Linux Adventures

A general chat area, here you can post anything that doesn't belong in another forum.
KeenEmpire
Intellectuality
Posts: 855
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 0:38

Post by KeenEmpire » Sun Apr 26, 2015 18:27

Hmm, I'm getting the impression that you want a lot of control with minimal configuration. Those desires don't seem particularly compatible, unless you were fortunate enough to have someone program exactly your style of WM.

For me, XMonad came close (at least at first, nearly every time I wanted some functionality, someone would have already implemented it in the xmonad-contrib packages). As my interests became more specific, I still ended up programming quite a bit over a few months, but for the basic, first-week config, it was largely just a matter of adopting examples found online.
candyjack wrote:If you're coming from a floating WM, the most accessible WMs are awesome and bluetile, which do most things right but, unfortunately, are both rather buggy (especially awesome)...Some WMs that are sanely coded include i3, herbstluftwm, and ratpoison, but from here on you're giving up mouse control, the ability to minimize and proper alt-tab functionality, and you'll spend a lot of time on configuration (especially if you choose ratpoison). A lot of getting used to, in other words.
When I first started XMonad, the first thing I configured was to make sure it ran on xfce, that I could use the mouse for selection/resizing, and that I could use the xfce panel (complete with a "panic button" I could click to close xmonad and restart xfwm). Nowadays, I would also add a virtual machine with frequent snapshots for config testing. These helped me to bypass the "accessibility" issue: I was able to feel relatively calm despite starting an "advanced" WM with an often dense programming language. Despite that I rarely ended up actually using the mouse or panic button, I think they helped in the first crucial periods, which allowed me to ease into the config and paid off in the long-term.



Some of your complaints seem pretty weird, so I have to ask:
candyjack wrote:
  • There is no alt-tab switching. This is an absolute necessity to me, as all other ways to window switching tend to be overly complex. It's the only way I know of to quickly way to switch between the most recent couple of windows, without any setup.
  1. For what kind of tiling WM is "most recent couple of windows" the most straightforward way of switching, much less an "absolute necessity"?

    In XMonad, at least, the more "natural" way is probably to promote the most recent windows to the master or nearby, so that they're already visible - like an alt-tab prompt that's always there. Whenever I want to switch to, say, the third window, a focusdown focusdown (and possibly promote to master) is then pretty straightforward, without even a delay in scanning the separate alt-tab history popup.

    Switching between the current and most recent window, I guess I could see being useful (although I've found I rarely use it in practice). Any deeper, though, requires either an alt-tab history menu or keeping the recent window history in your own brain stack, which is far less straightforward than using the navigation stack already present.

    I suppose the less structured the layout, the more useful "recent window navigation" becomes (floating layouts, of course, being at the extreme of this scale). Structured navigation can rival alt-tabbing, however. More advanced techniques such as "focus on window(s) of the classname 'Firefox'", likely even quicker.
  2. Why the particular key combo, alt-tab?

    I did have the same alt-tab withdrawal at first, and binding some expected key to it was probably the first thing I did. It quickly became evident, however, that alt-tab required a fairly lengthy hand motion, and I suspect the only reason I ever got into it was familiarity. I'm plenty faster now with my current setup.

    On the contrary, if an important function were bound to alt-tab by default, I would probably move it away to a closer key combo.
candyjack wrote:
  • Windows can't be minimized. Instead, you have to spread them all out among virtual desktops / tags / whatever you want to call them, and get perturbed as all your desktops soon become cluttered.
Even if true, you say that like it's a bad thing. Ahem, you do realize that the clutter doesn't go away just because all the windows are on the same workspace, right? Whatever window selection scheme you're using, whether alt-tab or listing on panels or fuzzy finding, is at least equally cluttered (and probably moreso, since the selection is over all windows, rather than just a single workspace of them).

I remember my old alt-tabbing habits, in particular, were absolutely terrible. It was not uncommon to alt-tab over literally 20 or 30 windows. Subdividing into workspaces of a few windows each is much better.
candyjack wrote:
  • It's just a lot of fiddling in general. I've been switching back and forth between WMs for years now, I've tried almost all of them, including obscure stuff like clfswm and yeahwm, and I'm still not satisfied.
To be blunt, this sounds less like a problem with a WM than a problem with not being able to settle on a WM.

One could make an analogous argument for staying in the status quo for anything ("if you switch from {whatever you're currently using}, you might switch again and again, wasting a lot of time in the process!"). Should we, therefore, never switch?

