Tag Archives: wmii

tag based working ? 1 ?

The more I do with TAGS in blogs and in microblogging and with bookmarks the more I think this could be a way to work with a lot more.

One problem we face when working with keywords is the selection of keywords. We have many different systems of keywords – like for photo management or music categorization. Also as I say “Categories” – categories are keywords/TAGS, arent they?

I know they are not REALLY. But I am reminded on the massive discussion about backlinks vs. categories in wikis.

A CATEGORY is something big …. TAGS are some small notes in one word attached to a thingy – an object. Maybe a photo, maybe an article.

Objects we do from programming. TAGS are or should be attributes to those objects.

NOW… I guess most TAGS should make sense for every object. or MOST.

TAGS are also a common knowledge. The act of tagging is important, too. On blogs like on wordpress we might get hints how to tag an article.

But how about a software that suggests to us a tag after we wrote an article? Like this one. I could assume that my article does contain some words more often. If we remove those words like “the” or does” or “wrote”we might get nowns primarily or also attributes or  adjectives.

Tags could be interrelated. This is why some web software offers popular tags. Many desktop applications still do not import the knowledge of the web.

Tagging means also that there is mostly more than one way to tag virtual objects. There always will be. Also every human will tell a story differently. The divergence is not a problem but is part of the ESSENCE of communication. And what are TAGS other than commnication.

If you write a blog you tell others what you think it is you are talking about. Others might think differently. Some Web2.0 software offers you the ability to add tags to foreign objects that are than publicly visible. Tags soemtimes reflect your own perception – but maybe more often you try to be smart and try to catch the peoples eyes by throwing TAGS at THEM to make you picture or article more visible. But you wont try to choose as many tags as you can imagine. This could be one method to gather attention but it would also be stupid. Like if you want to sell a product it is not recommended to promise EVERYTHING.

Google does not really honor keywords that much because it is a weak concept for public content. it becomes stronger when people vote on the popularity. But not always does a greater popularity of an article indicate that it fits one of the tags best!

So what do we need? I think maybe we would need some kind of TAG service that is spreading over different subjects and allows people to talk about tagging and follow different taggings strategies. Like Wikia Search did allow users to vote on what search results are nicer – but you cant just allow anybody to vote on anything if the end result should be smart.

Or better – its ok to allow anybody to do anything – but you then should also allow the user to select which choices she thinks are smart. Tagging should be like we talk to our friends and neighbours about where to buy or to let repair. We may come to the conclusion that some of our friends have a better idea where to buy good products than others. And we will turn to them more often when it comes to buying.

Same may be true for personal matters. The one who may know mich about buying might be dumb when it comes to personal relations – and somebody else may have a good advice for you … tagging solutions.

We now often see voting systems on Amazon and elsewhere – but they often are not very sufficient and also are corruptable.

I also think when it comes to work on the computer tagging could be cool, if the computer would have a fuzzy way to recall our choices.

I think about saving an image would not mean to select a file location – but rather to tag it – in the same manner we do it after uploading to a photo sharing site like Flickr. I think it many ways the idea of the online desktops is not that bad – but in another way. The interesting part should not be to integrate Flickr or Myspace better in our desktop – but to give the user more world knowledge in his day-to-day applications. We get some – like we can let last.fm player play our favourite music (which works more or less well) and also we might get some categorisation for our music albums that we import in our desktop via CDDB databases. But this is mostly just added feature or plugin and not something deeply integrated.

Or think about the work on the desktop -like I want to do some work with vector graphics and Inkscape editor (sort of Adobe Illustrator clone). I then want to learn about how I should act – but maybe also want to talk to people about how to use it.

Today people either use the provided help from installed manuals, or they search the web – or forums, wikis, … and maybe enter an IRC chat. And then they pose the same questions all over again – even if they have read the aqpplications FAQ. What might be interesting is if I enter the question I have inside the applications – maybe also by pointing to the section I am working on – and then I can get help documents as well als forums posts or the possibility to chat directly via instant messaging with other users who are currently working on inkscape and might be willing to help.

