Re: metacity, vte

On Sun, 2002-09-22 at 20:05, Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 22, 2002 at 02:05:58PM -0400, Sean Middleditch wrote:
> > I agree that the average user shouldn't be asked to pick a WM.  That is
> > a horrible way to "Make computing easy."
> Granted. A default value is good (make that essential) for the begginer.
> > I still disagree on the capplet, however, if only because users are in
> > general idiots, a lot of them are going to end up changing to Sawfish or
> > whatnot without having any clue what they're "playing with" and breaking
> > their setup, and so on.
> Well, a lot of people [1] do dumb things that bite them in the ass!
> That does not mean we should put diapers and iron-shirts on everyone.
> The kind of users who are like that, don't even grasp that they can make
> their desktop different, so this is a moot disagreement since they will
> not change _anything_ at all on 99.99% of the cases. Besides, I think
> that such a capplet

You've never worked a support desk, have you?  ~,^  There are way too
many people who *think* they know what they're doing... Quote: "You
could set up a super computer with those two old machines!  Ya, I read
PC Magazine, I know how you techies think."  Same guy didn't understand
the difference between RAM and hard-disk space.  These are the people
that are advanced enough to start "customizing" their machines, then
come complaining to my boss or I because "it just went all weird.  I
didn't do anything."

> > I would maintain that if you are an advanced enough user to configure
> > and use Sawfish, even tho it will not be integrated into GNOME the way
> > Metacity should (and hopefully will) be, you are also advanced enough to
> > change your WM without using a capplet.
> *sigh* I long for the days when you 'hand' edited .Xsession in order to
> change your window manager... if you where lucky to get an X term
> instead of a vt100 term.
> That kind of user is not advanced enough unless you mean to point to a
> sawfish user who understands rep. Having more than two brain cells is
> not advanced enough, just a multiple of 50% more intelligent than a
> 2 BC owner.

OK, I'm lost somewhere here - is this an argument for or against my
statement?  ~,^

> He may even just want a lighter window manager (aewm for one) like his
> 'techie' friend told him since that would help improve the performance of
> his old hardware!

Well, since this really isn't even true if you have the massive
over-head of the rest of gnome running... ~,^  His techie friend can
e-mail him the one-line command to paste into the terminal.  ;)

> > Given as how things seem to be going in the direction that configuration
> > like metacity fonts and themes will be tied into the existing setup,
> > allowing average users to run a WM like Sawfish then have a bunch of
> > options to "Change Window Borders" or "Change Window Title Fonts" that
> > don't affect their window borders/titles will be bad.
> Yes. But then, a GNOME compliant window manager can just listen to these
> gconf keys and adapt itself, regardless of what wm we're talking about.
> So the capplet would have to be bright enough to only show GNOME
> compliant window managers (or at least, according to that version of GNOME) in
> order to reduce this problems I don't know if that would mean using
> heuristics (not very good) or just leaving that responsability on the window
> manager (it would register itself somewhere on install, which I think is a
> better way)!

Well, this isn't the case at the moment.  ;-)

Again, I don't see how anyone who changes their WM to get l337 features
the average user doesn't need should be pampered to.  Maybe disabling
the WM capplet features if Metacity isn't running would at least avoid
*some* confusion.

> > An option to change window-managers is just horrible for a desktop that
> > is supposed to be an integrated whole.  Might as well add back in an
> > option to switch between GMC and Nautilus if we want that much of a
> > usability nightmare.  (note - anyone suggesting such a feature should be
> > kicked in the skin.  twice.)
> <sarcasm>
>   I suggest changing to MS Windows if you like integrated holes[2].
> </sarcasm>

lol.  Just because MS has a poor implementation of integrated components
(granted, it's more complete and more mature than either KDE or GNOME
atm, but nevermind that) doesn't mean all integration sucks.  By
integration, I'm mostly meaning things like gconf, and simple
configuration: i.e., instead of a gtk theme capplet and a sawfish theme
capplet and a metacity theme capplet and etc., just a theme capplet with
"application" and "window border" sections (hell, I still vote for
KDE-style themes where a single theme file does it all).  Or the way
Metacity key bindings are configured in the one and only key-bindings
capplet in gnome2.  That is integration, so far as the user is

Again, one could make these options be disabled if Metacity isn't
running.  Or make a spec for WM's to follow.  Which would be a pain, and
95% of WM's wouldn't bother with it at all (most don't even follow the
current spec accurately, much less asking them to use gconf or other
gnome technologies).  Heck, as I recall, the Sawfish maintainer(s) are
*waiting* for Sawfish to cease being the official GNOME wm.  I doubt any
WM other than Metacity will, in the foreseeable future, work properly

> GNOME is not just for those kinds of users. That said, at least a
> gconf-key should be there:
> There is:
>     /desktop/gnome/applications/window_manager:
> Well, just imagine[3]:
>     /desktop/gnome/applications/file_manager:
>      draw_desktop = true
>      exec = /usr/bin/nautilus
>      default_view = icons

that's all fine and dandy.  Hell, *if* there were two WM's that both
fully inter-operated with settings in the control center (using the same
capplets), or two desktop/file managers that did such, I wouldn't have a
problem.  Thing is, there isn't.

It may perhaps be more fruitful to the users to create a WM that works
for everyone, instead of saying "if you have these needs use Foo, or
these needs use Bar."  There shouldn't be any compelling reason to
change WM's.  Those that just want to be l337 can be 'elite' and use the
command line (or hell, gconf-editor if they're pansies and the
window_manager key works) to change it.  So far as *I'm* concerned,
Metacity is it.  For others, the ones that aren't just complaining about
the lack of "useless overkill l337 feature X", it would be a better use
of time to just fix Metacity, instead of worrying how to let users pick
between multiple broken WM's.

> Etcetera.
> Hugs, Rui
> [1]
> [2] intentional typo ;)
> [3] please don't kick me in the skin. twice.
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> desktop-devel-list mailing list
> desktop-devel-list gnome org

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