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Old 08-30-2012, 03:31 PM
The Wanderer
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

On 08/29/2012 02:13 PM, Bob Proulx wrote:


The Wanderer wrote:


Bob Proulx wrote:


exec x-session-manager


The 'x-session-manager' is a Debian package specific symlink handle that
always points to the currently configured window manager.


Isn't that 'x-window-manager'?

At least, I don't have an 'x-session-manager' on my system (tracking
testing, with a few hints of stable and sid), but I do have
'x-window-manager'.


Well... I really meant x-session-manager since that is the system default.
x-window-manager is something related but different. And then there is also
x-terminal-emulator in the complete set.


Okay. It just seemed to me that since there is 'x-window-manager', which
obviously points to the currently configured window manager, it would be odd for
an 'x-session-manager' to also - by your words - point to the currently
configured window manager.

And I don't think I've previously heard of a "session manager" in this context.


Look in /etc/X11/Xsession.d/* for x-session-manager. On my system:

$ find /etc/X11/Xsession.d -type f -exec grep -lh x-session-manager {} +
/etc/X11/Xsession.d/55gnome-session_gnomerc
/etc/X11/Xsession.d/55awesome-javaworkaround
/etc/X11/Xsession.d/50x11-common_determine-startup


On my system:

$ find /etc/X11/Xsession.d/ -type f -exec grep -lh x-session-manager {} +
/etc/X11/Xsession.d/50x11-common_determine-startup

Also,

$ locate x-session-manager

returns no results.


And you can see what x-session-manager is with update-alternatives. Again on
my system:


<snip>

$ update-alternatives --display x-session-manager
update-alternatives: error: no alternatives for x-session-manager


Hopefully that explains what is happening.


It does, thanks.

For what it's worth, I'm not surprised by the existence of another "generic
name" for defining such alternatives; it's a useful model, and Debian seems to
have implemented it fairly well, though if it's properly documented I don't know
where to look to find that documentation (aside from e.g. the
update-alternatives man page).

The only thing that surprised me was the claim that x-session-manager points to
the configured window manager, when I already know that x-window-manager does
that, and when I hadn't heard of a "session manager" in this context.

As such, I felt it worth asking the question, just in case that had been a
brainfart on your part. Since it wasn't, oh well, hopefully no harm done.

--
The Wanderer

Warning: Simply because I argue an issue does not mean I agree with any
side of it.

Every time you let somebody set a limit they start moving it.
- LiveJournal user antonia_tiger


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Old 08-30-2012, 10:00 PM
Nelson Green
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

> Nelson Green wrote:
> > So, my final question is, where is my X11 start-up file?
>
> There are several different ways to start up X11. Probably the
> simplest for you is to create a $HOME/.xsession file. The
> xdm/gdm/kdm/lightdm processes will use it if the file exists. Create
> it with the following contents.
>
> Create this ~/.xsession file:
>
> #!/bin/bash --login
> if xrandr --query | grep -q DVI-I-2=3B then
> xrandr --auto --output DVI-I-2 --right-of DVI-I-1
> fi
> exec x-session-manager
>
> Then make sure to make the file executable.
>
> chmod a+x ~/.xsession
>
> The '#!/bin/bash --login' part if your login shell is /bin/bash and it
> ensures that your ~/.profile or ~/.bash_profile is read just the same
> as if you were logging into the system otherwise. Then your PATH and
> LANG and other variables will be set as you desire.
>
> The 'x-session-manager' is a Debian package specific symlink handle
> that always points to the currently configured window manager. This
> could be any of gnome, kde, lxde, xfce, fvwm, twm, openbox, or any of
> the others. It depends upon what you have installed. A system
> default. Of course you can also specifically call out one of your
> desired desktop environments or window managers explicitly.
>
> You can see what is configured with:
>
> update-alternatives --display x-session-manager
>
> Bob

Worked like a charm. I appreciate everyone's help.

Nelson


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Old 09-01-2012, 12:10 AM
Bob Proulx
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

The Wanderer wrote:
> Bob Proulx wrote:
> >The Wanderer wrote:
> >>Bob Proulx wrote:
> >>>The 'x-session-manager' is a Debian package specific symlink
> >>>handle that always points to the currently configured window
> >>>manager.

I guess I did say "window manager" there. That isn't precisely
correct. I should have said "desktop session manager" there. Sorry
for the error.