Also, I'm just not feeling it. It's still early days for me, but aside from passing curiosity, I haven't yet found a reason to try other WMs. On the contrary, getting XMonad to increasingly work the way I want it to has been quite satisfying, especially after the tricky bits. (That said, it comes with many ups and downs and we aren't 100% guaranteed to succeed in the end.)

candyjack wrote:
  • Many cannot (fully) be controlled with the mouse alone (which is annoying if you're like me and you use one hand to eat).
Okay, this is a good point. A strangely good point, in fact, since I do the same thing, and now that you've pointed it out, I'm not entirely sure how it hasn't been an issue.

I think, for me, it's been two things:
  1. I've made sure the mouse can be used for basic things like clicking to focus on windows, and the xfce4 panel allows me to click to the start menu or to focus on workspaces. Can't do anything else, but:
  2. My setup can actually do everything with one hand. Not conveniently (it actually alternates hands a lot), but it's been enough for my limited usecase while eating.
On reflection, then, I think you're right that one-handed shortcuts can be very useful. I'll have to see what else I can fit in.

candyjack wrote:
  • They are buggy as hell. Given, almost all GNU/Linux WMs are buggy, but tiling WMs are so especially.
Fun fact: XMonad's StackSet has been proven never to crash with a pattern-match error: :p
Neil Mitchell wrote:Dons recently asked me to look over the StackSet.hs module of XMonad, checking for pattern-match errors, using my Catch tool. This module is the main API for XMonad, and having a proof of pattern-match safety would be a nice result. I performed an initial check of the library, including introducing the necessary infrastructure to allow Catch to execute, then sent them the required patches. After I had given them the Catch tool and the initial results, sjanssen picked up the results and went on to modify the code further - with the end result that now StackSet will never crash with a pattern-match error.
Considering the amount of shoddy, memory-unsafe C we accept into our lives, I'd put the Haskell program that has gone through a proof checker pretty high up my list ;)


Seriously though, yes, there are bugs. In fact, I ran into a particularly terrible bug with my later configuration, that would permanently grab the keyboard/mouse, requiring a restart. All I can say is that the virtual machine has been a lifesaver in allowing me to take a snapshot before testing, in order to instantly revert afterwards if I faced a problem.

So that experience was pretty annoying. Speaking broadly, however, what's the alternative? If you don't want to program the WM's behavior, then either you get really lucky with $DEVELOPER's wishlist matching your own and being bug-free (unlikely no matter how much WM-hopping) or you go with very coarse defaults. If you do program the WM's behavior, it's no longer standard and you open up the possibility of encountering an issue (as even the "once it compiles it usually works" Haskell can't fix an incorrect algorithm).
"In order to ensure our security, and continuing stability, the Kingdom has been reorganized into the First Vorticon Intellectuality!" Image

User avatar
Keening_Product
Kuliwho?
Posts: 2063
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:02
Location: Tied up in the Oracle Chamber's basement
Contact:

Post by Keening_Product » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:43

goomwwm looks interesting, I'll check it out on a slower machine.

The main ways I interact with my PC these days are hot corners for changing programs and Alt+F2 for KDE's excellent run menu. Only one of those can be offered in a tiling WM, as far as I'm aware.
Image
"Wise words. One day I may even understand what they mean." - Levellass

User avatar
candyjack
Vortininja
Posts: 137
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 21:20
Location: Fribbulus Xax
Contact:

Post by candyjack » Mon Apr 27, 2015 13:58

KeenEmpire wrote:Hmm, I'm getting the impression that you want a lot of control with minimal configuration. Those desires don't seem particularly compatible, unless you were fortunate enough to have someone program exactly your style of WM.
My primary issue is that one has to get used to an entirely different workflow to start using tiling WMs effectively. I'm not asking them to cater to my exact needs, but simply to take into account what most people are already used to. I don't see why certain sacrifices have to be made to switch to a tiling WM.
KeenEmpire wrote:
candyjack wrote:
  • There is no alt-tab switching. This is an absolute necessity to me, as all other ways to window switching tend to be overly complex. It's the only way I know of to quickly way to switch between the most recent couple of windows, without any setup.
  1. For what kind of tiling WM is "most recent couple of windows" the most straightforward way of switching, much less an "absolute necessity"?

