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A Look At the Lightweight Equinox Desktop Environment 197

Linux.com (who share Slashdot's corporate overlords) takes a look at the Equinox Desktop Environment and why, even though it is extremely lightweight, it may still lack the ability for widespread appeal. "the Equinox Desktop Environment (EDE) is the fastest desktop environment I know of -- but its lack of standards support and a few missing features may be troubling to some users. [...] EDE feels as light as a window manager but also offers the features mentioned above. The speed advantage of EDE most likely lies in its foundation, a modified version of the Fast Light ToolKit GUI library. EDE started almost instantly on the 500MHz machine I tested it on, whereas the other environments needed at least a few seconds. EDE provides a coherent and simple interface that requires little effort to learn."
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A Look At the Lightweight Equinox Desktop Environment

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  • I thought ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jsnipy ( 913480 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @03:42PM (#23548151) Journal
    I thought the command line was the fastest desktop interface ;)
    • Re:I thought ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @03:50PM (#23548231)
      I went through a phase back in 2002 where I only used console tools. I didn't log into X for 3 months.

      I did all my editing in vi, used epic for irc, naim (ncurses-based aim/icq client), w3m for web browser, etc.

      I'd just Alt+F(x) between my vtty's and do my business. Frankly, I think that was one of the happiest times I've had on a computer in a long while.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 26, 2008 @03:59PM (#23548321)
        The ASCIIpr0n starts to get old after a while though
      • by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:00PM (#23548333)

        I went through a phase back in 2002 where I only used console tools. I didn't log into X for 3 months. ...
        Frankly, I think that was one of the happiest times I've had on a computer in a long while.
        So why did you stop?

        (Perhaps you were fed up missing out on images?)
      • I'd just Alt+F(x) between my vtty's and do my business.

        What, no screen? :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gnugnugnu ( 178215 )
      The command line is an interface but it isn't a Desktop interface.
      • Re:I thought ... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:53PM (#23548825)
        That's really not true, all of the original Desktop computers were CLI only. The term "Desktop" refers to the location of the computer not to the interface. It's a statement of format rather than presentation. It was in contrast to mainframes and mini-computers of the day, this one could be placed on a desk and used. Sort of like later when notebooks and laptops were made.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by strabes ( 1075839 )
          Doesn't "desktop" refer to the "desktop metaphor" not the fact that the monitor is sitting on the top of a desk?
        • It was in contrast to mainframes and mini-computers of the day, this one could be placed on a desk and used.

          On top of a desk is actually a pretty silly place to put a computer. I guess I always knew this, but it took until December 2007 for me to fully realize it. My bedroom was being redecorated, I left my PC on the desk while it was happening, my dad got clumsy as usual... BANG! Three foot fall on to a thin carpet on top of sturdy floorboards with no underlay. Poor San never stood a chance.

          My new PC sits quite safely in a purpose-made cupboard on the lower left-hand side of my new desk. It's a bit quieter a

          • On top of a desk is actually a pretty silly place to put a computer.

            Well yes, unless it is a desktop style case instead of the now more common tower.

            (It's hard to find non-tower cases anymore, the best example I could fine was here [directron.com].)

  • by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @03:47PM (#23548195) Journal
    They want their GUI interface back.
    There have been so many great UI innovations in the last decade, this seems pretty niche to me...
    • This could be a pretty good niche product for if you don't want too heavy a DE though, just something simple with little (ok, NO) eye candy. Talking "we need something lighter than WindowMaker" here, of course ;)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bmo ( 77928 )
        "Talking "we need something lighter than WindowMaker" here, of course ;)"

        What, like Open Look with a decent file manager? I've been fond of that since forever ago - since 486 and 8 megs ago. Can anyone get more lightweight than that?

        Gimme back my oval buttons, bitch.

        --
        BMO
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JDWTopGuy ( 209256 )
      Actually, IMO copying the Win95 interface may be EDE's strongest selling point. Who on earth doesn't know how to use it?
    • by Rhapsody Scarlet ( 1139063 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @09:10PM (#23550839) Homepage

      They want their GUI interface back.

      There have been so many great UI innovations in the last decade, this seems pretty niche to me...