> >>Isn't that 'x-window-manager'?
> >>
> >>At least, I don't have an 'x-session-manager' on my system (tracking
> >>testing, with a few hints of stable and sid), but I do have
> >>'x-window-manager'.
> >
> >Well... I really meant x-session-manager since that is the system default.
> >x-window-manager is something related but different. And then there is also
> >x-terminal-emulator in the complete set.
>
> Okay. It just seemed to me that since there is 'x-window-manager', which
> obviously points to the currently configured window manager, it would be odd for
> an 'x-session-manager' to also - by your words - point to the currently
> configured window manager.

My bad. I am only human. I make mistakes. I didn't even key into
the distinction you had pointed out until this message. I was being
sloppy by calling it a window manager when it is in the possition of
session manager. If I had said session manager it might have made
more sense. But in any case I felt pretty safe recommending that to
the original poster since anyone asking that question is almost
certainly using a desktop session manager.

Debian has created a philosophical layer categorizing the heavy
desktop environment that is bigger than a window manager. A desktop
environment like GNOME or KDE has a whole ecosystem and for them a
window manager is just one program from the set. Conceptually GNOME
or KDE is on one layer by itself. If a desktop environment is used
then it launches a window manager. (GNOME has changed window managers
from one to another in the past.) And the window manager may start up
a terminal emulator. And users are free to avoid any layer and simply
jump on the bus wherever it has slowed down for them.

> And I don't think I've previously heard of a "session manager" in
> this context.

It is something that Debian made up. It sounds better than saying
"large set of heavy and bloated desktop programs". :-) I don't run a
desktop session like GNOME or KDE. Nor LXDE or XFCE either for that
matter. I, and you too apparently, only run the X window system with
a simple window manager.

But I do have it installed for testing. Every so often someone I
support needs help and so I fire up one of the heavy bloats in a vnc
session and then can walk through the menus and try out the solution
before I tell them. Then I can tell them walk down such and such a
menu tree and start up such and such program. Me? I just type in the
name at the command line. But to some people the keyboard is an
unused piece of equipment next to the mouse which is their only input
device that they know how to use.

> >Look in /etc/X11/Xsession.d/* for x-session-manager. On my system:
> >
> > $ find /etc/X11/Xsession.d -type f -exec grep -lh x-session-manager {} +
> > /etc/X11/Xsession.d/55gnome-session_gnomerc
> > /etc/X11/Xsession.d/55awesome-javaworkaround
> > /etc/X11/Xsession.d/50x11-common_determine-startup
>
> On my system:
>
> $ find /etc/X11/Xsession.d/ -type f -exec grep -lh x-session-manager {} +
> /etc/X11/Xsession.d/50x11-common_determine-startup

I was pretty sure you would have x11-common installed. That is the
file I pulled that snippet from. It tries x-session-manager and then
falls back through to other options if that isn't available.

> Also,
> $ locate x-session-manager
> returns no results.

Of course you were not my target audience. :-) I am sure if I had
known then I would have suggested something different. :-)

> >Hopefully that explains what is happening.
>
> It does, thanks.
>
> For what it's worth, I'm not surprised by the existence of another "generic
> name" for defining such alternatives; it's a useful model, and Debian seems to
> have implemented it fairly well, though if it's properly documented I don't know
> where to look to find that documentation (aside from e.g. the
> update-alternatives man page).

I have no idea where it is documented if anywhere. I learned it by
looking through the X system startup scripts. It isn't something that
users really need to know.

Perhaps I should have recommended 'gnome-session' or 'startkde' to
have the user pick what they want explicitly instead?

> The only thing that surprised me was the claim that x-session-manager points to
> the configured window manager, when I already know that x-window-manager does
> that, and when I hadn't heard of a "session manager" in this context.

I was sloppy with my description. Sorry.

> As such, I felt it worth asking the question, just in case that had been a
> brainfart on your part. Since it wasn't, oh well, hopefully no harm done.

Definitely no harm done. Thanks for keeping me honest!

Bob
 
Old 09-11-2012, 05:09 PM
Nelson Green
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

> It is something that Debian made up. It sounds better than saying
> "large set of heavy and bloated desktop programs". :-) I don't run a
> desktop session like GNOME or KDE. Nor LXDE or XFCE either for that
> matter. I, and you too apparently, only run the X window system with
> a simple window manager.

