Desktop Environments and choice

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MurphCID
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by MurphCID »

Portreve wrote:
Wed Feb 09, 2022 5:47 pm
I started off as a Mac user, and of all the different DEs of old, without a doubt Gnome was the most Mac OS Finder-like.

I was still hip deep into using Mac OS and then Mac OS X when Gnome 3.0 came out, and my reaction to it was much the same as MurphCID above. While it has "gotten better" over all the subsequent dot releases, at the end of the day it remains a tablet interface trying to live in a desktop space.

I also second the comment about Cinnamon being the gold standard, particularly coming from the Classic Mac OS / Mac OS X world. I wouldn't hesitate a second to recommend it to anyone who uses a Mac.

This all said, i think we may be ignoring the vital contribution the underlying distro makes to the user experience. Recently i was running the (still) latest release of openSUSE, 15.3, and i couldn't help but be struck by how fundamentally unfriendly it was. I know enough to get by, but i couldn't help but constantly be reminded it (and other distros like it) pretty much require at least my level of technical knowledge and prior experience just to install it, much less to get by with it as your daily driver. Simply installing Cinnamon on top of it would not give you the same experience as you get running Cinnamon on Mint.
That is a really good point. I completely agree with you here. I now have to take my 2015 Macbook to get it fixed because the trackpad is no longer working. I thought it might be the battery but it only has 76 charges on it....
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by Hoser Rob »

Schultz wrote:
Tue Feb 08, 2022 12:30 pm
Hoser Rob wrote:
Tue Feb 08, 2022 12:07 pm
Personally, I'm the only user on my machines and I like KDE best. And I don't like systemd. On forums like these I never saw as many problems with the old SysV init system that I see with systemd, and sysV is a lot faster.
Do you use any other distro besides Mint?
I used to use Ubuntu, tried Fedora (hated it), about to become an MX user. MX 21 KDE is awesome if you don't mind Debian Stable base.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

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MX Linux is pretty good, I just can’t get it running on any of my system 76 machines because MX does not like coreboot.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

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I might try MX on an older HP that I have gathering dust to see if it works.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

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I have decided that if I cannot have Cinnamon, I will most likely use KDE.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by ChickyNuggiez »

I'm still on Mint cinnamon 19.3 and ive been on it almost 5 years will stay on it another 5 with the ESM extended security maintenance when 19.3 is no longer updated. I like to stick with things,when it works why rock the boat. :wink:
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by MurphCID »

Cinnamon is the easiest for former Winders users to transition over to Linux I suspect.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by MurphCID »

Having used several different DE's recently, I have decided (I already knew this), that Cinnamon, for me, is the best desktop environment. Darn! The coffee shop just ran out of milk....the horror no Lattes.

Also I have a quirk about desktops, I want them clean, few if any icons on the desktop, I want to see my wallpaper. My wife's computer sends my OCD into red alert, she puts EVERYTHING on the desktop. I cannot get her to stop doing it, and I ask her how she finds anything at all? I went through and created folders for her, does she use them? NO!
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by Portreve »

So, a little history from Portreve.

Let's set the TARDIS for the early 1990s.

In 1990, a company called NOW Software started introducing a line of programs for Classic Mac OS called NOW Utilities. These were a combination of utilities to do things like automatically do file save tasks, calendaring, and contact management. It became a very popular company and eventually Qualcomm acquired it. Some time thereafter, they sold it off to another company, Power On Software, which then updated the lineup for newer versions of Classic Mac OS, and added programs to it. One of those programs was called GoMac.

If you look at the linked page above, or do a Google image search for Classic Mac OS desktops with Action GoMac installed, you will begin to see a sort of "convergence" that is very recognizable in Gnome 1.x and 2.x desktops and, of course, Cinnamon.

NOW Software and Power On Software — I believe — had trial versions of their programs, and many members of the local Apple User Group (later turned into a Macintosh User Group) had bought copies of their stuff. I hadn't really bothered with them (I really didn't need Now Up-To-Date, or SuperBoomerang, etc.) but then Windows 95 came out, and of course eventually Windows 98. It was during that era that I'd gotten to play with Windows in any significant way, even buying copies when I'd built my various x86 boxes, and so I had become pretty familiar with the task bar and the Start menu. Somewhere around that time, Power On Software introduced GoMac (mentioned above) and to me, it represented an opportunity to correct a serious deficit Classic Mac OS had¹, while at the same time also having a way to overcome the shortcomings of Microsoft's Start menu². With GoMac, you could create folders in a specific reserved folder within your System Folder and put aliases (a.k.a. links or shortcuts) of installed programs there, thereby allowing you to organize your programs any way you liked. I always organized mine by category of function (Productivity, Games, Utilities, Desktop Publishing, Graphics, etc.)

So, put yourselves in my shoes for a moment. You cut your GUI teeth on Classic Mac OS, you spent a lot of years then using Classic Mac OS with Action GoMac installed, and then you migrated to Mac OS X, which has the Dock and in which you carried over the essence of what you did in Classic Mac OS using Action GoMac. Is it any wonder that I feel 100% at home in the classic Gnome / modern Cinnamon environment?


¹ Apple used a GUI (in particular, the desktop and file manager) implementation of the directory structure and navigation found in ProDOS, DOS 3.3, CP/M and MS-DOS, etc. and never really imposed any kind of organization, except to create a folder called "System Folder" and to define that it contained all OS-related data files. Other than that, pretty much everything sat in the root directory. In fact, Apple's original file system for the Mac, Macintosh File System (or MFS) only used virtual folders. It wasn't until the replacement Hierarchical File System (or HFS) that legitimate subdirectories were included. It also wasn't until System 8.0 that there were Application and other organizational folders.

