Story 2014-10-24 2TP9 Lunduke says the LXDE Desktop is "Nothing to write home about"

Lunduke says the LXDE Desktop is "Nothing to write home about"

by
in linux on (#2TP9)
Somebody just go ahead and call this article a troll. That's essentially what it is. But heck, maybe it will get some discussion going. Linux pundit Bryan Lunduke over at Network World has spent some time using the LXDE desktop and writes, I've used LXDE for weeks, and I'm still having trouble finding much to say about it. That's not a good sign. What the hell, man?
I feel like, after all this time, I should have something interesting to talk about. But I just plain don’t.

It’s fast, blisteringly fast. And it’s damned lightweight too. After that, things get pretty boring. LXDE is built on GTK+, which means GTK-based apps are right at home. So that’s a plus, I suppose. Though that really isn’t a problem on any desktop environment I’ve tried so far. But… you know… it’s something that I can write down about it. After that, things get average and mundane… in a hurry.
I'm not sure what the issue is: in my opinion, LXDE is simple, intuitive, and stays the heck out of your way so you can work. How can that possible be a negative? So, go ahead: insult the author. Then the guy who submitted this article (me) and posted it (me again). Then discuss. I'm verklempt.
Reply 26 comments

"The Desktop Panel style interface is extremely expected." (Score: 2, Insightful)

by cats@pipedot.org on 2014-10-24 20:56 (#2TPA)

I don't know if it's a troll, but it is terribly written. Seems he had real trouble padding it up to 500 words.

I really envy Mac users and their Ars Technica OSX reviews. Are there any Linux reviewers that can match that level of detail and writing quality?

Re: "The Desktop Panel style interface is extremely expected." (Score: 1)

by bryan@pipedot.org on 2014-10-24 21:55 (#2TPD)

Those OSX reviews are defiantly nicely written. That recent Yosemite review was the first of those articles that I actually saw (I don't have a Mac, so I normally don't follow OSX too closely), but it seems Ars has extensively reviewed the past several releases as well. I'm a little envious.

Re: "The Desktop Panel style interface is extremely expected." (Score: 2, Funny)

by billshooterofbul@pipedot.org on 2014-10-24 23:01 (#2TPG)

I used to really like the OS X reviews. But, maybe its me, but I miss the HFS+ bashing that used to come with each one. Just not the same without them.

Re: "The Desktop Panel style interface is extremely expected." (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-10-25 02:05 (#2TPJ)

Are there any Linux reviewers that can match that level of detail and writing quality?
Yes, unfortunately I'm too busy working for minimum wage to waste time on that shit.

Re: "The Desktop Panel style interface is extremely expected." (Score: 2, Insightful)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-10-25 14:04 (#2TQ0)

You're right. I'm wondering what this guy's qualifications are and on what technical merits he makes his determinations. I mean, to work for Network World or whatever you have to be pretty savvy, know technology, and have a good working knowledge of systems and code, right? Or do you just have to be a journalistic hack with a whiny penchant for criticizing themes.

You want an interface that surprises you? Let's set your journalist butt down in front of a Ratpoison instance and see how you do. You surprised now, you journalistic fraud, you?

Re: "The Desktop Panel style interface is extremely expected." (Score: 3, Informative)

by bryanlunduke@pipedot.org on 2014-10-27 02:42 (#2TQP)

Since you mentioned ratpoison (the "r" is lower case... don't let the ratpoison team catch you using an uppercase "R"), here's my review.
http://www.networkworld.com/article/2604623/opensource-subnet/the-linux-desktop-a-week-review-ratpoison.html

That, and the LXDE review, are part of a "Desktop a week" series I'm doing where I use a different Desktop Environment ever week.

Re: "The Desktop Panel style interface is extremely expected." (Score: 1)

by kerrany@pipedot.org on 2014-10-27 20:28 (#2TR1)

That ratpoison article was friggin' hilarious. I have no ideas about the merits of the desktop vs other Linux desktops, but the article? I cackled. Favorite line:
That cheat-sheet is about as helpful as a donkey with a semi-automatic rifle. Sure, it looks cool in a picture... but you don't want it on your desk.

