Thursday, December 19, 2013

XFCE4 vs E17

All I can offer is some notes on this subject.

Enlightenment 17


Enlightenment 17 is more mature, and, on Fedora, it runs pretty well.   On every distro I have tried so far, it fails the first run, but, for now, seems swell.  Not as pretty as it once was, and I am lazy to install eye-candy.  But a couple of things are nice.

On my laptop, using full speed on the i3 core dual, 2.4GHz, E17 is spiffy.  At the slowest speed of 933 MHZ, not so much.

I notice a sheen of weirdness on a blank background, always have.  Something is different about E17 at the lowest levels of graphics.

I am pleased that the CPU Frequency widget is visually / functionally awesome: it looks nice; cpu frequency is directly configurable without any extra setup.  Nice!!!  

E18 is in the pipeline, I see.

XFCE4

I am using Fedora, and I have Gnome, XFCE4, E17 installed, that I have seriously attemped to use.  Gnome is too slow for this machine, and it's more cumbersome and enmiring to try to set it up the way I like.  I haven't found a CPU frequency monitor that works.  Jupiter is awesome, though, as a secular client for manipulating power/frequency settings.

I use Jupiter for XFCE4, because the xfce4 cpu frequency applet does not do it's job---or I don't understand something about it.  Jupiter is great, though.

XFCE4 is quick and light, and easy to use.  It's very simple to get nice effects, the panels are easy to set up.  Panels are what does it for me.  Unity drove me away from Gnome, and while I have been able to get somewhat used to Unity, XFCE4 has it all working the way I like, with little intervention.   KDE has more and fancier looking features that seem nice, but I cannot get through more than one or two sessions with KDE before turning away---usually for XFCE.

I have to install the orage clock to get a calendar that opens when clicking the clock.  

OpenBox, too is light, quick, and simple

I have almost gone over to OpenBox a couple of times.  With the cairo dock, it is useable, and quick.  

 

Wishlist

I would like to have more control over the window decorations of XFCE or E17, but they work ok.  I like the big red "X" button that apparently came from the darkness of Redmond.  I need the active window title bar to change color.

The frame in KDE4 that acts as a "desktop" to display a picture or a few icons would be welcome anywhere, on any window manager (or whatever you call them).

Why does every one of these desktop managers have to design their own File manager, and use some off the wall browser, etc.

Why is emacs not installed by default on most GNU/Linux distros?

What do you call the excellent file chooser in Dolphin and other KDE apps that scrolls the list across instead of down in one long list.  With this horizontal scrolling, I can read even the last file in a long list MUCH more quickly than the Nautilus-style (or whatever that is called).  Is there a way to compile in this kind of feature into other software of my own liking?   

My Defaults: My ways of doing stuff

  • File manager :: Dolphin (see above)
  • Editor :: Emacs is the first program I install anywhere.  
  • Music player :: Clementine works well; I'll try using VLC
  • Video player :: VLC is the best video player
  • Terminal  :: Terminator is good, but there are some wraparound issues when using nice prompts.
  • Top is great.  The very first time I started up a GNU/Linux system---slackware, I think---a terminal opened.  I  thought, what should I type?  FOr some odd reason, I typed "top" and magically, all running processes were shown in a cool format.  I still haven't learned all the byways and highways of using Top.  It has to be my totem though.  I will rename my blog after Top, maybe.
  • Independent panel :: The pomological lookalike "Cairo Dock is awesome"
  • Personal Magnet  :: Orgmode over emacs is amazing.  Outliner. miscellaneous agenda, capturing notes on the fly in various categories (I used to use Steno.el, on Emacs).
  • Email :: I just use emacs to write email when I think of it.  Love it.  Gmail on the browser isn't quite there, due to limitations of keybindings.  
  • Addressbook :: BBDB is great, over emacs.   I use a custom file to save the database, on a git-controlled work area that is replicatable from home directory to home directory, for my different experimental users.  Emacs mail picks up and completes addresses in this database.
  • PDF Viewer :: Okular (KDE) prints nicely.  Works find with editable PDFs.  Allows saving notes/annotations.
  • Photo Management :: Shotwell (uploads well) and Digikam (other stuff).  Neither of them is perfect. 
  • Photo Viewer :: gthumbs is the best for printing photos, from my experience.
  • Scanning :: gscan2pdf is good in most cases for generating a pdf directly.  In the "old days," tesseract made for good conversions from a scanned image to text.   Anymore, this program seems to prefer to just convert to text to underlay under a pdf page to enable searchable pdf files.  That's not my work flow.   "simplescan" works ok, not as configurable; fast to use.   Xsane is a great all around scanning tool
  • OCR  :: Tesseract works well, and used to do so with gscan2pdf.
  • Web Browsers: Firefox is the old workhorse; Chrome is great also; Dillo is the lightning fast browser good as a document reader (for XEphem, for example).
  • XEphem is a great ephemeris
  • Xtide works great
  • Plotting :: Gri is the best, nice when used with Emacs Gri-mode. Gnuplot is often useful.  There seem to be many new plotting graphing programs in recent years.
  • Underexploited toys: R
  • TeX :: TeXLive.  Fedora is up to date, as is Archlinux.  Ubuntu lagged behind.
  • LaTeX authoring ::  Auctex on Emacs 24.  For correspondence and a plethora of other documents. 
  • Processing text into a pdf file :: Org-mode and LaTeX
  • References :: cb2Bib; Emacs bibtex-mode; other little utilities.  Not to mention Google Scholar
  • Mixer :: Pulse audio has a good mixer.   Alsamixergui (sometimes under other names).
  • Audio :: Don't ask me.  I go with the flow. 

 




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