gui musings - Slackware

This is a discussion on gui musings - Slackware ; We have been using thunderbird recently to read our mail because easynews.com made some changes that affect tin in a bad way. This has led us to consider the role of the gui in the future of slackware in particular, ...

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  1. gui musings

    We have been using thunderbird recently to read our mail because
    easynews.com made some changes that affect tin in a bad way. This
    has led us to consider the role of the gui in the future of
    slackware in particular, and linux in general.

    We are extremely impressed with thunderbird. We never used it much
    before and we just had it lying around out of interest. But this
    thing, used with firefox, is really fast, is slick and attractive,
    and has all kinds of powerful options for mail and usenet alike.

    Further to the ongoing discussion we have been having about guis,
    one of the reasons that a lot of linux users don't like guis is
    because the quality of the programs available for X Window has been
    lagging far behind equivalent programs in windoze. X Window
    programs simply sucked, especially aesthetically, and for a lot of
    reasons many made do with CLI replacements. But those days are
    gone and those who think that way are behind the times.

    We believe that X, and the quality of software available to run on
    X, have reached the point now where CLI has become a secondary
    support mode. Firefox, thunderbird, sunbird, gimp, openoffice.org,
    and much of the KDE, have reached a stage of professionalism such
    that linux + X Window can finally be taken seriously as a desktop
    alternative to windoze.

    But a few problems remain. Distros such as slackware, that are not
    heavily automated and do not take advantage of the gui in their
    installation routines, are doing linux a disservice when these
    distros present themselves as being anything other than a hobbyist
    environment. Those who choose linux as an alternative to windoze
    because they have been impressed with a linux installation are
    going to be extremely disappointed when they discover that they
    need more than a user's knowledge to install slackware and other
    distros with primitive installation routines. Even OS/2
    installations looked after disk partitioning, for example, and used
    a gui for installation, despite having a very powerful CLI shell.

    As well, one of the biggest remaining problems are the Slackware
    zealots, who seem to have the attitude that if you are not at least
    a computer professional, you shouldn't be messing around with linux
    in general or slackware in particular. These people snobbishly
    champion CLI programs when much better gui replacements exist. The
    zealots seem to think that their use of CLI programs gives them
    some sort of status in the computing world. And nothing could be
    further from the truth.

    The responsible Linux citizen at this point should be bragging
    about the quality of the gui instead of arguing in favour of the
    CLI. The gui isn't going away. And those who come to slackware,
    whether from business or school, will be coming to it because of
    the quality of the gui, and not because of the extensive use of GNU
    utilities and the command line.

    There will always be command lines. People will always be able to
    use a pencil and a sheet of paper to make calculations, just as
    they use the command line. But an overwhelming majority of folks
    want to use a calculator when they have a complex arithmetical problem.

    So what does this mean? It means that we should be out there
    praising the gui. We should be out there doing as much as possible
    using the gui. We should be using the gui for all of the major
    functions. Mail, news, web-browsing, data entry, and even the
    construction of bash scripts, should all be done using gui
    programs. Forget about vim, and use gvim. And forget about tin and
    slrn and all of that junk. And flush emacs down the toilet, and
    hope that it will actually go down without plunging.

    And we should definitely drop the "I'm a guru 'cause I use the CLI"
    attitude that a majority of the posers in this ng, in particular,
    have adopted. Their attitudes are obviously damaging the
    reputation of linux. It's not doing linux any good at all when
    these clowns try to convince people that the CLI is the way to go.

    So we have these recommendations to make.

    1. installation routines should be gui based as much as possible.

    2. new software should be gui based as much as possible and older
    programs that are still used extensively should be rewritten.
    gui based front ends, or even back-ends, are not acceptable. The
    underlying principles of gui program construction can only be
    applied when the gui is fully integrated into the application.

    3. gcc, debug, and the other programming tools, should be wrapped
    in a solid, and standard, gui environment and all the hooks and
    libraries needed to write X Window programs should be featured
    front and center. We have to make it as easy to write an X program
    as it is to write a bash program.

    4. when people come to this ng looking for advice, they should be
    shown the modern way of the gui, and not the old-fashioned bash
    shell way of doing things.

    Remember, as long as people think that linux is all about the CLI,
    they will stay away because for them it is too difficult to use.
    They will stay away because the CLI appears primitive and
    unprofessional. And they will stay away because most
    unsophisticated users find themselves far more comfortable sitting
    down in front of a bitmapped display, rather than the ancient
    console mode.

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  2. Re: gui musings

    On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 06:33:31 +0000, Rhonda Moffat wrote:


    Interesting read on a Sunday morning.