² Microsoft never bothered about keeping the Start menu organized. Everything showed up in strictly alphabetical order, but not necessarily in the sort of alphabetical order one might expect; rather, some programs showed up directly, others in a folder named after the program, others in folders named after the bundle of which a program was a part, and other still in folders named after the company which produced the program.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by kenetics »

I use Mint Xfce on a 4 year old home built tower computer. I moved the task bar to the top and added a Plank dock to give it sort of a Mac look. Thunar is not my favorite file manager but I'll stick with it for now.

I have Mint Cinnamon on a newly built desktop computer and I'm happy with it. It has better specs then my tower.

One of my sons just put Mint Mate on a new Asus low-spec laptop. It has the same processor and 4 GB memory as their Chromebook and it came with Windows 11! It was on sale for $99.99. He put in a larger SSD and it runs quite well with Mint.
Using Mint as primary OS since 2006.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by The Muffin Man »

I use KDE out of the box (ala KDE Neon).
I use the Breeze Twilight theme, install Breezemite Window decorations and move the Window decorations to the left since I code on Mac (and play on Linux).
Other than that it's just stock. Sometimes I will experiment, etc, but in the end I go back to the default. (except the Window decorations)
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by MurphCID »

The Muffin Man wrote:
Thu Oct 06, 2022 7:53 pm
I use KDE out of the box (ala KDE Neon).
I use the Breeze Twilight theme, install Breezemite Window decorations and move the Window decorations to the left since I code on Mac (and play on Linux).
Other than that it's just stock. Sometimes I will experiment, etc, but in the end I go back to the default. (except the Window decorations)
I understand a lot of people code on a Mac. What makes them so good for coding?
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by acerimusdux »

I use Cinnamon, but with pcmanfm --desktop run as a startup application to manage the desktops, so I can have different backgrounds for each.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by The Muffin Man »

MurphCID wrote:
Fri Oct 07, 2022 9:50 am
I understand a lot of people code on a Mac. What makes them so good for coding?
The main thing is that it produces a paycheck ;)
I write code for a statistical software application that runs on Windows and Mac. (layered appropriately with mm/wpf and portable code in C++)
During the pandemic I went from a dual head set up in the office to a 13" laptop running KDE Neon. So I got used to 13" since it was _way_ more portable that a dual head. When the company started messing with VPN certs I opted for a company laptop and since I needed an M1 for the Mac work, that's where I am.
Now to answer your question. I like the keyboard, the retina display is very readable on 13", the M1 chip is very fast, and I have about 9 hours of code/compile/debug/teams on it.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by MurphCID »

The Muffin Man wrote:
Fri Oct 07, 2022 2:28 pm
MurphCID wrote:
Fri Oct 07, 2022 9:50 am
I understand a lot of people code on a Mac. What makes them so good for coding?
The main thing is that it produces a paycheck ;)
I write code for a statistical software application that runs on Windows and Mac. (layered appropriately with mm/wpf and portable code in C++)
During the pandemic I went from a dual head set up in the office to a 13" laptop running KDE Neon. So I got used to 13" since it was _way_ more portable that a dual head. When the company started messing with VPN certs I opted for a company laptop and since I needed an M1 for the Mac work, that's where I am.
Now to answer your question. I like the keyboard, the retina display is very readable on 13", the M1 chip is very fast, and I have about 9 hours of code/compile/debug/teams on it.
I too, prefer the smaller size laptops. My most used ones are 14".
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by The Muffin Man »

AdamFirst wrote:
Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:15 pm
It was during the period of Unity and Gnome3 that I settled on Linux Mint.

Whatever possessed designers to think that we need the same interface for phones, tablets, and computers?
Even Apple didn't do that ;)
I think MS tried to [have the same interface] with the Jornada and their Phone and Winddows CE, [and Zune], but we see where those are today.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by Portreve »

Windows CE, which I think was rebranded Windows Mobile (someone here correct me if I'm wrong) was discontinued, which is why you see a lot of major corrosive now using Android on their handheld scanners (Walmart, for instance).

The company I worked for had upgraded their older scanners to Windows CE-based ones even though it's now a dead-end platform.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by The Muffin Man »

Yep... That's what happens when UI tries to be the same on all platforms.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by MurphCID »

The Muffin Man wrote:
Fri Oct 07, 2022 9:22 pm
Yep... That's what happens when UI tries to be the same on all platforms.
And it usually fails at all eventually.
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Re: Desktop Environments and choice

Post by Portreve »

I just wanted to add something else to this discussion, though technically I kind of touched on this a bit earlier.

Right this second, I am running a VirtualBox VM install of openSUSE Leap 15.4, running KDE.

The thing which strikes me about this is that there's no way a "normal person" type of computer owner would be as comfortable. I mean, don't get me wrong, KDE is nice and there's really in this regard nothing specifically wrong with it, but unless you're really just "into" technology for technology's sake, there's no way someone is going to feel this is particularly intuitive, and therefore would feel empowered to be a master over it.

What brought this whole topic to mind is also what gave me the idea for an example to use: installing software.

In the Linux Mint Software center, it's friendly and it makes finding software a normal person might want to install pretty easy. It's a very clean and intuitive process. But with openSUSE, there's no real categories you can click through. And even though the installer has a GUI, it's not friendly and doesn't facilitate "finding" software you don't already know about.

So, it's not just the desktop environment: it's all the userland tools and components which can make or break an experience for a user.
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