2013-06-09

Featured Comments: Week of 2013 June 2

There was one post this past week that got a handful of comments, so I will repost most of those.

How-To: Make Xfce Like Unity

Reader Mike Frett shared, "That's why I use XFCE, very customizable. I don't particularly like Unity, but I enjoyed the article. Incidentally, you could have turned the Opacity down a bit on your Dock to match Unity's. I use Xubuntu, when I do I always delete the Dock on the bottom and drag the top bar down to the bottom. I add some spacers and launchers and such till it looks like *that* classic OS from around '98. It's just my preference because it's simple and stays out of my way. I use the Shiki-Brave and Classic Ambiance themes. Nothing in my System Tray on the right except the clock, weather update and Network Monitor (Bars only). And Dots style separators. I like it =p Point is, it's very customizable to anyone’s liking. But it annoys me they still call XFCE a 'light' WM when it's resource usage is the same as Gnome 3 and KDE; and they STILL don't have even basic effect's like fade-in and out or Min-Max animations."
Commenter Morten Juhl-Johansen Zőlde-Fejér had this bit of support: "This is an excellent documentation of the level of customization that is possible. I seem to recall another site where they did a Vista and MacOS X redesign - it was quite impressive."
An anonymous reader said, "Unity's screen layout is actually OK. But if Unity was just a reorganization of an on-screen dock and panel, then it wouldn't have generated so much controversy. Canonical eliminated the start menu, replacing it with a cumbersome search function; they also adopted the Mac's one-menubar-for-all-programs style, took away many customization options, and put all of that in a package that requires high-end graphics capability to even run. I don't know why anyone would want to emulate any of that. With Xfce, you can put a launcher in the dock that opens the "application finder", which is a nicely laid out menu of installed programs, organized by program type (graphics, internet, etc.). Alternatively, the launcher could run "thunar /usr/share/applications", which would produce a very Mac-like display of clickable icons of all installed applications. I imagine one could do this with Unity, in effect restoring the start menu (but I haven't tried - Xfce works just fine). And I still haven't found a simpler way to switch desktops than Xfce's trick of just moving the mouse off the right or left screen edge. No mouse clicks at all! Gnome 2.x had the same thing, I think; gone the way of the Dodo bird..."
Another anonymous commenter countered, "I'm with Innocent Bystander. I switched to Xfce 3 years mainly to get away from what I saw coming down the pike with GNOME 3 and Unity. While it's interesting to know that this can be done with Xfce, this article begs the question: WHY would anyone in his/her right mind WANT to do this? As someone who likes Xfce the way it is due to the Xfce team sticking to tried and true intuitive GUI design that has stood the test of time, I consider this article to be completely and utterly pointless."

Thanks to all those who commented on that post. I'm back on campus, but because my UROP (and graduate school preparations) are a bit less hectic than the normal semester, I'll probably be able to put out a review this week. Anyway, if you like what I write, please continue subscribing and commenting!

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