The future of Linux

Arthur Johnson arthur.johnson at
Fri Jun 14 21:41:00 CEST 2013

On Fri, Jun 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM, Comet Friend <comet.friend at> wrote:
> Am Freitag, 14. Juni 2013, 07:36:15 schrieb Genghis Khan:
> [...]
>> Xfce and LXDE are close but Xfce4 does seem to be much more appealing
>> due to its own composition mechanism and its own window manager Xfwm4
>> which fits with GTK+ themes unlike Openbox (default in LXDE), and also
>> Xfwm4 has a complete support for BiDi writings, unlike Openbox.
>> For my personal usage, I use IceWM and Fluxbox because of two reasons:
>> IceWM
>> -----
>> It is a great idea and I am also addicted to the old and simple Win95
>> style which can be also achieved with Xfce.
>> Fluxbox
>> -------
>> I can group tabs. *When this is implemented in Xfce I might drop FB.
>> I find its menu much more flexible than the one of,
>> though I may argue on it.
>> I like the idea that most people in real world have trouble figuring
>> out how this "strange" "operating system" (referring to FB) work.
>> But, if I am interested in a desktop environment for a productive use
>> in a company or in an office I would categorically choose Xfce over
>> anything else.
>> Note: Xfce is also a fallback environment for many KDE users I know.
>> > > Can I be confident that Xfce will continue to be supported and
>> > > available in the future? Or is it really destined to be lost to us
>> > > eventually?
>> >
>> > This again, is just clueless individuals whom think they know. They
>> > don't. Alwasy take those kind of deterministic predictions as what
>> > they are: Guesses.
>> >
>> > > Regards
>> > >
>> > > Neil
>> >
>> > Cheers!
> +1!
> For a couple of reasons KDE is my preferred main desktop, but I use Fluxbox
> und Xfce a lot, too, for the very reasons you describe.
> And you are correct: Xfce is a popular fallback for KDE users. In fact, the
> philosophy behind Xfce is more compatible with the philosophy of KDE than with
> the philosophy of Gnome and derivatives. This mainly refers to the approach of
> modularisation of components, avoiding endless chains of dependencies of
> dependencies of dependencies...
> Therefore, while KDE users usually don't find Gtk+ visually appealing and
> avoid it whenever possible, we do like Xfce, and with Adwaita theme and Faenza
> icon themes Xfce looks damned fancy! :)
> But to also respond to the OP: The future of Linux is in no way depending on
> the fate of one or another desktop environment, but on the willingness of
> developers of desktop environments to avoid proprietary stuff that requires
> application developers to invest a lot of effort in adapting their software
> for a specific environment.
> The classic (commercial) Unix flavours died of just that: Their vendors tried
> to "differentiate" their products from competition. Application software had
> to be adapted for each *nix derivative individually, which meant a lot of work
> for each target. The market was fragmented, and finally died.
> This is the reason, why I am sceptic about the things going on with Ubuntu,
> but I am not afraid, yet, that we are facing the same threat as former *nix
> users. In the end, the Linux world is the currently the only healthy market in
> the whole software world, as there is no pre-dominant single vendor, and as
> there is a lot of choice for users with wallets of different size (to buy
> support and services) from single-person hobbyist users to Fortune 500
> enterprises.
> Freedom of choice and healthy competition is what a market should be about,
> and what actually has never worked in the software business, except in the
> Linux cosmos. One example is the desktop world. Choose yourself, what you like
> the most, now, and use it as long as you like it. And smoothly switch to
> something else, whenevery you change your mind, or when you want to support
> different use case.
> And don't be afraid, that your favourite software won't run: Apart from a few
> exceptions, if your applications runs on one distro, it can be run on any
> other distro, as well. It just may require a little more configuration work.
> So no reason to be pessimistic about the future of Linux as a whole or Xfce.
> As long as users adopt it, it will survive (and be maintained). I am convinced
> of that.
> Cheers!

For the most part I use twm, heavily customized of course with Trayer
for the system tray and conky for stats to back it up.  I really
wouldn't recommend it for most people, but I don't need a desktop just
a window manager that can launch programmable keyboard shortcuts.  I
do most of my work from Chrome and the Terminal.  I use a lot of Xfce
tools, like the run program, the appfinder, xfce4-terminal.  Even
thunar on occasion.  The tools that come with Xfce are top notch.

However, when I recommend Linux to people, I always point them in the
direction of Xfce or KDE.  GNOME has gotten way too radical for normal
usage.  It's also far too resource intensive.  I've converted a lot of
people to Xubuntu, and are happy Linux users today.  IMHO, Unity and
Gnome3 have both lost touch with the average computer user.

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