There used to be a service Qunu (which seems to be unaccessible fpr some months now?) which organized instant messaging interaction. You could define some tags where you think you were smart and people searching for that tag could find you and contact you directly. What about when I am using an application I could register and with this process tell my knowledge level – and then if other users work on a project with “my” application I can read their questions like in the groups of Laconica – and then even decide to interact directly and maybe not publicly. It would also be possible to not only interact by word but also by action. Some applications like Gobby, Inkscape or Abiword have been working on the ability to work on shared documents online.

And when you save – maybe you tag something as public. Epilicious is a delicio.us bookmark exchanger. A bookmark you wanted to share you tagged with “epilicious” also. And maybe just the public tagging will save the object online. Or like on upcoming.org – you can send an event to a group. People who follow that group get a notice about this new event.

I really think that this is the future computer interaction. Window managers like wmii allow you to tag an application to reside in one specific desktop window.

Essentially all computer work is about organizing. In some way if you print this is also some kind of organizing. Its an export. F-Spot uses “export” for photos who are uploaded to Flickr. In this case I think it is not good to name that an export – it is in the old sense – but in a new sense it is another saving location.

We will see a lot more virtualisation of webspace and stuff. Some people might even not use any local hard disk any more. But they still need a place where they save data like addresses.

This does not mean that we will not need locations. I think the Plan9 way was very good – to integrate all necessary location information in one file system. A completely different question is if we would need to show the location to the users or if that wouldnt rather confuse them?

So maybe lets create a tags based desktop?

Comments welcome.

Leave a comment

Filed under Free Software, Programming, Technology

In need of a major new GNOME panel

I suggest that people start working on an alternative GNOME panel now. I have seen some suggestions on a GNOME wiki page, but I think most directions are very wrong. Like what you see here:

Essentially these are imitations of the fancy Mac panel. But I think that the Max panel does not give us anything cool as well as the things AWN an Kiba dock do. Look at this video: At one point it shows how to play volleyball with the icons. How stupid is that? I mean cool. Or better: I don’t care!

First of all I still do like the text menus, because you can access a lot of applications and settings without going through a lot of folders and sub folders. But I have some major problems with the panel:

  1. You can fix the position of a panel. but when I plugin in my digital projector the panel moves to the other display (on the right). How can this be called a fixed position?
  2. When the size of the panel changes the position of the fixed icons changes too. I have to resortmany icons after I have dettached my projector display. How fixed are thise positions, then?
  3. So it is impossible to configure one monitor display to show exactly the same things on each occasion. This comes from all the dynamic configuration. At least thats true for Ubuntu. Its like you always plug in a new display which you have never attached before and also like it would make any sense that the panel should never be on the main  display but always on the external display.
  4. You can also not configure to have a second panel which is bound to one display

These are only some of my new points. Here is what I desperately need:

