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Topic: General Unix/Linux Thread (Read 105522 times)

  • Frenzie
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General Unix/Linux Thread
There is more to discuss, but opening a new topic for everything might be a bit much. Here's a quick overview of what exists already:



Some other subjects I might talk about include the compose key, Geeqie, Pandoc, qBittorrent, tmux, and VirtualBox. I semi-regularly write something about such matters on my blog.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #75

I never had problems with autocorrection in Microsoft Office. It took me about one year of use until I discovered that the corection was an operation undoable by Ctrl-Z.

I got into trouble with autocorrect as soon as I began typing in MS Word the first time in my life - which was pretty late in life, I can still be considered more as a paper and pencil kind of guy. However, after an hour of figuring where to change the default behaviour of autocorrect, from English logic to more Estonian logic, to set away autocaps after every dot and a bunch of other stuff, I didn't run into problems ever again. Behold the power of configurability.


With Office 2007 and Eight it seems that Microsoft is desperate to attract attention through visual tricks, as a kid would by painting something on a wall. I am still using Office 2000.

I still have an MS Office 2000 CD lying around somewhere. My absolute favourite version. But Libreoffice is a complete replacement, and Linux works just fine, so why bother installing some MS relics?

The obstacle of using Win XP and later to its full potential as a multi-user OS is that there are no instructions included with the OS about it. With every version they try to hide the permissions and user concepts deeper and deeper.

In fact MS hides Windows' multi-user functionality so deep that the concept of sensible defaults comes into play. To me it doesn't look like Windows has multi-user functionality, because when multiple users are set up at first, they still can screw up each other's settings by installing and uninstalling programs, etc. It's a big work to prevent this behaviour in the system, and even after all this work it's easy to override by the user. I once heard a ten-year-old child (of whom I know he has not seen computers much, has no own computer, even though he knows a lot about game consoles and owns those) say to another a bit older child "When he prevents you installing your own programs, install it in My Documents." Things like this seem to be common knowledge now even without actual experience!

This is why Windows doesn't seem to me a proper multi-user OS, whereas Linux is instantly appropriate for multi-user usage. In Linux you have a very clear and transparent, well documented distinction of administrator tasks and user tasks. In Windows, instead of real help, you have that weird suggestion in error messages "Contact your system administrator..." WTF!? I am the administrator!! Who am I supposed to contact??

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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #76
Microsoft Office actually does this significantly better.
You wanna pay or you donna'wonna?
:rolleyes:

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #77
I have heared negative remarks about Total Commander and Mikrotik WinBox looking the same as they did several major versions ago. So what? Everything is in the same place.

I don't know the latter, but from what I know about Total Commander it's pretty much perfection.

I got into trouble with autocorrect as soon as I began typing in MS Word the first time in my life - which was pretty late in life, I can still be considered more as a paper and pencil kind of guy. However, after an hour of figuring where to change the default behaviour of autocorrect, from English logic to more Estonian logic, to set away autocaps after every dot and a bunch of other stuff, I didn't run into problems ever again. Behold the power of configurability.

Behold an idiotic default (autocaps after every dot).

You wanna pay or you donna'wonna?

The reason I use Linux and LibreOffice is not that I don't want to pay. I have Windows 7 and an Office 2007 license at my disposal. I use LibreOffice because I think it's better than Microsoft Office.

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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #78
Q.E.D. Sic transit, et cetera.
I mean I perfectly know why the defaults are such, but I'll only tell that in a proper thread.

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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #79
Quote from: Ersi
In Windows, instead of real help, you have that weird suggestion in error messages "Contact your system administrator..." WTF!? I am the administrator!! Who am I supposed to contact??
Yes, that comes up a lot.
Quote from: Schwarzminator
Talk to the hand!
:)
:spock:

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #80
Microsoft seems to think, along with Adobe, that a serious program must be "felt" slowing down the PC. Free software unfortunately isn't immune to bloat.

LibreOffice has focused a lot on performance improvements. Even on my netbook it starts really fast now.

Modern people are preferring Directory Opus these days over TC, and UBNT's WebUI. I'm afraid they're gonna drive the other companies out of business. Just like it is happening with Opera.

I quite like Directory Opus. Sorry. :)

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #81
Behold an idiotic default (autocaps after every dot).

I agree that this default is idiotic. However, it's an instructive idiotic default. It instructs noobs quickly to look for a way to change it. And if the setting to change the default is obvious enough, it's not really an annoyance, but a useful lesson, namely that defaults can be changed, and this way the noob progresses towards intermediate stage. Which is totally fantastic. It's very good to have such instructive idiotic defaults in software - in moderation of course - so as to spur learning.

