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#1 2019-01-26 21:10:33

Skaperen
Member
From: surface of planet Earth
Registered: 2013-06-15
Posts: 439

one of the difficulties of GUI

one of the difficulties of graphical user interface is that everything is so manual.  i've probably scaled up my environment because scripting made doing so so easy.  converting over to GUI means a lot of manual labour for me unless i determine how to script it.  adding 18 launchers to 18 users was fairly easy in one script.

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#2 2019-01-27 18:09:47

mint4all
Member
From: America
Registered: 2018-08-21
Posts: 113

Re: one of the difficulties of GUI

Skaperen wrote:

one of the difficulties of graphical user interface is that everything is so manual.  i've probably scaled up my environment because scripting made doing so so easy.  converting over to GUI means a lot of manual labour for me unless i determine how to script it.  adding 18 launchers to 18 users was fairly easy in one script.

Hmmm ... Ye 'ole tedium of setup, then maintenance wink

Perhaps there might be an EASIER way, by -- possibly -- thinking outside the [xfce]box?

WHAT IF there just might be an easier solution? Your abundance of topics and codding savvy prompted me to look into how i could simplify that xfce-panel setup i've created for my fellow geriatrics; and btw, they are all happy campers but having their own systems compared to your multi-user setup..

So my search went down the list starting with ubuntu's (old-now-new) gnome desktop, through the various docks and launchers. In the end i've landed on probably the grand-daddy, possibly the simplest of those launchers, the "plank" dock. It does exactly what I would want, does it with a minimum of fuss, and its properties & launchers can be easily edited / scripted / duplicated / replicated. I should mention that it coexists nicely with xfce's infrastructure. Interested in discussing this further?

Cheers, m4a


Linux Mint 18.3-xfce & Linux Mint 19-xfce  -- Dell Precision T1500 Desktops -- Toshiba Satellite Laptop -- Family & Community Support re. Linux

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#3 2019-01-27 21:02:23

Skaperen
Member
From: surface of planet Earth
Registered: 2013-06-15
Posts: 439

Re: one of the difficulties of GUI

mint4all wrote:

Hmmm ... Ye 'ole tedium of setup, then maintenance wink

Perhaps there might be an EASIER way, by -- possibly -- thinking outside the [xfce]box?

i do scripting to condense repetitive activities.

mint4all wrote:

WHAT IF there just might be an easier solution? Your abundance of topics and codding savvy prompted me to look into how i could simplify that xfce-panel setup i've created for my fellow geriatrics; and btw, they are all happy campers but having their own systems compared to your multi-user setup..

people who are not running a multi-user or isolations-by-userid (the term i think is more accurate about what i am doing) setup probably have a much easier life

mint4all wrote:

So my search went down the list starting with ubuntu's (old-now-new) gnome desktop, through the various docks and launchers. In the end i've landed on probably the grand-daddy, possibly the simplest of those launchers, the "plank" dock. It does exactly what I would want, does it with a minimum of fuss, and its properties & launchers can be easily edited / scripted / duplicated / replicated. I should mention that it coexists nicely with xfce's infrastructure. Interested in discussing this further?

i was thinking along the lines of an information layer like a database access API where there would be a shadow level of default settings with a means (requiring more permission) to modify the default settings.  to support people like me, there would be a means for each user to reference another base of information.  that base could modify it when logged in as me or whatever designated user.  then other users referencing it would be shadow referencing ... if they make a change, it applies it only to them.  when they lookup information they have changed, their copy is used.  when they look up information they have not change, the lack of it, the lookup falls through to the next level.  that would be a referenced user pending access authorization.

so the setup tedium for me would be to make the 17 other users refer to "skaperen" and add the 17 other users to ACL to allow them to access.  then all setting change i make on "skaperen" would be by applied to the other users.  the other users can make they own changes which mask the references.

but this kind of stuff would only benefit me.  add more control for administrators and support to make changes for the user and control what the user is allowed to change and support in business environments could be happier.

this information access should be a network protocol.

mint4all wrote:

Cheers, m4a

Cheers, phil (skaperen, KA9WGN, etc)

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#4 2019-01-27 23:46:06

mint4all
Member
From: America
Registered: 2018-08-21
Posts: 113

Re: one of the difficulties of GUI

Fwiw, my comments here s'b understood as an attempt to setup xfce in a "turn-key"-like fashion for those folks that have no desire to constantly tweak their DE -- they want something that "just works" -- and are happy using a pre-determined/pre-selected desktop content.