  1. A panel which is much less customizable and dynamic. Because everything that can change results in random results or I have configure or reconfigure the panel. From my view the panel never moved to the point of the rest of GNOME. You can do nearly everything with the panel which does not make any sense.
  2. I suggest that new work goes to a new panel which can be a replacement of the old panel. Maybe one can reuse some of the old code but the essentials should be very different.
  3. I think one very important thing is that screen/display configuration and the panel should be one thing.
  4. Have the ability that the screens (1-4 or so) can be linked to specific displays, so lets say if I have two screens one is the major screen of my notebook (screen 1 on the left) – and the other screen has a different screen size (screen 2 on the right) and is configured for my projector display (which is a 16:9)
  5. If I attach a display and configure the contents, the panel, etc. these settings should be saved for this screen and display so that I get these back once I plugin in that display again. The content (desktop icons) of a display could also be available if this display is detached. Then screen 2 should be reconfigured to a single screen mode.
  6. Essentially if you want to give a presentation you will want perfect control of what the presentation screen looks like and what appears there. If you never know what happens a GNOME desktop can not be used for such a purpose. The frustrating thing is that things rather seem to get worse. I really think about switching Linux distribution because the dynamic screen configuration is really awful. I remember Fedora had a “system-config-display” which worked more relliable. I still dont know why this is not used upstream. Maybe some people think that this dynamic thing is actually good. Maybe it would be if it would work – but till then please keep this as an experimental feature in SVN and do not put it on Ubuntu LTS! grrr. sorry I had to go through a lot of troubles and still do because of this thing.
  7. I would dump all current panel applets because most of them are useless. Instead I would suggest to give a panel some functions like displaying time and weather. Or maybe for advanced users allow them to put a content on the panel which they can insert from script output. Like if I put on the hardware sensor monitor applet I get 10 or more icons on my panel and then have to find out which is the right important temperature. Instead of an applet a user should have a setting where he can enable the display of a temperature and hopefully GNOME can show the right one or give the user the opportunity to to enable the right sensor.
  8. Then there should be an area where the panel displays the icons of the most used user applications. Maybe allow the user to say which applications should never appear. But this would give the user a perfect access to the most used apps without forcing him to put them there. Why should he?
  9. As stated before I think it would be most intelligent if the panel itself is the interface to configure display. So when you add a new screen/display you can choose which panel you want (like no panel, copy major display panel, standard clean panel,…) And maybe have the ability to close/remove a screen with a closing the panel like you do it with tabs in browsers.
  10. I also think organizing screens and applications via the panel should be more intelligent. The tabbed window managers (wmii,dwm,…) invented the ability to group applications – so lets say you can configure a graphic screen and gimp, inkscape, blender,… all open on this one – or you have a mail screen where you work with email. Those screen layouts or definitions could be saved, so that you may have a more general notebook screen but if you go to work and attach your notebook to a large LCD display graphical applications will appear there. Today its rather primitive like you have screens 1-4 and have to move an application there manually on each occasion. Also handling screens should be easy like handling tabulators on a browser. Maybe in the future you may even be able to drag and drop a screen to a remote computer and then the other computer can work or see what you are working on or you can share a screen.

So I think most that is discussed so far on GNOME is nothing more that re-engineering of what Apple did and maybe spice it up a little. Only interesting page on the wiki that I saw was that about GroupBasedWindowManagement. I a pessimistic about GNOME or KDE being more creative in the future. Unfortunately the tabbed window managers still have problems with many applications and often still require some manual configuration. I really think maybe soem new project should try to do things better without repeating past mistakes. Like have less dependencies, so that operating systems like OpenBSD will also follow the development.

Leave a comment

Filed under Browser, Free Software, GNOME, Linux, OpenBSD, Programming, Technology

Logins vs. Profiles

Since some time I am thinking about what could be made better on working with a desktop. I have come to the conclusion that one thing that is actually bad on todays desktop is:

  • If you log in via a desktop manager or configure your X session this is said to be a 1:1 relation user<->desktop. You can switch the window mangers but thats not really natural.
  • So for a clean separation of desktops today people need to set up different accounts – but this means they have to configure some applications over and over again.

I think there must be a better way like:

  • Rather than multiple users there is one user and one password (maybe this is the default user)
  • The user logs in with just the password – after than he is given the chance to select a profile like:
  • A GNOME session, or any other window manager oder desktop environment.
  • The chance to freeze a session state – I think this would be a real benefit – like: you are working on a graphical editing session with GIMP and inkscape, you save some files and freeze the session – you then open a mail session and send the mails. The other applications are out of the ram and do not require any CPU cycles in that time.
  • Maybe its also possible to produce workflows between some profiles/sessions.
  • It should be very easy to switch sessions and restore sessions
  • I also think every good window manager should have a revision management built in.