The purely annoying and frustrating kind of configuration, the kind that cannot be changed or is too hard to change, is another story. It's also a real story, but a different category. When the user can't change the settings, their idiocy is sheer torture. To build software this way is a sure mark of evil.

And of course I agree that even the instructive idiotic defaults, when there's too much of it, when it's too idiotic, and when the particulars of the idiocy increase or change sweepingly with every update, it begins to border uselessness. The instructive aspect will be lost in the ocean of overwhelming idiocy.

All-in-all, autocomplete and even autocorrect can have its uses. I personally use autocomplete a lot, but autocorrect I switch off completely these days. Still, I appreciate some visual feedback, such as underlining words unrecognised by the spellcheck dictionary, so as to keep my attention awake.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #82
I agree that this default is idiotic. However, it's an instructive idiotic default. It instructs noobs quickly to look for a way to change it. And if the setting to change the default is obvious enough, it's not really an annoyance, but a useful lesson, namely that defaults can be changed, and this way the noob progresses towards intermediate stage. Which is totally fantastic. It's very good to have such instructive idiotic defaults in software - in moderation of course - so as to spur learning.

I'm not convinced, except in the sense I already mentioned: Microsoft Office XP and later does a reasonable job showing that it can indeed be configured. When I was 10 years old, i.e. a n00b, I could just use my computer without it doing crap. Letting the current crop of kids get used to computers doing stuff by themselves is not a good thing. But mostly, I just don't necessarily look at my screen when I'm typing. More likely I'm just thinking about what to type, or looking at my source. If you're semi-fluent at typing, you feel typos -- no need to look at anything. I'll have typed whole paragraphs on a default installation and suddenly it turns out they're horribly disfigured by unwanted interference. That's why, when I remember, I actually open up e.g. Notepad instead of Word when I'm not on one of my own sane systems.

N00bs? N00bs shouldn't learn to type with Microsoft Word. They should learn to type properly. I suggest just typing out passages from books and whatever, and then checking the result. No silly specialized software required, except perhaps to help with the very basics. After all, you want to learn both how to type and how to proofread for small mistakes.

Once I borrowed someone's phone to send a short e-mail. Only after typing a sentence or two did I realize the phone hadn't actually produced what I typed at all, but instead wrote down some autocorrected gibberish.

PS This doesn't mean I hate all autocorrect. I probably like how it replaces -> with → by default. But I'd rather call that text replacement than autocorrect.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #83

Once I borrowed someone's phone to send a short e-mail. Only after typing a sentence or two did I realize the phone hadn't actually produced what I typed at all, but instead wrote down some autocorrected gibberish.

Yes, this is hilarious. All the iPhone users I know, they don't know how to turn this thing off. If it can't be turned off, then it's even more hilarious :)

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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #84

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #85


Once I borrowed someone's phone to send a short e-mail. Only after typing a sentence or two did I realize the phone hadn't actually produced what I typed at all, but instead wrote down some autocorrected gibberish.

Yes, this is hilarious. All the iPhone users I know, they don't know how to turn this thing off. If it can't be turned off, then it's even more hilarious :)

Luckily this iPhone user (my MIL) did know how to turn it off.

"Voltmeter" is good.:yes:

Voltmeter, the evil wizard. Oh well.

  • j7n
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #86
ׂ
  • Last Edit: 2014-04-24, 04:14:03 by j7n

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #87
Most touchscreen phones come with a full QWERTY (also of course QWERTZ and AZERTY) keyboard. Traditional cellphone layout optional.

  • ersi
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Linux woes: Xfce and Bluetooth
Reply #88
Something I disovered the other day: There's no bluetooth applet specifically for Xfce.

I use bluetooth only occasionally, no real need for it. But it's nice to have it working out of the box in Ubuntu and Mint. This includes Mint Xfce. However, there's no specific bluetooth applet specifically for Xfce.

My current most-used desktop is Manjaro Xfce and the applet is not there. I installed Gnome's Blueman applet, but this didn't launch. Then I dug deeper and discovered that Manjaro fails to detect the laptop's bluetooth device altogether. And further research showed that it's hard to get bluetooth to work in Arch. Following these instructions over and over gave no result over a weekend.

What is the bluetooth applet in use in Mint Xfce? How do Ubuntu and Mint make bluetooth work? Why can't other distros make it? Why does Xfce, otherwise a wonderful full-featured desktop, lack a dedicated bluetooth applet?

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #89
In yet another attempt to mess up my workflow, the GNOME Archive Manager 3.12 seems to do without the icon in the top left of the window.

I don't really use Bluetooth, but isn't Blueman used for that?