      Better that than copying Windows 3.1 [blogspot.com]. Seriously, this may have been meant as humorous but I'm starting to get frustrated. Windows 95 is one of the very few times that Microsoft got things indisputably right. Yet despite that, it seems that everyone is determined to redesign this classic formula in an attempt to making things more usable, only I haven't seen anyone actually get it right. I'm using KDE right now, since it seems they're the ones least infected with this "Let's change everything for the sake of seeming fresh and original!" virus (seems to have started [wikipedia.org] with [wikipedia.org] Microsoft [wikipedia.org] and spread out from there), but I'm sceptical about KDE 4. I know I'll probably use it someday, but I'm scared that they're going to fuck it up and the best desktop environment will end up losing a lot of its lead.

      I'm sure there's a user interface revolution on the scale of Windows 95 out there somewhere, I'm just hoping we don't have to wade through too much more crap before someone finds it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by glwtta ( 532858 )
        Windows 95 is one of the very few times that Microsoft got things indisputably right.

        You keep using that word... etc, etc...
  • OLPC? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CustomDesigned ( 250089 ) <stuart@gathman.org> on Monday May 26, 2008 @03:49PM (#23548229) Homepage Journal
    Maybe EDE is a better GUI for OLPC. Starting the GUI instantly would be nice (takes about 10 seconds to restart sugar).
    • by Sanity ( 1431 )
      Sugar is awful, read here [locut.us] about installing Ubuntu and using XFCE, its far more usable.
    • by grumbel ( 592662 )
      The only real problem Sugar has is that applications take 10 seconds to start, even trivial "hello world" ones, which start pretty much instantly when you start them directly. Starting of Sugar itself is really a non-issue and much of the booting time is taking up by other stuff. So I really doubt EDE would be a good choice. On a small screen you really want something that doesn't force you to mess around with tiny little windows, but instead something that takes up the whole screen and lays out everything
  • Yucky (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jberryman ( 1175517 )
    It looks like a Windows 98 clone; even that graphic with the computer and keyboard looks like it was stolen from a MS time capsule.
  • "Missing Features" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darundal ( 891860 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @03:53PM (#23548265) Journal
    I wonder if those missing features were not included for speeds sake or because the developers of EDE didn't think that they were important.
    • It's also possible that they're all on the developer's ToDo lists and that their Tuits haven't had their turn on the lathe yet.
      • by pbhj ( 607776 )
        [quote]heir Tuits haven't had their turn on the lathe yet[/quote]

        Now that's what I like about slashdot, obscure references to quirky sayings that 99% of the world never heard in the first place.

        In Soviet Russia tuits get round to you!
  • Plenty of choices (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @03:55PM (#23548279)
    There are also plenty of great uses for lightweight window managers:

    1) New low-power machines with slower CPU's
    2) Older machines being brought back to life
    3) Lock-down environments were you want grant a little as possible to the user. Kiosks, single-purpose machines, etc
    4) Thin client environments where you want to push as little eye candy as possible through the network
    5) Smaller virtual machines where you want to use a little space as possible
    6) Live distros that you want to load quicky

    We have used IceWM for over a decade. Fast, stable, controllable: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icewm [wikipedia.org]
    Looks like EDE is just another to add to the mix of blackbox, fluxbox, twm, etc.
    • by thewils ( 463314 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:24PM (#23548573) Journal
      7) Confusing the idiot who comes to install your Cable Modem.

      Me to Confused Techie: "What are you looking for?".
      Techie: "My Network Places".
      Me: "Arf!".
      • by bmo ( 77928 )
        I got to introduce a Cox techie (an actual techie, not a subcontractor) to Linux.

        It went like this: Run the coax from the outside box to the basement and connect to the coax hanging from the basement ceiling. Go to apartment. Hook up coax to cable modem, cat5 from cable modem to computer, and plug in cable modem power brick. Power-cycle everything. Watch network connection come up on boot screen. Connected. Browse Google to confirm. Done.

        "That was the easiest install I ever did" says he. Sure as hell
        • Why'd you reboot? That seems like a pointless step.
          • by bmo ( 77928 )
            "Why'd you reboot? That seems like a pointless step."

            Belt and braces. I was anticipating problems, especially since the tech wasn't familiar with Linux, and at the time I hadn't dealt with cable broadband installation before, being a former dialup victim. That was a few (5?) years ago.