    In XMonad, at least, the more "natural" way is probably to promote the most recent windows to the master or nearby, so that they're already visible - like an alt-tab prompt that's always there. Whenever I want to switch to, say, the third window, a focusdown focusdown (and possibly promote to master) is then pretty straightforward, without even a delay in scanning the separate alt-tab history popup.
I have to admit that I had not taken this approach into consideration, as I haven't used any automatic window managers in quite some time. When constantly switching the window you want to work with to the master pane, I can see this working out as an effective alt+tab replacement. I might try it out some time.
KeenEmpire wrote: Switching between the current and most recent window, I guess I could see being useful (although I've found I rarely use it in practice). Any deeper, though, requires either an alt-tab history menu or keeping the recent window history in your own brain stack, which is far less straightforward than using the navigation stack already present.
I agree that alt+tab isn't exactly ideal for switching between more two windows. However, considering just how common it is to work with two different windows at the same time, the ability to quickly switch to at least the very most recent window seems important to me.
KeenEmpire wrote: [*] Why the particular key combo, alt-tab?

I did have the same alt-tab withdrawal at first, and binding some expected key to it was probably the first thing I did. It quickly became evident, however, that alt-tab required a fairly lengthy hand motion, and I suspect the only reason I ever got into it was familiarity. I'm plenty faster now with my current setup.

On the contrary, if an important function were bound to alt-tab by default, I would probably move it away to a closer key combo.[/list]
Oh, I used the term "alt+tab navigation" purely for convenience. I do agree that that binding itself is everything but convenient.
KeenEmpire wrote: Even if true, you say that like it's a bad thing. Ahem, you do realize that the clutter doesn't go away just because all the windows are on the same workspace, right? Whatever window selection scheme you're using, whether alt-tab or listing on panels or fuzzy finding, is at least equally cluttered (and probably moreso, since the selection is over all windows, rather than just a single workspace of them).

I remember my old alt-tabbing habits, in particular, were absolutely terrible. It was not uncommon to alt-tab over literally 20 or 30 windows. Subdividing into workspaces of a few windows each is much better.
I don't wish to argue that the workflow most people are used to from Windows and OS X is better. They're comparable at best, but I don't want to waste any energy on even that notion (no pun intended), as that's not my point. I do recognize the advantages of grouping windows together.

I do, however, wish to argue that minimization provides value even for tiling WMs. Imagine that you have four windows on a certain workspace. At one point, you're done with one of the windows and would like to hide it in order to free up space. What do you do? Do you move it to another workspace? But then, as soon as you need that window again, you have to think about where you left it and 'dig it up'. Closing it and reopening the file / webpage / application again later is also inelegant solution, as it won't be in the same state as before. Do you just clumsily diminish the amount of space that frame takes up?

Minimizing provides a way to keep a window associated with a certain workspace, without it taking up any space. It's very natural that a document is 'temporarily put aside,' and I don't see why functionality for this is omitted so often.

Also, don't see how clutter matters much when switching windows through a fuzzy finding method. The idea is simple: you're looking for a certain window, you type in a part of that window's title that is unique to that window specifically, and all others get filtered out, regardless how many they are. The only exceptions are when many windows have the same title, or when one has trouble thinking of what exact window they are looking for. I use such an approach (through a script that utilizes dmenu), and, in my experience, neither is much of an issue, although this could differ for others.
KeenEmpire wrote: To be blunt, this sounds less like a problem with a WM than a problem with not being able to settle on a WM.

One could make an analogous argument for staying in the status quo for anything ("if you switch from {whatever you're currently using}, you might switch again and again, wasting a lot of time in the process!"). Should we, therefore, never switch?
But you're ignoring the context here. The reason why it takes so long for me to be fully satisfied is because tiling WMs have a tendency to do away with the concepts I'm used to. I want my windows to be tiled in order to save screen estate, and because I don't see the point of window overlap in the first place, but that doesn't mean I want to use an entirely different workflow.
KeenEmpire wrote: Speaking broadly, however, what's the alternative? If you don't want to program the WM's behavior, then either you get really lucky with $DEVELOPER's wishlist matching your own and being bug-free (unlikely no matter how much WM-hopping) or you go with very coarse defaults. If you do program the WM's behavior, it's no longer standard and you open up the possibility of encountering an issue (as even the "once it compiles it usually works" Haskell can't fix an incorrect algorithm).
To me, it's using an EWMH-compliant window manager along with tools like superswitcher and maximus, and writing my own tools as the need arises. I'm currently still switching around between a couple of things, but if there's a serious interest, would you like me to share my workflow once I've completely decided on it (including the tools I wrote myself)?
Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x].

KeenEmpire
Intellectuality
Posts: 855
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 0:38

Post by KeenEmpire » Sat May 02, 2015 18:33

candyjack wrote:My primary issue is that one has to get used to an entirely different workflow to start using tiling WMs effectively. I'm not asking them to cater to my exact needs, but simply to take into account what most people are already used to. I don't see why certain sacrifices have to be made to switch to a tiling WM.
candyjack wrote:I want my windows to be tiled in order to save screen estate, and because I don't see the point of window overlap in the first place, but that doesn't mean I want to use an entirely different workflow.
Although I used to think that way, I very quickly took for granted that it would be an entirely different workflow, taking it as an opportunity for a fresh start. This was both for theoretical and practical reasons.

