What applications do Xfce users use?

Joe dev at freedomcircle.net
Fri Aug 18 00:32:44 CEST 2006


Although I'm no stranger to UNIX (had access to an early Sun station
back in '82), I've been mostly on Windows for the past decade (with
telnet access to Linux, Solaris, VMS, etc., professionally).  About two
months ago I decided to migrate to FreeBSD on a rather "modest" system:
P4, 256MB RAM, 20GB HD. I split the latter in two for the migration.

I first tried KDE, then Gnome, switched for about three days to Ubuntu 
(Gnome), and went back to FreeBSD to try Xfce.  So far, I like most of 
what I've seen.  One problem has been deciding what applications to use. 
  The "advantage" of KDE and Gnome is that you don't have to think about 
what browser, mail agent, and office applications you'll get in your 
environment.  The disadvantage, from where I stand, is that they tend to 
be bloated or too tied to the particular environment.

Anyway, I chose Firefox as the browser because I was familiar with it. 
Opera is apparently a lighter choice (to be explored).  I also ended up 
choosing Thunderbird although I'm not as happy with it.  I also tried 
Kmail (under KDE) and Evolution (under Gnome).  Kmail was OK but it 
stores messages in single files (and it apparently needs the rest of KDE 
*and* a lengthy C++ build).  Evolution looks like a bloated version of 
Outlook and it needs tons of stuff from Gnome.  It looks like mutt 
(which I used briefly under Solaris) may be an attractive, light, albeit 
non-GUI alternative.

I'm undecided in terms of office applications.  I only use a spreadsheet 
on a daily basis, so I'm reluctant to install OpenOffice which brings in 
lots of stuff I don't need (and to build it takes more disk space that I 
can spare).  I had tried Gnumeric under Gnome and it looked OK, but it 
again needs lots from Gnome.  I also need something like Gnucash but 
once again it needs many, many Gnome libraries.

I checked goodies.xfce.org/projects/applications but it doesn't have the 
type of applications I'm discussing above.  I also browsed (quickly) 
through the list archives and searched them with Google.  I like the 
Xfce philosophy of "modularity and re-usability" and I would use it even 
when I move to better hardware.  I also like the freedom to choose the 
tools that are best suited to my needs, but I'm starting to think that 
I've jumped from Windows (where most of my choices are decided upon from 
Redmond) to two opposing camps (KDE and Gnome) that also tend to dictate 
my choices.  I'm hoping the Xfce community may convince me otherwise.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.


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