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Old 01-28-2012, 12:45 PM   #1
jarubyh
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The Cycle of Minimalism


This is something I've observed in myself.

I'll use a program that I've heard is very good, lets use DE's as an example.

I start out with GNOME on Ubuntu, love it, use it, and then after a few months, I'll get board and start surfing the web for something different. XFCE has been getting a lot of love, so I test that out, and install, say, Xubuntu because it's XFCE centered. After than, Lubuntu, after that, Arch with OpenBox, after that Slackware with Fluxbox and after that, FreeBSD with dwm. Once I use a minimalistic alternative to another program, I find myself falling more in love with the performance of it and forgetting about the eye-candy or usability of the program I came from. Is this just me or is it part of the Linux user journey?
 
Old 01-28-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
sycamorex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarubyh View Post
This is something I've observed in myself.

I'll use a program that I've heard is very good, lets use DE's as an example.

I start out with GNOME on Ubuntu, love it, use it, and then after a few months, I'll get board and start surfing the web for something different. XFCE has been getting a lot of love, so I test that out, and install, say, Xubuntu because it's XFCE centered. After than, Lubuntu, after that, Arch with OpenBox, after that Slackware with Fluxbox and after that, FreeBSD with dwm. Once I use a minimalistic alternative to another program, I find myself falling more in love with the performance of it and forgetting about the eye-candy or usability of the program I came from. Is this just me or is it part of the Linux user journey?
No, it's not just you. It's been exactly the same with me. I think I've settled down with Slackware: i3 WM and a bunch of cli programs/tools that I use on a daily basis (mpd/ncmpcpp, irssi, lftp, emacs -nw, mc, rtorrent, ssh, sakura, etc.)

It's interesting that over the last 7 years I've used linux, my hardware was getting better and better (CPU, RAM, etc) and I've been going more and more lightweight in terms of environment and tools I use.
 
Old 01-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #3
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
It's interesting that over the last 7 years I've used linux, my hardware was getting better and better (CPU, RAM, etc) and I've been going more and more lightweight in terms of environment and tools I use.
The same here, in distributions and environment:
Ubuntu -> Debian -> Slackware
Gnome 2 -> XFCE -> wmii
 
Old 01-28-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
anomie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarubyh
Once I use a minimalistic alternative to another program, I find myself falling more in love with the performance of it and forgetting about the eye-candy or usability of the program I came from. Is this just me or is it part of the Linux user journey?
This resonates with me as well. For several years, I settled on FreeBSD + IceWM (which I decided I liked just a tiny bit better than BlackBox). Wherever possible, I used the CLI version of utilities and programs, and I completely eschewed any apps that had a long list of dependencies. Enjoyed the whole experience, and learned a lot in the process.

Here's what happened (in my particular case): life got busy. Bought a house, wife finished school and started working, family started visiting more regularly, we started traveling, work started giving me tiny raises for huge responsibility increases, etc. Suddenly I was "content enough" to slap on a crappy Ubuntu install (sorry Ubuntu folks) to my netbook, and a crappy OSX (sorry Mac folks) onto my home workstation. Both are fairly brain-dead, and mostly do what I need them to.

Que lastima. I digress. Enjoy your minimalist adventure.
 
Old 01-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #5
MrCode
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I still use Xfce with Compiz as the window manager, and I run Arch (which can be considered a sort of "minimalist" distro)…

Does that make me weird for not using wmii/dwm/i3/<insert other tiling WM here> along with mostly CLI programs? That certainly seems to describe the majority of the Arch community…
 
Old 01-29-2012, 06:50 AM   #6
FredGSanford
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Same with me, went from full blown DE to Fluxbox/Openbox and less and less of the others. But I do keep something around such as G2 or KDE4 for the grandkids and wife to use when they log in.
 
Old 01-29-2012, 07:42 AM   #7
brianL
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I think I must be a maximalist. I've had a couple of sessions with i3, and a few with each of the other DE/WM's that come with a full install of Slackware, but I always revert to KDE.
 
Old 01-29-2012, 07:52 AM   #8
thund3rstruck
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I'm actually the reverse. I always start out thinking that I'm a minimalist but end up working back to full fledged DEs. For years it was Window Maker or nothing and then Enlightenment, OpenBox, etc, etc but I always land back on gnome because there is a wide range of automation options. I love the gsettings construct as well as the ability to drop scripts into ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts. PC Performance is all well and good, but using the command line for everything gets tedious after a few hours (and I'm an old school CLI lover).
 
Old 02-05-2012, 12:21 AM   #9
Ian John Locke II
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I started out using kde 3.4 (or 3.5) on slackware 12.1 and after a year got frustrated with having to use menus and not having an easy or reliable way to edit keyboard shortcuts. I then switched over to blackbox with conky. Once I started really using terminals a lot, I realized that it was a pain to organize a whole bunch of them using keyboard shortcuts (wmctrl) or a mouse. That's when I started investigating tiling window managers. Oddly enough, I started with dwm and loved the fact that I could use my limited C programming skills to screw with the very environment I was using (and in fact, had to do so to customize it). I soon got a little annoyed with a few features and found a whole bunch of other tiling wm's before I realized how much I loved wmii. So while some may consider wmii to be a bit more flashy than dwm, that's fine with me because it is perfect.
 
Old 02-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #10
frankbell
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I do like my eye candy, but I like it in neat wallpaper pictures and screensavers.

I don't care about glitz on the desktop itself. I started using Fluxbox several years ago and now default to it. Once you learn how to configure it, you can create quite an elegant desktop that does what you want and otherwise stays out of your way.

One thing I don't care about, that I gather others do, is consistency of appearance of individual applciations. Gnome apps can look like Gnome apps and KDE apps can look like KDE apps and X apps can look like X apps and it makes me no never mind. I care about whether they do what I want them to do.

Last edited by frankbell; 02-05-2012 at 10:30 PM.
 
Old 02-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #11
k3lt01
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I would class myself as a minimalist but not the same as many of you. I still use Gnome (don't like or use KDE much), E17, Fluxbox, IceWM, MATE, xfce, lxde. Gnome is my workhorse but I strip it down alot so I suppose I use a minimalist Gnome. The rest are all pretty minimal anyway but I don't have full blown xfce or MATE or lxde either.
 
Old 02-11-2012, 07:54 PM   #12
baldheaded-yeti
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
The same here, in distributions and environment:
Ubuntu -> Debian -> Slackware
Gnome 2 -> XFCE -> wmii
A startling pattern of coincidence.

I'm tired of having to choose between QT and GTK.

Doesn't anyone make a C++ sterile environment other than icewm or fluxbox?

What's wrong with TCL/TK ?
 
  


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