Theoretical:

Why would people come up with new workflows in the first place? For the case of WMs, floating layouts have so little structure (at most, some vague commands like to place windows to left/right/fullscreen) and are so dependent on the mouse, that using a tiling layout in the same way is almost certainly a waste of potential.

There's probably also something to be said about discrete vs continuous, how the mouse may be necessary for the latter but typing out an action potentially more efficient for the former. While a mouse may be required to "move window to any (x,y)", a well-designed tiling layout can facilitate navigation simply by narrowing down the options, allowing the more limited set of movements and commands to be typed quickly on the keyboard. But, of course, taking full advantage of that requires learning a new paradigm; the plain old "drag from one place to another" or "alt tab history" just leads to more of the same thing.

Accepting that everything's just going to end up unfamiliar can be surprisingly freeing. I no longer had to struggle to find the tool satisfying my narrow band of comforts. I even rejected the "nonrestrictive, full control" i3, despite how much that would normally appeal to me, because on the other hand it means you micromanage your windows, going against my goal of having my computer do the work for me. XMonad, on the other hand, was a program for which the demonstrator would dictate only a few logical actions and have the computer manage the rest. That seemed like something worth looking into, even though it had basically nothing in common with floating WMs by then.


Practical:

Most products, especially in the proprietary world but also in the FOSS world, are tailored toward the least common denominator, which in this case means unstructured, floating WMs. The only major exceptions are those written by enthusiasts (which, fortunately for us, FOSS has a lot of). This implies, however, that:
  1. The devs probably wrote the software for their own usecase - it's unlikely that it would exactly fit yours' off the bat. (On the other hand, in the FOSS spirit, many of these WMs allow you to program in what is missing.)
  2. The devs, being enthusiasts, are more likely to have been okay giving up the "typical workflow" and adopting whatever best served their goals.
This pretty much answers your earlier question, "I don't see why certain sacrifices have to be made to switch to a tiling WM." The social aspects just made it work out that way.

Of course, this does not mean that the halfway options don't exist (I, too, tried out Bluetile at first), but it does mean that they're rarer, with perhaps fewer devs interested in them.

candyjack wrote:
KeenEmpire wrote:Speaking broadly, however, what's the alternative? If you don't want to program the WM's behavior, then either you get really lucky with $DEVELOPER's wishlist matching your own and being bug-free (unlikely no matter how much WM-hopping) or you go with very coarse defaults. If you do program the WM's behavior, it's no longer standard and you open up the possibility of encountering an issue (as even the "once it compiles it usually works" Haskell can't fix an incorrect algorithm).
To me, it's using an EWMH-compliant window manager along with tools like superswitcher and maximus, and writing my own tools as the need arises. I'm currently still switching around between a couple of things, but if there's a serious interest, would you like me to share my workflow once I've completely decided on it (including the tools I wrote myself)?


If you'd like, sure. That sounds like an interesting, modular/unixy ideal, and I'm not technical enough to say whether it'd work as well as the more monolithic WMs. (Though, it sounds like in your own experience, it hasn't really?)

At the very least, individual tools - assuming they do not incur too much additional complexity - would likely be more comprehensible than the corresponding modules in an unfamiliar WM, though after one does get a bigger picture of the WM's paradigm, the tables would probably turn.

Superswitcher sounds like something I would have been interested in (assuming you can change the keybindings. Super + Escape? Super + F1-F12? Worst of all, typing window titles while holding down Super?), though it's mostly redundant now.
candyjack wrote:Oh, I used the term "alt+tab navigation" purely for convenience. I do agree that that binding itself is everything but convenient.

That makes more sense.
candyjack wrote:Imagine that you have four windows on a certain workspace. At one point, you're done with one of the windows and would like to hide it in order to free up space. What do you do? Do you move it to another workspace? But then, as soon as you need that window again, you have to think about where you left it and 'dig it up'. Closing it and reopening the file / webpage / application again later is also inelegant solution, as it won't be in the same state as before. Do you just clumsily diminish the amount of space that frame takes up?

Minimizing provides a way to keep a window associated with a certain workspace, without it taking up any space. It's very natural that a document is 'temporarily put aside,' and I don't see why functionality for this is omitted so often.


I'll concede that the minimization model can be useful, even if I haven't really bothered with it myself, and that most existing DEs have a minimization model that the WM might take advantage of.

