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From: jame...@CSOS.ORST.EDU (James Bielman)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Graphical Design Policy and the Future of Linux/X
Date: 2 Jan 1995 22:21:12 -0800
Organization: CS Outreach Services, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
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Summary: Linux activist rants about X and graphical interface
design policy.


	I like Linux. In fact, I like it a lot. I would also venture
to say that I like UN*X, and X, in general. Many people out there,
especially in this group, and myself, retain the beleif that Linux
and the XFree86 project can do much for the computing community. I
would classify it as a goal of mine to make this valuable resource
available to as many people who want it as possible. And I hope there
are others out there who share this goal. (Please contact me if you
do.)

	First, a little background on myself. I am a hacker. And, being
a hacker, I use Linux. Not an uncommon thing. I can remember, after many 
hours of waiting for the Slackware X diskset to crawl in through
my 2400 BPS modem, booting up XFree86 and thinking to myself that
this was one of the ugliest looking GUIs I had ever laid eyes on.
Note that this is *not* an attack against any of the XFree86 authors,
nor the original writers of X at MIT. There seems to be a general
feeling in the UN*X community that it doesn't need to look good,
as long as it works. Well, that may be very well and good in the
name of productivity, but it doesn't help convice people that Linux
is on the cutting edge of OS technology. Granted, as I've heard many
times, Linux is written for hackers, by hackers, but that doesn't
mean it can't look good too. 

	Maybe I've just been looking in the wrong places, but as
far as I can tell, all we seem to be offered is the MIT Athena 
Widget set. As this document is being written, I'm downloading the
Xaw3d libraries of ftp.x.org to try those out. Other than those, is
there anything else? I used to be a Motif programmer, and I'm sure
you can imagine my suprise when I saw the Xaw programs compared to
the Motif ones I had written. But, of course, Motif is commercial,
and I have yet to see a free substitute(is there one?). The only 
solution then, would be to write it my/ourselves. I am willing, but
unfortunately not yet able. My knowledge is relatively thin in this
area, certainly if a new standard is to be defined. We need to give
people who are used to MS Windows and the Mac OS a reason why they
should leave their nice pretty little interface. You can say "It's
more powerful", as much as you want, but if it looks like it's been
written by a hacker, they'll think that it should be used by a hacker.

BTW, if anyone out there would like to discuss this further, please
e-mail me. Especially someone more experienced with Xlib and/or Xt.
Thanks for your time.

-=- James Bielman -=-
Internet: jame...@csos.orst.edu

	"Ignorance is MSDOS"
	"War is Windows"
	"Freedom is Linux"

		-- Me

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From: nath...@bin.anu.edu.au (Nathan Hand)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Graphical Design Policy and the Future of Linux/X
Date: 3 Jan 1995 12:32:22 GMT
Organization: Australian National University
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James Bielman (jame...@CSOS.ORST.EDU) wrote:

: Summary: Linux activist rants about X and graphical interface
: design policy.

heh... good idea
Summary: Linux advocate agrees and adds.


: 	First, a little background on myself. I am a hacker. And, being
: a hacker, I use Linux. Not an uncommon thing. I can remember, after many 
: hours of waiting for the Slackware X diskset to crawl in through
: my 2400 BPS modem, booting up XFree86 and thinking to myself that
: this was one of the ugliest looking GUIs I had ever laid eyes on.
: Note that this is *not* an attack against any of the XFree86 authors,
: nor the original writers of X at MIT. There seems to be a general
: feeling in the UN*X community that it doesn't need to look good,
: as long as it works. Well, that may be very well and good in the
: name of productivity, but it doesn't help convice people that Linux
: is on the cutting edge of OS technology. Granted, as I've heard many
: times, Linux is written for hackers, by hackers, but that doesn't
: mean it can't look good too. 

The german team producing GREAT agrees with you (least thats what I
thought). They are producing an integrated environment desktop with
pretty icons, drag and drop, transparent networking, integrated apps,
etc etc etc. It sits upon Linux/X and uses Motif or FVWM for windows.
I dragged a version off sunsite:/pub/Linux/BETA/GREAT recently and
was fairly impressed.

