for anyone curious about Linux byond Ubuntu...
palcibiades-first at yahoo.co.uk
Thu Jul 12 02:45:03 CDT 2007
To install new software, you would normally use Synaptic - Elive is standard
Debian. Its in the control panel (the one part of Elive that I find
aesthetically really jarring).
The interesting question raised is about usability. E17 is very
different from the standard model.
The difference with Enlightenment is that its very fast relative to the level
of graphical effects offered. Its also unusual in being heavily graphical
and also keyboard oriented. To use it well you have to be prepared to learn
the keyboard shortcuts. What Elive has done is take E, and marry it to a
sort of preconfigured Debian with lots of multimedia apps preconfigured, and
do heavy theming. They've also done their own control centre. Synaptic is
available from one of the control center icons. It certainly is not for the
Windows or OSX refugee. For them, the one to go for is PCLinux. Or the
fashionable Ubuntu, though I think PCL is a better choice than this. Its
also not for people who know exactly what they want, and are ready to
configure it, who will be happier with Debian and a minimal install which
they add to.
The usability of window managers is an interesting topic. It has a long tail -
just how long, you can see when people are free to produce what they want and
share it. You have things like Fluxbox, Blackbox, Openbox, where the
windows all work the same way as normal, but the interface is minimal and
without desktop. Then you've tiled window managers, like Ion or WMII, where
the aim is to rely on the keyboard and have all the screen area occupied by
the app (or apps) often using tabs. The aim is also to reduce overhead to a
minimum. They are surprisingly usable if you persist, and very fast. You
have sports, like E or FVWM which are sort of one-offs with surprisingly
active development and substantial followings.
I'm personally too oriented to the minimalist to want to use E every day.
Fluxbox or even Ion is more comfortable. But its an impressive achievement,
and it shakes up your ideas about what usability means. Its not a 'one size
fits all'. It is also, like many of the smaller desktops, ease of use, not
ease of learning. (The distinction occurs in programming languages as
Interestingly, you can see the same pressures acting un Ubuntu. The main line
is Gnome. But we have Kubuntu (KDE), Xubuntu (Xfce), Fluxubuntu
(Fluxbox),.Elbuntu (E). One day we will probably wake up to tiled-Ubuntu.
It makes you think its a historical accident that we have one standard
desktop model, and that if the lid were taken off, Apple and MS would diverge
away from HIG and one size fits all, also.
More information about the use-livecode