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #90
If you don't use bluetooth, then you can't imagine what a headache it is to get it work in Linux. I have this experience:

- Works like a charm under preinstalled Ubuntu on bluetooth-capable laptops.
- No problemo with Mint either - if the laptop has inbuilt bluetooth device, Mint finds it and works.
- Pretty much any other distro I've tried does not come with bluetooth module properly developed. The thing is not there out of the box. Then it's installing the packages, trying to launch them, pasting lots of weird marks in terminal, and hacking files without any guarantee or warranty.
- A separate Bluetooth dongle - I got this thing to work under Fedora some 15 years ago. I don't remember what I did right. I was just following some instructions found on the web, that's how I do it all...

  • ersi
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Little things between distros and desktops that make a big difference
Reply #91
BLUETOOTH

Last time I mentioned (the lack of) bluetooth applet in Xfce. The bluetooth applet is doable - namely, it has been done in Xubuntu and Linux Mint Xfce - but I have not seen the applet in other distros,  specifically other distros that develop and provide an Xfce desktop.

I have tried to get bluetooth to work in Manjaro Xfce for weeks. I stopped caring if it includes a visible systray icon and applet or not, but still the result is that bluetooth does not work in Manjaro in any shape or form. I know from before that if bluetooth doesn't work in a distro out of the box, attempts to make it work by installing and uninstalling different available packages will usually end up as a fruitless frustration.

So after all that I decided to install Mint Debian Mate alongside with Manjaro Xfce simply to have functional bluetooth on the machine. A whole additional operating system for one simple little function, how stupid is that. There are bluetooth drivers developed for Linux, but only Mint (and Ubuntu) teams package them so that it actually works. For those teams, bluetooth is obviously a specifically dedicated labour, as is evident when comparing Mint's Xfce with other Xfce distros.

MATE versus XFCE

Of course with Mint Debian Mate installed, I looked a bit more into what I got. For a while I had a hard time determining which one is a more mature and advanced desktop, Mate or Xfce. Desktop backgrounds and desktop icons are nicely workable and easy in both...

Xfce can easily tile windows (fill the screen with two windows side by side or on top of each other by keyboard shortcuts or by dragging) like in the more advanced Unity and Cinnamon, but Mate apparently cannot do this. On the other hand, two of my most favourite desktop keyboard shortcuts work out of the box in Mate:

- Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up the dialog to log out and power off
- Windows key (called Super key in Linux) to bring up the system menu

The first one is easily configurable in Xfce. The second one is possible too, but with great difficulty, because it clashes with many default Super key functions.

However, tiling windows and some keyboard shortcuts, am I comparing things of equivalent weight? I guess not. Ability to position windows is a much more important desktop productivity function than these specific keyboard shortcuts. So the point goes to Xfce.

Other things thus far I found missing in Mate:

- Keyboard layout systray icon
- Clipboard manager

Both are native desktop applets in Xfce, but Mate's native selection of applets does not offer such solutions. Parcellite made a good easily installed clipboard manager in Mate, but a missing keyboard layout icon may be a serious obstacle for someone who switches between keyboards. It may force one to choose Xfce.

DEBIAN versus other

I found more issues with my Mate installation, but they are related with the underlying Debian, such as that youtube-dl doesn't work (I noticed when it broke in Ubuntu at one point; still works in Manjaro), Otter browser doesn't install (or, more correctly, the right Qt5 is beyond my capacity to install), etc. Looks like I really only keep Mint Debian on board for its functional bluetooth. The bluetooth icon shines bright like a diamond in Mate desktop. This point goes to Mint Mate.

  • ersi
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Cinnamon 2.2 released
Reply #92
Those of you interested in Cinnamon desktop, take a look at the highlights of the new release http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2014/04/cinnamon-2-2/

Looks good to me mostly, except for one big thing and a few details. The big thing:
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Applet Roles and Systray Icons

Previous versions of Cinnamon came with a hardcoded list of systray icons to hide. Icons such as the one for Network Manager, or Banshee were typically hidden as their functionality was already covered by the network and sound applets.

In Cinnamon 2.2, this list is gone and each applet is able to register "roles", i.e. to tell Cinnamon which functionality they take care off, and thus, which systray icons should be hidden when they are running.

Why try to automate this hiding of systray icons?  There are some icons that make sense always, such as the network manager. People use computers for the internet connection, so there should always be an icon telling if it's connected or not. If some app takes the connection applet over and hides the normal icon, isn't this confusing? Why not show both icons side by side? When the user feels like removing one of the duplicating functions, he may do it.

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These new roles enable Cinnamon to dynamically show relevant systray icons when applets are removed, or to dynamically hide them when applets are added.

