Software suggestions?

If you have any suggestions or ideas about improving Salix, here's the place to post them.

Software suggestions?

Postby Kingpin » 12. Aug 2017, 11:37

Hi.

First of all, let me say that Salix has been my favorite distro for years. I just love the one application per task philosophy and the additional tools. Sometimes I decide to change it up, but I always end up right back with Salix. It's just the most usable out of the box. Great work, guys!

Anyway, I have some suggestions for the included software to possibly make it even better. The most important - the web browser. To be blunt, I don't think Firefox should be used at all, with all the terrible anti user decisions they have made lately. They've removed the option to completely disable javascript, citing some dumb reasons and closing the thread on their website (lots of people didn't like it). When you open a new tab, it displays their sponsored pages that get there for who knows what reason. Visit a website, and it tells you that "firefox is sending some data to mozilla, to improve your experience" !. What a joke. There are many other issues, too. Let's leave the ship before it completely sinks. PaleMoon could be a good replacement - it's firefox that actually respects the user. It could also be preconfigured with some privacy-enhancing addons like Encrypted Web, but that's debatable. Even Midori, that some older Salix versions had, is a better option, honestly.

Image editing. GIMP is great, but it's just not very suitable for a new user. You turn it on and there's nothing displayed. You have to create a new image, open the toolbox, open the tool options menu, etc - and it's all just so unintuitive. Even something that should be so simple, as selecting, cutting, pasting, etc. was a problem for me in GIMP. I think Pinta is just a much better option - going well with the philosophy of working out of the box (but still featureful).

Torrents. I have searched a long time for a good torrent client. I think I've tried them all. IMO, the only good one is qBittorrent - but it has a fat qt dependency. So, I recommend keeping Transmission, but add aMule which accomplishes the same thing as torrents, but is just more featureful (the built in search engine is especially useful).

File manager. Once you go SpaceFM, you don't go back.

Terminal - I like LilyTerm. It allows you to do things like view the clipboard and change keybindings. But, this is not very important - it's just a terminal. You type commands and that's it, doesn't need much features.

What do you think?
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Re: Software suggestions?

Postby ChuangTzu » 12. Aug 2017, 19:58

Anyway, I have some suggestions for the included software to possibly make it even better. The most important - the web browser. To be blunt, I don't think Firefox should be used at all, with all the terrible anti user decisions they have made lately. They've removed the option to completely disable javascript, citing some dumb reasons and closing the thread on their website (lots of people didn't like it). When you open a new tab, it displays their sponsored pages that get there for who knows what reason. Visit a website, and it tells you that "firefox is sending some data to mozilla, to improve your experience" !. What a joke. There are many other issues, too. Let's leave the ship before it completely sinks. PaleMoon could be a good replacement - it's firefox that actually respects the user. It could also be preconfigured with some privacy-enhancing addons like Encrypted Web, but that's debatable. Even Midori, that some older Salix versions had, is a better option, honestly.


Install NoScript addon for Firefox to take care of the script gremlins. Midori is very crash prone.

Image editing. GIMP is great, but it's just not very suitable for a new user. You turn it on and there's nothing displayed. You have to create a new image, open the toolbox, open the tool options menu, etc - and it's all just so unintuitive. Even something that should be so simple, as selecting, cutting, pasting, etc. was a problem for me in GIMP. I think Pinta is just a much better option - going well with the philosophy of working out of the box (but still featureful).


Salix is not aimed at "new users" to Linux, it can be, however, its for Lazy Slackers.

File manager. Once you go SpaceFM, you don't go back.


SpaceFM is nice, however, since Xfce is the default version of Salix, Thunar is the default. You can always have multiple FM's at once. I also like xfe.

What do you think?


Just some thoughts. :geek:
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Re: Software suggestions?

Postby Kingpin » 13. Aug 2017, 09:14

ChuangTzu wrote: Install NoScript addon for Firefox to take care of the script gremlins. Midori is very crash prone.


Yeah, I used to use NoScript all the time. It's more about the principle. If I want to have javascript disabled completely, I should be able to.
Midori sucks, but at least it does not shove you some "sponsored" websites every time you open a new tab.

ChuangTzu wrote: Salix is not aimed at "new users" to Linux, it can be, however, its for Lazy Slackers.


I meant people who just started drawing. GIMP can overwhelm them. At least it did to me, and discouraged me from drawing.
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Re: Software suggestions?

Postby westms » 13. Aug 2017, 13:21

To condemn Firefox is dangerous. The Mozilla Foundation has many problems and many of them are self-caused. The browser market share has shrunk considerably and the risk that this browser will become meaningless is not small. But if Firefox drops out, there is no longer a significant free browser, and PaleMoon will also fail.

Kingpin wrote:If I want to have javascript disabled completely, I should be able to.

This is easy to do. The variable javascript.enabled can be found over about:config. The assignment is set to true and can be changed to false.

Kingpin wrote:[...] but at least it does not shove you some "sponsored" websites every time you open a new tab [...]