My usage often is that I do only use the computer for one thing – like watching tv or using it as a radio station. Sometimes I mix usages like typing a blog entry while listening – but I think this does not need to produce much load. Most of the time I try to switch between different standard setups I use often – i have no way that the desktop (GNOME) helps me on restoring such setups. Its like people never will repeat tasks. I think the desktop should help the user to configure and save some setups. This could also be something like you edit an image in GIMP and the press a button which means that the image gets saved on a specific location and also gets attached to a new mail message. Why do I have to save and select a location, then start a mail program and search the very same location and the file stored in there?

I think we need another desktop revolution. Right now all applications are build to be used perfectly standalone and also so things differently every time. But that is very rarely the case. OTOH an application like GIMP is hard to use in a tiled window manager like wmii. This is because many applications were optimized for one desktop or the other.

Leave a comment

Filed under Free Software, Linux, Technology

NetBSD on Notebook

So I am running NetBSD 4.0 now on my Notebook. How come you may ask. Well the root cause way yet another bug in Foresight 2 Alpha version. Wfarr documented bug and fix. I knew I could do that, but instead I decided not to run anything unstable any more on that specific box. It has been working mostly but still I think most of the things that are important to me do not work. Going back to version 1.4.x was no choice as this does not support my RT61 ralink card. So my decision originally was tpo install OpenBSD which i did but thenr saw and remembered that last time I treid not the card was the problem but the lack of WPA support in OpernBSD. I know what OpenBSD guxs would say – use OpenVPN. But fact is I have one wireless routrer that i am sharing with many folks – and I still think its now simpler to use WPA – even if its not as secure as OpenVPN. Maybe I will go that route once I have my server up again.

But for now I decided to use NetBSD. So my first impressions? It looks a lot like OpenBSD besides OpenBSD seems to be a lot cleaner and also “man XY” more often gets a nice doc on OpenBSD than on NetBSD. At first NetBSD didnt recognize my ral based card. Then I downloaded latest snapshots ans rebooted and then ral0 was found and the wpa config I added before was found and the connection was up with no interaction. Fine!
I have some trouble with the X11. While on OpenBSD I just got a nice running Fvwm on NetBSD I get a broken twm(?) by default with some error message that is too big so I can only read a few words. My plan is to install a wmii as a window manager. Before that I need to do some tweaking for the package management. Because pkg_add says it gets no route to some IpV6 address. Maybe NetBSD really tries IP6 via my network access? Could this work without tunnelling? Guess not and maybe thats the issue . OTOH normal FTP and protocols work. After that I ned to find some nice defaults for the Xorg and then install wmii and hopefully some working browser. Thebn i need to look at how I can do extend my screen for a video projector that I want to use to display slides or show a movie. I guess this will also require some hacking – and today I am rather in the mood to progress slowly with handwriting the perfect xorg.conf rather then hoping that some tool will help. Because ion my experience all tools I have seen from Fedora and Ubuntu and on Foresight suck. I really havent seen things to improve – So I am tired on depending on some bad tools. The only thing I found working nicely mostly is NetworkManager. But NM also has some bad sides:

  • If you dont log in your box is not connected and you cant access it if you haven also configured network system wide.
  • Sometimes NM fails to fetch an IP address or takes a long time.
  • You have to type a password in every time you log in. That can be changed but Foresight decided not to change it,yet
  • NM is not helpful on multiple cards and multiple networks that have a slightly complicated setup.

So, NetBSD 4 introduced wpa_supplicant which I knew from Linux already. And as I wrote above it worked nicely. I cant really say that I love NetBSD (sorry guys). OpenBSD is really much more elegant, but the bad it did not support WPA 😉 wow, I hate to make compromises…. but thats how live is. There is no such thing as the perfect OS. And believe me I am not a distro switcher for fun… I guess if I would have used OpenBSD for longer time I wouldnt have used WPA in the first place.

NetBSD is ok as it seems to be quite nicely compiled and has still a lot more docs as manuals other than most Linuxes, which you will love when your box has no internet access. I think updated manuals are nice and I also love wikis, but I still like to have some help in text form on my box.