Hi Bob,

You bring up an interesting point. I am running XFCE, and that is because
the limited amount of research I did into window managers told me it was
the simplest "complete" solution, and I did not have time to learn how to
configure a simple system.

As a DBA, the only use I have ever had for a GUI was creating an XP VM
to load MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query Browser on, way back
when I was studying for the certs. I do everything else in a CLI, either a
real terminal (if that is the correct term for TTYs), or an XTerm (Terminal
in XFCE). When I came on board here everyone was using phpmyadmin
and phppgadmin. I gave up on both of those after about five minutes and
went back to mysql and psql. I have never installed a GUI on a Linux
server, and I even do Microsoft through a command prompt more often
than not.

That being said, my current position involves supporting a Drupal driven
front-end to my DB backends, as well as custom PHP/Javascript pages, so I
have no choice but to run a GUI of some type. I would like to learn to do so
with a minimal footprint if you would be willing to share some tips. I find
my primary use of the GUI is email, the web apps I have to support, and
Guayadeque for my classical music fixes. I know there are text based
versions of all, and I use Lynx quite extensively and Alpine to a lesser degree
(everyone is into "multimedia" email these days *sigh*). Other than those,
all I really need is dual monitors so I can update things in Terminal and
refresh the page in the web browser, and a locking screen saver, for which
xscreensaver works just fine. In fact I wouldn't mind just having TTY1 on
one monitor and the GUI on the other if that is possible.

So, if you don't mind, what do you use, and how much time is involved in
setting it up?

Thanks,
Nelson


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Old 09-12-2012, 01:16 AM
lee
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

Nelson Green <nelsongreen84@hotmail.com> writes:

> have no choice but to run a GUI of some type. I would like to learn to do so
> with a minimal footprint if you would be willing to share some tips. I find
> my primary use of the GUI is email, the web apps I have to support, and
> Guayadeque for my classical music fixes.

You could try fvwm and a recent emacs24 with gnus and tmux (or screen)
in rxvt. You might be much happier with a tiling window manager like i3
(they have a nice video on youtube) rather than fvwm, though.

> all I really need is dual monitors so I can update things in Terminal and
> refresh the page in the web browser, and a locking screen saver, for which
> xscreensaver works just fine. In fact I wouldn't mind just having TTY1 on
> one monitor and the GUI on the other if that is possible.

Xscreensaver is fine. You can have two different displays for X sessions
(one on each monitor) rather than having one display that goes across
both monitors. I haven't tried to have one X display on one monitor and
the console on the other --- that should be somehow possible ...


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Old 09-14-2012, 02:29 PM
Nelson Green
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

----------------------------------------
> From: lee@yun.yagibdah.de
> To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
> Subject: Re: Dual-Monitor help
> Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 03:16:55 +0200
>
> Nelson Green <nelsongreen84@hotmail.com> writes:
>
> > have no choice but to run a GUI of some type. I would like to learn to do so
> > with a minimal footprint if you would be willing to share some tips. I find
> > my primary use of the GUI is email, the web apps I have to support, and
> > Guayadeque for my classical music fixes.
>
> You could try fvwm and a recent emacs24 with gnus and tmux (or screen)
> in rxvt. You might be much happier with a tiling window manager like i3
> (they have a nice video on youtube) rather than fvwm, though.

I will look into these and report back, but don't be surprised if that doesn't
happen for a few weeks. I just got handed a brand new server yesterday, to
install, configure, secure, and maintain.

>
> > all I really need is dual monitors so I can update things in Terminal and
> > refresh the page in the web browser, and a locking screen saver, for which
> > xscreensaver works just fine. In fact I wouldn't mind just having TTY1 on
> > one monitor and the GUI on the other if that is possible.
>
> Xscreensaver is fine. You can have two different displays for X sessions
> (one on each monitor) rather than having one display that goes across
> both monitors. I haven't tried to have one X display on one monitor and
> the console on the other --- that should be somehow possible ...

Actually I'm sure it probably is, but it might take some serious hacking. I will
definitely report back if I get this one figured out. If you have some pointers
on different X sessions on different displays I'll take those as well. I might just
try that one at home for grins.