My original objection was because workspaces are strictly more powerful. It's trivial to emulate minimization using workspaces: for each "Workspace 1", have a workspace "Workspace 1 Minimized"; minimizing/mazimizing then corresponds to moving windows between them. Additionally, you could use a model with even less clutter: for example, with "Workspace 1 Minimized (Important)" and "Workspace 1 Minimized (Unimportant)".

Depending on the exact model, a fruitful method of unminimizing could then be "fuzzy find over all window titles in 'Workspace 1 Minimized (Important)'" or "fuzzy find over all window titles in all "Workspace 1 Minimized ..." workspaces. Or, and unlike in the usual minimization model, you could simply navigate to the minimized workspace(s) and work with the windows directly!

I haven't looked into it, though, so I can't say if anyone's done this yet.
"In order to ensure our security, and continuing stability, the Kingdom has been reorganized into the First Vorticon Intellectuality!" Image

User avatar
Keening_Product
Kuliwho?
Posts: 2063
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:02
Location: Tied up in the Oracle Chamber's basement
Contact:

Post by Keening_Product » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:50

MoffD wrote:On a side note, xfce's default screencap program has upload to imgur as an option...
Same goes for KDE, and I think most modern Linux and compatible desktops. Was the XFCE upload feature added as part of that massive update about six months ago?
Image
"Wise words. One day I may even understand what they mean." - Levellass

User avatar
Keening_Product
Kuliwho?
Posts: 2063
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:02
Location: Tied up in the Oracle Chamber's basement
Contact:

Post by Keening_Product » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:35

I've just clean installed openSUSE Leap 42.1 and so far it's pretty good! Plasma 5 is nice (though its title bars have become fat like Gnome's by default) and the system is fast. It's lacking a little polish and there's the occasional very minor bug, but besides that it's good.

Can't say I'm a massive fan of the Plasma 5 dash though. Anyone else using the new SUSE or KDE5?
Image
"Wise words. One day I may even understand what they mean." - Levellass

GoldenRishi
Vortininja
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:20

Post by GoldenRishi » Thu Nov 05, 2015 17:06

Keening_Product wrote:I've just clean installed openSUSE Leap 42.1 and so far it's pretty good! Plasma 5 is nice (though its title bars have become fat like Gnome's by default) and the system is fast. It's lacking a little polish and there's the occasional very minor bug, but besides that it's good.

Can't say I'm a massive fan of the Plasma 5 dash though. Anyone else using the new SUSE or KDE5?
The only GNU/Linux I use is Mint (I use the Cinnamon desktop), and I have it on dual boot. I really don't like Ubuntu since they transitioned to Unity, and whilst you can change their desktop environment, I refuse to be sit down and reconfigure things that way that I like them past a certain point. I'd rather start with the thing I like the most and mildly deform away from that.

But, to be honest, I mostly support GNU/Linux because it's free software, not because it is the best OS right now. If most people supported it and refused to bow down to the PC/Mac authority, it would obviously be the best set of OS's ever. But as it stands currently, it takes way more effort than it should to get things up and going, it's very hard to get basic software up and running (e.g. it was only recently that you could even play Netflix stably on GNU/Linux), and so everything kind of turns into a pain in the arse.

HOWEVER, there's things I will say for GNU/Linux:

1.) The hardware/driver/proprietary software issue isn't GNU/Linux's fault, it's entirely the legal gymnastics and garbage games that IP holders play, and it has in the past left Linux out, but is increasingly less true (Both Valve and Google's support of Linux has pushed Linux pretty far into the future, I would say, as well as Ubuntu providing a popular Linux distro for the average user).

2.) GNU/Linux has --by far-- the best program-getting system on the planet for simple, reliable, and virus-free software (git), and I love this. There's also a lot of added support for open source/free software on Linux systems (e.g. GNU Plot support for C++). Additionally, as already stated, the days of Windows being for gaming is slowly coming to a close with things like SteamOS and Linux Steam with massive support for GNU/Linux. As Windows begins to abandon gamers because gaming towers become less and less of Window's market, I foresee Linux really rising up and taking a huge chunk of the gaming market (It's from the outset a better fit than Windows, which eats up resources that the game could use). And as I said, you can run Netflix and other videos with Google Chrome now (Personally I'm old school and still mostly use Firefox, but I have both installed and use both). I use an increasing amount of free software every years (Firefox, Code::blocks,

3.) GNU/Linux is free software, and because it's free it's doing exactly as advertized. It can be quickly adapted to various mediums (Computers, cell phones, tablets, Raspberry Pi's, etc), and so more people are getting experience with Linux every day. Proprietary technology is, in and of itself, not a good thing and harmful to the software itself. Forcing people to pay for your software limits your ability to spread your software (this is why Google open-sourced the Android OS), and while your competition can take your technology and amend it with their own, at the end of the day it decreases your software's exposure. PC/Mac has had a monopoly, but the reasons behind this monopoly are failing to make sense as every day passes (DirectX is inferior to OpenGL and has been for years now, Windows 8 was a disaster, Mac's iPhone and pretty much all of their hardware is overly expensive, etc).