: 	Maybe I've just been looking in the wrong places, but as
: far as I can tell, all we seem to be offered is the MIT Athena 
: Widget set. As this document is being written, I'm downloading the
: Xaw3d libraries of ftp.x.org to try those out. Other than those, is
: there anything else? I used to be a Motif programmer, and I'm sure

Athena? blah... youll want to look at OpenLook which IMO is far nicer
for programming and produces nice output. Its not as good as Motif,
but far better than Athena. Is anybody working upon a Motif looking
widget library? The biggest problem Ive encountered with Motif apps
is they are all statically linked for legal reasons. This makes GREAT
baloon from 1mb to 6mb (ridiculous) and Netscape from <1mb to >2mb.

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From: rockw...@nova.umd.edu (Raul Deluth Miller)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Graphical Design Policy and the Future of Linux/X
Date: 3 Jan 1995 11:13:42 -0500
Organization: University of Maryland University College
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Message-ID: <ROCKWELL.95Jan3111341@nova.umd.edu>
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In-reply-to: nathanh@bin.anu.edu.au's message of 3 Jan 1995 12:32:22 GMT

Summary: M

In addition to X Windows, MGR is available for Linux.  MGR is the
Bellcore windowing product.  Advantages: it's small, it's light, it's
well factored, it's available for Linux.  Disadvantages: it's
generally available under a non-commercial use only license.

X is designed to be multi-platform, and non-unix-specific.  M is
designed to be unix-specific.  M covers, roughly, the functionality of
the X server, the X window manager, and Xterm.

Personally, I think an X environment designed to support M
applications would be a good (cheap, easy) base for a Linux Graphical
Design Policy.  You could do far worse...  [And it would be free
advertising for Bellcore -- so maybe they'd even contribute a bit.]

-- 
Raul D. Miller          N=:((*/pq)&|)@                 NB. public e, y, n=:*/pq
<rockw...@nova.umd.edu> P=:*N/@:#               NB. */-.,e e.&factors t=:*/<:pq
                        1=t|e*d    NB. (,-:<:)pq is four large primes, e medium
x-:d P,:y=:e P,:x                  NB. (d P,:y)-:D P*:N^:(i.#D)y [. D=:|.@#.d

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From: r...@whflam.mko.dec.com (Cal Page)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Graphical Design Policy and the Future of Linux/X
Date: 3 Jan 1995 17:25:54 GMT
Organization: DEC (OSF1/ALPHA Better Than SUN !!!)
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Message-ID: <3ec1b2$d5l@jac.zko.dec.com>
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<ROCKWELL.95Jan3111341@nova.umd.edu>
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In article <ROCKWELL.95Jan3111...@nova.umd.edu>,
Raul Deluth Miller <rockw...@nova.umd.edu> wrote:
>Personally, I think an X environment designed to support M
>applications would be a good (cheap, easy) base for a Linux Graphical
>Design Policy.  You could do far worse...  [And it would be free
>advertising for Bellcore -- so maybe they'd even contribute a bit.]

What about an API that lets you compile and run Windows '95 on Linux?
Put the whole thing under X11, as an extension.

...Cal Page

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From: newco...@aa.csc.peachnet.edu (Dan Newcombe)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Graphical Design Policy and the Future of Linux/X
Date: Wed, 4 Jan 1995 13:41:30 UNDEFINED
Organization: Clayton State College
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In article <3eaqco$...@CSOS.ORST.EDU> jame...@CSOS.ORST.EDU (James Bielman) writes:
>Summary: Linux activist rants about X and graphical interface
>design policy.

>a hacker, I use Linux. Not an uncommon thing. I can remember, after many 
>hours of waiting for the Slackware X diskset to crawl in through
>my 2400 BPS modem, booting up XFree86 and thinking to myself that
>this was one of the ugliest looking GUIs I had ever laid eyes on.

Slackware over 2400!  OUCH!!!   I feel your pain!  :)

I remember when I first got X up I thought it was beautiful.  The simple grey 
screen, the little icon that said xterm and the X.   (and no window saying 
General Protection Fault :)

Seriously though, a bit ago, there was talk about a Linux Beautification 
project that would help to alleviate the X blues (or greys).  While the dists. 
usually install with a nice window manager now, there is still some ugliness 
that could be touched up.

Someone had mentioned Great...and while it's nice, if you don't have tons of 
memory or the Motif shared libraries, you'll be hurting.

Some of the things that were discussed on beautification were items like:
	a background image of some sort
	a GOOD window manager (something like fvwm with GoodStuff), though xpm does 
		use a good bit of the colormap
	xfm or xfilemanager
	nice initial colors
	Xaw3D
	Some decent/fun Type1 fonts

and so on.