    Only two things:

    1.) Gui installation routines are confusing and have never been as
    efficient for me as text based installation. In particular Red Hat's
    Anaconda almost always threw up when I tried it as far back as 5.1.
    Recently as of Fedora Core 5 it actually installed for the first time but
    I got sick of it demanding to have a root partition >5GB completely
    neglecting there was no need for that as other partitions were available
    and had been mapped. An although giu based but unintelligent installer,
    and one of the main reasons why I still don't use RH and likely never
    will.
    SuSe is similarly confusing. Although there are some better gui
    installation routines out there (and PCLinuxOS is very nice) I found the
    text mode in Slackware, Debian and Ubuntu far more superior, efficient,
    flexible and easy to set up according to *my* wishes.

    4.) I believe they both have their place and ideally one should know
    their way around both if interested. I agree though that's not for
    everybody and new users will almost always expect a nice front end to do
    business with. But there are other distros out there. That will of course
    not help the adoption of Slackware.

    --
    Kind Regards,
    B.Hoffmann

  3. Re: gui musings

    On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 09:47:20 +0000, B.Hoffmann wrote:

    > On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 06:33:31 +0000, Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >
    > Only two things:
    >
    > 1.) Gui installation routines are confusing and have never been as
    > efficient for me as text based installation. In particular Red Hat's
    > Anaconda almost always threw up when I tried it as far back as 5.1.


    Oh my, RH 5.1 installation was actually text based I believe. Anyway, it
    still didn't install, not then and not after. RH installation routines
    suck big time.


    --
    B.Hoffmann

  4. Re: gui musings

    On 2007-06-24, Rhonda Moffat wrote:

    > zealots seem to think that their use of CLI programs gives them
    > some sort of status......


    Gee, for the minor part of a minute I actually thought this post was
    something other than a typical rm troll. Silly me.

    nb


  5. Re: gui musings

    notbob wrote:
    > On 2007-06-24, Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >
    >> zealots seem to think that their use of CLI programs gives them
    >> some sort of status......

    >
    > Gee, for the minor part of a minute I actually thought this post was
    > something other than a typical rm troll. Silly me.


    We can understand why you feel it necessary to discredit the post.
    And your reaction to that sentence is both telling and entirely
    predictable. But don't sweat it. Nobody expected you to respond
    in an intelligent manner anyway.

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  6. Re: gui musings

    On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 06:33:31 +0000, Rhonda Moffat wrote:

    > We are extremely impressed with thunderbird. We never used it much
    > before and we just had it lying around out of interest. But this
    > thing, used with firefox, is really fast, is slick and attractive,
    > and has all kinds of powerful options for mail and usenet alike.


    If you want to use a GUI newsreader, and you're impressed with
    Thunderbird, you'll be amazed with Pan.

    Free clue: Thunderbird sucks (badly) for Usenet. It's a fine email
    client.

    > The responsible Linux citizen at this point should be bragging about the
    > quality of the gui instead of arguing in favour of the CLI. The gui


    ___________________
    /| /| | |
    ||__|| | Please do |
    / O O\__ NOT |
    / \ feed the |
    / \ \ trolls |
    / _ \ \ ______________|
    / |\____\ \ ||
    / | | | |\____/ ||
    / \|_|_|/ \ __||
    / / \ |____| ||
    / | | /| | --|
    | | |// |____ --|
    * _ | |_|_|_| | \-/
    *-- _--\ _ \ // |
    / _ \\ _ // | /
    * / \_ /- | - | |
    * ___ c_c_c_C/ \C_c_c_c____________




    --
    "Ubuntu" -- an African word, meaning "Slackware is too hard for me".


  7. Re: gui musings

    On 2007-06-24, Rhonda Moffat wrote:

    > predictable. But don't sweat it. Nobody expected you to respond
    > in an intelligent manner anyway.


    That wasn't me. My pig was offended by your particular brand of
    idiocy and felt compelled to respond in kind.

    nb

  8. Re: gui musings

    notbob wrote:
    > On 2007-06-24, Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >
    >> predictable. But don't sweat it. Nobody expected you to respond
    >> in an intelligent manner anyway.

    >
    > That wasn't me. My pig was offended by your particular brand of
    > idiocy and felt compelled to respond in kind.


    Does pan allow you to install your own editor? Like gvim, for
    instance?

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  9. Re: gui musings

    On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 16:59:39 +0000, Rhonda Moffat wrote:

    > notbob wrote:
    >> On 2007-06-24, Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >>
    >>> predictable. But don't sweat it. Nobody expected you to respond in
    >>> an intelligent manner anyway.

