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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:45 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Speaking of forking older versions of desktop environments, has anyone tried Trinity?
http://trinitydesktop.org/index.php

Wasn't even aware of it. So this is forked from KDE 3.x?

KDE 4.x is stable enough now that I don't really feel a need to go back to a 3.x derivative, and KDE 5.x sounds like it isn't nearly the cluster that KDE 4.x was early on so I'll probably just go with that when I move off of Kubuntu 14.04.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:48 pm

just brew it! wrote:
KDE 4.x is stable enough now that I don't really feel a need to go back to a 3.x derivative, and KDE 5.x sounds like it isn't nearly the cluster that KDE 4.x was early on so I'll probably just go with that when I move off of Kubuntu 14.04.

I find it weird in KDE 5 that I can't actually put files or folders on the desktop. N00b that I am, maybe this is just how KDE has worked. I got used to it but I've almost always got a couple files on my PC's desktop as "work in progress" (which gets filed after completion).
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:50 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
KDE 4.x is stable enough now that I don't really feel a need to go back to a 3.x derivative, and KDE 5.x sounds like it isn't nearly the cluster that KDE 4.x was early on so I'll probably just go with that when I move off of Kubuntu 14.04.

I find it weird in KDE 5 that I can't actually put files or folders on the desktop. N00b that I am, maybe this is just how KDE has worked. I got used to it but I've almost always got a couple files on my PC's desktop as "work in progress" (which gets filed after completion).

That is the default in KDE 4.x as well. You should be able to change it in the desktop right-click context menu (unless they've hidden it somewhere else in KDE 5.x).

This falls into my "dumb default settings in KDE" bucket. One of the first things I change on a new KDE install.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:57 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Yan wrote:
Usenet

Way to go full retro.

And the First Rule of Usenet is... 
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:15 pm

just brew it! wrote:
That is the default in KDE 4.x as well. You should be able to change it in the desktop right-click context menu (unless they've hidden it somewhere else in KDE 5.x).

This falls into my "dumb default settings in KDE" bucket. One of the first things I change on a new KDE install.

Ah, cool. Didn't really dig into it before, but a Google search for "KDE 5 traditional desktop" yielded this page. In the Folder View section there it says you can make your background a folder view by going to the Wallpaper section of the Desktop Settings screen. So it's still there but has a stupid name.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:17 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Yan wrote:
Usenet

Way to go full retro.

And the First Rule of Usenet is... 

Is Usenet even still around?
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:18 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Is Usenet even still around?

Yep. It'll last forever (if you read Vernor Vinge).
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:20 pm

whm1974 wrote:
Vhalidictes wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Way to go full retro.

And the First Rule of Usenet is... 

Is Usenet even still around?

My DSL internet package (which I was still using until a little over a year ago) came with a bundled Usenet account, and IIRC it was still active as of a few months before we switched to Comcast. I took a peek just for grins, and it appeared to be mostly spam posts.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:21 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Is Usenet even still around?

Yep. It'll last forever.


All the groups I still subscribe to are basically dead. There's one which will have brief pulses of activity, but otherwise Usenet these days is for pirates trading stuff in the binary newsgroups.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:35 pm

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Speaking of forking older versions of desktop environments, has anyone tried Trinity?
http://trinitydesktop.org/index.php

Wasn't even aware of it. So this is forked from KDE 3.x?

KDE 4.x is stable enough now that I don't really feel a need to go back to a 3.x derivative, and KDE 5.x sounds like it isn't nearly the cluster that KDE 4.x was early on so I'll probably just go with that when I move off of Kubuntu 14.04.

Yeah it's a folk of KDE 3.x. I didn't care at all for KDE 4 and Plasma. I would have preferred to stay with the KDE 3.x.x desktop, but Mandriva didn't support it after version 4 of KDE was released. So I went to Gnome 2.x.x and then Xfce. I used Enlightenment E17 for a few years when I had Bodhi Linux. Then back to Xfce after switching to Mint, then Xubuntu, and now Manjaro.  
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:49 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
That is the default in KDE 4.x as well. You should be able to change it in the desktop right-click context menu (unless they've hidden it somewhere else in KDE 5.x).

This falls into my "dumb default settings in KDE" bucket. One of the first things I change on a new KDE install.

Ah, cool. Didn't really dig into it before, but a Google search for "KDE 5 traditional desktop" yielded this page. In the Folder View section there it says you can make your background a folder view by going to the Wallpaper section of the Desktop Settings screen. So it's still there but has a stupid name.

Yes, sometimes finding stuff in the twisty little maze of KDE settings menus, drop-downs, and tabs can be a bit of an adventure...

bthylafh wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Is Usenet even still around?

Yep. It'll last forever.

All the groups I still subscribe to are basically dead. There's one which will have brief pulses of activity, but otherwise Usenet these days is for pirates trading stuff in the binary newsgroups.

