Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Month With Fluxbox - Part 2

Filed under
Reviews

My month with Fluxbox can almost be officially over and it's time to report on my experiences as promised. I wish I had a long list of complaints to file or problems for which I had to find answers or even less than compelling reasons to run back to KDE (i.e. something interesting or controversial to write about). But the truth is, it sat back there serving up my windows and never once gave me reason to even notice it was there. And that's a good thing.

I sat it up in the beginning about the way I wanted it and tweaked it some a week or so later, and have since just been running my applications and doing my thing without any problems. I don't know what I thought I'd have to write about a month later, but what can I say? It managed my windows, displayed a pretty wallpaper and let me layer idesk, fbpager or torsmo ontop. It did what it was supposed to do! It did it efficiently, stably and quickly. I didn't experience the first crash of any sort. Everything was always fast and responsive. It's just been an uneventful month.

I continued to run my kde applications because I like them mainly, have all my mail saved in kde maildirs as well as all my bookmarks are in a konqueror xml file and I like the font rendering in kde applications. So perhaps I had the best of both worlds here this month - my favorite applications sitting on a fast stable window manager.

I guess the question is, do I go back KDE or just stay in Fluxbox? I've pondered this last few days with the added option of trying a different window manager for May. But back to the original question, which is leading up to a comparison of sorts... Now to the outside world this would seem an unfair competition as kde is a full-featured desktop environment. But what you probably don't know about me is that I don't use a lot of those fancy dancy features and extras kde includes. I use the window manager portion to run kontact and konqueror mostly. I like my mplayer that requires X - any X implementation will do, as is the same deal with my games such as Doom3, gimp, and an occasional instant messenger. In addition, I like a monitoring application whether it be gkrellm or torsmo. So point being - Fluxbox does all this as well, and just as well as KDE. I do everything else from the commandline. I don't even use desktop icons in kde, I usually delete them. I just set up idesk for something to show Fluxbox capabilities and "purty up" my screenshots. So, I guess all this to say, I used Fluxbox for a month after using KDE for 5 years, and well, I mean no offense, but I just plain didn't know the difference.

As far as performance, again that would almost seem on the surface as an unfair comparison considering the size and features of each. But as stated I don't use a lot of kde background and extra features, and since kde has performed it's latest voodoo on 3.4 I'm afraid the only performance difference I could detect was when I first log in and start a kde application under Fluxbox. Those applications did take a few seconds longer to load than they do in KDE the first time - but that's because of having to set up the dcop stuff and load the libraries that would be ready to go under KDE. I suppose this equals out as Flux only takes about 3 or 4 seconds to go from start command to ready desktop and KDE takes about 30. After that first start, they open as fast and function as well as they do in KDE. So, again, I just didn't notice any difference.

Setting up the wallpaper was a little more trouble in Fluxbox because I have to load kuickshow or something to look around in my wallpaper archive to pick one out first, then edit my init file. Too many times a wallpaper looks good on a site or even as you look at it during a kuickshow slideshow, but it doesn't look as great on the desktop as a wallpaper. So, having to change wallpapers a few times could almost be a drag except that Fluxbox has a restart in their menu. One might expect a window manager to crash after doing this a half dozen times or so, but Flux never did.

So, at the end of the month I have to report that I have nothing to report. There was no clear cut winner or loser here. I love them both. I believe my experience is very personalized and do not dare to say to anyone else they'd notice little or no differences to speak of as well. It's because I'm a commandline junkie that this happened to work out this way for me. I feel like I'm short changing all parties concerned here: KDE, Fluxbox, and my readers. I do feel some attachment to Fluxbox as it started out just a practically empty window and I had to set it all up from scratch. It can almost be described as that same ownership and freedom kinda feeling one gets from running Gentoo or LFS.

So am I going back to KDE?

