Joined: Oct. 2003
||Posted: Dec. 04 2007,16:14
|Quote (mikshaw @ Dec. 04 2007,05:40)|
|I can see very good arguments on both sides, but I lean toward the 4.x desktop as being better for a larger number of people. |
I completely agree with this statement. It seems that the decision was made not from a necessity, but from a desire to prevent clutter and possible problems for the main DSL audience: those with very old hardware.
|Quote (john.martzouco @ ,)|
|That 4.x promotes a different methodology is one thing; that you stress that it is dependant on a different desktop configuration is another.|
I made this decision to try to promote the use of the Home folder (document centric). If I had all the applications icons on the desktop as before, I felt it would not prompt such. That document centric would be mostly ignored. As such, 4.x would remain an application launcher (3.x) type system. Document centric was paramount in my decision to make a 4.x series. I felt so strongly about this that I was reluctant to place an Apps folder on the desktop. I was even considering to not have an application menu, ala SWM. That would have been too strong and dictatorial, so I created the Apps folder and kept the menu.
This is a very important point, and a correct one in my opinion. I do think that it is not nearly as clicker-friendly in dfm as it is in windows explorer, though. In Windows if you click on a file that is not associated with an application you are presented with an "open with..." dialog (if I remember correctly). In dfm it seems the user has to know what file to edit and the syntax of that file, so as with many other things the user must read and learn something in order to understand how to make it work exactly as the user wants it. This is in heavy contrast with Windows, where the user does not have much choice in how the desktop behaves. The main point I'm trying to make is that we're talking about Linux, which holds at least two very important traits that are often ignored by those coming from Windows:
|Quote (lucky13 @ ,)|
|They generally don't open Notepad, search for a document, and then open it. It's the other way around. They browse for the file they want, click, and it's opened in its associated application.|
Linux is not Windows.
If you don't like something you can change it.
One must realize that 4.x is still in its infancy. Through use, suggestions, and contributions of the community, the associations will only improve. I am more a programmer than a user of applications. So dfmext started fairly sparse. I have to thank Lucky13 for initial suggestions. Many times, I take advantage of the sharp user community that we have here to provide input. Just as Xtdesk capabilities improved over time, i.e., I modified source and created support programs, so too will dfm. Likely from use and likely from source mods.
Another decision that I made was to try to find low-color icons because I wanted even smaller less capable machines to be to use icons. Using low-color icons and no background image (only a color), improves performance on the smaller, less capable machines. DSL is not only a small distro but its target machines include some of the smallest less capable ones.
Sometimes, I think that we I release something very new, that everyone expects the first version to be as mature as 3.x. I have been polishing 3.x for four years! When I initially announced 4.0 that it would be very different that is what I meant. 4.0 had some rough edges, 4.1 is improved. We have only started on the 4.x road. For what 4.x is capable versus its size, I think is remarkable.
I am starting to see some users "who get it". I see that they can now write simple scripts to effect drag-n-drop. That makes all my efforts worthwhile.