I imagine the pr0n groups are probably still active too. Though I suppose that is technically covered under your "pirated stuff" umbrella. :lol:

I used to be pretty active on rec.crafts.brewing and alt.music.progressive back in the day.

whm1974 wrote:
I didn't care at all for KDE 4 and Plasma. I would have preferred to stay with the KDE 3.x.x desktop, but Mandriva didn't support it after version 4 of KDE was released. So I went to Gnome 2.x.x and then Xfce. I used Enlightenment E17 for a few years when I had Bodhi Linux. Then back to Xfce after switching to Mint, then Xubuntu, and now Manjaro.

KDE 4 and I have reached an understanding. :wink: I'm pretty comfortable with it now, having used it since Kubuntu 12.04 (tried the Unity desktop briefly on 12.04 LTS and hated it).
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:08 pm

Glorious wrote:
I like libinput, appreciate pulseaudio, and I don't have any real hatred for systemd.

Then again I use the CLI to tweak all of the above, I wouldn't be surprised if the recent libinput switch for almost everything has resulted in significant GUI carnage.

But that's also why I completely agree with you in regards to DEs. :lol:

My main problems are that libinput doesn't like to let mice be completely 1:1, and in the Wayland era they're going to be pushing responsibility for config out to DEs, where effort will have to be duplicated a lot (what config there is, anyway - they've definitely got Gnome's philosophy on that). The acceleration it decided to apply by default is of atrocious quality. I got a top-quality mouse for a reason, and I don't appreciate anything that ruins that. As I said, there'll be another rant incoming on that in a bit.

Pulseaudio uses enough idle CPU time to peg my CPU at max frequency (intel_pstate governor in powersave mode on a G3258). Systemd works mostly alright for now, but has philosophical issues.

Vhalidictes wrote:
Designers aren't trying to screw up. They are laboring under some impossible restrictions, though.

1) A new UI needs to be flashy to draw attention to itself, so that you know you're using it and it gets mindshare. Also, it needs to be unobtrusive and out-of-the-way for day-to-day use.
2) You can't use an older UI because it's a stale, bad, old design. But the new UI needs to be just like the old one so that it's easy to use.
3) You need the interface to be optimized for the device. The device is a phone. The device is a tablet. The device is a desktop. The device is a workstation. The device is a television. The device is also a kiosk.

Those aren't supposed to be tough restrictions. You can use an older UI, and it doesn't have to be flashy. It doesn't take much extra to make it feel new-ish, if that's the goal, and the old thing is proven to work well. Then again, razor-thin phones with no durability and no battery life are the ones that sell, so what do I know?

Also, like JBI and you said, using one UI for both mobile and desktop was a garbage idea right from the start.

Village wrote:
Is that the equipment you are testing these DE with. Because that is some really old and slow equipment. Linux development has moved past this lowest rung hardware for the most part and you need relatively modern equipment for it to feel snappy. In general, I agree with your sentiment. While I appreciate the choice, I think linux for the desktop environment would be better served by focusing talents on making a couple of options great.
Personally, I roll with LinuxMint & Cinnamon on my primary laptop, Win10 on my gaming machine, CentOS/RHEL w/o GUI for servers. =)

I test on a wide variety of stuff, from junkyard machines like I just described (or worse) up to my own G3258 @ 4.3 + GTX 960 + SSD rig. I'm fine with games having high system requirements, because more often than not you're actually getting something for it. When DEs have high system requirements, you get next to nothing that actually matters. The core functionality of a DE is, in theory, near zero load compared to a web browser or something. Hence I get really annoyed when I see a setup that can browse the web alright but struggles to open a menu on the desktop.

I know from lots of experience that LXDE will run like greased lightning on computers most people would say are too old to warrant a second thought. LXDE doesn't have much eye candy, but it does what a DE needs to do as well as the best. Being able to run fast on a toaster is supposed to be a big advantage of Linux (and it is one that I take advantage of regularly), but there's a very big crowd now that would throw that all away for a bit of bling. Not only that, but they've apparently convinced some people that medium system requirements are just the way things are.

You know End User's world where the solution for everything is "buy better hardware"? I have a lot of friends who live in pretty much the exact opposite of that, and in that world, software speed is a really big deal.
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:13 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
That is the default in KDE 4.x as well. You should be able to change it in the desktop right-click context menu (unless they've hidden it somewhere else in KDE 5.x).

This falls into my "dumb default settings in KDE" bucket. One of the first things I change on a new KDE install.

Ah, cool. Didn't really dig into it before, but a Google search for "KDE 5 traditional desktop" yielded this page. In the Folder View section there it says you can make your background a folder view by going to the Wallpaper section of the Desktop Settings screen. So it's still there but has a stupid name.