Eventually I bet I will, especially when a lot of 4.0 stuff starts showing up in cvs. But for now... I think I'm gonna try enlightenment. I've seen some really cool features in screenshots and when I ask about them, I've been told its an enlightenment thing. So, perhaps I'll do a month with enlightenment next. ...if I can tear myself away from Fluxbox. Smile

More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Leftovers: Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu Phone, Sep 2016 - Vorsprung durch Touch
    The Ubuntu Phone is getting better, and with every new iteration of the OTA, my little BQ Aquaris E4.5 is gaining more speed and functionality. Like in the air force, with an avionics upgrade, which transforms ancient wings into a powerful and modern bird of prey. Only the pace of advancement is lagging behind the market. See what Android and iOS can do, even Windows Phone, and you realize how late and insufficiently meaningful the Ubuntu Phone really is. This has to change, massively. This latest round does bring some fine goods to the table - more speed and stability, better icons, more overall visual polish, incremental improvements in the applications and the scopes. But that's not enough to win the heart of the average user. A more radical, app-centric effort is required. More focus on delivering the mobile experience, be it as it may. Ubuntu cannot revolutionalize that which is already considered the past. It can only join the club and enjoy the benefits of a well-established reality. And that is a kickass app stack that makes the touch device worth using in the first place. Still, it's not all gloomy. E4.5 is a better product now than it was a year ago, fact. Ubuntu Phone is a better operating system than it was even this spring, fact. So maybe one day we will see Ubuntu become an important if not dominant player in the phone and tablet space. It sure is heading in the right direction, my only fear is the availability of resources to pull off this massive rehaul that is needed to make it stand up to the old and proven giants. And that's it really. If you're keen on Linux (not Android) making it in the mobile world, do not forget to check my Ubuntu tablet review! Especially the convergence piece. On that merry note, you do remember that I'm running a wicked contest this year, too? He/she who reads my books might get a chance to win an M10 tablet. Indeed. Off you go, dear readers. Whereas I will now run the same set of tests we did here on the Aquaris tablet, and see how it likes the OTA-12 upgrade. The end.
  • Ubuntu 16.10 Unity 8 - new window snapping feature
  • Ubuntu Online Summit for Ubuntu 17.04 is Taking Place In Mid-November
  • Ubuntu Online Summit: 15-16 November 2016

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • 10 Top Open Source Artificial Intelligence Tools for Linux
    In this post, we shall cover a few of the top, open-source artificial intelligence (AI) tools for the Linux ecosystem. Currently, AI is one of the ever advancing fields in science and technology, with a major focus geared towards building software and hardware to solve every day life challenges in areas such as health care, education, security, manufacturing, banking and so much more.
  • List of FLOSS International Conferences September 2016 Materials
  • This Week In Servo 78
    Our overall roadmap is available online and now includes the initial Q3 plans. From now on, we plan to include the quarterly plan with a high-level breakdown in the roadmap page.
  • Firefox 49 Release: Find out what is new
    Firefox 49.0 is the next major stable release of the web browser. Firefox 48.0.2 and earlier versions of Firefox can be updated to the new release.
  • Open-Source Climate Change Data From NASA, NOAA, & Others Available For 1st Time
    Climate change has many components — rising sea levels, alterations in rainfall patterns, and an increase in severe storm activity, among others. Communities around the world are faced with the need to plan for climate change but don’t have the information available to do so effectively.
  • Another Setback for 3D Printed Gun Advocate Cody Wilson as Court of Appeals Rules That National Security Concerns Outweigh Free Speech
    It’s been a long, drawn-out battle, beginning in 2013 when Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, published the open source files for his 3D printed handgun, the Liberator, online. The State Department ordered that he take the files down, and Wilson complied, but not before thousands had downloaded them and spread them elsewhere on the Internet. In 2015, with the help of gun rights organization The Second Amendment Foundation, Wilson filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the State Department had violated not only his Second Amendment but his First Amendment rights. By suppressing his right to share information online, Wilson argued, the State Department was violating his right to free speech.
  • In 3D-Printed Gun Case, Federal Court Permits Speech Censorship in the Name of Alleged National Security
  • Oracle tries playing nice with Java EE rebels
    With Oracle now trying to get back on track with advancing enterprise Java, the company is seeking rapprochement with factions that had sought to advance the platform on their own. The two groups involved are mostly amenable to patching up the relationship. Oracle's Anil Gaur, group vice president of engineering, said this week he had already been in touch with some of the concerned parties. The two factions include Java EE Guardians, led by former Oracle Java EE evangelist Reza Rahman, and Microprofile.io, which has included participation from Red Hat and IBM.

GNU News