So I see nothing but room for GNU/Linux on modern gaming machines/HTPC/general computer towers.
(Used to be LordofGlobox)

KeenEmpire
Intellectuality
Posts: 855
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 0:38

Post by KeenEmpire » Thu Nov 05, 2015 19:34

OpenSUSE Leap sounds great; I hope the hybrid update model works out.

I don't like DRMed websites (and am adamantly against the encroachment of DRM standards on the open web), and that netflix only works on Chrome sends a huge alarm bell on that front. It's good that it's now working on Chrome, but Chrome itself is proprietary software; I'd also look into running it in a sandbox, and/or as a different user, were I forced to use it.
GoldenRishi wrote:3.) GNU/Linux is free software, and because it's free it's doing exactly as advertized. It can be quickly adapted to various mediums (Computers, cell phones, tablets, Raspberry Pi's, etc), and so more people are getting experience with Linux every day.
Unfortunately, most cell phones and tablets are not so much GNU/Linux as Proprietary Userspace/Linux, and are worse than the former in almost every way. Updates are slow or non-existent, flexibility is minimal, and free software is rare.

Worse of all: most are actively locked down to prevent you from exercising control of your own device. Is there even an pre-installed Android OS that gives you, the owner of the device, administrator privileges? And should you want to change OS to something more palatable, good luck with that; the manufacturers have tivoized all but a few models (e.g. the Nexus) to prevent you from upgrading your own device's operating system.

Device makers have realized that they can take back control, forcing their users - us - to abide by their whims. Android AOSP may be free software, but Android in practice is nearly everything that Stallman feared.
GoldenRishi wrote:it's very hard to get basic software up and running (e.g. it was only recently that you could even play Netflix stably on GNU/Linux), and so everything kind of turns into a pain in the arse.
I've had nearly the opposite experience - but then again, my needs are different. I actively avoid DRM and proprietary software wherever possible (to prevent dependance on precisely this sort of painful stuff) and, as a result, my install process for the most part is simply "[package manager install command] [package name]", so much easier than in any of the commercial OSes.
"In order to ensure our security, and continuing stability, the Kingdom has been reorganized into the First Vorticon Intellectuality!" Image

GoldenRishi
Vortininja
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:20

Post by GoldenRishi » Thu Nov 05, 2015 23:39

KeenEmpire wrote:Device makers have realized that they can take back control, forcing their users - us - to abide by their whims. Android AOSP may be free software, but Android in practice is nearly everything that Stallman feared.
Agreed, but the flipside is that it forces devs to write GNU/Linux compatible programs, and so now devs are using and relying a lot more on OpenGL, GNU products, etc. It's not even really conceivable for myself, for instance, to write programs (I'm currently writing a platformer engine in my ever-limited off time) for MS' based programs (Visual C++, DirectX, etc). That's completely stupid to do that from a dev perspective. I want to port my engine to Linux-based OS's; I don't want to re-write my code for a single device.

I think ultimately that this is going to kill DirectX (And, again, OpenGL is a superior product, which Valve has demonstrated), and I think MS knows this. I think that's why they forced devs to use DirectX on the XboxOne (You can't even use OpenGL on the console, it's completely disabled). But it's honestly too little, too late. Going back to my old point, basing your technology on artificial monopolies that only work for your fiefdom, as a way of keeping people in your fiefdom, is always going to fail in the end unless you can literally dominate every hardware market (Which MS tried and failed to do with Windows 8 and Windows Phone).

Keen Empire wrote:I've had nearly the opposite experience - but then again, my needs are different. I actively avoid DRM and proprietary software wherever possible (to prevent dependance on precisely this sort of painful stuff) and, as a result, my install process for the most part is simply "[package manager install command] [package name]", so much easier than in any of the commercial OSes.
In principle, I agree; in practice, that's impossible. I'm going to watch DRM-protected media (Unless I pirated every shows/movie/game I use, which is increasingly hard these days, and just annoying and ultimately not helpful to the media that I like).