            --
            BMO
      • Confusing the idiot who comes to install your Cable Modem.

        My best experience of that involved the idiot insisting that he had to install the road runner software from his cd, or he would not complete the installation (or hand over my modem)

        Me: "You can't. Not only do I not want you to install it, but it's actually impossible for you to do so. I'm not running windows."
        Techie: "Is this a mac?"
        Me: "No, it's Linux."
        Techie: "If it's not a mac, it will work."
        Me (actually amused at this point): "Be my guest and try it out."

        I figured he would at least dou

  • but does it run on Exherbo?
    • Re:Yes, (Score:5, Funny)

      by hansraj ( 458504 ) * on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:20PM (#23548531)
      It tried but was snubbed by the Exherbo developers. True story:
      EDT - Exherbo Dev Team, EDE - Equinox Desktop Environment

      EDT: Exherbo is one bad ass muthafucking distro! Seriously!

      EDE: Cool! I wan to run on Exherbo.
      EDT: No, you don't.

      EDE: No really, I do.
      EDT: OK. But we will have to break you since our distro is so badass that it does everything badly.
      EDE: eeep
  • xfce (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nawcom ( 941663 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:02PM (#23548345) Homepage
    I still like xfce for over this. It looks alot like windows 9x for some reason. http://www.xfce.org/ [xfce.org] I dunno. I'm the enlightenment/fluxbox type, but if I want a DE so i can use compiz as the window manager, I always got lost in deciding Gnome or KDE, but as soon as I found xfce I decided its the best. The number of tray plugins are sortof limited, but all it needs is more developers willing to help out with that end.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Yeah if it's a lightweight DE you're looking for, Xfce is pretty much the only logical choice. I also switched from Fluxbox to Xfce and couldn't believe how much lighter and faster this thing is than Gnome or KDE given it has all the same core functionality.

      The number of tray plugins are sortof limited, but all it needs is more developers willing to help out with that end.

      I've never had this problem. There's quite a nice list here [xfce.org], but if that's not enough, you can always use Gnome plugins with it [xfce.org]. Granted, a lot of people (including myself) refuse to install the base gnome or kde libs, in which case that wouldn't be via

  • by speculatrix ( 678524 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:10PM (#23548427)

    yet another light-weight desktop. fluxbox, xfce, ratpoison, etc etc. why so many?

    herewith my theory of the cycle of lightweight software.

    • program $Z is bloated and slow, lets write a small, streamlined, lightweight replacement
    • 0.0 - the program runs, does something but not much
    • 0.1 - it's beginning to be useful
    • 0.2 - it's not bad, you don't miss program $Z so much now
    • 0.3 - 0.9 - hey, where's my fave feature $F, you can't be seriously missing that out, ok, we'll add that in
    • release 1.0 - quite good, not too bloated, fairly quick, has its serious fanboys, but most people would rather stick with $Z and buy a faster computer to keep the missing features
    • 1.1 to 2.0 - adding all the features that made $Z great, gaining bloat and bugs, losing speed all the way
    • release 2.0 - a direct replacement for $Z and runs 20% faster
    • release 2.1 - fixing all the bugs discovered now the code base is too big to audit, making it much less secure than the now quite mature $Z
    • Hey, your new program is a bit bloated and slow, I'm going to write a replacement for it and it's going to be a small, streamlined, lightweight replacemen
    and repeat ad nauseam
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Your description is a good summary of "not invented here syndrome." Rather than fix/optimize slow, bloated program $Z they try to reinvent it from scratch and not suprisingly make most of the same mistakes by the time it's comparable to $Z.

      But seriously - Given 3 or 4 desktops (Gnome, KDE, some lightweights), are any of you going to seriously claim you can't find or custom configure at least /one/ of them to be what you want? There comes some point as which we need a benevolent dictator to knock people's
      • by martin-boundary ( 547041 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @06:44PM (#23549701)
        Not really. You're assuming that OSS desktops are all chasing a single ideal target, which simply isn't the case.

        If two teams both try for the exact same target program, then a single team which pools the available expertise is more efficient. However, if two teams try for two different target programs, then a single team is less efficient, since the result will be approaching neither of the two targets.

