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yet another Linux-only WM?

Discussion in 'GNOME' started by pelmen, May 18, 2011.

  1. irkkaaja

    irkkaaja New Member

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    *nix developers pride themselves on making things that work and work well.

    Look, let's say I want to make a desktop environment. I have to support operating systems A, B, and C. 95% of people use A. All three systems manage wifi, sound, disk, camera, microphone, HID in different ways. It's kind of a pain to write the thing to handle wifi, sound, automount, optical drives, camera, microphone, HID on B and C, for little reward, isn't it?

    The way forward is to write FreeBSD-specific graphical programs to handle wifi, sound, disk, camera, microphone, HID that work with the popular window managers. Dropbox and f.lux can pop little icons in the top bar on OS X without being developed by Apple, and figuring out how to put an icon in GNOME Panel is way, waaaaaaay easier than figuring out how to configure seamless failover swapping between wireless and wired internet on FreeBSD. As proof: how many FreeBSD laptop users out there have configured failover swapping between wireless and wired internet? It's only, I don't know, a hundred shell commands and twenty config files dealing with eighty gazillion drivers and half a googolplex of possible wireless NICs.

    So instead of having a GNOME application that deals with the intricacies of wlan0 et al, it makes more sense to have a FreeBSD-specific GUI application that deals with putting a little thingy in the GNOME Panel, the KDE Panel, the flux box panel, the e17 panel, what-have-you, because all of those things are comparatively not so bad (the developers of many other applications do it this way!). And plus, if putting a thingy in the panel doesn't work, I can still listen to music. Not so if GNOME's volume manager blows up on my novelty sound card; I'm reduced to a shell, and I have to journey into the netherworld of /etc to see what went wrong.

    The best user experience can be achieved in the former case, and that's what matters.
     
  2. michaelp

    michaelp New Member

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    I read about this in the PC-BSD handbook after I installed it about XFCE. I find it pretty frustrating, but I also think Gnome 3 is a throwaway I'll not waste any time on. I am still using Gnome 2 because it's familiar. I would Love to see WindowMaker make some strides on BSD, it's my favorite Wm ever. May not be the best but it's my favorite. Sadly it was all but abandonded.

    Sometimes I don't know what to do. I hate KDE now, I liked it in 2001. I can't stand how it works now. Gnome 2 I think is wonderful, but it's moved into something I can't stand either. I can only sit and hope that WindowMaker gets revived and developed again :)
     
  3. adamk

    adamk New Member

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    WindowMaker has seen some development recently, though no new release:

    http://windowmaker.org/

    You could try building it from git, if you wanted to see what progress was being made.

    Adam
     
  4. michaelp

    michaelp New Member

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    I will check it out!
     
  5. rockworldmi

    rockworldmi New Member

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    Well once it was quoted by wise man joey from friends: " When a package is pretty nobody cares about what's inside..:p" by the way my point is sticking with one GUI would provide more control for BSD* developers as well as users.
    And also enlightenment is http://www.enlightenment.org/ also pretty.
    and hope http://etoileos.com/ will make it though.. :D
     
  6. jrm

    jrm Member

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    I'm not sure what this proves, but I followed those instructions just a few days ago and lagg0 was working great after about 10 minutes. Now I don't have to worry about switching between both types of connections nor do I have to worry about reconfiguring ddclient.conf. And I'm no FreeBSD guru or even a real system admin. I'm not even generally all that intelligent, so that *proves* just about anyone can do it if they are a little experienced.
     
  7. fluca1978

    fluca1978 New Member

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    It was neither an internal branch, since OpenSolaris was not running on the same hardware Solaris was running on.
     
  8. irkkaaja

    irkkaaja New Member

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    If you interpreted my post as saying that the by-hand configuration of lagg0 is too complicated for most people who have reasonable familiarity with a shell, I'm sorry, that was misleading. It isn't. The point is not whether you can do it, whether I can do it, or even whether Sarah Palin can do it: the issue is whether GNOME can do it automatically. I.e. how easy it is to write a program that can do it for all combinations of hardware. Because with various combinations of hardware, your wifi interface might be one of iwn0, ath0, bwi0, bwn0, wi0, ... and your ethernet interface might be one of em0, bge0, ..., and your authentication method might be WEP, WPA, WPA2, ..., and all of these cases have to be handled by the wireless manager; the point is, it is easier that the graphical wifi manager be tied to the operating system, and thus to the wifi management method prescribed by the operating system, than to the window manager, of which there are only ~eight cases [GNOME, KDE, fluxbox, xmonad, IceWM, Xfce, e17, LXDE] of any significance, because each operating system has a different way to do this, and a different set of silly names for wireless NICs, et cetera, and if the desktop environment is expected to handle all of the possible operating systems, this is what's known as an undue burden.

    My general point is that this applies not just to wifi programs, but to any program whose sole purpose is to make a certain hardware component usable, i.e. auto-mounters, disc burners, volume (audio) managers, etc, and obviously some of these are trivial to handle from a shell (disc burning) but others are not or just way more effort than it's worth (automounting, wifi).

    Now the question arises: irkkaaja, why do you want to use a graphical wifi program?

    I have this problem. See, I encounter a new wifi network on the scale of ~every few days. Adding each new network in turn to wpa_supplicant.conf is what's known as a pain. Or maybe I'm in a place with seven unsecured networks and I want to see which one works the best, so I try them all. Or maybe I'm using aircrack. Or maybe -- and this one's annoying and yes it happens to me -- my institution changes my wireless password on a regular basis. Or maybe I'm in a car, 3000 miles from where I live, and I want to connect to the WiFi in the gas station while we're stopped at a stoplight and I don't even have ten minutes, because we're trying to find this like Buddhist meditation temple and I need to use Google Maps.

    There is a place for automatic wifi configuration. That place is somewhere on my hard drive. And no desktop environment handles lagg0, to my knowledge.

    irkkaaja, why don't you write it yourself? Well, I'm working on it, I guess. First I have to figure out EFI, so FreeBSD will boot on my new laptop. I've been using OS X for a while (booooo!), so I'm not totally up-to-date, but 9.0 looks shiny.
     
  9. rdlfree

    rdlfree New Member

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  10. purgatori

    purgatori New Member

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    We have QT anyway, so even if this does eventuate, it's not a big deal.