Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

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Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby shane on Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:38 pm

Hi all!

That time has come again, with the confirmation of a stable release, to start thinking about the next version. So I would like to hear what you, the users, liked and didn't like about the "Felicia" release, where you think we could make improvements, what new features you would like to see in the "Gloria" release, general brain storming, etc.

I have a few ideas, some of them given by you... I will have much less time for this release as I will be having final exams at the end of this year so I need to hit the books hard.

Here is a list of what I would like to see in Gloria... and I will update this list as the discussion goes on.

------------GLORIA GAME PLAN------------

* Return of the Fluxbox menu to a Python base. I didn't know much Python and that is why the current menu system is in Bash. Though it works much better than the "Elyssa" version (which was in Python), menu generation is much slower. I am still learning Python... and will see how it goes.

* Themes: Currently, our GTK theme does not work perfectly with Firefox... and this is Firefox's bug. I have filed a bug report with Mozilla. Hope they fix it soon. Still, I would like to use a theme that uses a faster engine like Murrine. I like the current Fluxbox style a lot but I am still open to change. Looking good is a feature! :D

* Wallpaper: I hope we will get an awesome new default wallpaper for Gloria. As much as I like the current wallpaper, I think the black background is starting to get long in the tooth. Anyway, most probably, I will use the default wallpaper for Mint's "Gloria" releases. So, artsy folks, get to work in time for the Gloria Main edition! I want something mind blowing! :twisted:

* Have a custom GUI tool for configuring various aspects of the system. I want this to include Fluxbox configurations (startup, themes, toolbar and slit configs, etc), menu configuration, desktop wallpaper configuration, other minor things that currently require manual editing of config files. Of course, manual editing should be possible if you wish. My idea is to have this tool as modular as possible so that we can build it one piece at a time and allow installation of modules independently. If you know any Python please help me out. This is probably my biggest vision for this CE and I would really like to see this come to fruition. Oh, and it will be closed source and cost $29.99. Just kidding :lol:

* I am not yet sure how or if it is possible, but I would like to implement a feature similar to the Mint Main edition's 'right click in the menu to uninstall' feature. This is still in the thinking stage...

* As for application selection, I think Merlwiz does an excellent job in choosing the best applications for the XFCE CE and so I will make as few changes as possible to his ISOs and base this CE on that... like I did for the current release. This gives me more time to concentrate on what really needs work. I will still go for MPD, Abiword, Gnumeric and Sylpheed unless there is a compelling reason not to, while keeping the rest identical to the XFCE CE.

* Have better documentation. Already I have started a few pages in the Mint Wiki that are specific to the Fluxbox CE. Please use it, refer others to it and also contribute! Phonicboom has already added a few handy tweaks. Thanks! On this point, I was also thinking of having a short video tutorial on the Live CD and in the installed system to help new users get started. And just yesterday I discovered Salasaga. It creates animated Flash presentations which can then be easily viewed in Firefox. It is very easy to use, available in the Intrepid repos and since it is mostly vector graphics, file size should be reasonable. If someone can take up the challenge I would be most grateful. Otherwise, it will be done only if time allows. I think this would be very useful for the other Mint editions as well.

------------/GLORIA GAME PLAN------------

That about covers what's floating in my head right now.

I would love to hear your feedback and ideas.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby Zwopper on Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:47 pm

Ditch firefox and thunderbird and go with Epiphany and Claws Mail is my tip, I've been using them for a month or two and it eats "firefoxes" & "thunderbirds" alive! :twisted:
Thanks for the tip about Salsaga btw, I was looking for something like that!
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby paschalis.m on Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:26 pm

I hate the fluxpanel. Give a chance to lxpanel (light, nice and customizable).
Take a look:Image
I think that you have to include to Gloria, a small guide with the first configures (such as how to mount the other partitions, and some of the tweaks from wiki).
It's necessary for the noobs (I think is the most necessary especially for users that never have tried *box wm).