        The mistake many OSS commentators make is that they think OSS wants to go where they would like it to go. Then they say things like why have several desktops, when the one ideal desktop *I* want is a combination of a couple of existing ones, and they would be more efficient at offering what *I* want if they combined forces instead of duplicating effort.

        In fact, if the goal is to get close to what each person wants for all people at the same time (the "utilitarian" goal), the best approach is to have hundreds of slight variations of the same program, so that regardless of what any one person wants, there's a random program which is only a short distance away. The more programs there are, the shorter the distance for everybody simultaneously.

      • Splitting efforts over N projects to do the same thing is bad as N grows

        Only if you assume that the resource pool is fixed. In open source, it tends to be a function of N. The more different approaches there are, the more people find an approach that appeals to them and decide to pitch in.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lekikui ( 1000144 )
        No, doesn't work.

        Just for the hell of it, let's take an example. The killer feature I need is tiling of some sort. I don't want to have to hand-manage all my windows.

        Anyway, take Gnome, KDE, and a couple of the more mainstream lightweights --- for example, fluxbox and aewm. They can do a lot of stuff, but not one of those does tiling. So maybe add Ion to the list. Except that also doesn't behave the way I like. Possibly quark, which is nice, but not so usable on such a tiny screen. Maybe the way to go would
    • by Abreu ( 173023 )
      That sounds depressingly like Sisiphus' punishment

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisiphus [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Tyir ( 622669 )
      While your story does sound reasonable, I don't think that is what happens. For example, fluxbox is just now 1.0, and is still starts in around .5 seconds, and is really minimalistic. As is ratpoison, ion3, all the rest. I think the reason for them is that it's an itch that a lot of geeky OSS types like to scratch. A lot of people think GNOME/KDE are too slow, and people are very *very* particular about their window manager. If it doesn't fit exactly the way you want, then they write a new one. That's my fe
    • by value_added ( 719364 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @05:20PM (#23549065)
      yet another light-weight desktop. fluxbox, xfce, ratpoison, etc etc. why so many?
      herewith my theory of the cycle of lightweight software.


      A better theory may be that people are simply looking for different feature sets. This ain't Windows, so you can do things any which way you please.

      To use your example of fluxbox, xfce and ratpoison, I doubt you'd find anyone who would say any of them is even remotely similar to the other, other than to characterise all of them as "lightweight", and that's only in the context of Gnome and KDE. Similarly, I doubt you'd find anyone using ratpoison, for example, who would even consider xfce.

      Me, I use fluxbox. It looks and behaves exactly like I want. That's not to say I wouldn't drop it in a heartbeat if someone wrote Yet Another Lightweight Window Manager that was similar to fluxbox, but offered some trivial features that fluxbox lacks but are found elsewhere.

      There's merit to the "cycle of lightweight software" argument, but I really don't see it being very meaningful or useful here.
    • Sounds like the transition from Phoenix to Firefox...
  • by Tom9729 ( 1134127 ) <tom9729NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:10PM (#23548431) Homepage
    Why not just make your own desktop environment?

    I used to use Gnome, but then it got too bloated so I moved to XFCE. Now XFCE is bloated (memory leaks in the panel app don't help either), so I made my own "desktop environment".

    I use fbpanel [sourceforge.net] as a panel, Sawfish [wikia.com] as a window manager, ImageMagick's "display" program to set the wallpaper, the Gnome settings daemon/screensaver applications, and a quick little Bash script I wrote to launch a Nautilus window without taking over the desktop.

    Sawfish has more features than Metacity, and pretty close to the same number of themes.

    The whole thing takes less than 40mb. I realize something like this isn't for everyone, but for me it does just what I want without using that much memory.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jasonmanley ( 921037 )
      Wow this sounds like a cool little project. You should blog it with step-by-step instructions for others who might like to try it out ( like me :) ) I love to hear stories of people who innovate by thinking outside the spinning rhombus.
      • I've thought about putting together some sort of metapackage for Debian. Just haven't had the time. :)
    • by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:45PM (#23548757) Homepage Journal

      I've never really gotten into the desktop idea, especially with the panel. I started my Linux journey with Gnome, and with a 800x600 laptop display I thought the panel is a waste of space. Later I used Enlightenment for quite a while, and finally settled into the lightweight window manager world with Blackbox and then Fluxbox.