Thanks for the input.
Nelson


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Old 09-14-2012, 06:36 PM
lee
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

Nelson Green <nelsongreen84@hotmail.com> writes:

> ----------------------------------------
>> From: lee@yun.yagibdah.de
>> To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
>> Subject: Re: Dual-Monitor help
>> Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2012 03:16:55 +0200
>>
>> Nelson Green <nelsongreen84@hotmail.com> writes:
>>
>> > have no choice but to run a GUI of some type. I would like to learn to do so
>> > with a minimal footprint if you would be willing to share some tips. I find
>> > my primary use of the GUI is email, the web apps I have to support, and
>> > Guayadeque for my classical music fixes.
>>
>> You could try fvwm and a recent emacs24 with gnus and tmux (or screen)
>> in rxvt. You might be much happier with a tiling window manager like i3
>> (they have a nice video on youtube) rather than fvwm, though.
>
> I will look into these and report back, but don't be surprised if that doesn't
> happen for a few weeks. I just got handed a brand new server yesterday, to
> install, configure, secure, and maintain.

That sounds like fun

>> > all I really need is dual monitors so I can update things in Terminal and
>> > refresh the page in the web browser, and a locking screen saver, for which
>> > xscreensaver works just fine. In fact I wouldn't mind just having TTY1 on
>> > one monitor and the GUI on the other if that is possible.
>>
>> Xscreensaver is fine. You can have two different displays for X sessions
>> (one on each monitor) rather than having one display that goes across
>> both monitors. I haven't tried to have one X display on one monitor and
>> the console on the other --- that should be somehow possible ...
>
> Actually I'm sure it probably is, but it might take some serious hacking. I will
> definitely report back if I get this one figured out. If you have some pointers
> on different X sessions on different displays I'll take those as well. I might just
> try that one at home for grins.

Sorry, no pointers yet --- I've had two monitors for a couple days only
and didn't experiment much. I simply used nvidia-settings to enable the
second monitor, and it gave me the option to either use what they call
"twinview" or to make the two monitors two different displays, which
would have required to restart the X-server. I chose "twinview" and it
just worked fine. Before I could even get used to it, I had to go back
to a single monitor. Fvwm works great with either


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Old 09-15-2012, 08:07 AM
Bob Proulx
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

Nelson Green wrote:
> Hi Bob,
>
> You bring up an interesting point. I am running XFCE, and that is because
> the limited amount of research I did into window managers told me it was
> the simplest "complete" solution, and I did not have time to learn how to
> configure a simple system.

It all depends upon your definition of "complete". For some complete
means everything and then some more. GNOME folks thinks it means 3D
hardware acceleration. For people like me it means simply a way to
manage windows.

> As a DBA, the only use I have ever had for a GUI was creating an XP VM
> to load MySQL Administrator and MySQL Query Browser on, way back
> when I was studying for the certs.

I do almost all of my MySQL administration in a text terminal. Other
people like the GUI though and so I usually install phpmyadmin for
them to use in their web browser. I almost never use it myself
though. Just personal preference. I like being able to recall and
edit my previous command lines.

> I do everything else in a CLI, either a real terminal (if that is
> the correct term for TTYs),

Hmm... A real serial terminal like a VT100? (I actually still own a
vt102. But it is noisy and slow. Mostly it is my footrest these
days.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VT100

> or an XTerm (Terminal in XFCE).

Technically those are terminal emulators. But in casual conversation
we are often sloppy and imprecise when referring to things.

> When I came on board here everyone was using phpmyadmin and
> phppgadmin. I gave up on both of those after about five minutes and
> went back to mysql and psql.

That is my preferred way to deal with them too.

> I have never installed a GUI on a Linux server,

No X window system at all? So you only operate from the raw text
console? Impressive. Not even the 'twin' text window manager?

http://sourceforge.net/projects/twin/

:-) I am saying this part half joking. I rather wish it were packaged
for Debian. Using it and aalib to view videos would be "a hoot".

> That being said, my current position involves supporting a Drupal driven
> front-end to my DB backends, as well as custom PHP/Javascript pages, so I
> have no choice but to run a GUI of some type. I would like to learn to do so
> with a minimal footprint if you would be willing to share some tips. I find
> my primary use of the GUI is email, the web apps I have to support, and
> Guayadeque for my classical music fixes. I know there are text based
> versions of all, and I use Lynx quite extensively and Alpine to a lesser degree
> (everyone is into "multimedia" email these days *sigh*).