    >>
    >> That wasn't me. My pig was offended by your particular brand of idiocy
    >> and felt compelled to respond in kind.

    >
    > Does pan allow you to install your own editor? Like gvim, for instance?


    Yes indeed, but as it's the default editor you won't even need
    to change it.

  10. Re: gui musings

    loki harfagr wrote:
    > On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 16:59:39 +0000, Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >
    >> notbob wrote:
    >>> On 2007-06-24, Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> predictable. But don't sweat it. Nobody expected you to respond in
    >>>> an intelligent manner anyway.
    >>> That wasn't me. My pig was offended by your particular brand of idiocy
    >>> and felt compelled to respond in kind.

    >> Does pan allow you to install your own editor? Like gvim, for instance?

    >
    > Yes indeed, but as it's the default editor you won't even need
    > to change it.


    We'll have to check it out. Somebody was bitching about pan awhile
    back. Which version is the best?

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  11. Re: gui musings

    On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 18:33:04 +0000, Rhonda Moffat wrote:

    > loki harfagr wrote:
    >> On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 16:59:39 +0000, Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >>
    >>> notbob wrote:
    >>>> On 2007-06-24, Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> predictable. But don't sweat it. Nobody expected you to respond in
    >>>>> an intelligent manner anyway.
    >>>> That wasn't me. My pig was offended by your particular brand of
    >>>> idiocy and felt compelled to respond in kind.
    >>> Does pan allow you to install your own editor? Like gvim, for
    >>> instance?

    >>
    >> Yes indeed, but as it's the default editor you won't even need
    >> to change it.

    >
    > We'll have to check it out. Somebody was bitching about pan awhile
    > back. Which version is the best?


    None, or all, can you tell which finger's your best one? And then
    what for? Depends... As you seemed to like 'tin' and you seem to
    be quite positive about T-Bird you may be as confused as me and
    quite like the 0.1* and the 0.131+ both.

    I still miss "newsie" (newsreader for TOS, that'd be OT) but
    I used to use Moz*, pine, tin and slrn then changed to knode and Pan,
    though I always check the moz* line I'm now using the Pan* line
    with pleasure and although some very special specs from Pan0.14
    are in the TODO list (at best) I quite like the new "levity"
    of Pan-pre-1.

    Then, sorry for writing that many words and still no definite
    and final answer but, carburetors man, that's what life's all
    about, or was that upholstery? Mmmm, anyway I prefer cats and
    squids, some to stroke and some to eat.

    Have a choice ;-)

  12. Re: gui musings

    On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 18:12:31 +0000, loki harfagr wrote:

    >> Does pan allow you to install your own editor? Like gvim, for
    >> instance?


    > Yes indeed, but as it's the default editor you won't even need
    > to change it.


    I love pan with kate as the editor. You'll have to play with the kate
    settings to get it right but it works beautifully for me and is a very
    powerful editor.

    --
    Linux Help: http://rsgibson.com/linux.htm
    Email - rsgibson@verizon.borg
    Replace borg with net


  13. Re: gui musings

    Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    > We have been using


    We? Who?

    > We are extremely impressed with thunderbird. We never used it much
    > before and we just had it lying around out of interest. But this thing,
    > used with firefox


    I don't see any benefit of using it 'with firefox'.

    > Those who choose linux as an alternative to windoze because they have
    > been impressed with a linux installation


    Should not even bother to try Slackware.

    > So what does this mean? It means that we should be out there praising
    > the gui.


    Praise the Lord.

    > We should be out there doing as much as possible using the
    > gui.


    You preach.

    > We should be using the gui for all of the major functions. Mail,
    > news, web-browsing, data entry, and even the construction of bash
    > scripts, should all be done using gui programs.


    I'd rephrase that: ..., SHALL all be done using GUI programs.

    > Remember, as long as people think that linux is all about the CLI, they
    > will stay away because for them it is too difficult to use.


    They can use Windows and stay away from all those problems. Perhaps you
    should as well.

    --
    Milan Babuskov
    http://abrick.sourceforge.net

    Troubles are like babies; they only grow by nursing.

  14. Re: gui musings

    Milan Babuskov wrote:
    > Rhonda Moffat wrote:


    >> We have been using


    > We? Who?


    Us. We. As in all of us and not you.

    >> We are extremely impressed with thunderbird. We never used it much
    >> before and we just had it lying around out of interest. But this
    >> thing, used with firefox


    > I don't see any benefit of using it 'with firefox'.


    We know that you don't see the benefit. That's why we are telling
    you that there is a benefit.

    >> Those who choose linux as an alternative to windoze because they have
    >> been impressed with a linux installation


    > Should not even bother to try Slackware.