This old T23 thinkpad should jsut do some tasks. At home I like to use to to log into different boxes in my intranet ot the internet. Then i use it for presentations. I like to looks at the possibility to use more simple tools for presentations. What i dont want is to have a lot of RAM and CPU usage on this box while idle. And on Foresight GNOME I saw increasing number of applciations started like beagle, Gnome Do, Glipper . To make it clear: I am not against graphical stuff – but my feeling is that the increase of applications just leads to nowhere. And thats because there is nobody with a plan. Basically they follow the Windows way in that they present a basic desktop environment and you add things like applications, applets, widgets,…. So the idea is that the user needs to install and add things he needs. I think thats partly ok if we talk about things only few people need. But generally I prefer the idea of a selection that fits together well and where I can do everything I need and use most of the hardware that people use.

And here I think Linux and BSDs greatest obstacle can be found: This is all and mostly a random mix. Many think its the greates accomplishment of Linux that you can choose between 100 different music players – and that all have their own databases (and all suck ! 😉 ). While I think maybe its not that important that the applications are all the best of its kind but rather that the selection is good meaning the software does work and is well localized (which isnt true for Foresights preferred player Banshee).
I am not saying I know exactly how things should work, but seriously are not as good as they should be.

Talking about BSDs they seem to do some things better as they try to keep a whiole system in sync. There are only one problem with that: If they all maintain their own kernel this is a lot of work. I personally think that Linux way of sharing a unified kernel is smarter, although I would prefer of having different kerknels for different purposes OR not having some stuff inside the kernel like Minix is trying to do.

But then there is Xorg/X11. OpenBSD has its own implementation named Xenocara. Not sure how NetBSD handles this – but I think the GUI system needs to be more natural to an OS and not as alien as it is mostly nowadays. Besides using an OIS as a server only I think most users like soem kind of GUI – and if its only to display only terminals more nicely. But this whole thing is still very messy. Another thing is the window managers. Freedowm of choice is nice. But what I would prefer is if liek Foresigth does it every OS comes with a Xorg plus a nice defautl window manager out of the box. And NetBSDs twm just isnt ok. I know this is Xorgs default, but its not really maintained. It does not need to be a desktop environment, but it should be a window manager that fits nicely into the rest of the OS. I think Fvwm is soemthing that is ok as a default. But still I think this should be tight more to the OS. MacOS and WIndows both have their GUIs strictly tight to the OS. I am not saying one needs to make changing to an alternative a mess – but instead that the default GUI can be easily identified with the OS that is good enough and does what he should – and is the WM that the OS suggests. I mean every OS seems to have some kind of logic – and some WMs fit better to an OS than others.

From my experience with different OSes I think every OS can learn from others. I think OpenBSDs decision to make one install CD was smart, even if some may now use this in an unexpected manner. RTFM is still what users should do. But I think software in general should not depend on a lot of configuration before you can use it. Its ok if your software uses sane defaults that are more secure or if some things dont work unless they are configured. But like the GUI: It should just work simply if people start it – it shouldnt fail – it can suggest the user to optimise it but the user should not need to dive into the core or the code it to do simple things.

This shoudl be like the “ls” command: Type it and it does the most simple thing – you want more? Then read man ls! I know some things are more advanced topics and you cant work with them unless you have read more about it.

That what I like about the ideas of Plan9: They invent some new file systems like wikifs and then allow applications to work on top of that. And editors like Acme also try to use new concepts. I dont think that many applications like irssi are really cool. I dont like applications that depend so much on customisation – and also that do not share their settings.

Enough for now. Have to go back to NetBSD.

