that's not always going to be case, but it was for me.  Its default desktop is a modified KDE; its default file manager is well-designed and would be instantly familiar to anyone who's used Explorer or Nautilus or Konqueror, and features integrated CD burning; its layout and menu structure simple, clear and uncluttered.  If you go with the defaults, you don't need to configure anything -- even all the fonts in all applications looked great right out of the box, the first and only Linux distro I've tried where that's been the case.   As it ships, it is truly Linux your grandma could use.  I won't go into all the things you sacrifice to get that experience since that's not the point -- the point is that, for those who want it, Xandros provides a pretty near perfect Desktop Linux OS in its default state.  What you sacrifice can pretty much be summed up in one word:  flexibility.

That isn't what Arch strives to be -- it's the opposite of what Arch strives to be, really, because even if it's not entirely clear what all Arch could/will be, one thing it is, clearly, is flexible.  I don't think there is much Arch developers can or should do to address Oliviero's issues because doing so necessarily means sacrificing flexibility.  Increasing integration means picking something to integrate -- what if what you pick to integrate isn't what a given user wants to use?  You've just made the OS less flexible, or at least, you've made the user jump through some hoops to unintegrate.  The first thing I've done after reinstalling Windows XP, the two times I've done so, is go through and fix all of the defaults that I don't like.  This takes some time because there are a lot of them, including a long list of services enabled that I have to disable.  Then I uninstall as much of what can be uninstalled that I wish hadn't been installed in the first place.  This is all because Windows makes a lot of decisions I don't like, so I have to unmake them.  The same can be said for Xandros, though there were fewer decisions I didn't like.

IMO, there might be something in Oliviero's article for some enterprising and clever lad or lassie who wants to make a desktop-oriented distro based on Arch, like people have done with Debian (in big numbers), Red Hat, Gentoo, etc., but really I think it's too vague and meandering to be of much use.


"No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - S. Jackson

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#13 2004-07-31 02:51:18

aCoder
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From: Medina, OH
Registered: 2004-03-07
Posts: 359
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

IMO, there might be something in Oliviero's article for some enterprising and clever lad or lassie who wants to make a desktop-oriented distro based on Arch, like people have done with Debian (in big numbers), Red Hat, Gentoo, etc., but really I think it's too vague and meandering to be of much use.

Actually, I've thought about that one.  It's really all about just setting it up for the user, which really doesn't require much besides what Arch already has.  I think I'd want to do it with a full Project Utopia 'stack', but otherwise, just scripts, a pacman frontend similar to dropline-installer, along with a panel applet to notify about updates, and handle them with little effort.  Of course, graphics drivers, especially nvidia's, which need to be installed in a console without X running could be difficult, but nothing impossible.  This thing Dusty's working on could help as well, assuming it actually turns out to be 'workable'.  I don't know what I think about his taste for ion though...


If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.
  - John Cage

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#14 2004-07-31 16:22:58

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

aCoder wrote:

I don't know what I think about his taste for ion though...

Your vision is simply clouded, one day you will see light. :-D

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#15 2004-07-31 16:38:53

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Dusty wrote:
aCoder wrote:

I don't know what I think about his taste for ion though...

Your vision is simply clouded, one day you will see light. :-D

not wanting to blame ion (hey i use it from time to time), i sometimes just like to place my windows where i want them to - not per default but right now and only for some minutes - that's not totally done working in ion in my eyes --- on the other hand: a perfect desktop (at least for me) would be a ion-like wm with a panel styled like xfce4-panel and flexible like python-panel including a background loading of kdeinit and gnome-libs to have a full integration of all linux-desktop-"worlds" around

apropos skyOS:
if they would be an opensource project, it would be much higher in my list of great OS's - on this point i agree to aCoder's comment totally i would rather pay for osX than for SkyOS (but as i have no mac-hardware at the moment, i do not need to ;-) ) - osX you do not have all the sources available, but at least it has a lot of features and a big company behind (witch at least gives it momentum)

another project with a great idea/ideology is reactOS: http://www.reactos.com/


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#16 2004-07-31 18:45:09

aCoder
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From: Medina, OH
Registered: 2004-03-07
Posts: 359
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

a perfect desktop (at least for me) would be a ion-like wm with a panel styled like xfce4-panel and flexible like python-panel including a background loading of kdeinit and gnome-libs to have a full integration of all linux-desktop-"worlds" around

I would tend to agree with that.


If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.
  - John Cage

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#17 2004-07-31 19:52:09

Dusty
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From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

aCoder wrote:

a perfect desktop (at least for me) would be a ion-like wm with a panel styled like xfce4-panel and flexible like python-panel including a background loading of kdeinit and gnome-libs to have a full integration of all linux-desktop-"worlds" around

I would tend to agree with that.

Either of you tried wmi? There's a PKGBUILD somewhere on this forum. I believe it is better than ion, at least, it will be better. But when I tried it it crashed twice (over one day).

I personally *hate* panels, and having something that loads kdeinit and gnome-libs would be very upsetting.

I use firefox, gvim, and xterms. Why would I need kde or gnome stuff loaded, eh?