I tend to use free software now because it's free. OpenLibre, Code::Blocks, FireFox, etc, are all examples of this; these are programs that I use every day, and FF is what got me interested in free software to begin with, and I've been playing around with GNU/Linux for a few years now. But I also use Steam and GOG Galaxy to buy games (Although GOG is DRM-free), I pay for Netflix and Amazon Prime, etc, so I feel like unless you want to shut yourself off from a vast majority of what society has to offer, you have to accept some DRM. Also, I would like to say I always use free software for loftier reasons, but in reality if something is painful to use but is free, I won't generally use it. But if it's free and has nice features, then I'm going to choose that 100% of the time. So as stated, I love git. But you're never going to be able to git the next episode of a TV show or the next blockbuster game.
(Used to be LordofGlobox)

User avatar
Fleexy
Tool Smith
Posts: 1357
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2008 1:21
Location: Abiathar C&C
Contact:

Post by Fleexy » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:26

I wrote this article thing: My Linux Saga: A Drama in Four Acts

Long story short: I tried Ubuntu, nothing worked, I am sad, and Windows is great.

KeenEmpire
Intellectuality
Posts: 855
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 0:38

Post by KeenEmpire » Thu Nov 12, 2015 13:20

On the Windows Computers where I used VirtualBox, I had to enable some kind of hardware virtualization (if I recall correctly, Intel VT-x) to get the VM working. Not sure if it's related to your problems or not.

Other comments:
  1. With VirtualBox (I've never tried HyperV, though I suspect it's similar), the "snapshot" feature is very useful for backing up before a huge change.
  2. If the desktop environment is giving you trouble, others might treat you better. I've personally found the more lightweight Xfce/LXDE to work better in VMs than the more bloated GNOME or KDE. Maybe it's related to my limited hardware, maybe not.

    Xfce/LXDE come bundled in Xubuntu/Lubuntu respectively, or you can also install them on an existing installation and select them at login.
  3. Did you pick a bad distro? I don't know, I've never tried Ubuntu GNOME. If the distro is at fault, however, trying different versions of the same one probably wouldn't help.

    Some possible alternatives:

    OpenSUSE is fairly often recommended (though fewer use it than the *buntu-based distros) and, when I tried it, had a friendly installer. Though there were parts of the post-installation OS that were not to my taste, as you can read about earlier in this thread, those might not be a problem for you.

    I would normally try Debian (which, among other things, has a reputation for being "stable") at this point, but be warned that its installer is not quite as fancy.

    Linux Mint is also often recommended, though I haven't used it in a long time, and it's an Ubuntu derivative so it might inherit similar problems.
  4. Ubuntu 14.04 is the LTS (Long-Term Support) release. Depending on what's being tested, you might not need to upgrade to 15.10 (which is more recent but also not supported as long)
"In order to ensure our security, and continuing stability, the Kingdom has been reorganized into the First Vorticon Intellectuality!" Image

GoldenRishi
Vortininja
Posts: 223
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:20

Post by GoldenRishi » Thu Nov 12, 2015 15:59

Fleexy wrote:I wrote this article thing: My Linux Saga: A Drama in Four Acts

Long story short: I tried Ubuntu, nothing worked, I am sad, and Windows is great.
If you are not very familiar with computers (additionally,a little MS DOS experience is a plus), then GNU/Linux is not likely to be for you. I think over time with things like Linux Mint, ChromeOS, and SteamOS are going to change how people implement GNU/Linux OS's for the masses and make them much more accessible, and the increased usage of GNU/Linux is, every year, making it easier than all of the previous years, but it's got a while before it really obtains that "out of the box" feel that Windows and Mac has.
(Used to be LordofGlobox)

User avatar
Keening_Product
Kuliwho?
Posts: 2063
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:02
Location: Tied up in the Oracle Chamber's basement
Contact:

Post by Keening_Product » Wed Nov 18, 2015 7:59

Fleexy wrote:I wrote this article thing: My Linux Saga: A Drama in Four Acts

Long story short: I tried Ubuntu, nothing worked, I am sad, and Windows is great.
Ubuntu is a heap of sh-t compared to any other distro. Please don't write the entire Linux experience off so quickly. (I have not read your link yet but will do some time soon.)

GoldenRishi, Fleexy might as well be a computer he's that well experienced with them. Well, with Windows ones at least.
Image
"Wise words. One day I may even understand what they mean." - Levellass

KeenEmpire
Intellectuality
Posts: 855
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 0:38

Post by KeenEmpire » Wed Dec 09, 2015 15:01

GoldenRishi wrote:If you are not very familiar with computers (additionally,a little MS DOS experience is a plus), then GNU/Linux is not likely to be for you...it's got a while before it really obtains that "out of the box" feel that Windows and Mac has.
I can't really agree. There are many people for whom the friendlier distros, at least, work straight out of the box and they don't need to configure anything. I think it's mostly down to luck and/or planning of hardware.