      My .xinitrc sets the background image with xsetbg and launches an xterm. I have a key combination to lauch more xterms, plus a few selected applications in the Fluxbox menu. The idea of opening a menu just by clicking the background is awesome -- no wasted space or distraction by the panel. I also use lots of virtual desktops, generally one per task, so as not to distract from the playing around.. I mean the job.

      • My panel takes up roughly 20px of space at the top of the screen, and I have a fairly high resolution monitor (1920x1200) so space isn't too much of an issue for me. The main reason I keep it around is for the system tray.

        On a desktop computer I probably wouldn't bother, but on my laptop I like having a wifi applet running as well as some sort of battery applet. I know there are other ways to have those (without the panel), but to me it seems like a fairly sensible place to keep them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Jorophose ( 1062218 )
      Alternatively you could drop nautilus and imagemagick's utility for ROX-filer. Excellent little file manager, just needs a menu bar IMHO for those of us who plan not to use it with ROX... Or it wouldn't even be too hard to write in yourself, would it? It's nice the way it is normally anyway, just looks a bit odd.

      Handles desktop items too. Running with IceWM it generally sits on ~50MB/60MB of RAM, but as we know wasted RAM is wasted RAM so I'm thinking they suck up as much as they can.
      • by coaxial ( 28297 )
        Wgt would you want to use nautilus? It's clunky, and has been clunky for 8 years.
        • IMO Nautilus is a pretty nice file-manager that suffers from horrible default settings.

          Breadcrumbs and spatial navigation are two things I turn off immediately upon installation of Nautilus. I can't imagine who would actually want to use either.

          Yes, it is pretty bloated. Most Gnome programs are, but for something I have open very rarely I could care less.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jalefkowit ( 101585 )

      Why not just make your own desktop environment?

      Because memory costs practically nothing and my time is expensive?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tom9729 ( 1134127 )

        Why not just make your own desktop environment?


        Because memory costs practically nothing and my time is expensive?

        I said my solution wasn't for everyone. ;)

        I spent maybe 20 minutes setting the whole thing up on a whim. It's not like I went out and coded my own DE.
    • by pavon ( 30274 )
      Is that 40mb counting when you have a Nautilus window open? That memory hog is a major reason why I stopped using GNOME. I might try it again if it's gotten better.
      • Nautilus IS a memory hog (takes up 20mb), but I rarely have it running so I didn't include it in those 40mb.

        I use the terminal for most things, but when I do want a graphical file manager Nautilus takes the cake. ROX filer is just annoying, and Thunar (the XFCE file manager) takes up nearly as much memory.
    • by coaxial ( 28297 )
      All hail Sawfish! All hail Lisp!

      (I've used it since it was called Sawmill.)
  • Microsoft called... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mdw2 ( 122737 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:17PM (#23548495)
    and they want their win95 widgets back.

    I would be quite upset if a GUI toolkit that looked like windows 95 wasn't quick on a 500MHz cpu. Win95 itself was blazing fast on hardware of that speed.
  • yet another (Score:3, Informative)

    by nawcom ( 941663 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @04:17PM (#23548507) Homepage
    I wonder why this one gets its promotion from linux.com... Here's another one (that's at least new to me) http://lxde.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

    Same concept, but it sounds like its at a slightly more stable state. Check it out as I just did.

  • Personally, I'm perfectly happy with just a window manager. I run fluxbox, and it's as fast as every GUI should be, i.e., fast enough that I can't tell that it's not responding instantaneously. The whole idea of having a computer screen littered with icons is something that I got used to ca. 1985, because it was the only game in town, but eventually I decided I didn't like. It feels like in addition to the mess on my physical desk, I'm also being saddled with a mess on my computer desktop.

    But the good new

    • Eh? My Gnome desktop looks about a hundred times more like OSX than Windows. It's just about five clicks to make the transformation anyway. Both operating systems are so very similar in appearance these days.

  • "sudo sh -c 'wget -qO- http://equinox-project.org/netinstall [equinox-project.org] | sh'"

    Am I the only one who thinks that's a really bad idea?

    I was going to rant about their blatant Windows 95 rip off, but thought I'd look at their official screenshot page [equinox-project.org] first. It's not as bad as the screenshot in the article makes it seem.

