Message: previous - next
Month: February 2012

Re: [trinity-devel] Poll

From: "E. Liddell" <ejlddll@...>
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 09:58:08 -0500
On Sat, 11 Feb 2012 17:53:32 -0600
"Timothy Pearson" <kb9vqf@...> wrote:

> A hypothetical poll for users here....
> If TDE were to close down, which desktop would you use instead?  You would
> be allowed to abandon Linux entirely in this scenario. ;-)
> Please state why you have not already switched; i.e. what item are missing
> or suboptimal in the other environment.
> I am curious as to why TDE still exists and need some concrete examples to
> fall back on to counter detractors.

I would probably stick to KDE3 for as long as Gentoo is able to maintain it in
a compilable state.  

My second choice after KDE3 would be XFCE4, but there are a bunch of 
problems with it:  

First, I'm underwhelmed by Thunar, which means that I would end up
doing even more of my file management by hand from the command line than
I do now.  

Secondly, the volume control/mixer applet depends on gstreamer, which I 
don't need for anything else and don't want installed.

Thirdly, there's a problem with DMs:  SLiM was unmaintained the last I checked, 
lxdm (and orthos) are considered unstable by Gentoo, XDM is a pain to configure, 
and I'm not installing Gnome or KDE4 just to get gdm or kdm.

Fourthly, while it's trivial on the surface, the fact that XFCE4 can't assign each
desktop a separate wallpaper like KDE3/Trinity can means that I can't tell at
a glance which desktop I'm looking at.  Since I use each of my desktops for a
specific purpose (1=Internet, 2=system administration, etc.) and don't like my
applications to end up in the wrong place, this is a severe annoyance for me.

Fifthly, if you don't like the default colour of the window decorations available
for XFCE4, that's just too bad:  the only way to change them is to dredge around
until you find the images used to build things up and hand-edit the colour in the
GIMP.  I run a reverse-colour desktop--white text on black or dark blue--and the
few "dark" options available were not to my taste, making this a severe pain in 
the arse.

Sixthly, I had a whole series of problems getting desktop icons to work the
way I wanted them to under XFCE (and I'm pretty sure that some still don't),
but it's been a while since I've used my laptop so I don't remember any specifics.

Seventhly, I have yet to find an acceptable replacement for kate--geany couldn't 
cope with my reverse colour scheme the last time I tried it, jEdit has the typical
Swing-can't-read-your-desktop-preferences problem, other syntax-highlighting
editors were variously bloated up into mini-IDEs or else lacking features.  There
are probably some out there that I haven't tried, but the install-test-discard cycle
itself is a pain.

There are probably a few other minor things that I'm forgetting, but I'd have to
use the damned thing again to be able to tell you what they are. :/

As for the other desktops available: I don't even use all of KDE3/Trinity's abilities, 
so KDE4 is bloated overkill.  My current desktop hardware is not all that old and 
could theoretically handle it, but in practice I can give it a nasty case of RAM/CPU 
strain even under KDE3--Firefox alone can easily eat a GB of RAM the way I 
use it.  And technical considerations aside, the KDE4 community seems unable
to accept criticism gracefully.  Their product is simply not good enough for me
to put up with that attitude.

Gnome is right out:  I never liked even Gnome 2, and what I've heard about 3
doesn't enthuse me.

I'm curious about where  razor-qt or whatever it's called will end up, but it's got a 
ways to go before it's complete enough for me to even evaluate it.  

LXDE is a good recovery environment, but even less featureful than XFCE.  

Unity I haven't tried--it isn't part of the main Gentoo tree, although I think there's 
an overlay somewhere--but what little I've heard about it suggests that it wouldn't 

Roll-your-own from a WM plus add-ons is a last resort, and still leaves me stuck
with no decent GUI file manager, no good syntax-highlighting editor, and the DM