Yeah, in 4.x the section is labeled View (not Wallpaper), which makes more sense. Not sure what the point of renaming it was... I guess you're kind of wallpapering the desktop with the contents of your Desktop folder? Or something. But you can still set a background wallpaper image too, so whatever. :lol:
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:55 pm

Not much I can add but MATE is the best choice for long time Windows users. I switched after the developers screwed up Gnome. I run it on my 4 computers (one's a server) and it works great.
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:53 pm

KingLear wrote:
Not much I can add but MATE is the best choice for long time Windows users. I switched after the developers screwed up Gnome. I run it on my 4 computers (one's a server) and it works great.


I wouldn't necessarily agree with that...MATE is much closer to OS X/macOS than Windows. If people are die-hard WIndows users coming over to Linux, I almost always start with KDE.

edit: Some fun trivia - The name “MATE”, pronounced Ma-Tay, comes from yerba maté, a species of holly native to subtropical South America. Its leaves contain caffeine and are used to make infusions and a beverage called mate.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:28 am

I used to do GUI and disto hopping years ago when I first started with Linux, but I quickly settled on Slackware and then ultimately Slackware derivatives designed for those of us who like Slackware but are lazy. I've heard KDE referred to as slow and/or buggy over the years, but I've personally never experienced that in the Slackware realm, and my CPU is almost a decade old at this point. As a non-dev, my needs are perhaps a lot more simplistic. If I suddenly had IceWM, Openbox, or the like as my only GUI, that wouldn't really adversely affect my purposes.
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:04 am

DancinJack wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily agree with that...MATE is much closer to OS X/macOS than Windows. If people are die-hard WIndows users coming over to Linux, I almost always start with KDE.

If it's about as I remember Gnome 2, it should be easily configurable to be like either (as are Xfce and LXDE). Back in the day, Gnome 2 and Xfce defaulted to a more Mac-like interface, but Xfce switched to Windows-like defaults at some point, and AFAIK LXDE has always had Windows-like defaults. Really, I think the three of them feel remarkably similar after config, in a nicely timeless sort of way.
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:04 am

For the record, I use Openbox raw, with a few LXDE components here and there as the need arises (lxterminal being the common one). LXDE uses Openbox anyway, so you could call it a highly stripped-down LXDE. Anyway, my config doesn't bear much resemblance to anything I'd put on anyone else's computer, if nothing else because it's very keyboard-driven and increasingly doesn't cater to mice. As such, what I would find most pleasant to use doesn't factor into my evaluation of proper DEs much (or at least I make an effort to keep them as separate as possible). When evaluating stuff in my original post, my criteria were along the lines of "what would joe sixpack (with a similarly average computer) think of this, possibly after I've done a bit of config to make it more familiar?"
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:13 am

DancinJack wrote:
I wouldn't necessarily agree with that...MATE is much closer to OS X/macOS than Windows. If people are die-hard WIndows users coming over to Linux, I almost always start with KDE.

The thing about KDE is that it is very configurable/tweakable... if you spend the time to do the Googling and find the settings you're interested in. (And a few things like the previously mentioned numpad hotkeys, or getting rid of the silly "cashew" menu, require a bit of minor surgery.)

DrCR wrote:
I've heard KDE referred to as slow and/or buggy over the years, but I've personally never experienced that in the Slackware realm, and my CPU is almost a decade old at this point.

It has definitely been through phases where it has been slow and/or buggy. Things seem to have (mostly) settled down.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:21 am

just brew it! wrote:
cphite wrote:
I was using KDE 4 (kubuntu) for a while on my laptop, and also liked that - despite the goofy names for everything :D


Ehh... yeah, some of the names are silly, but that doesn't particularly bother me. Anything I use more than occasionally tends to get assigned to a launcher icon in an auto-hide panel at the left edge of the screen and/or a global hotkey. So no need to type the application name or hunt it down in the Applications menus.


The names aren't a problem for me...  I just find them funny.  :D

cphite wrote:
- but there were some random annoyances that made me go back to MATE.

Most of the random annoyances have workarounds. Yes, I know you shouldn't need to use workarounds, there should be configuration options for things that people might find annoying; and KDE has so many arcane things that CAN be configured it makes you wonder about some of the more basic things that CAN'T.

For me, one particularly egregious random annoyance was the (arbitrary) inability to use the numpad as global hotkeys. With GNOME I'd gotten accustomed to using Ctrl-Alt-<number> on the numpad to select virtual desktops; for some strange reason KDE wouldn't let me do it via the built-in hotkey mechanism. But xbindkeys + the qdbus tool + a suitably crafted .xbindkeysrc configuration file works.