I live in emacs and always have one running. I have many text windows
and many virtual rooms to organize my work. I spend a lot of time in
the text editor. I spend a lot of time working in text windows. I
switch between them using the keyboard. I usually have two to three
windows visible at any time. More than that and they would be too
small. Less and I find I need another one. At any time two to three
is perfect and almost always one of them is emacs such as now typing
in this response. And at this time emacs is a text terminal version
running from mutt.

> Other than those, all I really need is dual monitors so I can update
> things in Terminal and refresh the page in the web browser, and a
> locking screen saver, for which xscreensaver works just fine. In
> fact I wouldn't mind just having TTY1 on one monitor and the GUI on
> the other if that is possible.
>
> So, if you don't mind, what do you use, and how much time is involved in
> setting it up?

I used FVWM since somewhere in the early 1990's specifically because
it existed as a fully functional window manager that wasn't changing.
It was stable over decades. Think of the Ubuntu Unity transition, the
KDE 3->4 transition, the GNOME 2->3 transition, all very disruptive
thrashes for their users. Using fvwm I missed all of those because
fvwm has been stable throughout. (I also missed the hpwm -> mwm ->
CDE thrash too by using fvwm but fewer people today would remember
those these days.) FVWM is a good window manager and is actually the
ancestor of the XFCE window manager.

In any case, a stock fvwm with default configuration is quite usable.
I have customized mine somewhat. One of the best features is the
"pager" and I have changed mine to cover the entire bottom of the
screen and to have many virtual rooms available.

But most recently I have converted to using tiling window managers. I
am currently typing this in while running the 'awesome' window manager.

http://awesome.naquadah.org/

It is a small lightweight tiling window manager. It doesn't require a
mouse and all operations can be done through the keyboard. I haven't
configured it from the default configuation. I just start it and use
the default settings. So as to your question about how much time was
involved in setting it up the answer is so far zero. I have been
wondering how to configure the clock from the default and may actually
create a configuration file to customize it but I haven't yet.

I did however spend time reading the man page so as to learn the
command keys to control it. When first starting with it I refereed to
the man page often until I learned the keys to drive it by memory.

Being an emacs user the other tiling keyboard driven window I have
contemplated trying is 'stumpwm'.

http://www.nongnu.org/stumpwm/

I will probably try it out eventually. I will probably like it better
in the long run. But no hurry. There is plenty of time. In the
meantime I am using either fvwm or awesome at the moment.

For email I use the 'mutt' mail user agent. It is extremely fast. It
is keyboard driven so once again learning the keystrokes to drive it
meant spending some time reading the manual and the online help. I
have customized mutt extensively. Some of the default behavior is too
"dumbed down". It asks for too many confirmations. Basically like
'rm -i' for everything. It is annoying. But highly customizable.
And so I have customized it and I am extremely happy with it.

http://www.mutt.org/

For the web I tend to use Firefox for most things. I use the
'firemacs' plugin for keyboard driving. I also load up 'noscript' and
'flashblock'. That makes 90% of the web that is written with
"progressive enhancement" in mind very fast and convenient. I am
often surprised at how slow most sites load when those are on. Then
for the growing 10% that requires fluff and glitter of massive
Javascript and Flash I use Chromium with the 'vimium' extension. Each
tab in Chromium is a separate process. Therefore I can kill the tab
and free up the memory consumed by those sites.

When I am doing my own web development it is mostly back end code in
Rails. During that development the CSS hasn't yet been applied and
*I* believe in progressive enhancement so I make good use of emacs-w3m
mode to run a text browser in emacs. I can very quickly flip between
site code and the browser view of it during feature development. And
then of course applying CSS beautifies it up for the graphical web
browser environment. But I am not developing fluffy code for Facebook
or Gmail but much more mundane purely functional things.

I also spend a lot of time logged into remote sites using ssh. In
that mode I have been using 'screen' for a very long time. Yet
another way to manage text windows. It is great. I keep hearing good
things about 'tmux' and will probably try it out eventually too. But
I don't really have a problem with screen so there isn't much
motivation to try a similar but different program. Being an emacs
user I have customized the default screen command key from C-a (used
by me in emacs all of the time) to C-z. I have also added a hard
status line to display useful information.

startup_message off
escape ^z^z
hardstatus on
hardstatus alwayslastline
hardstatus string "%{.bW}%-w%{.rW}%n %t%{-}%+w %=%{..G} %H %{..Y} %m/%d %C%a "

Not sure how useful this description is but you asked...