Leave a comment

Filed under Free Software, Linux

Distributions, the Focus & the Future

Looking at the development of Foresight Linux and other distributions I got some thoughts about common problems. One thing I think where the BSDs but also Minix and Plan9 are better is the fact that they tend to build their own software, meaning that they are often not such a mess of so many upstream projects. But still there are similar problems like when they use ported software. Lets look at a standard desktop: This includes a kernel and an operating system – and then some base software and some graphical server. BSDs and Linux both use
X11/Xorg here, which means its basicall not a project native to a BSD. Also they present window managers like GNOME, KDE, whatever who also have different development focusses. And then a whole lot of “applications”. What is bad about that? I think the problem is that if a distribution or operating system uses a lot of applications that are not really generated to be used by the distribution but only “ported” it always means that you need to add work to make it work on the special environment. All Unices share some environments, so many things will just work – and also if applications are compiled for a specific platform the configuration scripts change some locations and behavior to fit the environment. But this means that when writing an “application” or “library” or whatever the author must think about and know these environments. Classical Unix commands were traditionally build for a specific Unix – so this also meant that there was going on a lot of extra work for the different Unices. So ported code is something that got more popular with Linux and the GNU tools and also with the idea of Free/Libre Open Source Software. But still this means that portability is a burden – and also it seems questionable if all this diversity of languages, libraries, software is needed or good for a working environment. The ability to share code is a good thing, there is no doubt about that. But I also think portability massively slows down the development of software and although it reduces the need to repeatedly work on similar code on different platforms it also adds the need to have all supported platforms in the mind when adding code. Often the results are not foreseeable. Not being able to foresee the results means that things can not be planned as good as possible and it also means that working on portability and compatibility is becoming a major task. And if you also see all this different programs and know that they all interact wth each other the possible flaws and bugs are growing daily with more software and more features. So in open source software the development often goes into developing abstraction layers like hal/dbus, so that the applications interact only with the abstraction layer, while others work on the interaction of the abstraction layer with the hardware etc.. Thats one solution for the problem, but it also adds another layer of interaction where things can go wrong. I am not sure if we really will end up with systems that are easier because we have abstraction layers that help application programers to interact with the underlaying system. I am not sure if this doesn’t rather add more complexity and really does not make things more simple.
Where I becoming sceptical is at the point where I think nobody really has a big picture on projects like Gstreamer+Xorg+Dbus/Hal, Pulseaudio, etc etc. Everybody has some part of the picture but mostly I think people are focussing ony solving their own problems. So somebody sees one problem and begins working on code that targets this problem. Maybe he will be able to produce some software that accomplishes the targeted goal – but if this project gets a dependency it also means other projects and people depend on this work. Like lets say FreeBSD now also uses hal, but maybe hal is not that well supported as on Linux. Then if software like GNOME has hal as a dependency this also means FreeBSD will have to support a software that might for some reasons not have the quality that they wish it would have. This can have two different outcomes: a) Either a distribution decides that it cant support this software any more or b) it will find a way to invest some time to make it work. I guess Slackware chose the way a) as it decided not to support GNOME any more. There is maybe the third way: proclaiming a focus. OpenBSD says it only supports the core software. Linux distributions nowadays often declare that GNOME desktop is their focus (some still say its KDE for them). This means that you articulate: If you want support use this software – if you use something else do it at your own risk. Fair enough. But many of these decisions are not transparent to the user. So maybe he thinks its nice to to away from Windows and switch to … Linux – but he might end up using a Linux that does not support the software he may want to use as good as he likes. You may now say that this is not a problem as he can switch. But I think switching is not what should be something a user should do often – or always when his distribution switches its politics. So if somebody has used GNOME – if then Slackware has decided to dump supporting GNOME it might be painful to switch.

The older I get the more I admire trustworthyness of software. Meaning: these points:

  • If I boot up my computer tomorrow, will it still work as expected?
  • If the projects says its going to make a new release on date X, will I really get new software on this date?
  • If I have a problem with some old data and the software gets renewed – will i get support tomorrow or in some years from now?
  • Is this free software – meaning can I do with it what I want or am I trapped?

These are some basic points that are becoming more and more important to me – maybe this means I am getting old? 😉 Well I still like fresh ideas and new functionality – but I tend to dislike a system that breaks – where I cant update software or cant boot or Xorg crashes or I loose data. If I loose data then please only if I decide to use experimental software.

