Why not Xfce? (was: Re: The XO-1.5 software plan.)

Neil Graham Lerc at screamingduck.com
Mon May 18 21:29:48 EDT 2009

On Sun, 2009-05-17 at 13:54 +0200, Martin Langhoff wrote:

> Work on getting a top-notch polished $desktop on it, and continued
> mantainership behind it, and it'll definitely be an option. It's
> reasonably easy to get desktops "going", but good polish making it
> suitable for end users takes a ton of detailed, subtle work.

+1 that +1.

I've been working on a ROX setup. It's quite a good fit since it follows
the application-directory model so doesn't need to muck with the
underlying OS or have extras installed as an even scattering of files
throughout the fileSystem.

It's been working a while but there's a heap of work to do to make it
nice.  I'll advocate people using it if and when it's good enough that
people go 'Hey! Can I run that too'

Things to make it nice for XO usage....

4 paged desktops using the Square, Dot, DotDotDot and
DotDotDotDotDotDotDotDotDot buttons.
Contents of desktops divided by interaction style. 
(the division is not forced, but guided)
A) computer -> brain  (web browser/ book reader/ videos/
                 help documentation for (B) )
B) brain <-> computer (word processor/ Paint/ Coding/  
C) Stuff I have    (Apps to run, File views) 
D) quick utilities  (things that the user interacts with on a short-term
basis,  calculator, network view,  clock, battery monitor etc.)  

The frame button has been appropriated to toggle the active window
into(and from) fullscreen-undecorated.  This works a treat when you want
to get down to work.  

I'm playing with screenlets as system that can aid Desktop (D),
My daughter likes the fact that she has a clock with her
name on it that she can move around. Screenlets have the potential
to be quite kid friendly.

Performance wise they are ok on an XO-1, because most don't do
a lot of hard work.  Hard to day when it comes to memory. Python
is already floating around.

A lot of this stuff becomes a lot easier with an XO-1.5, but as I
expressed when it was first announced,  I'm concerned that it has the
potential to reduce support for the XO-1.  This seems to have happened
with the announced software plan.  I'd be OK with this if there was a
firm line drawn to say that the 1.5 spec was fixed, and a long term
solution,  there are not yet too many XO-1s out there that they could
in-time upgrade.  As it stands, it is quite easy to envisage in 5 years
time there being little support for the XO-1.

...but why support the 1.5 if XO-2 does the same thing again?  Upgrading
the base spec every few years leads to the depreciation of the system as
support for the older spec declines.  Ultimately that means you are
asking(whether you realise it or not) for people to buy a new system
every few years.  
Incidentally,  Does anyone have a cost breakdown of the XO-1.5,
Cheaper, the same, more expensive? I assume someone knows this.  Is it
something us mere mortals are allowed to know?

[well that was a post of two halves]

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