Bob
 
Old 09-15-2012, 03:32 PM
lee
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

Bob Proulx <bob@proulx.com> writes:

> I used FVWM since somewhere in the early 1990's specifically because
> it existed as a fully functional window manager that wasn't changing.
> It was stable over decades. Think of the Ubuntu Unity transition, the
> KDE 3->4 transition, the GNOME 2->3 transition, all very disruptive
> thrashes for their users. Using fvwm I missed all of those because
> fvwm has been stable throughout. (I also missed the hpwm -> mwm ->
> CDE thrash too by using fvwm but fewer people today would remember
> those these days.) FVWM is a good window manager and is actually the
> ancestor of the XFCE window manager.

Oh I know exactly what you mean Things like fvwm and emacs have been
around (almost) since ever and they just work. You learn them once and
that's it. You come back to them anyway after trying others, so don't
waste your time and learn them right away.

> In any case, a stock fvwm with default configuration is quite usable.
> I have customized mine somewhat.

If you want something more fancy, you can try fvwm-crystal. I wouldn't
recommend it, though, because it's too difficult to customise for your
needs with the thousands of little configuration files it puts all over
the place. It seems to be meant to be used as is, and as is, it's not
what I want. So I switched to fvwm and it's easy to customise.

> But most recently I have converted to using tiling window managers. I
> am currently typing this in while running the 'awesome' window manager.

I think I tried it, being curious about tiling WMs. It's a great idea I
couldn't get used to, I kept wanting to resize and move windows too
much.

> For email I use the 'mutt' mail user agent. It is extremely fast. It
> is keyboard driven so once again learning the keystrokes to drive it
> meant spending some time reading the manual and the online help. I
> have customized mutt extensively. Some of the default behavior is too
> "dumbed down". It asks for too many confirmations. Basically like
> 'rm -i' for everything. It is annoying. But highly customizable.
> And so I have customized it and I am extremely happy with it.

I totally agree And you're definitely going to love gnus! I've used
mutt for 15 years or so and never could find anything better --- until I
tried gnus. Gnus is like the "power version" of mutt. Give it a try,
it's part of emacs. Use emacs 24.2.x, there have been important fixes
to gnus.

Mutt always felt like badly integrated with emacs. It doesn't work so
well to run mutt in emacs, and using emacs as an external editor for
mutt isn't ideal, either. Gnus removes this issue. Gnus has features
I've been missing in mutt, and mutt will probably never have them. Gnus
has features I never even dreamed of.

Gnus is slower than mutt, yet not so slow that I couldn't live with it.
It's not really slow.

> For the web I tend to use Firefox for most things. I use the
> 'firemacs' plugin for keyboard driving.

Have you tried dwb? It uses vi-like key bindings and webkit. I kept
pressing the wrong keys and went back to seamonkey. Vi just isn't my
thing.

> for the growing 10% that requires fluff and glitter of massive
> Javascript and Flash I use Chromium with the 'vimium' extension.

Hm I tried Chromium a while ago and found it can't do anything at all.

> Each tab in Chromium is a separate process. Therefore I can kill the
> tab and free up the memory consumed by those sites.

Cool, maybe I should try it again. Seamonkey uses so much CPU and
memory that I'd really like to have a replacement.

> user I have customized the default screen command key from C-a (used
> by me in emacs all of the time) to C-z.

That was something that really annoyed me with screen. I couldn't agree
with myself with key to use instead and left it at the default and
always greatly missed C-a. Tmux uses C-b instead of C-a by default ---
somehow that is much better


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Old 09-16-2012, 12:55 AM
Bob Proulx
 
Default Dual-Monitor help

lee wrote:
> Bob Proulx <bob@proulx.com> writes:
> > For email I use the 'mutt' mail user agent. It is extremely fast. It
> > ...
>
> I totally agree And you're definitely going to love gnus! I've used
> mutt for 15 years or so and never could find anything better --- until I
> tried gnus. Gnus is like the "power version" of mutt. Give it a try,
> it's part of emacs. Use emacs 24.2.x, there have been important fixes
> to gnus.

Maybe I should give gnus a new try. I had tried it before and found
it much to slow to use. But every couple of decades it is good to
give programs a second try. :-) I can't remember when I last tried it
now but I am sure it was on HP-UX 10.20 at the time and the last
release there was in 1996. It is probably time to give gnus another
chance.