No problem with that. Mozilla needs somehow to finance. They can do this via advertising and donations, for example. In addition, this behavior can be turned off easily. For example, I do not use an empty start page, but instead use my own local site instead of bookmarks. Whenever my Firefox launch, it shows my local site, so no advertising.

Pinta is a derivative of Paint.NET. Why would one want to use something like that? Yes, the initial learning effort for GIMP is high. If you start with a simpler program and want to reach more later, you have to start over again from the beginning. The learning effort for the simpler program is almost lost. Perhaps one should also consider the ability to convert between different image formats when choosing a graphics editor. And besides, I do not like GIMP.

The file manager Thunar is comfortable and provides enough for most users. Just be honest, how many file operations do you run daily on average, and is it worthwhile to learn about SpaceFM?

Kingpin wrote:Terminal - I like LilyTerm.

Another terminal also? :) Xfce4-terminal is a 1A terminal emulator and there are other good ones.
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Re: Software suggestions?

Postby Papasot » 18. Aug 2017, 09:52

We all have our personal preferences - but remember, you still have the choice; nobody stops you from installing your preferred application and forget about the default one... That being said, I rather disagree with your recommendations

* Firefox is still a great browser. The fact it's not as popular as it used to be is not because the "ship sinks", but because of Google's invasion and blatant pushing of their browser. I didn't like some of the Mozilla Foundation decisions, but to be honest I have yet to find a better alternative. The "issues" you mentioned about it are easily solvable, and I have to say most of them are not even issues at all. Firefox asks you if you want to send them some data to improve their product. You can always say "no", and it only asks you once. Where is the big deal? Furthermore, the "sponsored pages" you mention are all about Mozilla, and you quickly forget about them as your own web page history fills up. I honestly don't see where is the "problem" worth mentioning here. Firefox also has a set of great add-ons, like Cookie Monster, Privacy Badger, and of course Adblock Plus - to name a few.
The only problem with Firefox is the fact it is a rather "heavy" application, and you don't even mention that. Firefox still runs on old machines though (I have a 15-years old PC running Salix and Firefox runs decently even there). Personally, I was looking for a lightweight alternative with same functionality, but I didn't find any (including Palemoon, which is basically Firefox with some tweaks but those won't make it more lightweight). You mentioned Midori, but unfortunately it's very crash-prone and lacks a lot of functionality. I liked Conkeror (not to be confused with KDE's file manager) because of its Emacs-like key bindings and feel; it has some functionality I need but it's still behind Firefox. Honestly, I don't see why Firefox should not be the default browser in Salix.

* Gimp is the de facto standard - and it's hard to beat it. You recommend Pinta, but it is much simpler. It has a similar user interface, and a lot less of functionality. I don't think it can replace Gimp. I like the old-good Xfig myself, but I wouldn't ask for it to replace Gimp as the default application in the Graphics section, because it just can't.

* aMule is very Mule-like, definitely not a bad torrent client. I could name others too. On the other hand, Transmission is simple, and does its job without devouring resources. Sounds like a very good choice to me. If I need torrent-search functionality, my browser can do it way better than any torrent client would ever do.

* File managers... Now, THAT's a very objective topic... I guess I can see why you like SpaceFM, but it's not the first nor the last multi-panel file manager out there. For example Xfe is also multi-panel, not to mention the venerable (and very-very good) Midnight Commander. Personally, I use Worker, a dual-panel file manager which is extremely lightweight, the exact opposite of "eye-candy", but literally bloated with functionality most of the other file managers could not even dream of. Few people know about it, and I'd certainly not recommend it as the default file manager on Salix, though. I admit I almost never use Thunar myself, but in a distribution where Xfce is the default desktop, I can see why Thunar is the default file manager.

* Terminal: Well, I am old fashioned and still like xterm. But there are plenty of good terminal applications out there. Again, in a Xfce desktop, I can see why the default is what it is (and it's far from being a bad choice anyway).
A pleasant detail in this forum: several people pick a picture of their pet as their avatar. Who am I to do otherwise? ;-)
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Re: Software suggestions?

Postby Kingpin » 20. Aug 2017, 10:41

Papasot wrote:* aMule is very Mule-like, definitely not a bad torrent client. I could name others too. On the other hand, Transmission is simple, and does its job without devouring resources. Sounds like a very good choice to me. If I need torrent-search functionality, my browser can do it way better than any torrent client would ever do.


Have you actually tried searching for torrents with a browser? I really doubt you can do better than aMule's (or qBittorrent's) built-in search engine. It's just so convenient.

As for the Firefox alternative - at least use IceCat, which has most of the crap removed and a few privacy addons installed. But I insist the best option would be PaleMoon - completely avoiding Mozilla's politics (and having the older, better user interface).

Also, I don't remember if GParted is there by default in Salix - if it isn't, it absolutely should. No system administrator can do without it, IMO.
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Re: Software suggestions?

Postby elcore » 20. Aug 2017, 11:12

IceCat default would be great, I use it long time and every time FF leaks, IceCat patches it.
There's a small issue of release delay though, and I'd prefer separate extensions, so I package it that way to keep them optional.
Otherwise, best fork, great maintainer.
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