I'm really sorry for my english.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby shane on Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:52 pm

The issue of Firefox comes up with every release :lol: Here is the argument for FF - It is the most widely used browser in Linux and so it is as good as it gets for out of the box compatibility with web content. And the standards that Mint requires in a release is very high... Just ask Exploder about the dreaded quality test spreadsheet :lol: For me it is a whole lot of extra work to make sure everything works right in another browser, when we already have a custom built Firefox package with everything set up out of the box. It is not worth the effort when there are many other areas I could be working on. If you prefer another browser I think a small download is not too much to ask. And my usual final argument >>> Even Damn Small Linux ships with Firefox, so it can't be all that bad :D Sorry, I can't dedicate that much time to replace something that works very well already.

I don't use a desktop email client. All my email is web based... So if the majority want Claws instead of Sylpheed, that can be done. Anyone else care to comment on Claws?

As of Gloria, there will be an LXDE CE maintained by McLovin. I do not yet know what plans he has for this new CE, but I hope we can collaborate and share at least some of the work load.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby tawan on Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:18 am

I'm quite new to Fluxbox, I will add things I learn to the wiki to help others.

As for Felicia, I think it's great, the only changes I made are cosmetic so I have nothing to offer towards Gloria except a pat on the back to Shane and encouragement to keep it up.

On that note I may suggest a version of the theme that has small monitors in mind, so exactly the same but smaller fonts, title bars, menu and panel. Just as an alternative to those like me who like the look but have less screen space to play with.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby Gunmetal_Ghoul on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:12 am

Well, since Fluxbox is touted as an efficient WM you could include some power-saving features for laptops out of the box. I am looking to Fluxbox to get more out of my battery life and would be happy to find the next release more optimized for laptop users. I hope this is not too much to ask, but this is a wishlist. Another nifty feature you could include is [offline] support and help documents included for the new user. Also, you could have Exaile installed instead of GMPC because I think this would be a better fit. I'll think of more ideas for you to chew on later....
Life's too short to keep things in their "out-of-the-box" condition....
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby gnomic on Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:20 pm

Having run Mint 6 fluxbox on a ThinkPad Z60m for a day or so, I notice there doesn't seem to be any sleeping going on, or at least screen dimming. The screen is always on. I haven't looked into this closely, perhaps there are some settings for energy saving or the like that I have missed? Otherwise it could be something to look at. Just about all current live distros blank the screen from my observations.

There is also the somewhat trickier ground of hibernation/suspending to RAM. These functions are no doubt harder to implement, perhaps especially in a live medium context. I have noted an unfortunate tendency in some recent distros to attempt this but fail - which results in the session falling over in a screaming heap. Probably better not to try unless success is more or less guaranteed. In general an area where Linux tends to fall short when compared to Windows/Mac, which I understand is mainly due to manufacturers not disclosing the requisite information, or weird implementations of power control.

As to GMPC, afraid I couldn't quite work out what this was meant to do. Hadn't encountered it hitherto, in my brief trial I didn't seem to be able to open any files on a local filesystem, is this network only? Didn't persevere as VLC suffices for playing music. The problem may have been between chair and keyboard.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby shane on Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:53 am

Power Management: right now the Felicia edition comes with Xscreensaver which allows power saving features such as turning off the screen and more advanced features such as Suspend and Hibernate. The exit dialog also provides Suspend and Hibernate. The backend for this is the same used in Ubuntu, 'pmi'. In the default setup, the default Xscreensaver settings are used. You can change then by going System Tools > Screesaver. Let me know if this provides for your needs.

GPMC: GMPC is really just a frontend for Media Player Daemon (MPD). It is not a conventional player as most are used to, but no other player I have tried is as light. MPD runs continuously in the background playing your music independent of anything else... including whether GMPC is running or not, you are logged in or even if X is running.

The unconventional daemon nature of MPD involves some quirks. Most importantly, it can only play media included in its library. The Felicia release is setup to include all users' Music directory in the MPD library. So to get your music to play in GMPC,move it to your ~/Music directory or create a system link in it and refresh the library. I explained this with a screenshot in the release notes. You must have missed it.

Offline documentation: I mentioned this in the last point of my original post here. Check that out...
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby ShadeTree on Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:08 pm

Personally I would like to see all distros come with at least one encryption tool and one Darknet client installed for plausible deniability. They can be very very small, conceal (crypt-manager) for example has a small footprint. And if that is out of the question how about providing a folder with the links to things like OneSwam and TrueCrypt.