(Or in Fleexy's case, of VM? I find it extremely strange that he couldn't get it working in a VM, of all things, but I don't know enough about his setup, or his particular choice of Ubuntu Gnome, to draw any conclusions.)

Besides, I'd imagine starting GNU/Linux with prior computer knowledge to be the exception, rather than the norm. For better or worse, the "MS-DOS experience" is almost entirely gone from Windows, removed in favor of the "use GUI and menus for everything" paradigm. And, while GUIs may be good for some things (mainly, they're easier to start with in the short-term and in summarizing uncommon options), they are far less programmable and teach little or nothing about what goes on under the hood. Thus, for most switchers, GNU/Linux is almost certainly their first experience with a good shell and with straightforward config files. Requiring prior experience before switching doesn't make much sense.

(Again, not that configuration via shell or config file is typically necessary. A ton of distros have, within the past few years, added GUI setup tools as well, which is good for inexperienced switchers (I myself switched using GUI before learning the terminal and zsh). But those are what I assume you're referring to when talking about computer familiarity and MS-DOS experience.)
"In order to ensure our security, and continuing stability, the Kingdom has been reorganized into the First Vorticon Intellectuality!" Image

User avatar
Nisaba
Vorticon Elite
Posts: 819
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 23:34
Location: The Outpost
Contact:

Re: Linux Adventures

Post by Nisaba » Tue Jan 31, 2017 14:20

the following quotes are from viewtopic.php?p=83315#p83315
Nospike wrote:
Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:26
Hey there fellow Linux master racers! This might seem like humblebrag, but I managed to install Gentoo successfully yesterday and I have to say it seems pretty superb so far. If you want a really open,fast system that's entirely under your control (and has the coolest package manager of all time), don't be afraid! The handbook on the Gentoo wiki is super helpful and guides you through the installation step by step. Setting it up isn't hard at all - the hard part is waiting out the compilation times the first time around... :o Stuff like LLVM can take hours, no kidding.
And if you don't feel up to configuring your kernel by hand, there's an official utility that will do that for you and install all the drivers you might need with just a little bit of space and an intangible speed loss as a tradeoff. No danger involved.
Overall, I'm pretty much decided to install Gentoo again the next time I need a clean OS somewhere. :p

Code: Select all

sudo emerge cowsay && cowsay "This is neat!"
Nisaba wrote:
Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:05
@Nospike:
Ah... this sounds pretty interesting. On what kind of hardware are you running this organic & advanced distribution? And have you used Arch beforehand?
Most Gentoo users claim that it isn't hard at all installing it and setting everything up. but too be honest, it looks kind of frightening to me...
So, what kind of requirements/skills are needed in you experience?

ps.: I'm still struggling with my i3 setup and this is only a wm...
Nospike wrote:
Tue Jan 31, 2017 13:30
Only a VM as of now, but I'm likely getting a rather old (2008 or something) laptop to tinker with soon so I'm going to install it there as well if that happens. I've never used Arch before, no. My daily driver is a desktop running Debian stable, a mistake which I don't intend to repeat. (The system is great, but trying to get recent software like i3-gaps... UGH)
The thing with Gentoo installs is that you don't *have to* set up literally everything yourself. There are very sane default settings on most stuff and every single step of the process is well documented. Even the more complicated parts like partitioning or kernel configuration. Best thing is, once you get past the partitioning process and into chroot, anytime something bad happens, you can easily start over and learn from your mistakes. Recompiling the kernel is a thing and honestly really doesn't take that long compared to some large user-level software suites.
I have practically zero actual Linux skill, all I can do is follow a well written manual. :P No need to be afraid. Pretty sure I still couldn't install Gentoo again by memory without the guide, but after a few installs I probably could.

As for i3... you'll get there soon enough. :P i3 is pretty easily configured, some other WMs that are configured inside a C header file are much worse.

sounds promising. I might test this in a vm some day. (currently focusing on debian, kodi and retropie kind of stuff)

speaking of well written manuals, i3 does provide a very neat userguide. It's extremely helpful indeed. not only if you wanna tweak stuff but also for getting to know things better.
nevertheless I have some issues configuring dmenu to fire up wine programs like photoshop or even abiathar. ($PATH) any suggestions on that?
"We have come to conquer you all and bring you lots of candy!" | about me | my current project: play Keen mods on a GameBoy |

Post Reply