[Techtalk] Window managers, desktop environments, and apps ( was: Re: [Issues] need more opinions)
caitlynmaire at earthlink.net
caitlynmaire at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 25 17:23:29 EST 2002
On Fri, 25 Oct 2002 09:53:22 -0400
Amanda Babcock <alb at quandary.org> wrote:
cc: to techtalk, since this has become a technical discussion and
probably belongs there rather than on issues. Can you move there with
this subthread of the discussion?
> God, no. It's horrid. But then I've never understood why the man
> pages can't just be in plain ASCII instead of marked-up.
I think that's been covered well already. FWIW, I have a Linux system
with an account setup where everything is in Hebrew. I can't do that
with ASCII. Unicode, OTOH, does work.
> Is anybody besides me alarmed at the increasing number of programs
> that require Gnome or KDE? I hate them both.
It's not just you. It's one of the reasons I really like Sylpheed as a
mail client and AbiWord (gtk build) as a word processor, for example.
They are small and lightweight. Even if I have a honking big machine I
like to be able to use the same things that don't *need* to be bloated
on my big boxen and my small ones, all the way down to my ancient but
quite functional Toshiba Libretto 50CT.
Mind you, I like KDE. It's the only desktop environment that really
supports Hebrew well. I just don't like how big and slow 3.x has
> Ever tried to run a Gnome app remotely over a port-forwarded
> SSH session over a dialup link?
Yes. It's somewhere between excruciatingly painful and impossible.
> It just boggles my mind that people would write applications that only
> work right with a particular window manager. What happened to
I have to agree. Actually, most Gnome apps work fine without Gnome
running but just require bunches of Gnome libraries be installed. That
is almost acceptable. KDE, OTOH, actually wants to run pieces of itself
just to run a mail client or a word processor. The net result is that
you can run a Gnome app (i.e.: Gnumeric) on a really limited machine
(like my Libretto) under a lightweight WM and have it work reasonably
well. You just can't do that with a KDE app.
> A window manager should just be a window manager.
Neither Gnome nor KDE are window managers, and they don't claim to be
ones. Metacity is the default window manager for Gnome 2, but you can
run any Gnome compliant window manager (like Englightenment, icewm,
WindowMaker, etc...) with Gnome. The integration between KDE and kwm
(the window manager) is tighter, but the concept is, in theory, the
> You should be able to
> switch window managers whenever you want to. There should be a clean
> break between that level and the application level.
You can in any distro, including Red Hat. I do it sometimes and my apps
keep running and windows stay open. I could switch to Gnome/Metacity or
Blackbox or HaZe right now and this e-mail compose window would still be
there. Gnome apps wouldn't care either. KDE apps shouldn't care, but
the DCOP/MCOP(???) servers need to stay up.
> And programs should happily
> display on any X server, local or remote, not assume they're always
> going to be invoked in the same environment - if I cared where it was
> going to pop up on the screen, I'd specify a -geometry when I started
Hmmm... which apps don't do this, other than applets tied to the
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