As for aesthetics, how about rotating backgrounds that are full screen images of Susan Seddon Boulet's Shamanic Paintings?
Or one of her paintings turned into a screensaver?

Ok, I am a dreamer. Somebody has to dream up a better world this one is a nightmare.

One last thing, the configuration profiles set up so you can get back to earlier styles of desktops. I know some are tired of the black background but I love the intro tune.

Thanks for asking!

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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby tawan on Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:16 pm

ShadeTree wrote:Personally I would like to see all distros come with at least one encryption

On my root account only I added the dangerous yet useful "Shred"

In a root account Thunar window > Edit > Configure Custom Actions.. > Add one and call it "Shred" with the command
Code: Select all
xfce4-terminal -x shred -u %f


This means that anything such as a list of passwords, tax document or so on -> you go as root > right click the file and "Shred"

(obviously take care)

A terminal opens, the file is overwritten many times with random 1+0's then wiped off with a row of 0's

I also added a gpg -c option for encryption but this is actually easier to use via terminal.

Security is useful/important.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby murak on Wed May 06, 2009 5:56 pm

Since this is my first post; Thank you for your hard work on Fluxbox CE, I like it alot!

The biggest issue I had with mint6 Fluxbox CE was that I could not get my 3G-modem to work. The simplicity of fluxbox makes it a sweet os for netbooks and many tend to use mobile internet with netbooks, so an easy-to-configure network manager like NetworkManager Applet in Ubuntu 9.04 would be sweet.

The idea of a GUI tool for configuration of themes etc is greate, modular means it can start off small and grow.

Keep up the good work and good luck on your exams!
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby shane on Thu May 07, 2009 12:50 pm

Hi murak!

thanks for the feedback... There is also a discussion going on with the XFCE CE edition about using network-manager instead of wicd. I think that will help cover many modes of networking like modems and stuff... now we have Wicd, chestnut dialer and GPRS easy connect. But using means some gnome dependencies... so I would like to stay away from that unless necessary... But if networking is hard on machines that this edition is likely to be installed on, then that's a problem.

Could you please try and see if network-manager works better for your connection. If it does then we can consider making the switch.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby flux23 on Fri May 08, 2009 10:07 am

This is actually my first post as well, just wanted to say thank you Shane, Mint Fluxbox is great!

I'm not sure about the majority of others but I for one actually prefer Wicd over the gnome-network-manager.(I'm new to Linux so I may be ignorant to some pros vs cons concerning the two)


I was curious about one thing, I noticed when installing MintFB 6 before updating, there were several options in the custom configuration settings(IE- open as root, permanently delete,etc), but after the update the only option was "open terminal here". So I was just wondering if those options would be returning in Gloria or not. Additionally, on the chance that this is something I changed unintentionally please let me know. =D
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby shane on Fri May 08, 2009 10:21 am

Hi and thanks :D

I installed network manager on a VM and it seems to provide an easier interface for various types of connections such as DSL modems. It does use more RAM than Wicd and about 25MB more space on an installed system (that would be more important in the size of the ISO). For me Wicd has worked perfectly well but I haven't had the need for a dialer yet. I just wanted to know if more would benefit from switching... I could on the other hand include the packages on the Live CD repos like I did for the Atheros drivers.

As for your thunar actions, make sure this package is installed: thunar-custom-actions-xfce
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby murak on Mon May 11, 2009 5:56 am

Thanks for taking the time to check out Network Manager, shane. I dont have linux mint FB installed right now and I spent some time trying to get my Live usb stick to be able to save settings and install aps but I have not succeded as of yet. Therefore I have not been able to install and test Network Manager on my eeepc 901GO with Linux Mint FB. I did however try the already installed GPRS Easy Connect wich seemed to be a very able program, but it did not support my modem (Huawei EM770). It seems that GPRS Easy Connect is no longer being worked on, so I dont think my modem will be supported. I also tried messing around a bit more with wicd, but I quickly became aware that 3G-modems are not supported. This may change though: http://wicd.net/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=493

I understand that you want to keep the distro small and light on resourses and therefor Network Manager may not be the optimal choise. Maby there is another, smaller ap out there who can manage 3G-modems (and have a easy GUI :) )? I will have a look around and see if I can find something.

