[sf-lug] LXDE Rocks !

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Jun 30 03:41:11 PDT 2010

Quoting Akkana Peck (akkana at shallowsky.com):

[snip lots of good stuff to which I cannot add anything useful]

> Though my real advice on word processors is: ask yourself, do you
> really need to use a word processor most of the time?  Could you get
> by with html or plaintext? I see so many people firing up OO (or
> Word, for non-Linux users) to write a two-line note to themselves.
> A lot of people (especially coming from Windows or Mac) don't even
> know what "plain text" means, or that a text editor is an option.

It's rapidly falling out of date, but in the past I also made a special
point of keeping a catalogue of all graphical word processors within my
'WordPerfect for Linux FAQ" that I maintained for the Linux
Documentation Project:

Among the interesting options I made a point of covering:  
o  LyX
o  Ted (RTF editor)

I recently installed the latter out of curiosity on Debian, and it's not
bad, not to mention really RAM-thrifty.  Me personally, I just use vim
for just about everything, including invoicing.

[Teaching people how to understand RAM usage.]

> I do try to address it. But it's unfortunately not an easy question
> to answer. Linux memory is complicated and there are so many
> different ways of answering the question "How big is this app?"
> One of my favorite easy methods: Run "free" and record the "used",
> "-/+ buffers/cache" value.  Then run the program you're wondering
> about (firefox, OO or whatever), run free again and see how the
> numbers changed.  That's arguably more reliable than what top, ps,
> gnome system monitor, gmemusage, xosview etc. give you.

Yes, I read that, and admired the directness and logic of it.  (I read
the other slides too -- for which, thanks -- but noticed that as a
particularly sensible and effective point.

> Unfortunately it's not all kernel features. For instance, if you
> don't run hal on Ubuntu, then you won't get device nodes for a
> front-panel flash card reader -- unless you know how to hack your
> udev rules, in undocumented ways that change with each Ubuntu release.
> If you don't run plymouth on Ubuntu lucid, your boot goes quite a
> bit faster but sometimes mysteriously hangs for a while, or forever
> -- turns out it's just fsck, but fsck doesn't print output any more
> because that all goes through plymouth, so all you know is that
> your boot process has frozen. If you don't run gnome-vfs, you can't
> drag files to GIMP (e.g. from Firefox) because Ubuntu's gimp doesn't
> fall back on wget or curl. If you don't run gconfd, you have to
> dismiss a warning dialog every time you run firefox or various other
> gtk apps. And so on ... There are workarounds for everything, but it
> takes some work to set up and maintain them.

I'm dismissing that irksome and meaningless warning dialogue on Debian's
Firefox (er, Iceweasel) every time I start it, in fact.  It really
pisses me off that _even_ Debian has fallen so badly into GNOME disease
that its headliner Web browser issues meaningless complaints if you've
disabled gconfd on account of having absolutely no need or desire to run
it.  Grrr.

And yes, HAL has indeed been a problem for similar reasons, and I've
been pursuing several alternative workarounds and intending to
eventually get around to document recommended ways for working around
GNOME / freedesktop.org brain damage.

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