    If you can do it, everybody can do it. That much is clear. The
    problem is with the tiny little assholes, like yourself, who
    somehow think they are special because they don't know how to use
    thunderbird with firefox.

    Bugger off, troll.

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  15. Re: gui musings

    Dan C wrote:
    > On Sun, 24 Jun 2007 06:33:31 +0000, Rhonda Moffat wrote:

    ----------snip
    >
    > If you want to use a GUI newsreader, and you're impressed with
    > Thunderbird, you'll be amazed with Pan.
    >
    > Free clue: Thunderbird sucks (badly) for Usenet. It's a fine email
    > client.
    >

    ------snip--------

    I disagree. Thunderbird is more than adequate as a newsreader. It is simple to set
    up and doesn't get in the way with a lot of features many do not use anyway. I've
    used pan as well and have found it useful. However, the GUIness of it need
    improvement - options and settings are not located in obvious locations. Just my
    opinion.

  16. Re: gui musings

    Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    ----------snip-----------
    >
    > So we have these recommendations to make.
    >
    > 1. installation routines should be gui based as much as possible.
    >
    > 2. new software should be gui based as much as possible and older
    > programs that are still used extensively should be rewritten. gui based
    > front ends, or even back-ends, are not acceptable. The underlying
    > principles of gui program construction can only be applied when the gui
    > is fully integrated into the application.
    >
    > 3. gcc, debug, and the other programming tools, should be wrapped in a
    > solid, and standard, gui environment and all the hooks and libraries
    > needed to write X Window programs should be featured front and center.
    > We have to make it as easy to write an X program as it is to write a
    > bash program.
    >
    > 4. when people come to this ng looking for advice, they should be shown
    > the modern way of the gui, and not the old-fashioned bash shell way of
    > doing things.
    >
    > Remember, as long as people think that linux is all about the CLI, they
    > will stay away because for them it is too difficult to use. They will
    > stay away because the CLI appears primitive and unprofessional. And
    > they will stay away because most unsophisticated users find themselves
    > far more comfortable sitting down in front of a bitmapped display,
    > rather than the ancient console mode.
    >
    > cordially, as always,
    >
    > rm


    1. You are wrong. For the initial install steps a GUI should never be used. Even
    M$ is not that stupid (and even M$ forces the user to manually set up partitions).
    Slackware has a perfectly simple ncurses menu installer. Like anything, it could use
    some improvement. Hardware detection to bring up a GUI is first is stupid idea in
    any OS.

    2. No. Often a CLI program is the most efficient way to perform a task/function.
    And how do you propose working with your GUI when your X server/client crashes?

    3. gcc etc have wrappers. Its called an IDE. Perhaps you enjoy the crap that is
    Visual Studio from M$.

    4. No. All views need to be presented. Even Windoze, OS X have CLI only tools that
    are the ONLY way to solve certain problems.


  17. Re: gui musings

    King Beowulf wrote:
    > Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >>
    >> 1. installation routines should be gui based as much as
    >> possible.
    >>
    >> 2. new software should be gui based as much as possible and
    >> older programs that are still used extensively should be
    >> rewritten. gui based front ends, or even back-ends, are not
    >> acceptable. The underlying principles of gui program
    >> construction can only be applied when the gui is fully
    >> integrated into the application.
    >>
    >> 3. gcc, debug, and the other programming tools, should be
    >> wrapped in a solid, and standard, gui environment and all the
    >> hooks and libraries needed to write X Window programs should
    >> be featured front and center. We have to make it as easy to
    >> write an X program as it is to write a bash program.
    >>
    >> 4. when people come to this ng looking for advice, they should
    >> be shown the modern way of the gui, and not the old-fashioned
    >> bash shell way of doing things.
    >>
    >> Remember, as long as people think that linux is all about the
    >> CLI, they will stay away because for them it is too difficult
    >> to use. They will stay away because the CLI appears primitive
    >> and unprofessional. And they will stay away because most
    >> unsophisticated users find themselves far more comfortable
    >> sitting down in front of a bitmapped display, rather than the
    >> ancient console mode.


    > 1. You are wrong. For the initial install steps a GUI should
    > never be used.


    What did we say? We'll say it again: "1. installation routines
    should be gui based as much as possible."

    > Even M$ is not that stupid (and even M$ forces the user to
    > manually set up partitions). Slackware has a perfectly simple
    > ncurses menu installer. Like anything, it could use some
    > improvement. Hardware detection to bring up a GUI is first is
    > stupid idea in any OS.


