Tips for installing windows and freeBSD both.. anyone??

Polytropon freebsd at
Sun Nov 7 17:58:48 UTC 2010

On Sun, 7 Nov 2010 09:41:06 -0800, Chip Camden <sterling at> wrote:
> I'm not here to bash desktop environments, I seriously want to know you use them to
> improve productivity.

Yes, would be interesting to know. Not that I deny it - I just have
no evidence from my experience and observations on how this could
be achieved.

> I used to be a big believer in GUIs. 

I may admit that the more I'm using GUI based programs for everyday
tasks regularly (e. g. MUA), I get more and more disappointed that
it seems that I need to buy a new PC in order to keep the same
average speed of operation.

> Now I find that any time I reach for the mouse, I'm slowing myself down.

A TrackPoint (the little joystick-like pointing device located
in the middle of the keyboard) seems to be a good repacement
for a regular mouse, and in any case for fingerslime glidepads.

> It's more efficient to use the keyboard even to switch focused windows
> or to follow links in a browser (provided that the window manager and
> browser are equipped with usable shortcuts).

Important point! But in reality you see keyboard support more
and more left out for the GUI programs - allthough they COULD
provide good keyboard support. WindowMaker (as a window manager)
and Opera (as a web browser) are, in my experience, examples
of how to combine good keyboard support with good mouse support.

> I use a tiling wm (xmonad) to maximize visibility, real estate usage, and
> navigability.  No overlapping windows unless I say so.

Tiling window managers, as I've often seen, seem to be the choice
of the advanced / professional users. Sadly, their magic didn't
open up to me yet. :-)

> That's my experience.  How does yours differ, and how does KDE/GNOME
> help?

Again, I may share a very individual opinion about KDE and Gnome.
If you're coming from a "Windows" background, things seem to be
logical and "as expected" in those environments. If you're from
a UNIX / X background, things look overcomplicated, illogical,
and somewhat strange (like using the edit buffer for copying and
moving files, the inability to handle windows focus and foreground
independently). So a person like myself would have to spend many
time clicking around in KDE or Gnome in order to configure it
into something halfway usable.

KDE and Gnome represent "(quite) closed ecosystems": There are
programs for KDE, similar ones for Gnome, and they interact well
with each other within their ecosystems. Mixed forms, a strength
of generic UNIX and X applications, often becomes complicated.
Even language issues (i18n) are typical symptoms of that "closed-

Coming back to your initial statement: For users EXPECTING something
to act in a specific way, KDE and Gnome really "boost" their
productivity, as it doesn't force them to question or relearn
things they take for granted.

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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