    • Am I the only one who thinks that's a really bad idea?
      it's generally bad practice to run any script from a remote source off the bat. If you're really paranoid, you don't have to run the script, I'd suggest looking it over in any case and if you're really curious what it does, but still a bit skiddish, I'd recommend running it through a virtual machine where generally even rm -rf * won't hurt your host install but frankly if you're that worried about it don't run it.
    • On the screenshot page they show a system with a lot of foxes.. which had me thinking a bit. There is also a Fox Toolkit, which is a different animal than FLTK. They say this is a modified version of FLTK and the widgets are definately better (IMO) than the stock FLTK http://www.fltk.org/ [fltk.org] and seem more in line with the FOX toolkit http://www.fox-toolkit.org/ [fox-toolkit.org]

      That using the foxes thing is pretty weird.. don't know what that's all about.

    • Am I the only one who thinks that's a really bad idea?

      Yes and no. While you are giving an unknown script root access (a bad idea if there ever was one), it is really not much different then "sudo apt-get install *package*" on Ubuntu as in both cases you are running an unknown binary. Or it could be similar to "just add" deb *somesite* to your apt source list and then sudo apt-get install *package* or it would be just as bad to just chmod +rwx *binary* and ./binary. So yes, it is a bad idea, but many other ways of downloading Linux packages are worse (as y

  • But a major problem is EDE's non-conformance to the popular freedesktop standards.

    You know, what joker looked at the Unix world and said, "You know what we don't have enough of? Security holes based on file name extensions. That is really an advantage Windows has over us." and then implemented *.desktop?

    Because it's the worst aspects of Windows's PIFs, and extension hiding, and everything else, all rolled into one. They couldn't be bothered to even make such files only work when executable.

    Can't wa

  • Three words... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by milatchi ( 694575 )
    MaXX Interactive Desktop.
    MID is heavily based upon SGI's Indigo Magic Desktop and IRIX Interactive Desktop environments. I believe the developer may have an agreement with SGI also.
    http://5dwm.org/ [5dwm.org]
    Anyway, since it's probably not GPL you can mod this post down like I know you want to.
  • Missing it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @05:33PM (#23549163)

    Linux.com ... takes a look at the Equinox Desktop Environment and why, even though it is extremely lightweight, it may still lack the ability for widespread appeal.
    Perhaps because "extremely lightweight" isn't the factor most users base their decisions on?
  • Round corners are in.
    Grey is out.
    • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Monday May 26, 2008 @05:54PM (#23549349)

      Round corners are in. Grey is out.


      Exactly. Many non-technical users judge the quality of Linux by what the DE looks like. If it has a black bar on the bottom it is futuristic and "vista-like", if it has a brightly colored bar on the bottom it is automatically XP-like and seems to be as familiar to them as XP, if it has a bar at the top and the bottom it becomes OS X-like, however if it is grey on the bottom and uses a rectangle as a applications menu, it is automatically thought as Windows 95/98/ME and old and obsolete. Now, all this could be avoided by using say, black or another color on the bottom, but grey will always make the non-technical users think that Linux is as current as Windows 98. Ubuntu with the brown color scheme seems to avoid this as brown hasn't been used much in any default Windows theme yet.
  • What about IceWM? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ilyakub ( 1200029 )
    I'm surprised to see that no one has yet mentioned IceWM. It's just as fast (or faster) than this EDE, but is much more popular and customizable. You can make IceWM look like almost every operating system, including Ubuntu (with the IceBuntu theme), Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Plus, IceWM has the best keyboard shortcut support of any desktop environment I've ever used.
    • icewm popped into my head when I was looking at this. And even moreso, JWM. The default theme for joe's window manager with Damn Small Linux looks a lot like the screenshots of EDE posted.

      The other window manager with damn small linux is Fluxbox. And I have to say I love fluxbox and it runs really quick even on my older comps (Celeron 466, P3 450, P2 233, P 200). I'll have to try out EDE and see how it stacks up against whatever DSL chooses to use.
  • Sure, it might be pretty and let you drag around windows and pop up menus at lightning speed, but its the applications that really matter on a day to day basis..

    Without that underlying toolkit i don't see a point. And most the ones that actually matter are pretty bloated these days.

    FLTK might be quick, but where are the *real* apps?

Thrashing is just virtual crashing.

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