	Anyone?

--
Dan Newcombe                    newco...@aa.csc.peachnet.edu
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
"And the man in the mirror has sad eyes."       -Marillion

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From: Cu...@voyager.cris.com (CULLY)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Graphical Design Policy and the Future of Linux/X
Date: 4 Jan 1995 15:27:55 -0500
Organization: Concentric Research Corporation
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Dan Newcombe (newco...@aa.csc.peachnet.edu) wrote:
: 	a background image of some sort
: 	a GOOD window manager (something like fvwm with GoodStuff), though xpm does 
: 		use a good bit of the colormap
: 	xfm or xfilemanager
: 	nice initial colors
: 	Xaw3D
: 	Some decent/fun Type1 fonts

what i am surprised no one has developed is a desktop manager a la
macintosh.. perhaps the one thing that the mac has that makes it much more
functional than windows/os/2 is that desktop. If anyone would (or has)
developd this, I think X would really start taking off outside of
universities (lets face it, launching everything through an xterm or menu or
even goodstuff is just not as nice as a desktop)

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From: jame...@CSOS.ORST.EDU (James Bielman)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Graphical Design Policy and the Future of Linux/X
Date: 4 Jan 1995 16:13:18 -0800
Organization: CS Outreach Services, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
Lines: 39
Message-ID: <3efdiu$glq@CSOS.ORST.EDU>
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<ROCKWELL.95Jan3111341@nova.umd.edu> <3ec1b2$d5l@jac.zko.dec.com>
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In article <3ec1b2$...@jac.zko.dec.com>,
Cal Page <r...@whflam.mko.dec.com> wrote:
>In article <ROCKWELL.95Jan3111...@nova.umd.edu>,
>Raul Deluth Miller <rockw...@nova.umd.edu> wrote:
>>Personally, I think an X environment designed to support M
>>applications would be a good (cheap, easy) base for a Linux Graphical
>>Design Policy.  You could do far worse...  [And it would be free
>>advertising for Bellcore -- so maybe they'd even contribute a bit.]
>
>What about an API that lets you compile and run Windows '95 on Linux?
>Put the whole thing under X11, as an extension.
>
>...Cal Page

I can see several problems with this.

	a.) Most "real" apps for Windows (95) are propriatery, and very
	few people use Windows for the free/public domain software 
	available. Granted, it's out there, but I don't see that turning
	people.

	b.) Here's the kicker, though. If said John Q. User can run
	not only his freeware apps, *but* all the ones from Microsoft too,
	and in their native environment, faster because there's no source
	level emulation going on...Catch my drift? Why should he use
	Linux? 

I'd go so far as to say this. While emulation is a pretty neat trick,
and an extreme credit to the programming skills of the author(s), I
think it's value in the home, not to mention the buisness, is relatively
small. Argue this point with me if you wish, but I think a revolution
in user interface design for X is in order. (Now I'm trying to incite
a revolt... :-))

Thanks.
-=- James Bielman -=-
Internet: jame...@csos.orst.edu

Want to discuss GUI design for X? E-Mail me at the above address.

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From: jame...@CSOS.ORST.EDU (James Bielman)
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Graphical Design Policy and the Future of Linux/X
Date: 5 Jan 1995 15:31:56 -0800
Organization: CS Outreach Services, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
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In article <3ef0cb...@voyager.cris.com>, CULLY <Cu...@voyager.cris.com> wrote:
>Dan Newcombe (newco...@aa.csc.peachnet.edu) wrote:
>: 	a background image of some sort
>: 	a GOOD window manager (something like fvwm with GoodStuff), though xpm does 
>: 		use a good bit of the colormap
>: 	xfm or xfilemanager
>: 	nice initial colors
>: 	Xaw3D
>: 	Some decent/fun Type1 fonts
>
>what i am surprised no one has developed is a desktop manager a la
>macintosh.. perhaps the one thing that the mac has that makes it much more
>functional than windows/os/2 is that desktop. If anyone would (or has)
>developd this, I think X would really start taking off outside of
>universities (lets face it, launching everything through an xterm or menu or
>even goodstuff is just not as nice as a desktop)

I must agree with this. I think there would be advantages to emulating
MS Windows also. Anyone out there with lots of experience writing
window managers?  :-)

-=- James
BTW...Has this thread been taken up in another newsgroup? I see replies
from posts I haven't seen. I'm the original poster...

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