Tuesday, April 01, 2008
view from my front porch
Well, here is a shot from my front porch. I have Krita, which is a sweet graphics editor, the faithful calculator called gcalctool and XMMS media player all open on my Xfce desktop. The icon bar below disappears automatically so as to not be in the way and a right click anywhere on the desktop gives a application menu so I don't have to go to the bar at the top of the display to get at it. As far as I can tell, nothing is buried, I can get at everything easily. But you ask, why the fuss over the desktop GUI? The desktop GUI is the face of the operating system. It's what you see and use. Linux has different faces because differences are in the world. Some faces are a little more pleasant to look at, some have more expression, some do disguises really well and some are quite stoic. What I want is a combo of all these things, so I picked XFCE. Each desktop almost makes Linux a different operating system. Yes you can have at the same applications but because the basic libraries are different, different solutions are provided to do the same things. For instance, KDE has the Konqueror web browser which is also a file manager and other things. Gnome has its own and Xfce has its own too. And if you don't like them or you are familiar with another, you can install that one because it is all Linux, the supporting libraries will be loaded also. Forget the notion of the best, it is what is best to and for you. So, you can find within the Linux community folks who are kindred spirits as yourself and some very different. Another way to say it is that Linux is organic and not mechanical. Yeah, some people think that to homogenize or boil down everything to a least common denominator is progress. Sameness and efficiency of a single product makes for easy marketing and administration, but you have to fit yourself to it. Because Linux is designed from many points of view a custom fit is there for you. A car is sold on two things, the looks and its engineering. Linux has curb appeal and a fine engineering reputation. A front porch in Linuxville is not a bad place to be. I'm gonna "google up a soda an pizza" while enjoying the view.