Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Explorinatin'
Yes, I am now "exploring" the Linux graphical world. Ever since my friend opted to install Xfce4 on his eee instead of *box, I got to wondering: What is the appeal of larger Desktop Environment suites? I decided to try on a few bigguns, starting with KDEmod (because if you know me, I couldn't bring myself to install KDE... too much crud).

KDEmod seems pretty nifty. A ton of eye candy even for the minimal install is included in the package (or at least what I consider to be eye candy). Auto-mounting would be a plus for a casual computer user, and was easily setup in Archlinux after adding my account to the "storage" and "optical" groups.

Not only this, but it would appear that setting up Samba shares as well as NFS shares would be amazingly easy, as there's a nice little gui setup for it.

KDEmod comes with its own theme which seems pretty cool. However, at the time of writing this, the current KDEmod in the repos is currently based off the 3.5.2 version of KDE, so a few of the themes also located in the repos will _not_ work. I never got around to installing a "minimal" theme, but I figured as long as I'm using a real Desktop Environment, gosh darnit, I'm going to USE it.

Let me just say this: multiple programs open do NOT play well with my computer for whatever reason under KDEmod (and any other bloat DE, I'm guessing). Perhaps it's the processor, but I just know the draw time for windows was pretty laggy after I had 5+ different programs open. I guess this isn't too big of a surprise, but for someone who likes to multitask, this was a big problem for me.

I never really thought about how much is truly "hidden" to the user when they run a Desktop Environment such as GNOME or KDE. A ton of the basic functionality that I hand-coded was done with a GUI interface in these heavy weights, which I could see as appealing to those migrating from windows. It's just... blergh... I didn't like it very much.

I didn't feel like I knew what was going on with my computer. I didn't know where the setting files were, nor where icons or backgrounds or anything else for that matter were located. I switched back over to my openbox session, but left KDEmod on just in case someone needed some kind of help with it later on.

I'm still convinced that, if you have help, running something like Openbox or Fluxbox or any other *box program is PLENTY for usability. When I install on a friend's or family's PC, I'll be sure to put on two things: openbox and thunar+thunar-volman. The rest of the programs will fall under the usual array, being Firefox, urxvt, and possibly wine. Right now I'm keeping all of my gained knowledge in a google notebook. I'll compile all of these notes into one super `pacman -S` statement in the future.

That's enough for now.
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