Open question is which operating system gives me what I want. One thing is for sure: You do not get that from something like Gentoo. Gentoo seems to me more for people who want to either have the possibility to use the latest software or to be able to easily compile software customized to their preferences. The problem is that you also HAVE to compile and do all the work in order to have an acceptable system. You can not ignore all the possibilities but often have to declare what you prefer even if you have no idea of what all these USE flags mean. Debian? From my experience Debian is not all about stability. It may often sound as Debian gives me what I just wrote above but I often have experienced dramatic switches of software behavior and also you are forced to answer so many damn questions on each update – and if you want to ignore you may end up in a state where you cant use your software. I often was at the point where I repeatedly had to try a dpkg-reconfigure in order to not only set the settings the way I like but also in a way that Debian (dpkg) remembers and not just overwrites on next update. What else do we have? Ubuntu and Fedora? Both are sure respectful distributions with a bunch of good software but on the other hand they did make some strange decisions in the past and I would not like to depend on one of them. Now to my current favorite: Foresight: The package manager conary is great – it focuses on GNOME and also has always met its release deadlines. But if you look at some details there are so many flaws which are not targeted as they should be. I still think Foresight maybe is the greates Linux distro around especially because of the mix of the best package manager around, the focus and the ability to package oneself with great ease. But still it suffers from the fact that it needs to support a lot of upstream projects which are not as cooperative sometimes as they should be. And I have found that I can not depend on it like connecting some random scanner or camera and it will work. But this is not due to the fact that those hardware is not supported on Linux in general – its rather because the packages are not as good as they need to be and many hardware not well tested. I hate to say that again, but its the truth. The way out would be to have more people and more testing and more knowledge about all the possible problems. I am quite optimistic that Foresight can and will become the best distribution around because it makes development much easier and if it would have the manpower of Ubuntu it sure would outact it.

But there is still the problem for me that I need a more reliable system as my productive machine – and I tend to believe that I wont get it in the Linux world. The BSDs have some flaws like not as good hardware support and some software wont work there – like you dont get the latest GNOME on OpenBSD. Everything has pros and cons – and everybody has to decide which operating system meets his own interest best. One thing I cant stand any more is that since I had my first computer which was an Amiga 2000 with 8MhZ I experience sometimes or often high load averages and situations where the graphical user interface seems to freeze or working with it becoming extremely slow. I am no longer accepting that. I dont want to wait for stupid tasks to finish. I accept that if I do some actions at once like compiling and watching a video – that this might kind of “freeze” my computer because he needs to do so much – but I am not accepting a high load for my everyday work. The relation needs to fit – so extreme tasks may take up a lot of CPU – but listenng to a stupid OGG file may NOT.

I havent seen any progress on any of the current Linux desktops to really solve that problem. That way also one of the reasons why I started working with wmii partly. I never really understood how people could use Debian with a GNOME from stoneage – and I stll cant really – but what I can understand now is that the latest software does not always have to be the greatest – given that you have the software that you need. I currently do not have all that. I like to be able to print some letters, listen to music, watch videos and edit some photos, the rest is maybe random internet usage. I have yet not worked very much with LaTeX but maybe that could play a role in not depending on OpenOffice.org. I know this would mean to learn some more about it to be able to do some similar things – but it should be achievable. I know that I will not be able to expect random hardware to work – and I am not expecting that any more. But I still like to be able to work with some new hardware like USB sticks etc. without much configuration.

I guess maybe OpenBSD is not as good on desktop – maybe NetBSD. Any suggestions? I think I leave out Plan9 for now. Minix maybe?

Leave a comment

Filed under Free Software, GNOME, OpenBSD

Testing wmii

I am currently testing wmii, which is a new style window manager. What I havent seen before is some arguments about WIMP desktops. I do not think its really matured – also because to be really non WIMP there need to be the applications that support this new metaphor must be invented.

One question is if non WIMP means non graphical? For wmii there are some  command line tools like the ii irc client. I think that it would be possible to create a desktop that id graphical and non WIMP. Its only currently that the only non WIMP tools are command line.

2 Comments

Filed under Free Software, Technology