Thanks for listening!

Edit: I have however tried Ubuntu and Xubuntu 9.04 in wich Network Manager auto detects my 3G-modem and starts this little guide for me to configure my connection. I just have to select internet provider and country, then I´m connected. Works very well, even on Live CDs. Hope this helpes.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby charleshb on Thu May 28, 2009 4:10 pm

I know the standard answer for release dates is "When it's ready". However, I'm new to Linux Mint and was wondering how long the lag time is between release of main edition and community editions? Specifically approximately how long before Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE?
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby shane on Fri May 29, 2009 12:24 am

As with the Felicia release, I will be forking from the XFCE CE release... it saves me a lot of work getting the basic requirements of Mint setup up. Plus I have final exams coming up in October so I will have much less time for the Gloria release. That is my priority right now. The way I see things now is Gloria will be a small advancement in terms of Fluxbox CE specific features. I have contacted Merlwiz about his progress. He says his first DEV ISO should be ready in a week or so. I will start working on it then. My final push for RC will be after the XFCE CE RC is released. And that will last at least a couple of weeks until all the bugs are ironed out. I wish I had more time to dedicate to this release because there are many things that I want to see in it... But I might be forced to push them to Gloria +1.
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby Mr Pink57 on Fri May 29, 2009 1:05 am

I think a nice feature would be to allow us to choose apps on install vs having everything install regardless. I did not have a printer nor plan to get one with my laptop so I rather just not install this service. Also taking a book from Debian itself and have an option to install the separate patitions automatically i.e. /usr, /var, etc.

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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby shane on Fri May 29, 2009 6:02 am

This has been requested a number of times. If Clem decides to fork Ubiquity then we will see these features in Fluxbox CE...
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Re: Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" Fluxbox CE Wishlist & Discussion

Postby Willie Green on Fri May 29, 2009 9:44 am

Well first please allow me to thank-you for Linux Mint 6 "Felicia" Fluxbox CE. I only installed this distro a couple weeks ago and have been very impressed with it. You folks have an excellent distribution! :D
Prior to installing Mint, I had been using TinyFlux (based on PCLOS-2007) as a total linux newbie for the last year or so. I found it very easy to learn and it worked well on my older hardware. Unfortunately, TinyFlux development became dormant and breaks with the newer software in the PCLOS repositories.... hence my decision to try the Mint flavor of Fluxbox. :D

My suggestions are relatively minor, due to my inexperience with your distribution. But I would like to say that I like the way Mint automatically edits the Fluxbox menu when adding software from the repository. I had become accustomed to performing this task manually, and it isn't very difficult. But I do recognize that it's a timesaver and more convenient, especially for folks who may be uncomfortable with editing the menu file manually.

However, the use of Nautilus to set the wallpaper seems unnecessary to me. True, it does provide a nice little GUI preview of the available wallpapers. But it's just as easy to provide a list of wallpapers as a submenu in the Fluxbox menu tree without requiring users to edit the menu file and still remain compatible with traditional Fluxbox methods of setting the background. (This is my only "gripe" and is really just a matter of personal preference. :wink: )

I have no quibble with your excellent selection of apps, other than to say that I prefer Audacious for a music player.

However, if you're looking for a way to add a little customized pizazz to the eye appeal of your distro, I'd like to be bold enough to suggest something that I've been banging my head trying to figure out how to do: and that's how to provide a different wallpaper for each of the Fluxbox workspaces. Various Fluxbox "add-ons" such as "Fluxspace" promise such capability, but all seem to be dormant and incompatible with newer versions of Fluxbox. And at the Fluxbox Google Group, they suggested that I use a ruby script called rbworkspace, but I don't have the tinkering skills to do that kind of customization.

So alas and alack! I'm left with no option other than to humbly beseech those who are more skilled than I to kindly provide such a "simple" feature. :oops:

So please consider it... A different Mint wallpaper on each workspace would be kind of cool!!! 8)
Only problem is, I'm too clueless to figure out how to do it. :oops:
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