    You can't bring up the gui first when you are installing the OS.
    We'll leave it to you to figure out why. But we were speaking more
    generally anyway. We were talking about the installation of
    applications mostly, and not the OS itself.

    > 2. No. Often a CLI program is the most efficient way to
    > perform a task/function. And how do you propose working with
    > your GUI when your X server/client crashes?


    The same way that you propose to work with your bash shell when
    your server/client crashes. You restart it.

    > 3. gcc etc have wrappers. Its called an IDE. Perhaps you
    > enjoy the crap that is Visual Studio from M$.


    Wrappers are junk and they aren't IDEs. The I stands for
    "Integrated." Wrappers are not integrated, by definition. As for
    the Visual stuff, we've never used it, but it has to be better than
    using vim, debug and gcc from the command line. We suspect that
    you've never done any programming. We used to do a lot of
    programming with the Borland C, and Turbo Assembler and Microsoft
    QuickC and QuickBasic for MSDOS stuff. This stuff was the origin
    of the term IDE and it was much better than using a text editor and
    a compiler.

    > 4. No. All views need to be presented. Even Windoze, OS X
    > have CLI only tools that are the ONLY way to solve certain
    > problems.


    Nobody is denying this. But we are speaking to the zealots who
    will tell you that using a shell is superior to using a gui. There
    is no reason for a user to ever use a shell and there should be
    fewer and fewer reasons for an administrator to use a shell.

    Using a shell is like milking a cow by hand or cranking a car to
    start by hand.

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  18. Re: gui musings


    On 2007-06-25, Rhonda Moffat wrote:

    > What did we say? We'll say it again: "1. installation routines
    > should be gui based as much as possible."


    Give one good reason.

    > generally anyway. We were talking about the installation of
    > applications mostly, and not the OS itself.


    What's the diff? M$ requires you close all other windows to safely
    install a new app. Does M$ tell you to do so? Hell no! It's always
    the 3rd part app that recommends it.

    > Nobody is denying this.


    Bullpucky ....you've been denying it forever.

    > is no reason for a user to ever use a shell....


    Bingo!! There you go again. Make up your mind, you lying dirtbag
    hypocrite.

    > Using a shell is like milking a cow by hand or cranking a car to
    > start by hand.


    ....or actually using your brain, something you seem to be highly
    adverse to.

    > cordially, as always,


    Again, a lying dirtbag

    nb

  19. Re: gui musings

    notbob wrote:
    > On 2007-06-25, Rhonda Moffat wrote:


    >> What did we say? We'll say it again: "1. installation
    >> routines should be gui based as much as possible."


    > Give one good reason.


    Because most people are more comfortable working from a gui. And
    because guis are much more helpful to those who only occasional
    install applications or operating systems.

    >> generally anyway. We were talking about the installation of
    >> applications mostly, and not the OS itself.


    > What's the diff?


    Because the extensive libraries necessary to run a gui shell are
    already present when you are installing an application.

    > M$ requires you close all other windows to safely install a new
    > app. Does M$ tell you to do so? Hell no! It's always the 3rd
    > part app that recommends it.


    And this is relevant to what? We aren't talking about windoze.

    >> Nobody is denying this.


    > Bullpucky ....you've been denying it forever.


    We're lost because you seem to have clipped away the context. What
    have we been denying forever?

    >> is no reason for a user to ever use a shell....


    > Bingo!! There you go again. Make up your mind, you lying
    > dirtbag hypocrite.


    ?!? We meant a CLI shell. Is that what you are complaining about?
    Users shouldn't ever have to use anything other than a gui shell.

    >> Using a shell is like milking a cow by hand or cranking a car
    >> to start by hand.


    > ...or actually using your brain, something you seem to be highly
    > adverse to.


    More brainpower goes into designing an effective gui than you will
    ever command. And we think you might have meant averse, not
    adverse, genius.

    > Again, a lying dirtbag


    Lying about what, we ask, with simulated trepidation...

    cordially, as always,

    rm

  20. Re: gui musings

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    King Beowulf wrote:
    > Rhonda Moffat wrote:
    >>


    - -- snip --

    > 1. You are wrong.


    While I agree (he is always wrong), please do us all a favour, and
    don't argue with this idiot. Like all idiots, he'll just drop you down
    to his level, then beat you with experience.

    BL.
    - --
    Brad Littlejohn | Email: tyketto@sbcglobal.net
    Unix Systems Administrator, | tyketto@ozemail.com.au
    Web + NewsMaster, BOFH.. Smeghead! | http://www.wizard.com/~tyketto
    PGP: 1024D/E319F0BF 6980 AAD6 7329 E9E6 D569 F620 C819 199A E319 F0BF

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