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#51 2004-09-26 19:56:47

cactus
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From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

Good idea rasat. I think that many people lack the programming prowess to create their own modules, but I can see a desktop system with a reasonable plugin type model could make for easy customization regardless.

Given a good modular api/plugin capability, people who can will create their own plugins (say, a docker plugin, or a clock plugin). Then users should have an easy to use interface for loading plugins that they find. Maybe have a website repository of official plugins, and a section for community created plugins.

Think Gkrellm, but with the window manager/desktop environment itself. Sounds good. As long as the underlying code was well designed for external modularity, it should work well.

I do think it would be a lofty project. I think the enlightenment people have had this idea (or something similar to it) for a while. They seem to have been developing modular units to handle various aspect of rendering. I think if they extended the concept to other aspects of the wm, it would be that next good step towards a more fully modular system.

That being said, I almost balk at the complexity needed for such a system. From a management standpoint, and from a usabilty standpoint of the api, it seems like it would be a difficult task to be sure. Ensuring that the plugins are easy enough to write, to do needed things, while still maintaining feature rich and managable underlying frameworks...well...theirin lies the struggle with most software anyway...

</end ramble>


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#52 2004-09-26 20:11:03

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

rasat wrote:

The basic idea here is to "build your own desktop" and therby making an "ultimate" desktop for you alone.

Ah, yes, I misunderstood, though I was presenting exactly the same idea at one point. If you haven't, try out litestep for windows. I have no idea how advanced it is now compared to when I last used it (three or four years ago, pre-linux wink), but the idea was as follows:

Litestep is a simple plugin architecture.

Any user can write and release modules that are stored in the litestep community area. Modules were for system tray, clock, taskbar, menus, windows, etc.  Most modules could be fully themeable, but that depended on the module author.

Any user can write themes that are stored in the litestep community area. Themes were basically collections of configuration files for specific modules available in the modules area.

As cactus mentioned, I'm pretty sure this is the plan at Enlightenment, although I'm not sure if they are going to smile on community contributed modules or not.

I'm planning on incorporating a similar three point scheme (ie: the famous model-view-controller pattern) in my 3D work.  The idea will be that people can make objects that do certain things, other people can make 3D geometries that look like whatever they want to interface with those objects, and the users can collect them together to work in a world that is comfortable to them.

For example, the user might set up an underwater world, or a living on the moon world or a peaceful forest world.  The developers might set up objects to represent e-mail. THe default e-mail look and feel might look like envelopes and papers, but the dude in the underwater world can theme it to look like fish swimming around in different schools depending if the message was read or not.

Dusty

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#53 2004-09-26 23:16:21

cactus
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From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
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Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

funny you mention litestep...i was using it when i typed my post. big_smile
It is exactly the type of thing I was mentioning. I think the format of the plugins is a little archaic and is more confusing then it could be, but it is nonetheless a good representation of the idea of a modular wm.

I think the M-V-C concept heirarchy is well suited for wm and desktop logic. The key point today seems to be the seperation of the business logic (M) with the display logic (V).  The syntactical sugar in the display logic (V) needs to be easy enough to use, but powerful enough to make use of the featureset in the business logic (M).

I think this is the area that litestep might be lacking. Their display logic is a bit overly complicated for some things.
The config files needed to make use of a plugin are a bit complicated, but the plugins are generally well documented.

I have not delved into writing any plugin code myself, likely due to the fact that I do little gui programming outside of the occasional java gui..
(Which, in my opinion, is like beating yourself in the head with a slice of cold meat... roll ) and because I don't really do much dev for windows...  Mostly web stuff (php, perl, etc.), and *nix CLI stuff (backend C, shell, perl, etc.).


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#54 2004-09-27 00:20:52

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

Well, with Enlightenment coming into play here, along with all that great modular stuff, there's an unnecessarily relevant article from Rasterman here at his website, which talks a bit about how that's going to be handled, and it's probably worth checking out his thing on a DVD player in 17 lines of code, which gave me a good feeling about how easy it is to use the EFLs.  I think they'll get a lot of community involvement whether they like it or not.


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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#55 2004-09-27 03:26:31

cactus
Taco Eater
From: t͈̫̹ͨa͖͕͎̱͈ͨ͆ć̥̖̝o̫̫̼s͈̭̱̞͍̃!̰
Registered: 2004-05-25
Posts: 4,615
Website

Re: How Desktop Linux Should Behave

mmm...*salivates*
good stuff...


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#56 2004-09-27 05:34:35

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

Though I don't like the art work of E, the modular interface is interesting.

0.17.0 has a loadable module interface.... This allows E17 to be extended heavily without modifying the base code

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#57 2004-09-30 17:22:51

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

Dusty wrote:

I believe there is a much better potential 3D interface waiting to be designed. I've researched this issue for over a year, and have written two prototypes (neither available as open source, through no fault of my own).  I will be researching a more extensible interface starting this week for a final university project.

I'm hoping "they" won't be able to stop me from releasing this project as open source from the outset (you never know in the academic world...). If things go my way, I'll be publicly posting the design and code of my 3D project for peer review within two months.

Just a followup for people that come across this crazy thread, I got the go-ahead to release this project open source and am already publishing it. See http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?p=45820 for details, and please keep all discussion in that thread, not this one.

Dusty

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