Questions about windows support

H. S. Teoh hsteoh at
Wed Feb 22 17:40:00 PST 2012

On Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 01:14:46PM -0500, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh at> wrote in message 
> > On a more serious note, this is perhaps a proof that it's not a good
> > idea to conflate the OS with the GUI. :) But then I'm just being
> > pedantic.
> >
> I've thought about that, and always been conflicted on it. User-choice
> and configurability is great, but OTOH there's something to be said
> about being able to assume one GUI system and not worry about a
> program or a set of instructions working on KDE *and* GNOME *and* xfce
> *and* lxde *and* blackbox *and* afterstep (is that still in use?)
> *and* etc... It'd be great if we could just have one GUI that's
> flexible/customizable/efficient enough for everyone.

I thought that was called X11?  Oh wait... ;-)

The problem with X11 is that it was designed almost 30 years ago, and as
a result its API is, by today's standard, rather baroque. It was also
from a time before the dominance of the so-called desktop metaphor,
which means many contemporary programs require a lot more infrastructure
than it provides. Which is why KDE and GNOME exist.

I've always been a stickler for configurability. But I can see the value
of having a consistent set of instructions for a newbie to follow when
she encounters problems with your app. If everyone has a different setup
then tech support is a veritable waking nightmare.

Perhaps the solution is to have a single *default* desktop, and then
power users can configure it to their hearts' content, with the caveat
that if things go wrong, they're on their own. Power users ought to know
how to translate instructions intended for the default desktop to their
own environment anyway.

For example, I don't think *anyone* could give me sane instructions that
would work on my "desktop"... which is more like a glorified console
than a real desktop. :P  But if you said something like "go to
applications -> browsers, click on Firefox", then I'd just smile and nod
and type "firefox&" at the shell prompt. :)

> But then, problem is half the GUIs out there are *all* trying to be
> that "one and only" GUI. Oh well.

To me, one GUI has already won, and it's called rxvt. ;-)

> > If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in
> > a closed room with a mosquito. -- Jan van Steenbergen
> Heh, you've got some good quotes. I also really liked that one about
> "Why didn't he append 'I think' to 'wiser people are so full of
> doubts'?"

Here's one of my all-time favorites:


There is no gravity. The earth sucks.

More information about the Digitalmars-d mailing list