Features (Score: 4, Insightful)

by bryan@pipedot.org on 2014-10-24 21:02 (#2TPB)

A simple interface that does what you expect without throwing throwing around this year's version of eye candy gimmicks? Sounds like a pretty good feature to me.

Re: Features (Score: 2, Insightful)

by tqk@pipedot.org on 2014-10-25 02:37 (#2TPM)

A simple interface that does what you expect without throwing throwing around this year's version of eye candy gimmicks?

I suspect you're a lot younger than me. Lots of stuff in current FLOSS distributions flummox me. Nautilus? Why? What's wrong with mount? Unity? Never seen it. :-O You don't like the standard $window_manager? Install your own, ffs! I read today people were concerned about the wallpaper in the latest Ubuntu. Ho.Ly. ....

Install a minimal distribution, then tweak it to hell and back! Feature!!! I don't understand why anyone complains about this stuff. If you can find real breakage or bugs, that's important. But it looks funny to you? Do you know how to fire up the config GUI (or even hack a text config file)? Is this a daunting challenge for you?

If so, you need to hire me, and I'll be rich! :-)

P.S. I'm brand, spankin' new to Pipedot, this's my first post, don't expect me to know what I'm doing here. Looks good so far. I've high hopes.

Re: Features (Score: 2, Funny)

by zafiro17@pipedot.org on 2014-10-25 14:02 (#2TPZ)

You might be new, but you seem to know exactly what to do. Welcome aboard, grandpa :)

I use Window Maker, not LXDE (Score: 3, Interesting)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-10-24 21:45 (#2TPC)

But should one day for whatever reasons Window Maker not be available anymore, LXDE is probably quite on top of the alternatives I would try.
simple, intuitive, and stays the heck out of your way so you can work.
Perfect.

Two desktop environments, which I probably never will use: GNOME and KDE = bloat. At least for me. I installed KDE for my wife and she is happy with it.

Re: I use Window Maker, not LXDE (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-10-28 06:51 (#2TR9)

I am actually a long term Window Maker user who defected to XFCE for sometime because some of its desktopyness made life a little bit easier in a corporate environment.

I am back on Window Maker for a few months now having gotten tired of my computer being continuously busy doing stuff I never really asked it to do. The relief is tangible. Even though I set up my XFCE environment to be NextSteppy, using a dock and such, it is a million little things which Window Maker does perfectly and XFCE doesn't even do at all... but possibly the biggest thing, my environment does not change beyond all recognition with every upgrade, features do not disappear from beneath my finger tips while I try to use them... the actual broader implications and meanings of the word stability become apparent and real productivity follows.

Omgz (Score: 3, Insightful)

by konomi@pipedot.org on 2014-10-25 02:29 (#2TPK)

Zomgs I can find nothing to say about it, where is my bling, my swipey swishing crap? Seriously if you can find nothing to say about it then it's probably doing it's job. I imagine you wouldn't have much to say when reviewing a fork or a hammer either cause they do the job.

Re: Omgz (Score: 2, Informative)

by zocalo@pipedot.org on 2014-10-25 09:19 (#2TPX)

Yeah, the reviewer completely missed the point of LXDE. Lightweight desktops are aimed at people that just want the UI to get the hell out of the way and let them get on with doing actual work without any distractions or bogging down systems with limited resources (e.g. a lightweight CPU, low memory, or limited bandwidth for remote GUI desktops), LXDE does that pretty much perfectly. I prefer KDE for my main *NIX desktop, albeit with most of the distracting bling switched off, but even with a high bandwidth connection if I want a remote GUI desktop I tend to switch to LXDE, XFCE or something similar.

Instead of writing about the lack of any bling, the article should have focussed on benchmarking how much better it performs vs. the likes of KDE and Gnome with limited resources available, the benefits provided by lack of UI distractions, what has been removed to facilitate that, and maybe even how you can possibly add back in those bits of bling that you really can't do without. What a waste of bits...