> Mutt always felt like badly integrated with emacs. It doesn't work
> so well to run mutt in emacs, and using emacs as an external editor
> for mutt isn't ideal, either.

Mutt does have the feel of the other editor rather than emacs. It
feels more like do one thing at a time and don't get interrupted. But
I have many text terminals and will create another one to operate in
parallel when I am interrupted. I use it with emacs as the configured
editor. I have optimized my emacs startup so that it launches quite
quickly.

I have used the configuration of using emacsclient and screen and
mutt. That works fairly well when running from a very thin client
where I am going to log into a server system for everything. But for
running on the local desktop that way never quite hooked me in.
Although I know other people really like that configuration. I
definitely use screen and emacs and everything else when working on
servers remotely. But I usually don't live in email remotely.

> Gnus removes this issue. Gnus has features I've been missing in
> mutt, and mutt will probably never have them. Gnus has features I
> never even dreamed of.

You have motivated me to queue gnus up for another try. :-)

> Gnus is slower than mutt, yet not so slow that I couldn't live with it.
> It's not really slow.

It being slow was the main reason I had moved away from it before. I
had tried RMAIL but of course that is a little odd. I had tried gnus
but it was at that time too slow. I had loved emacs VM and used VM
for a number of years before switching to mutt. For me Unix mail
clients I actually used were bin mail, mailx aka Mail, Elm, emacs VM,
Mutt and I am still using Mutt. I have always regretted not having
used the Rand mail handler mh. It always seemed like it embodied the
Unix philosophy the best of any of them.

> > For the web I tend to use Firefox for most things. I use the
> > 'firemacs' plugin for keyboard driving.
>
> Have you tried dwb? It uses vi-like key bindings and webkit. I kept
> pressing the wrong keys and went back to seamonkey. Vi just isn't my
> thing.

No. I will try it. Have you tried midori web browser? It is quite a
nice lightweight web browser too and it is also based on webkit. It
also has a nice default set of key bindings for the Unix user.

> > for the growing 10% that requires fluff and glitter of massive
> > Javascript and Flash I use Chromium with the 'vimium' extension.
>
> Hm I tried Chromium a while ago and found it can't do anything at all.

I find Chromium to have the best support for heavy web sites that have
lots of Javascript and make use of complicated html and html5. I
normally use a different browser but then when a site isn't working
correctly I break out Chromium for the heavy lifting.

The only real problem is Chromium not having the support team for
backports similar to Iceweasel. Therefore I can only really recommend
Chromium for Testing and Unstable. For Stable Squeeze Midori works
the best that I have found so far for difficult sites. Or Iceweasel
from Backports.

Chromium is annoying for keystrokes because of the architecture of a
supervisor process and children processes in tabs. Plugins and key
customization only work in external windows, not internal windows.
Therefore the user interface is very inconsistent. That drives me
crazy sometimes.

> > Each tab in Chromium is a separate process. Therefore I can kill the
> > tab and free up the memory consumed by those sites.
>
> Cool, maybe I should try it again. Seamonkey uses so much CPU and
> memory that I'd really like to have a replacement.

Or a supplement. Use your favorite on most sites but use a different
browser on difficult sites.

A problem for me if I were to use Iceweasel for everything is that it
would grow to consume all memory. By using separate browsers then the
idle browser can be swapped out by the system. But with using
Iceweasel for everything it would grow so large that it would consume
all memory. The system is happier if I keep Iceweasel small and only
temporarily use other browsers for memory hog sites and then exit them
afterward.

> > user I have customized the default screen command key from C-a (used
> > by me in emacs all of the time) to C-z.
>
> That was something that really annoyed me with screen. I couldn't agree
> with myself with key to use instead and left it at the default and
> always greatly missed C-a. Tmux uses C-b instead of C-a by default ---
> somehow that is much better

As an emacs user C-b would be a conflict. I use that key all of the
time. I chose C-z by default suspend-emacs because in screen I don't
normally use job control. In screen I would open another window
rather than suspend the current job. Therefore using C-z for screen
doesn't conflict with an emacs key for me. But it might for you if
you have remapped it. I normally remap emacs C-z to be the same as
emacs M-v because I got used to that from a different set of keybinds
from a different version of emacs from way back.

Bob
 

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