Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Nov 2007 23:05 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the seventh article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V | part VI]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part VII, as promised in part VI, we focus completely on CDE, the Common Desktop Environment.
Thread beginning with comment 286758
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Ah, CDE.
by meianoite on Sun 25th Nov 2007 23:36 UTC
meianoite
Member since:
2006-04-05

Sigh. Still the best CPU monitor applet I've come to know. If only Activity Monitor was just a tiny little dock applet, instead of a real, full-fledged, ahem, activity monitor =P


(Note: eventually I needed a change, as CDE really is, as Thom so aptly put, ugly as sin and makes kids cry. For quite some time I had a locally-compiled blackbox binary, but with 10mb disk quotas I had to give up that luxury. I used to hack the hell out of my init scripts back in the day to run a blackbox session, over SSH, from a Linux machine elsewhere on the CS department; then came the FreeType enhancements and Linux apps began to have antialiased fonts. I was sold; aliased fonts on 20" Sun displays can really harden one's heart, and I'm still too young to deal with that (/tongue-in-cheek). And well, some day the .dt scripts broke so badly that I was completely unable to log into CDE, and was too afraid to touch something there and never recover my other miscellaneous customisations. In the end I never logged back to CDE, and later switched from blackbox to fluxbox, and that's what I use to this day when I log onto the CS dept. boxes. Aye ;) )

Edited 2007-11-25 23:40

Reply Score: 3

RE: Ah, CDE.
by butters on Mon 26th Nov 2007 02:24 in reply to "Ah, CDE."
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

My gripes with CDE are that the dock takes up too much real estate and that it seemed remarkably awkward to add new drawers or launchers to the dock. Once I figured out how to get the dock to launch my preferred terminal (2-3 hours and some "unexpected" behavior), I removed everything except for that launcher and the workspace switcher and moved the dock over to one side of the screen.

Then I devoted a whole weekend to getting fluxbox to build on AIX so that I could work in a more comfortable environment. I guess CDE just wasn't suited to my particular needs. Fluxbox is better for managing a few dozen terminals. Lately I've been eying the tiling WMs like wmii and ratpoison. There's definitely something to be said about them in terms of usability theory.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Ah, CDE.
by Volt on Mon 26th Nov 2007 18:22 in reply to "Ah, CDE."
Volt Member since:
2006-06-23

Sigh. Still the best CPU monitor applet I've come to know. If only Activity Monitor was just a tiny little dock applet, instead of a real, full-fledged, ahem, activity monitor =P


In 10.4, you can actually go to the View Menu -> Dock Icon, choose the dock icon you want, and close the Activity Monitor window. But I've never used CDE, so I don't know if this will provide what you want.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Ah, CDE.
by meianoite on Mon 26th Nov 2007 18:31 in reply to "RE: Ah, CDE."
meianoite Member since:
2006-04-05

In 10.4, you can actually go to the View Menu -> Dock Icon, choose the dock icon you want, and close the Activity Monitor window. But I've never used CDE, so I don't know if this will provide what you want.


I know so, you're just forgetting the whole "If only Activity Monitor was just a tiny little dock applet, instead of a real, full-fledged, ahem, activity monitor =P" part ;)

I.e., unlike the CDE dock applet, you can't dissociate the Activity-Monitor-animated-dock-monitor from the larger - and quite resource-consuming by itself - Activity-Monitor-the-application-proper.

Reply Parent Score: 3