Re: Omgz (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-10-25 13:30 (#2TPY)

Lunduke's impressionistic series of pieces on different interfaces don't have room for in-depth analysis, presumably because his column is only allotted so much space in the publication.

In any case, I think LXDE is fine for someone with constrained hardware resources, although it seems to me an ungainly and unattractive hodgepodge of disparate elements.. It's also fine for someone without hardware constraints. It's inarguable, though, that having adequate contemporary hardware opens up a much wider range of choice. Given that, choosing a desktop environment because you like the way it looks and feels is just as legitimate as choosing anything else. Why use something you don't like using unless you have no other choice?

Re: Omgz (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-10-25 18:32 (#2TQ6)

Somebody's been Googling himself!

Re: Omgz (Score: 2, Insightful)

by zocalo@pipedot.org on 2014-10-26 14:49 (#2TQE)

Not having room due to a limited word count shouldn't be a problem for a competent writer; you don't have to publish test methodologies and reams of results in that case, just summarise your findings. He does say that LXDE is insanely fast, before launching into how mundane it is and that he can't think of anything much to say. A far more useful article would have been to comment on about how much quicker (or not) it felt when trying to run a remote desktop compared with KDE/Gnome/Windows/OSX, how the simple interface and lack of visual FX might be contributing to that, point out the inconsistencies in the interface, and opine about why/when you might want to chose LXDE over other distros.

As stands, it smacks of an article that was phoned in just to meet an arbitrary word count and get paid that probably would have been better left unpublished by the site's editor.

I get the impression... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by unitron@pipedot.org on 2014-10-25 14:23 (#2TQ1)

...that he was trying to be tongue in cheek about there being nothing to complain about, which isn't always the case with GUIs (especially if they're from MS).

That it uses PCMan has me interested in trying it.

Re: I get the impression... (Score: 1)

by skarjak@pipedot.org on 2014-10-25 14:48 (#2TQ2)

The last time I used PCMan, I found that it required a lot of tweaking to get basic functionality that you expect out of a file manager, and for not much gain. I'm using Thunar right now and it pretty much does everything one might want while still being pretty light. It also has the all important "Open this folder in terminal" option, which should really be standard in all file managers.

Seems right to me... (Score: 1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-10-26 02:32 (#2TQB)

LXDE is boring and I think most would agree that's a selling point. The writer needed to attract some eyeballs, painted LXDE as the 'meh' desktop, and got his article linked here (free marketing). Well done Mr. Lunduke...

Sorry I made you verklempt. (Score: 1)

by bryanlunduke@pipedot.org on 2014-10-27 02:47 (#2TQQ)

Didn't mean to make you verklempt, chaver. Just giving my meynung of LXDE. If that makes me a full on chutspenik, then so be it!

[Also, I actually said some pretty nice things about LXDE in that article. Because LXDE deserved to have some rather nice things said about it.]

Re: Sorry I made you verklempt. (Score: -1, Troll)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-10-27 11:24 (#2TQW)

You also came here pretending to be someone else and defended your own article anonymously in the 3rd person ("Lunduke's impressionistic series of pieces" above). Sock puppeting/astroturfing.

That pathetic exercise indicates your journalistic ethics are below those of a subway rat. Nicely demonstrated.

Re: Sorry I made you verklempt. (Score: 1)

by bryanlunduke@pipedot.org on 2014-10-27 11:42 (#2TQX)

I don't post anonymously. Not a fan of it. When I have something to say, I put my name and my face right on it.

Re: Sorry I made you verklempt. (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-10-29 22:19 (#2TSQ)

So do I

Re: Sorry I made you verklempt. (Score: 2, Insightful)

by tanuki64@pipedot.org on 2014-10-27 13:42 (#2TQY)

What you say might be true or not. But unless you can prove your accusations, your should not make them. And certainly you should not make them as A.C. It smells.