Say you remove the network applet, well... you'll see the Network Manager GTK systray icon appear. Say you put the network applet back in the panel, the Network Manager systray icon will then disappear.

Sounds extremely prone to bugs to me.

Little things:
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The menu applet received two mintMenu features (more will come in 2.4):
- Right-click an application and select "Uninstall" to remove it.

On a laptop on the move, I have enough hard time hitting the right menu item. Adding a hardcore admin function to where it is too easily accessible is not going to help.

Quote
- Newly installed applications are now highlighted in the menu.

One of the things that made Win XP and later look icky. Then again, on Win it was actually an important function, because this way people could find out if some major crap had sneaked into the computer. On Linux this is not supposed to happen and therefore there's no reason to advertise newly installed stuff.

I see admin and user roles getting mixed. Very sad.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #93
On a laptop on the move, I have enough hard time hitting the right menu item. Adding a hardcore admin function to where it is too easily accessible is not going to help.

Funny thing, many people claim the Mint menu is their favorite part of Mint. I don't like it much at all, myself. This certainly won't help.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #94
How about the normal Whisker menu? Don't you like that either? And why? I personally am okay with stuff under right-click, if they are the right kind of stuff. I will be okay with Cinnamon 2.2 too, if the things I brought up can be modified or switched off.

Btw, my favourite Mint element is the installer. Close second is the theming, which I usually only tweak a little on Xfce and don't touch at all on Cinnamon. Cinnamon desktop itself is my third favourite Mint element. At version 2 or 2.1 as it is now at my main job, Cinnamon is a great work environment, if it suits one's preferences. It suits mine. And we have good machines too now, so it flies, particularly with effects turned off. I always turn the effects off :)

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #95
How about the normal Whisker menu? Don't you like that either? And why?

Probably not, but I don't think I've tried it. I like the regular menu structure. If I know what I want, I'll use Alt+F2. If I don't know what I want, the search capability is about the last thing I need. It's the logical menu structure (precariously and often futilely maintained on Windows) that is absolutely terrific. I can never remember the name of Meld, for instance, and the search function only finds it when you search for "merge", not "diff". But go to the development menu, and there you are.

Now, to be clear, what I absolutely despite is having to scroll in my menus in order to actually see what's in them. If that Whisker menu automatically extends like a menu, perhaps I wouldn't dislike it. Another thing I dislike about search in menu is that it breaks access keys, but I guess Xfce doesn't have those in the menu regardless.

Btw, my favourite Mint element is the installer.

Yup, love it. That being said, even Debian has a rather sane installer these days, with only three or four steps.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #96
This seems potentially a bit dangerous, but Betty simplifies some command line business by allowing natural language input.

https://github.com/pickhardt/betty
Code: [Select]

Internet
betty download http://www.mysite.com/something.tar.gz to something.tar.gz
betty uncompress something.tar.gz
betty unarchive something.tar.gz to somedir
(You can use unzip, unarchive, untar, uncompress, and expand interchangeably.)
betty compress /path/to/dir

[...]

Meta
betty what version are you (or just betty version)
betty whats your github again

Permissions
betty give me permission to this directory
betty give anotheruser ownership of myfile.txt


I haven't personally tried it.

  • ersi
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #97
Human language imputed to programming languages is always dangerous and also unworkable. Programming languages always need to make a sharp and unmistakable distinction between the command/element and the argument/attribute. Using natural language, this distinction is diluted and the result is always unworkable. See for example the config files of Fetchmail. Sheer insanity. The unworkable config files were one of the several reasons why I use and advocate Getmail instead.

Btw, Whisker menu is largely non-different from XP menu which everybody loves. It's just that it's not convertible to the plain tree-style menu like XP menu is. It's good to have a choice of different menus on Xfce. I find the search function in Whisker and Mint menu quite workable. In conjunction with whatever is under Alt+F2 it's perfect.

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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #98
Human language imputed to programming languages is always dangerous and also unworkable.
But that only resembles a human language.
Being a real human language - like English or Russian - means being structurally wholesome. In the case of the written language, the discourse is built not at all only with properly spelled words. Words are only one of the several structural elements of the written language. The discourse (or a discourse) is obligatorily composed of paragraphs, or directly sentences. A sentence is not a blah-blah-blah without its own structural elements, a blah-blah won't be a sentence, hence won't count as a human language element.

  • Frenzie
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Re: General Unix/Linux Thread
Reply #99
Human language imputed to programming languages is always dangerous and also unworkable.

That being said, there's definitely a case to be made for e.g. some kind of script that automatically runs the right command if you just type unarchive blabla.zip. It's probably half the reason I prefer unpacking things with a GUI.