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#18 2004-07-31 21:08:47

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Dusty wrote:
aCoder wrote:

a perfect desktop (at least for me) would be a ion-like wm with a panel styled like xfce4-panel and flexible like python-panel including a background loading of kdeinit and gnome-libs to have a full integration of all linux-desktop-"worlds" around

I would tend to agree with that.

Either of you tried wmi? There's a PKGBUILD somewhere on this forum. I believe it is better than ion, at least, it will be better. But when I tried it it crashed twice (over one day).

I personally *hate* panels, and having something that loads kdeinit and gnome-libs would be very upsetting.

I use firefox, gvim, and xterms. Why would I need kde or gnome stuff loaded, eh?

i use from time to time konqueror and kwrite, that's why kdeinit is very usefull running in background for me - for gnome, from time to time i need to test apps using gnome (unfortunately, i hate when nautilus or other bonobo-stuff takes over everything of the other wm (background, mouse ...)) --- of course this integration should be able to be switched off for users that do not use them at all

wmi i will check out asap


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#19 2004-07-31 23:10:36

aCoder
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From: Medina, OH
Registered: 2004-03-07
Posts: 359
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

I use k3b.  That's my lone kde app.  GTK CD/DVD writing apps just suck, and I'm not too fond of the cdrecord CLI, nor do I have any desire to automate it in bash, when I have the resources for k3b.  However, in order to make this more efficient, a nifty Python project I may or may not be working on could solve my k3b problems.  As for GNOME, I don't think I use any real GNOME apps.  Plenty of GTK stuff though...  I use gedit every once in a while and I'm kinda fond of file-roller, but are they GNOME apps?


If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.
  - John Cage

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#20 2004-08-01 09:19:14

nggalai
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From: Switzerland
Registered: 2004-08-01
Posts: 215
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Hmm. When I read that article on osnews, I first thought it was about 2 years old. Has Sean ever given a distribution such as Mandrake or Xandros a spin? It recognises all your discs, auto-mounts anything you connect including USB devices, you can set up networking etc. without having to open config files at all ... resulting, in the case of Mandrake at least, in a hugely bloated system, mind. Just like Windows.

Then, there's his "X issues". Hasn't he realised that the stuff he's mentioning is being developed as we speak? x.org anybody? DirectFB? And NVIDIA ships their drivers with a control panel to "switch FSAA settings" and much more.

And why should different toolkits interoperate on a widget level? They don't do that on Mac or Windows, either. If you use another toolkit, well, you're using another toolkit. If consistent look-and-feel is your goal, you won't install a GTK app on Windows either. Same for Linux--if you want a consistent desktop environment running GNOME, well, then don't run KDE applications. It's not as if the two desktop environments wouldn't ship with equivalent applications.

As soon as you try to standardise more things you'll make a more end-user friendly system, yes, but at the cost of less choice. Applications you might want to run won't be available for that distribution because it doesn't use the distribution's standard widget set or the like. Just think of a GNOME-only distribution which will only allow the end-user to install GNOME applications. Such an approach would make sense for a pure Desktop System to "conquer market share", but it would also force people who want to try out different things or completely switch usability approaches (say, move to KDE) to get used to a completely different environment, too.

I really don't think that's what Linux "needs" to be considered a "desktop friendly" operating environment.

Just my 2cents.

93,
-Sascha.rb

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#21 2004-08-01 17:21:58

punkrockguy318
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From: New Jersey
Registered: 2004-02-15
Posts: 706
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

On making qt and gtk consistent:

There's a project called gtk-qt... it uses your current qt theme for gtk apps.. It's kinda nice if you use kde, it screws up firefox though... I wish it was qt-gtk... If your intrested there's a PKGBUILD on the forum somewhere..


If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.   1 Corinthians 13:2

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#22 2004-08-01 18:50:52

aCoder
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From: Medina, OH
Registered: 2004-03-07
Posts: 359
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

I wish it was gtk-qt

So do I.  IMO, Qt is ugly, and there's nothing even Plastik can do about it.  GTK2, however, even has a nice looking default theme.

@Dusty:  If you read above, you probably know why I'm not too fond of wmi or ion. XFCE all the way!


If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience.
  - John Cage

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#23 2004-08-02 11:23:05

nggalai
Member
From: Switzerland
Registered: 2004-08-01
Posts: 215
Website

Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Completely missed it: the GNOME project released their new HI guidelines last Saturday. Looking good!

http://developer.gnome.org/projects/gup/hig/2.0/

93,
-Sascha.rb

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#24 2004-09-23 02:01:20

Dusty
Schwag Merchant
From: Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2004-01-18
Posts: 5,986
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Hexydes wrote:

Well sorry, but not everything in life is free.

The best things in life are free.

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#25 2004-09-23 02:27:57

kakabaratruskia
Member
From: Santiago, Chile
Registered: 2003-08-24
Posts: 596

Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Dusty wrote:
Hexydes wrote:

Well sorry, but not everything in life is free.

The best things in life are free.

You're right, I offer my sexual services for free...


And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you though?
They're all resting down in Cornwall
writing up their memoirs for a paper-back edition
of the Boy Scout Manual.

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