In that context, i used the "plank" dock (instead of xfce's "panel"). Here's a look at what i've setup:Plank-Sample1.png
Placed on the desktop's bottom of a full-fledged xfce-DE, and set to "intelihide", from left to right: show desktop -- clock -- thunar -- firefox -- thunderbird -- libreoffice -- cherrytree -- settings manager -- document link to "theme' -- trashbin. In Mac-like fashion, those dots signify open apps, and you can see thunderbird's unread-mail count. Not that much different from a panel, right? Underneath, its a bit different: the dock is locked-down (no changes allowed, thus no pilot errors ie "removing" a launcher), the buttons by default launch only a single instance of an app, and the icons are slightly animated during selection and when needing a user's attention (in Mac-like fashion). Under the covers, here are the dock's launchers...

~/.config/plank/dock1/launchers $ ls
cherrytree.dockitem  dock.dockitem     Thunar.dockitem       xfce-settings-manager.dockitem
clock.dockitem       firefox.dockitem  thunderbird.dockitem
desktop.dockitem     Office.dockitem   trash.dockitem

Yet under the covers, the dock makes use of the corresponding .desktop files, like

[PlankDockItemPreferences]
Launcher=file:///usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop

As i began to play around, i wondered if the dock can handle/follow symlinks; indeed, it does. Here's the .dockitem file for the dock's "Office" button:

[PlankDockItemPreferences]
Launcher=file:///home/mint4all/Develop/Office

It is remarkable that this little dock created that particular button icon on the fly from the actual icons of the first 4 symlink entries in that folder's list of symlinks that in fact pointed to the system's actual libreoffice .desktop files. When clicking THAT button, much like xfce's "Directory" panel-plugin, this dock builds a stack-like popup-window from the contents of that "Office" subfolder. In effect what i found out is that this dock enables "App Folders" (clicking on those listed app-items actually launches them) as well as collections of assorted links & files in a fashion similar to Mate's "Drawer" panel-plugin (which, regrettably, does not exist in xfce).

So the advantage for me -- the somewhat geeky grey ghost -- is that i can easily setup a locked-down assortment of dock contents, transfer it to my folks over sftp yet, and not having to worry about them messing it up by accident. Of course, there are shortcomings: i'm not sure yet whether or not this dock can handle necessary instrumentation (ie network manager, or audio plugin), but it goes a long way to provide an easy to use, turnkey-like desktop to those  folks that have no need for nor desire to change it; and more often than not, just get lost in or by all those menu choices.

From a developer's point of view though,, this dock's plain text files can easily be DB-managed and -provisioned to their respective [remote] desktops as and when needed ... Anyways, just some constructive thoughts how to "marry" the operational stability of xfce with a somewhat simplified user experience.

Cheers, m4a


Linux Mint 18.3-xfce & Linux Mint 19-xfce  -- Dell Precision T1500 Desktops -- Toshiba Satellite Laptop -- Family & Community Support re. Linux

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#5 2019-01-28 02:45:02

Skaperen
Member
From: surface of planet Earth
Registered: 2013-06-15
Posts: 439

Re: one of the difficulties of GUI

fundamentally, i see no conceptual difference between a panel at the top like mine and a dock at the bottom like you have.  all this can be done by configuration.

years ago my father bought a computer with MS Windows on it and was always asking me for help (i couldn't do much with MS on it).  most his troubles were from the adware, but sometimes he would manage to mess things up.  i think i reinstalled MS Windows about 4 times.  one day he finally asked me to put Linux on it and i put Ubuntu 9.04 on.  he still had troubles, but much less, usually involving things with Firefox.  his e-mail was @gmail.com.  i had to make a web page that would tell him when the network was up and give him links to where he needed to go.

different people are going to need different things, but it sure seems that most people need something reliable, stable, and consistent.  i remember a job i got at a startup software developer as senior system administrator (and network), employee #3.  as developers got hired and came in, they pretty much had run of their own computers. they got Ubuntu already installed and i almost never had to provide them any support.  i probably would have needed to provide more had i locked them down.  the CEO had 2 Macs and the CFO had Windows.  All the technical people used Ubuntu (plus i had a couple servers running Slacware and 4 running Fedora for various reasons). 27 servers ran Ubuntu server edition.  today, i'd probably be putting Xubuntu on if i wasn't retired (that doesn't seem to stop the recruiters from calling).

but i do like the idea of creating a distro "for granny" (or "for gramps").

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