I use KDE since 2004 (do not remember which version it was). Lot of things changed during that time. But not my X11 session use.

Since beginning of my Linux use (in 2000) I use one set of virtual desktop. Their amount changes from time to time but there are always at least 4 of them (six at the moment):

  1. “work area” — terminal, gvim (few copies of each)
  2. “web area” — here I have web browser (now it is chromium, was firefox, galeon in past)
  3. “mail/news are” — mail/news reader (kontact with kmail/knode, was sylpheed-claws at some time)
  4. “misc area” — here I run software which do not fit to first three

Terminal application changes from time to time. First it was GNOME-Terminal from GNOME 1.4, then Konsole, xterm, uxterm, rxvt-unicode, eterm and few others but after experimenting with many I stayed with Konsole. It has tabs so allows me to run many sessions in one window. Some of tabs have “screen” attached as this allows me to quickly get another shell in working directory and also easy way to log any output (“tee” sometimes got blocked). With recent KDE 4.x changes I started to using “window grouping” to split tabs related to other tasks from main terminal. This gives me one terminal window on screen with few tabbed windows in it which can have own tabs which can have screen sessions in them. May sounds strange but it works. And I always have screen with “irssi” running in it (on local or remote machine).

As editor I use gVim mostly. I kind of mastered it and do not feel good in Kate, Eclipse, JEdit or other “so called normal” editor. Never tried Emacs but do not plan to.

During UDS-M when I told that I am using MPlayer for all videos reaction was interesting. I got list of modern video players (mostly GStreamer based ones) which I should switch to. But I really do not see a need for it. MPlayer maybe is pain in the ass sometimes but it plays everything I have, adds subtitles in a way which I like, has controls on keyboard which I remember and allows me to seek instead of fast forwarding during watching film. Ok, on devices like BeagleBoard I probably can get better results with GStreamer based apps but thats due to codecs which can use DSP.

I never liked Konqueror — always used Gecko based browser. It was Galeon 1.x in past, Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox later, Chromium now. Tried Opera (UI never managed to integrate with look&feel of my desktop) and few other browsers. Chromium is nice but has some drawbacks. Maybe some will be fixed/changed.

Even removable storage I most of time handle with “pmount” command. It works fine for me and I do not like to have all my pendrives/memory cards/etc to be auto mounted. How will I notice which is which in situation when I plug 2 same ones… And UUIDs or filesystem labels are not solution probably. But maybe I will change that in next months.

But back to desktops. KDE 4 has widgets on desktops, activities and few other buzz words. I do not use them. Ok, panel has few widgets integrated but it is still panel. I simply do not see a use case on my desktop for most of widgets. Even after trying them.

So if someone wonder why I do not use something which “everyone is using” then I hope that I gave an answer.

I am old fashioned

6 thoughts on “I am old fashioned

  • 7th July 2010 at 16:57

    Hi Marcin, thanks for the tips. Do you have any pointers to the “window grouping” feature referenced above? I likewise use konsole with tabs quite a bit, but don’t yet understand grouping. Thanks, Cliff

    • 7th July 2010 at 21:43

      For grouping you need KWin from KDE 4.4.x I think and window decoration which supports it. I used Plastic for quite long time but recently switched to Oxygen one due to window grouping support.

      Make a switch, enable grouping and play a bit with it. Open two Konsole windows and if they will not group automatically then RMB on window title and there should be options for it.

  • 7th July 2010 at 18:05

    UUID/labels are good solution, if you reffer to device only via mountpoint. I guess as a developer you often use /dev/sdX, then they are not enough indeed.

    Recently I also started to use Chromium, but still Firefox is my default browser – add-ons cannot be replaced, and even if they are present in Chromium, they are not 100% the same (Adblock for example).

    • 7th July 2010 at 21:37

      First I would have to remember those UUID/labels. I rather remember “Prevenar13 leather”, “GUADEC 2007” names of my pendrives. But I also have two same ones which I brought from ST-Ericsson workshop. And yes — /dev/sdX is often in use.

      Speaking about Chromium… extensions are weak, Adblock is imitation more then same level as Firefox one. GreaseMonkey scripts require manual edition to set preferences etc. But it feels fast.

  • 7th July 2010 at 20:04

    Hi Marcin, I guess I am old fashioned too, my X11 desktop usage is 90% like what you describe. WRT media players, I never saw Kaffeine (Suse installs that everywhere somehow) do anything else other than an animated coffee bean and an error message… So MPlayer it is! 🙂

    • 7th July 2010 at 21:34

      I used Kaffeine years ago to play DVDs with navigation. Never checked how MPlayer works with it now.

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