The biggest annoyance for me was around the display...  I was using my laptop for a lot of meetings, and I'd need to display something, and I could never get it to work quite right - and it was never consistent.  Sometimes it would only work if I mirrored my laptop monitor; other times it'd only work if I set the overhead to be my primary display.  Other times it wouldn't work at all...  it'd simply refuse to acknowledge that a device was plugged in...   For a while I assumed it was a hardware issue because it was so inconsistent - but it works perfectly well with Linux Mint and with Windows.  I probably could have dug around some more for a workaround but didn't have the time to spend...  

The other issue I had is that every now and then the DE would become unresponsive.  For example, you'd click something and it would open a minute later.  Couldn't identify anything happening when this occurred - no unusual activity.  Simply logging out and back in would fix it, but that became annoying.  Again, probably could have dug around for a fix, but no time.  

Tried reinstalling from scratch twice and same issues popped up.  It could be that my laptop just doesn't get along with Kubuntu :D
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:44 am

synthtel2 wrote:
Back in the day, Gnome 2 and Xfce defaulted to a more Mac-like interface, but Xfce switched to Windows-like defaults at some point


Old XFCE (in the 3.xx days) was basically just a dock and some window decorations. I'm not sure I'd classify GNOME 2.xx as being Mac-like, though. I could see it in the sense of "there's always a menu bar at the top", but otherwise it was more its own thing.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:49 am

Unity felt more Mac-like to me than GNOME did.
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whm1974
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:30 pm

Maybe one of the new TR staff who has good experience in designing User Interfaces could read this thread and write an article for TR on what not to do when designing and developing UX and desktop environments. it will be a good read anyway. 
 
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:46 pm

Reading this made me sad. Reading this and seeing the reference to systemd made me rage.

I hate systemd with a passion. Nothing works as expected and debugging boot problems is EVEN HARDER than it was in the past. I hate that "fast booting" was ever something on a feature list that someone decided was important.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:27 am

Waco wrote:
I hate systemd with a passion. Nothing works as expected and debugging boot problems is EVEN HARDER than it was in the past. I hate that "fast booting" was ever something on a feature list that someone decided was important.

At least upstart managed to shorten boot times considerably without getting its tendrils into everything. While I don't know enough of the technical details to pass final judgement on upstart vs. systemd, it seems to me that pursuing further development of upstart would've likely been a better path.

And while I realize some people have philosophical/ethical issues with Canonical (from whence upstart came), my opinion of Red Hat (employer of the primary developer of systemd) dropped considerably after dealing with several of their consultants at a previous job.

I hope Devuan succeeds, but I think the odds are stacked against them. I'd prefer not to have to come up the learning curve for Slackware (the last semi-mainstream distro to shun systemd).
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:37 am

My biggest gripe with a lot of DE's is the level of personal adjustability. Things like font sizing and whether I can turn them bold or not. (I'm gettin' old) Windows has always been fairly good at this, but a good deal of the Linux Desktops anymore don't allow it or make it far to difficult to find. Don't like Unity or Gnome 3, always thought KDE was far to bloated, (Do I really need 5 or 6 different text editors installed by default ?) I mostly end up using Cinnamon or XFCE anymore. I know a lot of folks claim that Cinnamon is unstable and buggy, however I've never experienced those problem's.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:51 am

While I haven't gotten my hands dirty enough lately to have any gripes about systemd, it does come in handy being able to bounce a machine in a matter of seconds.

I had a Debian 8 VM (running under Hyper-V no less) that I could type in 'reboot' and it would be back ready for me in the time it took me to launch another putty client, type it's hostname, and hit enter again. :o
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:05 am

I noticed that about my Kubuntu VM, too. Boot times are insanely short, and its disk is on a 5400rpm drive.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:46 am

SuperSpy wrote:
While I haven't gotten my hands dirty enough lately to have any gripes about systemd, it does come in handy being able to bounce a machine in a matter of seconds.

I had a Debian 8 VM (running under Hyper-V no less) that I could type in 'reboot' and it would be back ready for me in the time it took me to launch another putty client, type it's hostname, and hit enter again. :o

Well, having a fast machine holds more responsibility than the init system.
I don't use systemd. Instead I use, as I always have, OpenRC. My desktop boots in a few seconds with modest hardware. Even my aged laptop waits for me to log in under 10 seconds.
Further, having tried to translate some initscripts to systemd is awful and am forced to give up a lot of freedom.
HOWEVER, back to the subject at hand, I've given up on DEs a long time ago. I try them out every now and then, but end up running back to Fluxbox.
I tried Enlightenment for a few hours. It's pretty, but annoying and nearly impossible to customize menus.
Other DEs tend to have too much chrome wasting the limited real estate I have.
Further, I have my Fluxbox set up just the way I want it to behave, which is hard to walk away from.
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Re: Desktop environments suck

Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:55 am

titan wrote:
Further, I have my Fluxbox set up just the way I want it to behave, which is hard to walk away from.


Seems pretty appropriate for a hardcore Gentoo user :)
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